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By Heidi Shaffer, Published May 01 2014

5 Spot: Five books to read before the movie hits theaters

FARGO – The first of the summer blockbusters hits theaters Friday as “The Amazing Spider-Man” swings back into action.

While Peter Parker’s super alter ego was inspired by well-known comic books, other releases this year also started on the page.

Now is the perfect time to get a head start on your summer reading. These picks also give you a shot to brag to your friends, “The book was waaaay better.”

1. ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ by John Green

Release date: June 6

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Willem Dafoe

Synopsis: “The Fault in Our Stars” is one of the only teen dramas I don’t find completely annoying. The story of a couple of teens who bond over books and having cancer will leave you both laughing and crying.

2. ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn

Release date: Oct. 3

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosmund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris

Synopsis: “Gone Girl” could be easily ruined by spoilers, so let’s just say it’s a thriller about a missing wife and her husband, who becomes the main suspect in her disappearance.

3. ‘Hundred Foot Journey’ by Richard C. Morais

Release date: Aug. 8

Starring: Oprah Winfrey, Helen Mirren

Synopsis: An Indian family moves to France to start a restaurant only to find themselves in a spat with the family who owns the classy French eatery across the street.

4. ‘The Giver’ by Lois Lowry

Release date: Aug. 15

Starring: Brendon Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift, Alexander Skarsgard

Synopsis: Based on the Newberry Award-winning novel, a boy living in a Utopian community is chosen by an old man, The Giver, to learn about the “real” world.

5. ‘Unbroken’ by Laura Hillenbrand

Release date: Dec. 25

Starring: Jack O’Connell, Domhnall Gleeson; directed by Angelina Jolie

Synopsis: “Unbroken” is the true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was captured by the Japanese in World War II after his plane crashed into the Pacific.

Readers can reach Forum features editor Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5511