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I don’t know about you, but after I’ve finished a really good book, I go into a mini grievance period. I’m sad that the book has ended, of course, but I also start to feel a disconnect from the characters, and I find myself wishing that I hadn’t read the book so I could start from the beginning and experience it all over again.
When my mini grievance is over, it’s not uncommon for me to want to read a book that’s similar to the one I just finished. Even though I’ll be living in a new world, making friends with new characters and going through a completely different storyline, there’s just something about reading a book that has a similar theme that helps me cope with the ending of a really good book or series.
If you’re anything like me, then you can find solace in reading these paired books that have a thing or two in common.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is about a girl who writes letters to all of the boys she loves in order to get over them. Saint Anything is about a girl who has lived in the shadow of her brother’s reckless behavior. Both of the main characters are dimmed in the spotlight of their older siblings. Lara Jean in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has always tried to live up to the perfection that her sister, Margot, is considered, while Sydney in Saint Anything is the complete antithesis to her brother, Peyton, and his illegal antics. Both Lara Jean and Sydney are trying to break out of the shadows and prove that they’re their own person, not just the younger sibling. Both of these books have a strong theme centered around family and all of the chaos that surrounds it, as well as adorable love stories that will give you butterflies.
All the Bright Places tells the story of an unlikely pair who meets at the edge of the school bell tower. Finch is known for his crazy antics and fascination with death while Violet is part of the popular crowd and only thinks of escaping her hometown. Falling Into Place is about a girl named Liz Emerson who drives her car into a tree. While she’s lying in a hospital bed, an unlikely narrator unfolds the mystery behind the “accident” and how everyone reacts to it. Both of these books have a theme heavily centered around suicide and mental illness.
Thirteen Reasons Why follows Clay Jensen who discovers a series of cassette tapes waiting for him when he gets home from school. The tapes were recorded by Hannah Baker, one of Clay’s former classmates who committed suicide just two weeks prior. The tapes walk Clay through the thirteen reasons why Hannah decided to take her life. I Was Here follows Cody, whose best friend, Meg, is found dead in a hotel room after drinking a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner. When Meg’s parents ask Cody to travel to Meg’s apartment and collect her things, Cody attempts to unravel the mystery behind Meg’s mysterious suicide. While these two books are also heavily centered around suicide and mental illness, instead of completely focusing on those who lost their lives, these novels instead focus on and follow the people left behind.
If you were fascinated with the mystery that is We Were Liars, then you’ll be sure to be intoxicated by Vanishing Girls. We Were Liars follows Cadence as she struggles to remember what happened the summer before and tries to uncover the lies that her family continues to bury. Vanishing Girls follows Nick as she attempts to find her missing sister who disappeared on her birthday. Both of these novels will take you through a rollercoaster of emotions as you try to uncover the mysteries behind what both of the main characters can’t seem to remember.
Fangirl follows Cath, an introverted bookworm who lives up to the title of the novel. She’d rather stay in her room and reread Simon Snow novels and write fan fiction than go out and meet new people during her freshman year of college. This Song Will Save Your Life is about Elise, a girl who has spent her entire life friend-less and defines life by what her current project (ahem, obsession) is. Both of these novels center around introverts who would rather get lost in their passions than socialize with others.
If you’ve heard of Amy Poehler, then you already know that she’s one hilarious woman. She’s also super talented and lived a hilarious life that helped her become the success that she is now. If you’re a fan of Amy, then you’ll also love Brittany Gibbons. While both of their lives differ on grand scales, fans of Amy will be sure to love Brittany’s witty and comical life story and her rise to success that stemmed from being unapologetic about just being herself and taking her clothes off in front of an audience.
Have you read any of these books? What books are on your TBR list?