9 Books You Should Read Based on Your Favorite Disney Channel Original Movie

If you were a child of the late 1990s or early 2000s, chances are you’ve watched your fair share of Disney Channel Original Movies, or DCOM. These movies, which often hid important life lessons inside captivating plots with rising stars and catchy songs, were a large part our childhoods. As much as you love these classic films, you may be looking for some more “grown-up” entertainment options these days. 

Well, the good news is that you can have the best of both worlds. There are many novels out there that echo the themes of iconic DCOMS, with a more adult twist. Here are 9 books to read based on your favorite DCOMs. 

If you like Read It and Weep, check out The Regulars

 

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Read It and Weep is the story of Jamie, a high school girl who uses her private journal to explore what life would be like if she could live like her fabulous alter ego. But when her journal is shared with the world and Jamie gets a taste of the fabulous life, she learns to be careful what you wish for.  

In Georgia Clark’s modern “feminist fairy-tale,” The Regulars, three twenty-somethings in New York City learn that same lesson. Evie, Krista and Willow are all fed up with seemingly missing out on professional and romantic opportunities because they aren’t attractive enough. But that all changes when they all drink from the magic “Pretty” and their physical appearances change overnight. While it’s all fun and games at the start, these women quickly learn that looks aren’t everything. 

If you like Tru Confessions, check out Little and Lion

 

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Even if you love your family, it can still be difficult to understand them. In Tru Confessions, high school student, Tru, makes a documentary about her twin brother Eddie who has a developmental disability, and through the process learns how to better relate to him. 

In Little and Lion by Brandy ColbertLittle must learn how to support her brother Lion as he manages his mental illness, and she deals with the pressures of dating in high school. Just like Tru Confessions, Little and Lion is full of heart, and will leave you thinking about how to better connect with your loved ones. 

If you like Cadet Kelly, check out Leah on the Offbeat

 

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Female friendships are at the center of both of these stories. In Cadet Kelly, after Kelly's mother gets remarried, Kelly must leave her friends and start attending a military school where she just can’t seem to connect with the other women around her—that is until she joins the drill team and finds common ground with her fellow cadets. 

At first glance, Leah on the Offbeat doesn’t appear to have much in common with Cadet Kelly but their themes of female friendship are the same. In Leah, Leah Burke is dealing with lots of changes during her senior year of high school, and this tricky time is further complicated when new girl Abby Suso starts to play a bigger role in the lives of Leah and her friends. As senior year unfolds, Leah and Abby start to see each other in a different light, resulting in a beautiful conclusion.

If you like Get a Clue, check out Ghosted 

 

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Get a Clue was one of the few scary, suspenseful DCOMs, which quickly became a classic. Lexy, played by a young Lindsay Lohan, investigates the disappearance of one of her teachers in the dramatic DCOM. Lexy is a reporter for her school paper who can’t seem to let go of the story, until she finds out what really happened. 

That same tenacity is front and center in Rosie Walsh’s new novel, Ghosted. Sarah has just met her dream man, Eddie. But after he disappears, leaving her ghosted, she listens to her heart and tries to find out where Eddie went. Mysterious, but not scary, Get a Clue and Ghosted have a lot in common, and will leave you hanging on until the very end.  

If you like Twitches, check out I’ll Give You The Sun

Twins are the focus of both of these stories. Tia and Tamara Mowry starred as twin witches (aka twitches) who were separated at birth but are reunited on their 21st birthday and must join forces to fight evil.

In Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You The Sun, while there are no witches or fantastical elements, it has one thing in common with Twitches—the connection of twins. Noah and Jude are twins that were once inseparable but have now grown apart, only to have to learn how to reconnect. This novel is full of descriptive language that will make this beautiful story remind you of the magic of Twitches.

If you like The Cheetah Girls, check out Moxie

 

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In the classic, The Cheetah Girls, four high school students join together to form a fabulous girl group. As they rock out, they discover the true meaning of girl power and supporting your Cheetah sisters. 

While there are no Cheetah sisters in Jennifer Mathieu’s Moxie, there is plenty of girl power. In Moxie, Vivian Carter is tired of the way girls are treated at her Texas high school. To fight back, Viv anonymously creates a zine to share her feminist beliefs with her classmates. Soon, a feminist revolution is underway, and Viv and her friends must decide what role they will play. A wonderful YA read, Moxie is a fun novel that any grown up fan of The Cheetah Girls will love. 

If you like Stuck in the Suburbs, check out The Answers

 

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Celeb encounters always make for a good story, and Stuck in the Suburbs and The Answers are both full of them. In Stuck in the Suburbs, Brittany, a teenager stuck in suburbia, takes over pop star Jordan’s life when she accidentally swaps phones with him at a music video shoot. At first, she and her friend Natasha relish the opportunity to control Jordan’s every move, but in the end they realize that they have the power to help him discover his true self. 

In Catherine Lacey’s The Answers, Mary is a young woman who enters a unique arrangement with an actor to pay her expensive medical bills. Mary will serve as one of Kurt Sky’s many girlfriends, fulfilling his emotional needs. Just like Stuck in the Suburbs, The Answers explores what happens when an average girl gets close to a mega-star and will leave you dreaming about meeting your favorite celeb. 

If you like High School Musical, check out Anna and the French Kiss 

High School Musical is known for its catchy songs and, of course, introducing Zac Efron to America. But underneath all of the high school drama is a sweet love story about two high school students who come together against all odds. 

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is a delightful, YA romantic comedy that will have you thinking of Troy and Gabriella. Anna is a high school senior whose life is uprooted when she is forced to attend a boarding school in Paris. Things look rough until she meets Étienne St. Clair, a handsome boy who is out of Anna’s reach. As the two work to overcome their differences, a beautiful love story flourishes, making for a light and romantic read. 

If you like Smart House, check out The Grip of It 

 

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When you think about it, Smart House was kind of terrifying. Teenager Ben Cooper enters a competition to win a “smart house” for his single father, hoping the new home will help his dad on the domestic side of things. But when Ben’s family moves in, the smart technology begins to run amuck and control their lives, taking a scary turn.

Jac Jemc’s The Grip of It doesn’t deal with terrifying smart home tech but is scary nonetheless. When Julia and James move in to a new home, things get scary real quick. As the house deteriorates, so do Julie and James, and they must figure out what is going on before it is too late. An engrossing literary thriller, The Grip of It is not to be missed. 

So, what are you waiting for? Re-watch your favorite DCOM and discover a new favorite book!