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11 Books to Read Once You Watch All Your Shows

Still want to be in the fantasy world after finishing a binge of The Witcher or Westworld? Or would you like to jump into a different genre after finishing a binge of SKAM or The Crown? Look no further than fiction books. The 11 books listed are from multiple genres and we’re sure you’ll enjoy them!

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton (2018)

Taking place in the beautiful land of Orléans, we follow Camille Beauregard, a Belle. Belles have the power to create and sculpt Beauty, and in a world where people are born grey, Beauty is in high demand. Camille wants to be the favorite of the Queen of Orléans, where she would provide her services to the Queen and royal family. However, once she arrives, things aren’t what they seem, and the Queen asks Camille to do things with her powers she thought impossible, but are they? Follow Camille as she learns the truth about the Belles and the kingdom itself and the choices she has to make in order to save it. 

This is the first installment in the duology, and we hope you enjoy it!

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White (2018)

If you’re a fan of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, you will likely find enjoyment in this book. A retelling of the original Frankenstein has the reader following Elizabeth Lavenza, a side character in the original who is brought to the forefront in this story. We follow Elizabeth as she is found by the Frankenstein family to be a friend to Victor. In order to stay, she makes sure the family can’t get rid of her, and constantly manages Victor’s anger and indulges in whatever he wants to do is one of her ways to stay. This story takes you inside the cunning mind of a girl willing to do anything to stay alive and find out what Victor is up to, even as everything she knows about him changes.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He (2019)

Descendant of the Crane follows Princess Hesina of Yan, someone who’d rather live a life of relative calm than a royal one. Everything changes when her father dies, and Hesina is convinced that her father was murdered by someone in the royal court. With few people to turn to for help, she goes to a soothsayer: an illegal act, as magic was outlawed a long time ago. Using the information the soothsayer gives her, she enlists the help of Akira, an investigator who is also a convicted criminal. Hesina is dedicated to finding out what happened to her father, but the cost of learning the truth might be too high.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao (2017)

Oh look, another retelling! This one follows the story of Snow White, and starts in a different place than you would think: the Evil Queen. In this East Asian-inspired retelling, we follow Xifeng, who is currently a peasant girl, but her destiny foretells her becoming the Empress of Feng Lu. In order to reach this, Xifeng must embrace the dark magic that exists within her. The choices she makes have her contemplate if the throne is worth all that she has to give up.

This is the first book of an exciting duology!

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan (2018)

This book follows a girl named Lei of the Paper caste: the lowest caste in the kingdom she resides in. She is taken to the Demon King’s palace following his discovery of her golden eyes, and there she becomes a Paper Girl. While trying to find a way to escape, Lei also finds love in the most unexpected of places. As she’s doing so, she also discovers a plot to end the Demon King’s reign, and this pushes her to discover just how far she’ll go for freedom.

This book does contain scenes of violence and sexual assault, so please keep that in mind if you do pick up this book. Girls of Paper and Fire is the start of a great trilogy, and we hope you enjoy it!

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann (2018)

This contemporary novel follows Alice, whose summer plans have now changed after her girlfriend broke up with her when Alice confessed she was asexual. Since then, Alice had sworn off dating. Until she meets Takumi, a new employee at the library she works at who gives her feelings straight out of a rom-com. As their friendship (and her feelings) grow, Alice has to decide if coming out will lead to the romance she wants or ruin the friendship that already exists.

Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston (2019)

If you’re familiar with the Star Wars Prequel trilogy, you’d be familiar with the character Padmé Amidala. This book explores her character and that of her handmaidens more than ever before. Queen’s Shadow follows Padmé as she steps down as Queen of Naboo and becomes Senator of the same planet. Follow Padmé as she enters the Senate and deals with the trappings and politics that are drastically different from what she was used to as Queen.

This is a great novel for those interested in learning more about Padmé.

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson (2019)

If you’re familiar with the Star Wars Sequel trilogy, you’ll be familiar with the timeline and where this story ends up. Taking place between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, this story follows a Resistance spy named Vi Moradi as she is sent by General Leia Organa to build a Resistance base on the planet Batuu. Batuu is a planet full of smugglers, gangsters, and adventurers, and most are at Black Spire Outpost. It’s up to Vi to raise Resistance support in a place so far off from the rest of the galaxy, and do so before the First Order destroys it all.

This is a fun novel for those interested to learn more about Black Spire Outpost and Vi Moradi herself. 

Want by Cindy Pon (2017)

This story follows Jason Zhou in Taipei in a near alternate future where pollution and viruses run rampant. The rich are able to live longer by buying special suits that protect them from the harmful environment, while poorer people suffer illness and early death without the suits. Upset at the government’s corruption and the rich for not helping either, Zhou and his group of friends plan to infiltrate high society in order to take it all down. As they dive deeper, they discover that the Jin Corporation, responsible for the life-saving suits, may also be responsible for the pollution itself. And when Zhou starts to fall in love with Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO, he’ll have to try and save the city while also not losing who he is or who he loves

This is the first installment in a great duology!

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia (2019)

We Set the Dark on Fire follows Daniela as she graduates from the Medio School for Girls, where girls are trained for two different roles in society. Depending on the role, a graduate will either run her husband’s household or raise his children, but both wives are given a life of luxury. Dani has worked very hard to reach where she is as the top student, but it all balances on nobody finding out her secret: that her papers were forged so her parents could get her a better life. Things get more complicated as she is roped into spying on her husband for a resistance group bent on taking down the government and creating equality. On top of all this, Dani starts to fall in love with the person she least expects it from.

This is the first book in an exciting duology!

Wilder Girls by Rory Power (2019)

If you’re looking for a read with a quarantine of its own, then look no further than Wilder Girls. This story follows Hetty and Byatt as they and other girls at the Raxter School for Girls find themselves under the Tox, a strange ailment that starts killing teachers and changing the girls. Therefore, they are told to wait for the cure at the school, behind the fence that keeps them safe from the rest of the dangerous wilderness also morphed by the Tox. However, when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything in her power to find her, even if that means breaking quarantine. Along the way, she discovers more about why the Tox is happening and why they’re here, which changes everything.

 All of these books bring diversity into Young Adult literature, which is much needed in today’s world. We hope you found something on this list you’ll enjoy and that these reads will keep boredom away!

I am a fourth year English major at Cal Poly. I love reading as many books as I can, and it's rare to catch me without one. When I'm not reading, I'm scrolling through social media or hanging out with friends.
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