If you liked Fifty Shades of Grey, you should read: the After Series by Anna Todd
There’s no easy way to say this, but hear my out: this book is based on One Direction fan-fiction. I know, I know. Listen, though, Harry Styles is freaking dreamy, and if you don’t think so, you’ll change your mind after reading this book and falling in love with “Hardin” Scott. The series is not at all related to One Direction except for the simple fact that the main character’s appearances are based off the five band members. Really, that’s it, so you can chill now and listen to why you’ll want to read it.
This series (which is four HUGE books of wonderful reading material) is basically a college spinoff of Fifty Shades of Grey, sans BDSM culture. It’s not as kinky (thank god, really), and I find it more relatable as the main couple is as turbulent, rocky and dysfunctional as college relationships should be. The main character, Hardin, is not a Christian Grey creep but rather a bit charming in his rough exterior and punk demeanor. The books constantly have plot twists, cliffhangers, and all the substance that Fifty Shades of Grey lacked. It’s about 50 percent romance (including the normally vanilla, but definitely steamy sex) and 50 percent drama, so I guarantee you’ll keep turning the page. By the end you’ll probably be wishing you were too making out with a tattooed Harry Styles in a frat house and playing beer pong with Zayn Malik.
If you liked The Fault in Our Stars, you should read: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
In All the Bright Places, Violet Markey and Theodore Finch meet while on the ledge of their high school’s bell tower. It starts out the same as The Fault in Our Stars in that both characters are on the brink of death (self-inflicted, but no different nonetheless), and struggle to keep each other alive. A bit of a twisted but terribly lovely romance, the book unwinds as they adventure the state of Indiana together and learn of each other’s dark histories. While it’s not as tingly and warm as The Fault in Our Stars is, it moves with a sense of purpose: life continues after depression, and even then never without love.
If you liked Gone Girl, you should read: My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh
This new release is a mystery set in the Louisianan South revolving around a 1989 rape of a young girl. Although it’s not a thriller like Gone Girl, the author is as clever as Gillian Flynn in style and tone. Set from the perspective a teenager, its prose is wise and beautifully engaging. It’s a fair balance of coming-of-age quips and suspenseful developments that will keep engaged and wanting more.
If you liked Bad Feminist, you should read: How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
Again, this isn’t the exact equivalent as Bad Feminist, but it’s definitely as entertaining. Comparable to Tina Fey’s Bossypants in comedic value, How to Build a Girl is a fictional satire that follows the dysfunctional life of a teenage girl in England. The reader watches her evolve through revelations of self-discovery – though she doesn’t need to trek through the woods to do so (*cough* Wild). Her form of maturation is essentially summed up through cigarettes, one-night-stands, and writing for an indie magazine – aka the spirit animal you never knew you had.