“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
We are back again and here to give some more book suggestions based off books that we have read, and hope you might check out! You know that feeling when you have finished a book that you loved so much, whether it be the author, style of writing, or even genre, and do not know where to find a similar read? Yea, we know it too. We love going to #booktok, #bookstagram, and even Goodreads to try and help us find recommendations and suggestions based off of the books we have read. Here are some of our suggestions for books we have read, and then found something similar. We hope you are able to add one or even all of them to your own TBR List!
My first suggestion is based on the book The Girl on the Train. I remember trying to find a book as good as Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train was one of the books I found that was the closest! In case you haven't read it, or it's been a while since you picked this book up, here's a quick recap.
In The Girl on the Train we meet Rachel, who takes the same commuter train every morning. Every morning, it waits at the same signal, which overlooks the back yards of houses along the track. This has become such a routine for her that she feels as if she knows one of the couples, who she calls "Jess" and "Jason." Rachel feels as if their lives are perfect through she short glimpses of their lives and wishes her was the same. One day, she witnesses something that rocks her world. It's just a glimpse as the train quickly moves on, but now she has the chance to be a part of "Jess" and "Jason's" lives. She'll prove she's not just the girl on the train.
Now I'll be honest. I haven't finished The Final Girl Support Group. I'm about 75% of the way done as of writing this, but it's giving me all the same feels as The Girl on the Train. I won't say it's quite as mind boggling as Gone Girl, but it definitely has me on the edge of my seat and that's why I'm willing to go ahead and recommend it despite not yet finishing it! The cover and title of The Final Girl Support Group is what originally drew me in, but the summary. Ooh, it made me download it ASAP.
If you're familiar with horror movies, you may know what a final girl is - the final girl left alive, who fought back, avenged her friends, and defeated the murderer. Lynette is a real-life final girl. She survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, but she's been defined by it every day since then. For the last ten years, she's been part of a support group made up of six final girls. They've been putting their lives together piece by piece with the help of their therapist. That is until one of the final girls misses a meeting and Lynette realizes her worst fears are coming true. Someone is coming for the final girls, and they won't stop until there are no final girls left.
We're going to take a quick detour away from the thriller books and head over to some romance reads. The Love Hypothesis has been all over TikTok and I finally was in the mood for a popular romance book. I loved the main character, Olive, is in STEM. And I love the grumpy man trope almost as much. Combine those two things with the fake relationship trope and I'm hooked. In case I'm not selling it enough already, here's a quick summary.
Olive is a third-year PhD candidate who doesn't believe in life-long romance, but her best friend, Anh, does. Olive is trying to convince Anh that she's dating, so when she's surprised to see Anh she panics and kisses the first man she sees....which happens to be Adam Carlsen, a young professor who is best known as being an asshole. They agree a fake relationship can benefit both of them, but their experimental fake relationship becomes a little more complicated than either of them expected.
If you loved The Love Hypothesis then The Heart Principle is right up your alley. The Heart Principle is the third book in The Kiss Quotient series, but it can also be read as a standalone. Similar to Ali Hazelwood (writing women in STEM fields), Helen Hoang focuses on writing characters that are less represented in mainstream books. Plus, I love a good book where the "bad boy" is really just a big sweetie with his own insecurities. If you haven't heard of The Heart Principle before, here's a brief recap.
Anna is a violinist who's fame has occurred overnight thanks to a viral YouTube video. She now finds herself burned out from trying to achieve the perfection of that performance. While still reeling from experiencing burn out, her boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship. So, she decides she's going to have some one-night stands. Anna decides Quan is going to be a one-night stand, but as much as they try, they just don't seem to succeed. As they take on the task of achieving their one-night stand, Anna has a sudden family tragedy occur. She takes on a role that threatens to destroy her. Will she stand up for herself? Will Anna and Quan have a happily ever after?
I had a little trouble this time coming up with suggestions because I just recently finished a series (Book Review: Willow Springs Series by Laura Pavlov) and other than those books, I have been reading a few longer books that are taking me a little while to get through. So I decided to look back at some of my favorite books and authors, and maybe I will turn you on to some oldies but goodies!
With that in mind, my first suggestion is based off of two of my favorite authors, Sandra Brown and Linda Howard. If you have never checked these authors out, but are a fan of romance with a lot of intrigue, mystery, and suspense, then I cannot recommend these two ladies enough! Shades of Twilight by Linda Howard is about a young orphan raised by her wealthy grandmother in their wealthy Alabama estate entitled Davencourt. Roanna has a love for horses, a knack for getting into trouble, and a deep love for her cousin, Webb. However, it is expected that Webb will marry their beautiful cousin, Jessie, which he did. And then one night, Jessie is bludgeoned to death, Roanna finds her, and Webb is suspected of the murder. Once cleared of the charges, Webb leaves the legacy he always wanted and was proud of behind and heads to Arizona. Now 10 years later, Roanna shows up in a bar looking for Webb, no longer appearing as the mischievous troublemaker she once was, and wanting him to come home. Webb asks for one thing from Roanna that will make him come home.. and she accepts. Now, with the return of Webb, many secrets start to unravel, and someone is out to hurt Roanna. Is it Jessie's killer or someone new?
Now if this story sounds intriguing to you, or if you have read this and loved it, I cannot recommend enough Thick as Thieves by Sandra Brown! This story is about 4 random individuals who twenty years ago pulled quite the heist and almost walked away with half a million dollars. However, by the light of day, everything went down the drain with one person in jail, one person dead, one in the hospital, and one disappeared. The daughter of the man who disappeared (and suspected of taking the money with him), Arden, has never accepted that her father abandoned her and her older sister. After many difficulties and setbacks, Arden decides to return to her family home and maybe finally get some answers to questions she never got answered. Ledge, who was able to avoid a jail sentence from twenty years ago by enlisting in the army, is back in town as well, caring for his sick father and keeping an eye on who he thinks was the murderer from twenty years ago, the district attorney. With the return of Arden, both are on alert, waiting to see if she knows what happened to her father and the money that has disappeared.
I am sure you have caught on by now what these two stories have in common - families that have been destroyed by a situation (murder or disappearance) and then years later that family trying to put the pieces together to be able to move on. And right as they are trying to move on, strange events start occurring: break ins, car tampering, vague messages, and even fatal attempts on lives. In the midst of all of the chaos, love is blossoming between the main characters. Trust is put to the test to see if they can trust each other with their truths and knowledge of the situtations that happened years ago. And in true fashion, by both of these authors, when the secrets start unraveling and coming to light at the end of the stories, you are hit with big twists! And I never see them coming which is why I love these authors so much!
I stumbled upon the Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles on Netflix a few years ago and fell in love with the sweet young rom-com. I loved the friendship between Elle and Lee - it is pure, honest, and so sweet. Once I learned it was based off a book series, you know me, I needed to find the books and check them out! As my opinion with most movie/books, I always find the book(s) so much better! You are able to have so much more detail, background, and things do not often feel rushed.
Kissing Booth, like I mentioned above, is about a young girl name Rochelle, "Elle," who is pretty, athletic, popular, and has never been kissed. Noah is Lee's older brother - he is popular, often volatile, and quite the ladies' man. Elle is running a kissing booth with Lee for the school carnival, and the only way to get people to volunteer and show up, is if she can get Noah Flynn to show up. When he does, he turns her world upside down. Feelings are brought to light, sneaking behind Lee's back begins, and Elle is forgetting the pact she made with Lee when they were young - no dating Noah. When Lee discovers the romance, will Elle get her happily ever after?
Now, I am going to completely admit that I have not read The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han just yet, as I have only just found it myself! I was scrolling through Prime video over the weekend and found The Summer I Turned Pretty show. It has just debuted over the last couple of months, and I proudly admit that I watched the whole first (and only so far) season in one day. I was hooked! It has that young rom-com love triangle, brothers, secrets, and all of the other juicy details that I love!
The Summer I Turned Pretty follows Isabelle, "Belly." Belly lives for the summers as they are the time of year that she escapes to the beach house of her mother's best friend and her family. Each summer since she was born is spent at the beach house with the mothers, her brother, and her mother's best friend Susannah's sons, Conrad and Jeremiah. They are the guys that are Belly's everything - her brothers, her crushes, her best friends, and everything else someone could be to someone. Then one summer everything changes, through ups and downs, Belly finds her way, finds love, and life is what is should always be. This is a trilogy series following Belly through many years and I cannot wait to read this to see how it all plays out!
These books have many similarities that make them stand out. The first being that there is a familiarity and friendship between all of the main characters. Where Elle grew up best friends with Lee, and crushing on Noah, Belly grew up best friends with Conrad and Jeremiah, and crushing on both. In both stories, Elle and Belly find themselves, figure out what they want and not what others want for them. They grow and mature. There is a close friendship and relationship between the leading ladies and the mother's of the guys in their life - Elle with Lee and Noah's mother (she was her mother's best friend and that link for her once her own mom passed) and Belly with Susannah. There is a lot of humor, banter, laughs, and just all around fun in both stories that just make it such a fun read. There is also trouble and difficulties that they need to find the light at the end of the tunnel through. Overall, these are such fun stories about young love and just being young in general. Highly recommend!
Have you read any of these books? If not, we hope that we might have intrigued you into checking one or all of them out! Is there a book that you have read you feel is similar to any of the ones we have mentioned? We are always looking for new reads and suggestions for books that we love! If you’d like to see what we are reading now, check out our Goodreads profiles (Kelli and Chelsea) or follow 2 Girls Bookin' It on Instagram and Facebook! If you’re excited to see what other topics we’ll be covering in the coming months, make sure to subscribe. Thanks for reading with us!