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    16 YA Books To Read Based On Your Favorite TV Teen Drama

    Reading is good for you.

    by ,

    Warning: Some of these books contain themes of self-harm, sexual assault, and suicide.

    Hi guys! We're Hannah and Morgan, and we love to read!*

    Netflix

    *What we actually mean is, we say we love to read, but 99% of the time we're watching teen dramas.

    We're always trying to find ways to get ourselves to read more. As teen drama fans, we love YA. But there are just SO MANY. So for the common good, we have compiled a list of YA books you should read based on the teen dramas you like.

    MTV

    *Quick Note: We know that some of these shows (in particular Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, and The Vampire Diaries) are actually based on book series. If you want to just read the books the shows are based on, go right ahead! However, in this list we will be discussing similar book series for those of you looking for something new.

    1. If you love Riverdale...read Broken Things by Lauren Oliver!

    The CW, HarperCollins

    In Broken Things, a young girl is murdered while playing an elaborate make-believe game based on a dark fantasy novel. Her two best friends become suspects and social pariahs, losing touch until they decide to try to solve the mystery as teenagers. This means revisiting the game they played as children, leading to staggering revelations and blurred lines between reality and fantasy.

    One of the best parts about Riverdale is its own clouded reality. It's technically just a drama, but the realism is blurred through mysteries that appear to be supernatural. If you liked the mystery of Season 1 of Riverdale, you'll love this twisty surreal psychological thriller.

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99+, Barnes and Noble for $10.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    2. If you loved Pretty Little Liars...read One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus!

    Freeform, Delacorte Press

    In One of Us is Lying, five members of different cliques end up in detention together. Only four walk out alive.

    The rest of the novel focuses on the teens being suspects for the murder and trying to figure the mystery out themselves. You get each person's POV, and you have no way of knowing if any of them is actually lying. It's twisty and suspenseful, but also has characters and relationships you root for, like in Pretty Little Liars. You'll fly right through this mystery!

    Get it from Amazon for $10.49+, Barnes and Noble for $13.49, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    3. If you love The Society....read Gone by Michael Grant!

    Netflix, HarperCollins

    In Gone, everyone 15 and over disappears in an instant, leaving a town of children to fend for themselves as radiation begins to give strange abilities to select animals and kids. The plot is very similar to The Society, except it goes even further, since many of those left behind are babies and toddlers. Gone has a very strong sci-fi background, but its stakes and plots still feel relatable and real. Like The Society, Gone is not afraid to go dark — the story is gritty and harrowing, dealing with things like alcoholism, corruption, sexuality, and racism. It's also incredibly diverse! Be prepared to read a lot (the series spans six books and a spinoff series); We promise you won't want to put the books down.

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99+, Barnes and Noble for $10.62, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    4. If you love Sex Education...read Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg!

    Netflix, Arthur A. Levine Books

    Unfortunately, we couldn't think of any YA novel that approaches sex with all the candor and humor that Sex Education does. Instead, we have a book that captures the awkwardness of adolescence, including having zany parents, navigating high school cliques, and figuring out your identity. Openly Straight tells the story of Rafe, an openly gay high schooler who is tired of being seen as gay first, and Rafe second. When he starts private school, he decides he won't tell anyone he's gay, a decision that's met with shock and anger from his overly involved parents and best friend.

    It's a story that deals with issues of identity, privilege, internalized anti-gay bias, and mental illness with heart and humor. It also features one of our absolute favorite couples in YA that managed to melt even our cold and dead hearts.

    Get it from Amazon for $8.51+, Barnes and Noble for $9.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    5. If you like Atypical...read Turtles All the Way Down by John Green!

    Netflix, Dutton Books

    Atypical tells the poignant story of Sam, an autistic teenager, and the many ways he both struggles and succeeds in school and dating. Similarly, Turtles All the Way Down explores Aza’s life as a high school student with obsessive-compulsive disorder. She and her friend Daisy work to solve the mystery of a local missing billionaire as Aza worries her mental health will prevent her relationship with love interest Davis from blossoming. Many aspects of the novel are based on John Green’s own experience with OCD, and this makes the book all the more profound.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.75+, Barnes and Noble for $13.49, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    6. If you love Euphoria...read Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasglow!

    HBO, Delacorte Press

    Euphoria offers an authentic and heartbreaking look at serious teen issues like drug use and relationship violence. Girl in Pieces, which tells the recovery story of a suicide attempt survivor, offers a serious look at homelessness, sexual assault, and self-harm. Like Euphoria, Girl in Pieces pulls no punches in tackling these issues with all the gravitas they require, while also having flawed main characters and families that people can identify with. Like Rue, Charlie has a road to recovery that is not at all linear. Overall, it's an inspiring story that challenges the reader while giving a voice to issues that are rarely discussed in popular media.

    Get it from Amazon for $5.99+, Barnes and Noble for $9.89, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    7. If you loved One Tree Hill...read All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven!

    The WB, Knopf Publishing Group

    All the Bright Places is a really sweet yet devastating story about an unlikely pair of teenagers falling in love. The plot is pretty different from the melodramatic One Tree Hill, but it evokes the same emotions as the teen soap: a warm and fuzzy feeling of finding magic amid hopelessness, and meaning in the mundane. No, there's no basketball, but we promise your heart will feel the same after reading this as it did after watching One Tree Hill.

    Get it from Amazon for $8.29+, Barnes and Noble for $8.87, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    8. If you liked Reign...read The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead!

    The CW, Razorbill

    Reign brings to life the tale of Mary, Queen of Scots. Part of show's magic is escaping to an old world — a dark, mysterious place with swords and corsets. The Glittering Court series holds a similar allure: strong, empowered women demonstrating the cunning needed to survive at court. The trilogy rotates protagonists between three girls, desperate for a new life, as they compete to win the hand of affluent bachelors. From royal scandals to ball gowns to religious zealots, these books will make Reign-enthusiasts feel right at home.

    Get from Amazon for $9.74+, Barnes and Noble for $10.03, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    9. If you love 13 Reasons Why...read Hate List by Jennifer Brown!

    Netflix, Little, Brown and Company

    13 Reasons Why, while certainly problematic, is not afraid to tackle difficult issues like suicide, bullying, and gun violence. Hate List, which tells the story of a school shooter's girlfriend returning to the school that blames her for the attack, tackles similar issues in a more sensitive way. Val is not innocent; like Clay, the choices she makes hurt and harm her fellow classmates, who are recovering from a horrible event. But she is honest and authentic, and you can't help but root for her even when her own perceptions and memories of the person she loved are muddled, like Clay's. The story of how the school changes in the wake of tragedy is also realistic and thought-provoking, and gives you a sense of hope. Hate List leaves you with the same message the first season of 13 Reasons Why does — "It has to get better."

    Get it from Amazon for $12.62+, Barnes and Noble for $10.79, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    10. If you love The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina...read The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert!

    Netflix, Flatiron Books

    The Hazel Wood tells the story of a teenager named Alice whose grandmother wrote a famous book of dark fairy tales. Alice has never met her grandmother, but when her mother goes missing, she knows exactly where she'll be: her grandmother's famed estate. In her search for her mother, the lines of her grandmother's fantasy world and the world she knows blends, until she's not even sure who she is and where she belongs. This is a very similar conflict to the one Sabrina faces, told in the same dark fantasy style. Both main characters are strong and savvy, and both have darkness in them. If you like creepy, haunting teen stories, you'll love The Hazel Wood.

    Get it from Amazon for $6.59+, Barnes and Noble for $9.89, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    11. If you liked The Vampire Diaries...read Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead!

    The CW, Razorbill

    The Vampire Diaries became wildly popular for three reasons: sex, love, and vampires. The Vampire Academy series offers these themes but within a more detailed world. The six-book series centers on Rose Hathaway, a firecracker with a sharp tongue and extraordinary combat prowess. Readers follow Rose’s journey from a sassy teen to a brave leader, always willing to fight for those she loves. Her unbreakable bond with her best friend, Lissa, and eternal love for her instructor, Dimitri, push her from the academy to the perilous world beyond school where she wages war against monsters, governments, and even herself.

    Get it from Amazon for $10.37+, Barnes and Noble for $11.65 or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    12. If you loved The End of the F***ing World...read Mosquitoland by David Arnold!

    Netflix, Penguin Young Readers Group

    One of the most striking aspects of The End of the F***ing World are the voices of the two main characters. They're markedly different from most teen drama characters, and both are extremely distinct. Similarly, Mosquitoland features one of the most distinct voices I've read in YA fiction. Mim Malone, a spunky teen with schizophrenia who's run away to see her sick mother, is funny, flawed, and self-aware. Her journey is full of unintended twists and turns. She's searching for not only the truth, but also freedom, just like James and Alyssa. This book will definitely have you seeing life in a new way.

    Get it from Amazon for $8.72+, Barnes and Noble for $10.29, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    13. If you loved Teen Wolf...read Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins!

    MTV, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

    Rebel Belle tells the story of a Southern belle named Harper who gains superhuman abilities after being attacked at a school dance. Soon she discovers her supernatural destiny is to protect her worst enemy since grade school. Naturally, sparks fly.


    Rebel Belle
    is cheesy, ridiculous, campy, and fun. It features bad guys being murdered by high heels and archenemies dressed in blood-covered Lily Pulitzer. If Teen Wolf focused on Lydia and was set in the South, it might be a little like Rebel Belle. Another bonus — like Teen Wolf, Rebel Belle focuses on lesser-known mythology. It's a quick read that'll leave you wanting more!

    Get it from Amazon for $8.66+, Barnes and Noble for $10.19, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    14. If you loved Skins...read All Souls by Michael Patrick McDonald!

    E4, Beacon Press

    Skins offered many teens their first opportunity to see people like them on TV. The characters on Skins were crass, damaged, and dealt with a lot of serious issues. All Souls is actually a memoir, which gives it that much more emotional gravitas and realism. It's about a boy growing up in a poor family in South Boston in the '80s, and it's a gritty look at kids who can't afford to be kids. It touched our hearts in the same way Skins did. If you're aiming to be devastated when you read, look no further.

    Get it from Amazon for $11.26+, Barnes and Noble for $14.36, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    15. If you loved The 100...read Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer!

    The CW, Harcourt Children's Books

    In Life as We Knew It, a meteor knocks the moon closer to Earth, leading to a number of natural disasters and a deterioration of the society that we're used to. The stakes are high, but the story is intimate and very family-based. One of our favorite things about The 100 is how even as the fate of the world hangs in the balance, personal stakes still remain important. Both are terrifying looks at a not so distant future, but the characters remain relatable in each.

    Get it from Amazon for $6.92+, Barnes and Noble for $8.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    16. If you loved Gossip Girl...read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart!

    The CW, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

    If you liked Gossip Girl for its Netflix description ("Rich, unreasonably attractive private school students do horrible, scandalous things to each other. Repeatedly.") you might be better off reading the Gossip Girl books. But if you loved Gossip Girl for its power plays and schemes, you might like The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, which tells the story of a mischievous girl attending an elite boarding school in Massachusetts. Frankie is clever, funny, and precocious, and her story is what Jenny might've become. If you liked Gossip Girl (and strong female characters like Blair) but found the incessant backstabbing and fighting tiring, this feminist story might be for you.

    Get it from Amazon for $8.78+, Barnes and Noble for $9.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

    The National Alliance on Mental Illness is 1-888-950-6264 (NAMI) and provides information and referral services; GoodTherapy.org is an association of mental health professionals from more than 25 countries who support efforts to reduce harm in therapy.

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