15 Books You'll Want To Read If You Loved HBO's "Insecure"

    If you loved Insecure as much as we did, you’ll love these smart, sexy, and hilarious new reads.

    For five years, HBO’s Insecure took over our Sunday nights and our Twitter feeds. The show followed Issa, her best friend Molly, and her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Lawrence, as they navigated their careers, friendships, and love lives. Viewers fell in love with the smart dialogue, killer soundtrack, and realistic portrayal of young, Black millennials. Since the show ended this past December, we’ve rounded up 15 new and soon-to-be-released novels to fill that Insecure-shaped void in your life.

    1. Hope and Glory

    by Jendella Benson

    When Glory’s father dies, she returns home to London from sunny Los Angeles. Based on her Instagram feed, her family thinks her life is full of palm trees and pretty photo shoots, but in reality, she’s miserable. Glory’s family doesn’t seem to be doing much better either. Her brother is in prison (and ignoring her phone calls), her sister is working hard to keep up the veneer of the perfect housewife, and her mother’s mental health is becoming more unstable. Instead of fleeing her problems, like she’s prone to do, Glory decides to stay in London and support her family. But as soon as Glory’s life starts to resemble some sort of normalcy, she uncovers a family secret that changes everything.

    2. You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty

    by Akwaeke Emezi

    Feyi’s best friend Joy is ready for her to get back on the dating scene. It’s been five years since Feyi’s husband died in a car accident, and right now the love of Feyi’s life is her art. After meeting a guy that seems too good to be true (Nasir is incredibly hot and patient), Feyi is suddenly launched into a summer that includes tropical vacations, celebrity chef meals, and a chance to take her creative career to the next level. Feyi feels like she’s falling in love, but there’s also something holding her back. You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty deals with grief, second chances, and leaning into life’s possibilities.

    3. People Person

    by Candice Carty-Williams

    From the author who gave us the unflinching and heartfelt Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams brings us her second novel, People Person. The novel features Dimple Pennington, a 30-year-old inspiring lifestyle influencer with a less than stellar boyfriend who feels like her life isn’t going anywhere. Dimple’s family life is a bit complicated too. She has five half-siblings who she’s never really met and faint memories of a father who walked away. In this sweet and funny novel, Dimple and her siblings are forced to reconnect with their absent father and redefine the meaning of family.

    4. Honey & Spice

    by Bolu Babalola

    This is the first romance novel for Bolu Babalola, who previously wowed us with Love in Color, a collection of retold love stories. Honey & Spice introduces readers to Kiki Bango, host of the Whitewell University radio show Brown Sugar. Kiki’s job is to steer her fellow female classmates away from players, “situationships,” and heartbreak. But as these things tend to happen, Kiki finds herself in the arms of Malaki Korede, one of the biggest players on campus. Suddenly Kiki’s heart and her reputation of being “The Queen of Unbothered” are on the line. Babalola’s hilarious romance debut will have you laughing out loud and reconsidering first impressions.

    5. Must Love Books

    by Shauna Robinson

    What if your dream job turned out to be a nightmare? In Must Love Books, Nora has always dreamed about working in the publishing industry, but she grows disillusioned after a few years of working as an editorial assistant for Parsons Press. Overworked and underpaid, Nora’s mental health starts to spiral, and in order to pay her rent, she takes on a second job at a rival publisher. Nora’s loyalty is tested when she meets Parsons Press author Andrew Santos and there’s instant chemistry. Must Love Books is a love story as well as a story about finding your purpose and making decisions that don’t always have a clear-cut answer.

    6. Something Good

    by Vanessa Miller

    In Something Good, Alexis is texting and driving when she accidentally hits a young man, Jon-Jon, leaving him paralyzed. Before the accident, Alexis and her husband seem to live the perfect life, but the incident starts to chip at their seemingly perfect marriage. Jon-Jon’s parents, Trish and Dwayne Robinson, find themselves mourning their son’s football future, and their finances and marriage also become strained in the aftermath of the accident. And finally, Marquita Lewis is a 19-year-old single mother struggling to keep it together. All three of the women’s lives intersect, and the faith-based novel emphasizes that something good can come out of the worst circumstances.

    7. Sing Her Name

    by Rosalyn Story

    Thirtysomething-year-old Eden Malveaux is a waitress and an aspiring singer in New Orleans. She’s also the guardian of her troubled 17-year-old brother. A hurricane forces the pair to relocate to New York, and on a trip back to her hometown, Eden’s Great Aunt Julia gifts her a box from the rubble of the hurricane — a scrapbook and necklace belonging to the famous 19th-century singer Celia DeMille. The gift inspires Eden to go after her dreams when she returns to New York, and she soon finds herself poised for musical success. But just as her career is about to go to the next level, her brother’s past choices threaten to derail her dreams.

    8. Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?

    by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

    Yinka is an Oxford-educated 31-year-old professional who is not yet married, which prompts her mother to ask her, “Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?” This hilarious novel follows British Nigeria Yinka, who wants a husband but is also holding off sex until marriage, which complicates things. When Yinka hears the news that her cousin is getting married, she puts her plan to find a date (and a husband) into overdrive, resulting in a string of events that has Yinka questioning what she really wants. Blackburn’s sweet novel emphasizes the importance of family and friendships.

    9. Black Girls Must Be Magic

    by Jayne Allen

    Jayne Allen’s Black Girls Must Be Magic is a follow-up to Black Girls Must Die Exhausted, which introduced readers to Tabitha Walker, a 30-year-old professional in search of the perfect man. In the second book of the series, Tabitha finds out she’s pregnant and decides to be a single mother by choice. While she seems to have that part of her life worked out, the rest of her life isn’t so simple. At work, Tabitha has to deal with a boss who tells her that viewers of the local news station are not loving her natural hair. And Marc, her on-again-off-again boyfriend, comes back in the picture. With her best friends Alexis and Laila by her side, Tabitha has to make some hard decisions that not only affect her but her baby’s future.

    10. On Rotation

    by Shirlene Obuobi

    Sometimes things fall apart in order to fall together, right? Well, at least that’s what Angie Appiah hopes will happen when everything she’s worked so hard for suddenly seems to disappear. Her lawyer boyfriend breaks up with her, her best friend and roommate pulls away, and she fails an important exam for her medical career. Everything for Angie was going according to plan — until it wasn’t. On Rotation chronicles what it’s like to try to live up to the standards of an immigrant family while also trying to carve your own identity and find your happiness when things don’t always go as planned.

    11. Good Morning, Love

    by Ashley M. Coleman

    Good Morning, Love throws readers into the New York music scene and focuses on Carlisa “Carli” Henton, an aspiring musician and songwriter. Carli works as a junior account manager by day and writes songs in her off time, hoping for her big break to come soon. When Carli meets rising pop star Tau Anderson, all of her carefully laid plans seem to fly out the window. While Good Morning, Love is a romance novel, it also offers a deep dive into the music industry. By the end of the novel, Carli has to decide what she actually wants by tuning out the noise around her and following her own beat.

    12. The Hookup Plan

    by Farrah Rochon

    London Kelley is a successful pediatric surgeon who needs to blow off some steam. Her friends’ advice? A one-night stand. London follows their advice, hooking up with handsome (and very wealthy) Drew Sullivan at her high school reunion. The only problem is Drew wants to continue seeing her. To make things even more complicated, Drew’s back in their hometown to decide if London’s hospital will stay open. While Drew is trying to convince London he’s a good guy, she has to convince him to keep her hospital open — and none of this was ever part of the plan.

    13. Sister Friends Forever

    by Kimberla Lawson Roby

    Kimberla Lawson Roby’s latest novel, Sister Friends Forever, introduces readers to four lifelong friends trying to juggle their friendships, careers, and families. Serena, Michelle, Kenya, and Lynette have been friends since they were kids, and the four women make sure to meet up every week for lunch every month. But post-college, their lives have changed drastically, and the four friends' lives seem to be heading in different directions. The faith-based novel shows the difficulty and rewards of prioritizing female friendships through all stages of life.

    14. American Royalty

    by Tracey Livesay

    What if the Prince of England fell in love with an American rapper? That’s the premise of American Royalty, the over-the-top novel that follows Prince Jameson, a social recluse, and Dani “Duchess” Nelson, a Grammy-winning rapper. Jameson is in charge of putting together a tribute concert for his late father, and oblivious to Dani’s music, Jameson calls on the “Duchess” to perform at the concert, but he quickly realizes his mistake when he meets the sexy rapper. Though the two could not be more different, there’s a connection, and Dani and Jameson have to decide to give in to the attraction or resign that their differences are too great to overcome.

    15. Digging Up Love

    by Chandra Blumberg

    Alisha Blake loves to bake and dreams of someday moving from her small town in Illinois to Chicago to open her own cookie shop. In an interesting twist, a dinosaur bone turns up in her grandfather’s backyard and so does Quentin Harris, the cute paleontologist sent to examine the discovery. Alisha and Quintin have an instant attraction, but they’re both apprehensive. Quintin is getting over a big breakup, and Alisha is scared to fall in love. Readers will love following along as the two try to figure out how to trust each other and give love a try.