So you’ve binge-watched Netflix’s Stranger Things, and now there’s an eerie, 80s, Demogorgon-shaped hole in your heart. You’re somehow going to have to survive the year-long gap between seasons, and it’s looking rough. What to do? Well, just in time for Halloween, we’ve compiled a reading list to tide you over! Check out these reads at your local branch.
The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey
The Girl with All the Gifts – M.R. Carey
Melanie is a young girl who, for reasons unknown to her, is detained by the military and a Dr. Caldwell, who calls her “our little genius.” She’s escorted to and from school in a wheelchair, with guns trained on her the whole time. Melanie just wants to be a regular girl, but when it’s up to her to save the world, she realizes just how special she is. Picture Eleven in a dystopian future.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
My Best Friend’s Exorcism – Grady Hendrix
Hendrix’s story is saturated with 80s goodness (the music, the movies, the roller-skating) and the book is decorated like a high school yearbook, with cheeky messages written inside the covers. Best friends Abby and Gretchen are starting their first year of high school when suddenly Gretchen starts acting strange. She’s moody and difficult, and weird things keep happening around her. Is she possessed by a demon? Abby decides to investigate with the purpose of saving her best friend. But can their friendship survive the devil? A nostalgic coming of age tale, but with Satan!
The Boys of Summer: A Novel by Richard Cox
The Boys of Summer – Richard Cox
In 1979, Todd was knocked into a coma by a tornado ripping through his hometown of Wichita Falls. In 1983 Todd wakes up, 13 and with a new, uneasy grasp on reality. Together with five friends, Todd spends that summer coming of age with first loves, deep betrayals, and a terrible secret. 25 years later, the friends reunite. Embarking on a search for the truth of that summer, the men come head to head with the past, changing the way they see each other and the very world itself. Reviewed by Barnes & Noble as a “darker, edgier Stranger Things.”
Paper Girls volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
Paper Girls, Vol. 1 – Brian K. Vaughan
It’s 1988, the early hours of November 1st. While some teens are still out celebrating Halloween, four 12 year old girls are up to delivery their paper routes. But their jobs are interrupted when they stumble across some mysterious figures in robes and they, of course, decide to investigate. A series about “nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood” (with a good dose of sci-fi thrown in), Volume 1 collects issues 1-5. The colouring of this series is gorgeous; the aesthetic is ultra-80s in the best way. Fans of Vaughan will definitely love this one.
If none of these do it for you, you can always check out NoveList from the VPL website. This database allows you to search for “read alikes” of your favourite books. Do you like the creepiness of Stranger Things? The sci-fi element? Stories of friends facing danger together? NoveList can find those titles for you!