Tag Archives: Adaptation

Top Ten Tuesday – May 14, 2019: Book-to-Screen | Dare I Say It? The Movie/Show Was Better

TOP TEN TUESDAY
May 14, 2019

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, formerly hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader GirlThis week’s topic was Book-to-Screen Freebie so I’m sharing my favorites that I think are — dare I say it? — better than the books!

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday but hey, I’m trying to get back into the blogging groove. It’s something I miss doing and I really liked the topic this week!

DARE I SAY IT? THE MOVIE/TV SHOW WAS BETTER

1.THE PRINCESS BRIDE (MOVIE) | The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies from my childhood (and my whole adult life as well) and I didn’t read the book until I was an adult. I loved how closely the movie follows the book for the most part but I think the movie does a fantastic job of capturing the fantastical elements along with perfectly timed comedy and subtle (and not-so-subtle) jokes. The cast of the movie is just too perfect, plus nostalgia and the movie for me will always be better than the book.


2. THE MAGICIANS (TV SHOW) | I actually really enjoyed The Magicians as a book series but I just fell in love with the TV show. The actors are just so enjoyable, Quentin is more tolerable, and well, I still hate Alice no matter what (maybe even more in the TV show…) but I love how the SyFy adaptation ended up straying from the books and becoming its own thing. It opened even more doors for this story to continue, add more characters, and find new ways to incorporate this story line. Things from the books still pop up in new and fun ways so it’s still fun as a reader to see them continue to be combined but in unique fashions!


3. DEXTER (TV SHOW) | I watched the TV show before I read the first Dexter book and the show was just so much better. Michael C. Hall is the perfect Dexter and such a great actor in this series. I loved how the show adapted the book and how the actors really made this concept into such a great show. I never ended up continuing my reading of the series because the show was so much better and I finally finished binge-watching this year!


4. THE NOTEBOOK (MOVIE) | This was another book that I didn’t read until after I saw the movie and I enjoyed the movie so much more! The actors just have so much chemistry and I liked how the movie organized the timelines a little bit differently. I just loved how the movie felt and brought this story to life! The book was still very good but the actors really made this what it is.


5. THE PRINCESS DIARIES (MOVIE) | Yet another series that I didn’t start until after I saw the movie! The movie actually changes quite a lot, from location to parents to basically the entire plot, but I actually liked how it updated it a bit for the times since the book was written (although now even the movie is outdated at this point) and I kind of liked the changes it made. The book was still enjoyable and I’m still working my way through this series, but head-to-head challenge? I think the movie wins out for me, just slightly.


6. GAME OF THRONES (TV SHOW) | Don’t get me wrong, I loved A Song of Ice and Fire… but the TV show is giving us an ending when we’ve been waiting for YEARS to even get a continuation of the series as the sixth book. The books left us in a TERRIBLE spot that until the TV show, we were just left waiting to see what the heck happened to our favorite characters. Plus, the TV show took me two weeks to binge watch versus 8 months to “binge read” the books. (If I really wanted to binge read them now, I’d do it on audio and be done in less than two weeks but I was taking my time when I first read them). The show gives us clarity on why characters like Davos are important and have POV chapters (which he’s way more enjoyable on the show than the books) and the TV show also really helped me when reading the books so I could put faces to the many names of the many characters. I love them both, but the show is here now soooo….


7. AMERICAN GODS (TV SHOW) | I’ll admit it. I had a little bit of a hard time getting into AMERICAN GODS when I read the book. I didn’t know how things would come together and it kind of took me a little bit to get a grasp on it. Once I got into it, I was loving it! Knowing what I know (and forgetting what I knew), the TV makes for a more enjoyable experience for me and I was already loving the characters and story before the show even began. I also really love all of the actors and the imagery in the show is stunning.


8. TRUE BLOOD (TV SHOW) | I actually read quite a few of the Sookie Steakhouse books (after watching the show…) but I just enjoyed the show so much more. I felt like the show was a little darker, more intense, and I enjoyed all of the actors……. except for ya know, two of the main characters (Sookie and Bill. Sorry not sorry). I also liked how this show took some liberties and kept pieces and concepts from the books but kind of made them better. I never did finish the TV series but it’s been so long at this point I don’t know if I could pick up where I left off.


9. SLEEPY HOLLOW (TV SHOW) |  Sure, the TV adaptation of THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW was totally different but I LOVED it. Well, for a while. I didn’t even watch the last season because things got stupid and lost their charm. I thought Tom Mison was just darling as an Ichabod Crane transported to modern day America and the history + paranormal was just so much fun!


10. YOU (TV SHOW) | This one is kind of a toss-up, but I really liked seeing this story brought to the screen and seeing a different side of things! It was fun seeing people watch the show who haven’t read the books and didn’t know how creepy Joe really was, as well as getting everyone’s opinions of Beck. I actually found her less annoying in the show but people still thought she was stupid so that’s… good? It was just really fun to see this one adapted and I’m curious to see if/when they come back with the next season, where that will go since the first season covered all of book one! I did enjoy YOU as a book quite a bit (especially the narrator for the audiobook) but the show helped keep things on track whereas I felt the book kind of just strayed into long narratives at times.


Which book-to-screen adaptations have you enjoyed as much as or more than the books? Any of these that you agree with?

Video Review: Things I Can’t Explain – Mitchell Kriegman

Video Review: Things I Can’t Explain – Mitchell KriegmanTitle: Things I Can't Explain by Mitchell Kriegman
Publishing Info: November 10, 2015 by St. Martin's Press
Source: Netgalley
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Retelling
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 17, 2015

A complete re-imagining of Clarissa Explains it All as 20-something Clarissa tries to navigate the unemployment line, mompreneurs and the collision of two people in love.
She was a smart, snappy, light-hearted girl who knew it all at fourteen. Now a woman in her late twenties, her searching blue eyes are more serious, but mostly amused by the people around her. The gap-toothed smile that made her seem younger than she really was is gone, but she still lightens up the room. Her unpredictable wardrobe rocks just like when she was a kid, but her fashion sense has evolved and it makes men and women turn their heads.
After leaving high school early, Clarissa interned at the Daily Post while attending night school. At the ripe old age of twenty- two she had it made – her own journalism beat (fashion, gender politics and crime), an affordable apartment in FiDi and a livable wage. She was so totally ahead of the game. Ah, those were the days! All three of them. Remember the Stock Market Crash of 08? Remember when people actually bought newspapers?
All of Clarissa’s charming obsessions, charts, graphs, and superstitions have survived into adulthood, but they’ve evolved into an ever-greater need to claw the world back under control. Her mid-twenties crisis has left her with a whole set of things she can’t explain: an ex-boyfriend turned stalker, her parents’ divorce, a micro relationship with the cute coffee guy, java addiction, “To-Flue Glue,” and then there’s Sam. Where’s Sam anyway?
Things I Can't Explain is about knowing it all in your teens and then feeling like you know nothing in your twenties.

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I’ve been working on my booktubing and decided to do a video review for THINGS I CAN’T EXPLAIN by Mitchell Kriegman! It’s a Clarissa Explains It All continuation in her new adult/adult life and… well, I’ll let the video do the talking! Check out my video review on YouTube!


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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

things i can't explain gr updates

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Clarissa // Character Obsessions: Fashion, job-hunting, journalism.
I mean, that’s pretty legit Clarissa right there. There were some total Clarissa moments and then… some totally where I just wasn’t making that connection. It was hard! It’s also so so so weird reading about Clarissa’s sex life!! Adult + Clarissa was hard to reconcile.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Nah nah nah nah nah! (That’s the Clarissa theme song. For those of you who now have it stuck in your head, welcome to my world!) This was one of my favorite shows of the 90s. Heck, it still is. I need a binge watch…
Left Me Wanting More: Original feel. I just didn’t quite connect to it like I wanted to. Half the time the character just didn’t even feel like Clarissa… but I think it was hard to read and not SEE.

Addiction Rating
Try it

This didn’t QUITE do it for me but… but… Clarissa! It was fun regardless and I think people will have fun reading it. I was hoping for more of that Clarissa feel so I didn’t rate it as high as I wanted to but I think people will still definitely enjoy it!

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BOOKS LIKE THINGS I CAN’T EXPLAIN

(Click the cover to see my review!)

ATTACHMENTS    WHEN JOSS MET MATT

If You Liked… Harry Potter!

12 BOOKS TO READ
IF YOU LIKED HARRY POTTER

I’ve done a few of these “If You Liked…” guides now and I figured it was finally time to put together a recommendation list for people who have read and loved Harry Potter! I always see recommendation lists around on the internet (especially on Pinterest!) and it seems like the same suggestions over and over again, many of which consist of middle grade books geared towards the younger readers who have maybe just read Harry Potter for the first time. Don’t get me wrong — that’s not a bad thing. I love that those recommendations are out there and clearly I’m all for adults reading whatever books and “age range” they want to (I AM a advocate of YA after all) but still I’m not much of a middle grade reader and the recommendations that I keep seeing seem to be more middle grade fantasy series.  I wanted to come up with some new recommendations too — recommendations geared more towards the adults who grew up with Harry Potter and are looking for new series to fall in love with (which is why you won’t see any Percy Jackson on my list)! Harry Potter is SUCH a big fandom and was really big part of people’s childhoods and still held dear in their adult lives, so my suggestions included in this post are books and series that I think life-long Harry Potter fans will be able to fall in love with and get (almost) just as invested in! These are some of my biggest fandoms, favorite characters, and most amazing fantasy worlds. If you grew up loving Harry Potter and are looking for a new book or series to become invested in, I hope you’ll find some of that same magic in these books!


if you liked harry potter


IF YOU LIKED HARRY POTTER…

Try… SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

Aside from Harry Potter, The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo was one of the first fantasy series I really got into. I was never a big Lord of the Rings person and besides HP, I hadn’t really read much fantasy so I THOUGHT I wasn’t a fan. Once I started SHADOW AND BONE, I fell head over heels for the books and the genre! Leigh Bardugo is an amazing writing and the magic system and amazing fantasy world in this series are so well done! I’ve become wholly invested AND all three books are already out in case you want to read the whole series back to back to back! Plus, there’s an excellent school for magic in here!

Try… MISTBORN by Brandon Sanderson.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

MISTBORN was one of the first adult fantasy series I really fell in love with… and let me tell you, I could NOT put these books down. Despite their length (not TOO bad. Depending on the version you’re reading, about 550-600 pages), I totally inhaled them and ended up reading the second and third books back-to-back because I just couldn’t stop! The magic system is really interesting and the characters are just wonderful. I like to think of this as a sort of “crossover” in between YA and adult because one of the main characters, Vin,  is in her late teens and the other characters are all adults. (They even released a new edition of the book under Tor Teen when it was originally published as adult, so even the publishers are spanning both YA and adult.) She learns the ropes of the magical rules and properties and really starts to come into her own throughout the series. I included this as a recommendation because I immediately became hooked on learning how all of the magical properties worked and totally immersed myself into this fandom right away!

Try… THE NAME OF THE WIND by Patrick Rothfuss.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

Technically THE NAME OF THE WIND is also adult, but I like to think of it as another “crossover”. The book starts with the young life of main character Kvothe and the first and second books mainly span his time as an adolescent and young adult. The book spends most of its time in the University where Kvothe learns many skills and much magical prowess, but it also cuts back to the present day of the books where he’s now an adult. These books are amazing. Also quite long but each word is totally worth it. I absolutely love Kvothe and have become SO invested in him and his story! This is another fantasy recommendation I included for its fandom — I’m so deeply invested in this books and I’m obsessed with watching for updates about when the third book will be out!

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Try… THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

You may have seen news and flails for THRONE OF GLASS flying around (especially if you’re diving in head first into the book community!) and let me tell you, the obsessed fans are totally spot on with the praise for this fandom! The Throne of Glass series has grown to be so entertaining, detailed, unique, and fascinating. Admittedly, book one is actually my least favorite of the series but not because it’s not as good — it does a lot of setting up for the rest of the series (a six book series in all (seven if you include the bind-up of novellas) with book four set to release in September 2015) and I just think the series really takes off from THRONE OF GLASS! The characters, the plot, the magic — everything really grows so immensely and this series is so exciting! It’s another really big fandom out there right now and you can read the first three books and join us in flailing and trying to wait patiently for the rest of the series!

Try… THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA by Scott Lynch.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA is definitely an adult recommendation (please don’t give this to your kids. LOTS of cursing) and oh boy, is it just a BLAST to read. This definitely felt like adult fantasy mixed with Ocean’s 11 and I just loved it. The characters are hilarious and also incredibly clever. Combined with the subtle magical elements (that end up playing a larger role in future books) and a picturesque fantasy world, THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA is a book I think adult fans would enjoy! I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this series and now I can’t stop reading them! Another series I just totally devoured until I was left waiting for the next book to be published.

Try… SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

SERAPHINA had a really great feel for me. It was the same sort of magical presence that I felt with Harry Potter and books like SHADOW AND BONE — the content isn’t necessarily similar but I was easily able to fall into this world and allow myself to get swept away by these characters and this story line. Seraphina is the title character who lives in a world where dragons live among the people… and can take human form. It’s an unsettling time in the human/dragon history and the events that take place in SERAPHINA were really just exciting and lovely and emotional to witness!

Try… CINDER by Marissa Meyer.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
CINDER is the first book in The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer and oh, guys… it’s one of my favorite series of ALL TIME. It’s definitely more sci-fi than fantasy (though there is some magic involved, though it’s more scientifically-based) but it’s another one where this fandom just totally swept me away. Each book gets better and better (though CINDER is great from the beginning) and the layers of characters and layers of plot build with each book. This got me into some light sci-fi (the author said herself that she pulled inspiration from Star Wars and Sailor Moon) combined with fairy tale retellings and the result is positively addicting. The last book in the series, WINTER, releases November 2015 and I cannot tell you how much I’m anticipating its release!


Try… THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
THE NIGHT CIRCUS is a bit more like the magic in Harry Potter — real-life magicians who have actual magical powers. THE NIGHT CIRCUS chronicles two magicians in particular and includes some stunning imagery, wonderful magic, and a heart-aching romance. If I had to pick one recommendation that really felt SIMILAR to Harry Potter, this would be the one! It lacks the magical school and full-on wizarding community, but it feels more like an adult take on the magical world as it is within the non-magical realm.

Try… THE STORYSPINNER by Becky Wallace.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
I’m recommending THE STORYSPINNER because it was one of those books that just left me with a feeling after I had finished, much like the emotional connections I have to Harry Potter. I had finished the book and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. I had really becoming emotionally invested in the characters and also in each of the respective relationships. The plot set-up was excellent and the magical elements were introduced enough to see that there would be so much more in the books to come that I was so anxious to learn even more! THE STORYSPINNER was just released in March 2015 so we’ve got a lot more time to spend with this series!

Try… THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
THE RAVEN BOYS isn’t so much fantasy as the other recommendations on this list are (you’ll find more magical realism/paranormal/mythology), but I had to include it because along with Harry Potter, The Lunar Chronicles, and The Grisha Trilogy, this is one of my TOP TOP TOP fandoms. I just re-read THE RAVEN BOYS in preparation to do a series re-read before the last book in the series, THE RAVEN KING, comes out in 2016 and I fell in love all over again, much like I do each time I read Harry Potter. I’d say where HP has a strong world and plot that sweeps readers away, THE RAVEN BOYS accomplishes the same thing on an emotional level and I cannot recommend this series enough!

Try… DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is a little bit of a different kind of magic, focusing more on an on-going war between angels and chimaera. I liked it for a Harry Potter recommendation here for its completely separate world. Only people with knowledge of Eretz (that’s the realm in which the seraphim and chimaera live) know how to enter or are allowed to go there, though the seraphim and chimaera have also been seen in the human world within the book. It’s a magical story, a love story, and an incredibly powerful tale of an epic war within a magical community. The writing was gorgeous and the story so powerful.

Try… STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
STEELHEART is another book by Brandon Sanderson (see MISTBORN above) but it’s also very different. This is a bit more sci-fi than fantasy, I’d say (we’re dealing with superheroes here… or supervillains, rather) but I liked it for fans of Harry Potter because of its overall feel. Main character David provides a lot of comic relief and I just loved his relationships with the other characters of the book. It reminded me of the friendship of the “Golden Trio” (though David’s a bit of a mix of Harry and Ron in most ways) and although the subject matters don’t directly align, I think the feel and topic would be great for HP fans!


So what do YOU think? Which books would you recommend for fans of Harry Potter? I was going more for the adults who have grown up with the series like I did, but I’m always looking for any recommendations or read alikes when it comes to HP! Would you second any of my picks?

I hope you enjoyed the post! If you’re looking for more reading guides or recommendations or more posts about Harry Potter, check out some of my links below! 

More reading guides and/or recommendations: 

More posts about Harry Potter: 

If You Liked… Divergent

8 BOOKS TO READ IF YOU LIKED DIVERGENT

One of my favorite parts about being a book blogger is sharing the books that I love with others. I absolutely love sharing my favorite reads and recommending them to others who are looking to fall in love with a new book! With all of these amazing YA adaptations coming out recently, I know a lot of people are looking for more books similar to the movies that have hit the silver screen, so for all those looking for books similar to your blockbuster favorites, I’ve got some recommendations lined up for you!

It’s no doubt that Veronica Roth’s debut novel (and series) DIVERGENT has exploded over the last few years. I absolutely LOVE seeing not only YA novels but any books gain extreme popularity because they start to grab the attention of occasional or non-readers and for some, that starts a craving for more and more books like the one they just read. For me, it was The Hunger Games and that really set off my craving for dystopians which led me to just more books in general.

So in this post, I wanted to share my personal picks for books like DIVERGENT. I feel like I see some recommendations that are just thrown together because of genre, and yes — there are plenty of dystopian recommendations here — but I also picked the books I thought had similar themes as well as similar feels. Without further ado, here are my picks for eight books to read after DIVERGENT!


books like divergent


IF YOU LIKED DIVERGENT…

Try… THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

Like DIVERGENT, The 5th Wave is already on its way to becoming a major motion picture. When the book first came out, I wasn’t totally sold on the idea of an alien invasion. I’m not usually one for alien themes but with so many great reviews, I picked up and inhaled it in one day. The action is fantastic, characters are great, and I think fans of Tris will really love Cassie! There’s action, romance, and a plot to save the world.

Try… THE DARKEST MINDS by Alexandra Bracken.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

Things explode in THE DARKEST MINDS when children at 10 years old either develop special abilities… or die. A strange disease sweeps the nation leaving kids dead or left with incredible powers that they can’t control. THE DARKEST MINDS has a bit more of a paranormal aspect with the special abilities thing, but it’s set in a sort of post-apocalyptic world and Ruby and her new group of friends have to try to figure out not only how to survive but also thwart the authorities. All three books in this trilogy are now out and this is one I want to finish this year too!

Try… REBOOT by Amy Tintera.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

I really loved REBOOT when I read it. It’s a sort of zombie story without it really being about zombies. Wren is a “reboot” — After 178 minutes of being dead, she came back to life. She’s not as emotional and seems less human than the reboots who have been dead for longer and come back but emotion isn’t very necessary when your job is to train other reboots… until she starts to fall in love. REBOOT has romance, action, and is set in a dystopian Texas. I thought it was a great balance of everything! It’s a two book series too so it’s one you can finish quickly!

Try… INSIGNIA by S.J. Kincaid.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

INSIGNIA is also a trilogy but it’s a bit different than the ones I’ve listed so far — the main character is male and also a bit younger at fourteen, but the book doesn’t feel juvenile. The earth is in the middle of WWIII when Tom Raines, a fourteen-year-old with incredible video gaming skills, is recruited by the army to control drones. It’s definitely not the same exact concept as DIVERGENT but I think fans will enjoy it! It has a similar feel to me and it’s something that will be easy to sort of compare but won’t feel exactly the same. I had so much fun reading the first book! Another series I want to finish soon.

Try… SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

SHADOW AND BONE is actually fantasy, not dystopian, but I also think it’s great for DIVERGENT fans! The lead female Alina feels she’s completely ordinary and then it turns out that she’s actually incredibly important with incredible abilities. If you’re not a fantasy fan (yet), I strongly recommend starting with SHADOW AND BONE! It was one of my first fantasy series and I ended up really loving it to the point where this trilogy has become one of my all-time favorites. There’s plenty of action, adventure, romance, villains, and magical powers to go around!

Try… PAWN by Aimee Carter.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

Another dystopian novel is PAWN by Aimee Carter. This one has a similar feel to DIVERGENT’s factions with its sort caste system determined with a number ranking. Usually people test into their rankings and don’t get to change at all but Kitty is offered an unusual opportunity to live a glamorous life, but she has to give up everything of her own life.  It’s a very interesting situation and I really enjoyed PAWN a lot! It was definitely twisty and kept me hooked.

Try… LEGEND by Marie Lu.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
I’ll admit it… I actually liked LEGEND more than DIVERGENT! I was totally wowed by this new dystopian series (well, it’s not new anymore. All three books are out now!) with alternating point of views between the two main characters, Day and June. They’re pretty much polar opposites with June scoring the highest ever on a series of tests called The Trial and Day has the lowest score ever. Worlds collide when Day and June have their first encounter under terrible circumstances and the book escalates from there. I just absolutely loved it!

Try… THE PROGRAM by Suzanne Young.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised by THE PROGRAM! This dystopian world is much different than DIVERGENT but I think the general concept will really resonate with DIVERGENT fans! Sloane lives in a world where suicide is an epidemic so Sloane makes the decision to hide the fact that her feelings are there. She doesn’t want to through “the program” and come back emotionless and wiped of all intense memories. It was such an interesting concept and I really connected a lot with this book and its characters!


I hope this list helped you pick out a few new reads! I don’t take my recommendations lightly so I really hope these recommendations strike a chord with DIVERGENT fans! If you’ve read any of these already, what do you think? What other books would you recommend?

Looking for more recommendations? Check out my previous list of recs below!

 

If You Liked… If I Stay

One of my favorite parts about being a book blogger is sharing the books that I love with others. I absolutely love sharing my favorite reads and recommending them to others who are looking to fall in love with a new book! With all of these amazing YA adaptations coming out recently, I know a lot of people are looking for more books similar to the movies that have hit the silver screen, so for all those looking for books similar to your blockbuster favorites, I’ve got some recommendations lined up for you!

12 BOOKS TO READ IF YOU LIKED IF I STAY

Gayle Forman’s novel IF I STAY is one of my all-time favorites. I love the characters and everything about the book is just wonderful and beautifully written. Now that the book is on the big screen, a lot of people who may not have been avid readers or who aren’t as familiar with the genre (whether that be contemporary, out-of-body experiences, or YA) may be wondering what to read next or what kind of books are like IF I STAY. That’s where I step in — I’ve read quite a few that I think have the same sort of feel so without further ado, here 12 books to read if you liked IF I STAY!


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IF YOU LIKED IF I STAY…

Try… THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE by Leila Sales.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

I connected with this book right from the beginning. If you’ve ever felt like an outside who just wanted to fit in, you’ll definitely see a little bit of yourself in THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE protagonist Elise Dembowski. The book was incredibly well-written and it really hit home in so many ways. Elise goes through quite a bit and it was definitely an emotional journey to witness. The book has a wonderful overall message and it stuck with me long after I finished reading.

Try… MY LAST KISS by Bethany Neal.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

I like MY LAST KISS as an IF I STAY comparison because there are a lot of similarities: an out-of-body experience creating a sort of paranormal feel but at the same time definitely holds a contemporary feel as well. MY LAST KISS also has a bit of a mystery as well as Cassidy, the main character, tries to figure out exactly how she did by reflecting on her life as well as following the lives of her family and friends after her death. It was a really interesting concept and although it wasn’t as emotional for me, I think it has a lot of the same qualities as IF I STAY!

Try… LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD by Ava Dellaira.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD is another really powerful book that’s been getting a lot of attention recently. (It’s actually already been optioned for film as well!) The book is written entirely in letters that Laurel is writing to celebrities who passed away young like her sister May. The letters help her work through her life after losing her sister and how to regain a sense of normalcy, knowing that things can never go back to the way they used to be. There’s been a lot of praise for this book recently and it’s easy to see why!

Try… OPEN ROAD SUMMER by Emery Lord.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

OPEN ROAD SUMMER was one of my favorite reads so far this year. It’s a fantastic combination of cute & swoony and serious & emotional. The book follows Reagan who’s just been through a really difficult string of events and it’s ready to leave it all behind her. It just so happens that her best friend is none other than country-pop superstar Lilah Montgomery. Reagan hits the road with Lilah on her 24-city summer tour and not only leaves the past behind but finds a new future and solidifies her friendship. I absolutely loved this book (and I don’t even like country music) thanks to its great characters, amazing friendships, and fantastic romance.

Try… THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE is a book that reads very similarly to LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD (I actually made the comparison when I picked up LOVE LETTERS) — Protagonist Lennie Walker is putting the pieces of her life back together after the sudden death of her sister. Aside from figuring herself out, she’s also left to repair the relationships with her sister’s boyfriend and her own family, meanwhile learning a thing or two about love. I finished this book in one day, ugly crying and all. It was so beautiful and heartbreaking and one I really recommend.

Try… TIME BETWEEN US by Tamara Ireland Stone.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

If you’re digging the “other worldly” aspect of IF I STAY but still caught up in all the swooniness, I highly recommend TIME BETWEEN US! The book has such a contemporary romance feel and yet the main plot involves a time travel aspect. The characters are just fantastic and the book really hit me in the feels. Like IF I STAY, TIME BETWEEN US is actually the first of a duology as well!

Try… NANTUCKET BLUE by Leila Howland.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
NANTUCKET BLUE is the first in another duology (I swear I didn’t pick all the duologies on purpose… But I do love them) and I just fell in love with it when I first read it last year. After the death of her best friend’s mom, Cricket’s plans for summer in Nantucket with her best friend’s family are entirely up in the air. NANTUCKET BLUE is a wonderful story about friendship, loss, romance, and finding oneself in the most unexpected places. I love Cricket’s character and I really connected with her on so many levels!

Try… ONE MOMENT by Kristina McBride.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
I read ONE MOMENT few years ago and thought it was so well done. I feel like it touches on a lot of the same situations and predicaments that IF I STAY does. It was emotional, psychological, and raw. I really wasn’t expecting to connect so much with this book and I really ended up loving it! I feel like it’s much lesser-known but that doesn’t make it any less wonderful! If you’re looking for something similar, it’s definitely worth a try!

Try… THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING by Robin Schneider.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
I devoured THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING last year! It was a lovely, bittersweet contemporary romance told from the POV of main character Ezra who returns to school after a debilitating knee injury, therefore ruining any future he may have had as his school’s tennis star. His life was turned upside down after an awful night of breaking up with his girlfriend and then a terrible car accident and Ezra sort of has to go back to the beginning, back to his roots with his old best friend, in order to figure out how to start the future he didn’t anticipate following. I just loved the writing and the story. This book was top notch for me!

Try… GOLDEN by Jessi Kirby.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
GOLDEN was a fan-favorite last year when it was released and it’s easy to see why — this book contains a great coming-of-age story, a bit of a mystery, and a situation that I’m sure many teens (or even adults) have related to as they’re about to embark on a totally new venture in their lives. It was really beautifully written and follows a heart-breaking as well as heart-warming tale. I loved watching main character Parker’s growth throughout the book and felt a sense of accomplishment for her by the end!

Try… JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
Let’s wrap up the list with another Gayle Forman book! If you loved IF I STAY, then I hope you’ll love the book in Gayle’s next duology, JUST ONE DAY.  It’s about a girl named Allyson who goes to Europe the summer before starting college and ends up finding the path that will change her entire life as she knows it. It starts with an adventure when she meets a handsome stranger, but Allyson’s journey is also so much more than finding a boy and falling in love. She really discovers so many things about herself through the experiences she goes through as well as what Willem (the handsome stranger) helped her see from a different perspective. This book was so beautiful and I just connected with it SO well.


Picking recommendations for fans of IF I STAY was not something I took lightly so I sincerely hope you find a good new read from the books above! They’re books I think read closely to IF I STAY and I hope that if you liked IF I STAY, you’ll love these books!

I’ve been working on all kinds of recommendations of what to read after that big blockbuster book-to-movie! In case you missed it, I also had recommendations for what to read after The Fault in Our Stars and coming up, I’m working on recs for what to read after DIVERGENT, THE HUNGER GAMES and more!

Looking for more recommendations? Check out my previous list of recs below!