I’ve seen a few posts recently about how if you read and enjoyed ‘x’, you’ll also like ‘y’ book and I find them so useful to get recommendations. Here I’m doing something similar, picking a book that I liked and looking for something I haven’t read but seems to be in the same ballpark.
Obviously, I haven’t read the second book so I’m going off blurbs, reviews and a few friends’ recommendations to try find books that contain matching elements.
Basically, I’m making a new TBR pile based on novels I already love!
***Please note: this post contains affiliate links to all the novels discussed. If you enjoyed this post and want to purchase any of the books mentioned, please consider doing so via the links on this page – I will receive a small commission at no expense to you!***
because i read…
If We Were Villains follows a group of elite Shakespeare students in a small, exclusive school who equal parts love and hate each other; The Secret History follows a group of elite Classics students in a small, exclusive school who equal parts love and hate each other. No, really.
I loved If We Were Villains when I read it last year (it narrowly missed out on my favourite books of 2018 post) and it was heralded as the 21st century’s The Secret History making it an obvious choice for this post. However, I know that If We Were Villains was a direct ripoff of Tartt’s famous novel, it never would have been published meaning the two must have enough differences beyond their core plots to stand separately as two well-received novels.
If you haven’t heard of The Hate U Give, where have you been??? Angie Thomas’ multi-award winning novel (and it’s film adaptation) centres on a young black girl after she witnesses a policeman shoot her innocent friend and the repercussions that has on her life. Love, Hate & Other Filters follows a Muslim girl living in the aftermath of a terror attack and the effect it has on society’s view of her while she dreams of moving to New York.
One of my 2019 resolutions was to read more diversely and since THUG was one of the most moving and empowering books I’ve read in the last few years, it made sense for me to search for novels with similar themes. I think it’s so important to read as widely as possible about different cultures, especially ones that are judged and mistreated like the Black and Muslim communities – I’m tired of white newsreaders stiffly stating facts about police brutality and terror scares and if I have to turn to fiction to hear the multiple ignored voices which should also get a say, then so be it.
I read The Emperor’s Babe last year and it was fascinating! A novel written entirely in prose, set in the Roman Empire’s era about a woman sold into an unhappy marriage and having an affair with the Emperor. The Poet X follows a young girl in Harlem who uses her poetry to express herself and her deepest feelings.
I had never read a book written entirely in poems before The Emperor’s Babe and once I got into the flow of it, it was such an enjoyable way to consume a story. I feel like these novels have a few similar elements – women of colour in a society they don’t feel a part of, difficult familial relationships and being a place where they don’t have a voice. I think it will be interesting to read a novel where those themes are explored in the present day, as opposed to The Emperor’s Babe where the main character Zuleika is in a time period that is so vile to women she can’t speak out at all. Hopefully The Poet X’s lead Xiomara’s slam poetry helps her find her voice.
Okay, this one may be cheating a little; Life After Life is one of my favourite novels, following a woman who is continually reborn each time she dies, small changes creating entirely different timelines for her life each time. A God in Ruins is a sequel or continuation of sorts, focusing on her younger brother without the element of a do-over.
I’m so curious about A God in Ruins because one of my favourite things about Life After Life is the interesting twist of time, where the protagonist Ursula lives completely different lives each time depending on small changes she subconsciously makes to avoid mistakes – ones that affect her family and friends too. Does A God in Ruins focus on only one of those timelines? If so, which one? The ending of Life After Life is incredibly ambiguous so there doesn’t seem a natural choice for this novel to focus on. I can’t wait to find out!
What do you think of my choices? Have you read any of them, and if so, what did you think? Are there any books you’ve read/want to read because of something you read previously? Let me know if the comments!