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The Top Thriller Books of 2021

High stakes, racing plots, and clever twists, all with a healthy dose of pulse-pounding action sequences…who doesn’t love a great thriller book? The top thriller books are especially great if you need a nice distraction from the more mundane aspects of life, and they’ll keep you guessing and turning the pages. 2021 has been an excellent time for the top thriller books (perhaps we all are feeling the need to escape) and we’ve compiled a list of the top thriller books of 2021 that you’ll want to TBR right now!

While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams

Avery Keene is a law clerk for Howard Wynn, a legendary if controversial justice who has been the deciding vote on a number of high-profile Supreme Court cases. When she gets word that Justice Wynn is in a coma, it’s a shock. But even more shocking is the news that Avery is his power of attorney. Why would Justice Wynn choose her? And what if there is more to his coma than anyone knows? It’s a race against time to figure out exactly what is going on.

The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor

Chapel Croft has seen some mysterious and gruesome things over the centuries, from martyrs being burned on the grounds to disappearances and suicides. Now Jack and her fourteen-year-old daughter Flo have moved to town, and Jack is Chapel Croft’s newest vicar. As they try to get settled, someone leaves Jack an exorcism kit…and then Flo begins to see ghostly sights on the grounds. It’s apparent that Chapel Croft’s dark history isn’t over.

Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby

Ike Randolph is devastated when he gets the news that his son Isiah and his white husband Derek were murdered for the simple fact that they were gay in the South. Although it’s been over a decade since Ike was released from prison and he’s not broken a single law since, Ike finds himself drawn to Buddy Lee, Derek’s father and also an ex-con, to track down the men who killed their sons and face the painful truth about their shame and their past choices.

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Mariana is a group therapist who is certain that she knows of a murderer who is walking free. The man is Edward Fosca, a Greek professor at Cambridge University who has a reputation for getting a bit too close to an all-female secret society called the Maidens. One of the Maidens is friends with Mriana’s niece, and she was murdered. Mariana knows she’s the only one pursuing this angle, but as she uncovers more darkness, she begins to wonder if she’s the only one who will stop him…and if she can succeed without becoming the next victim.

Quiet in Her Bones by Nalini Singh

Arav is recovering from surgery at his childhood home in an exclusive suburb in Auckland when the police come to his door with shocking news. They’ve found his mother Nina, who went missing ten years earlier. Everyone assumed she ran off, as she disappeared with millions of dollars but the truth is far more tragic: Her bones have been recovered in bushland mere miles away. As the police reopen her case, now classified as a murder, Arav must confront troubling childhood memories about his neighborhood and the night his mother disappeared.

Survive the Night by Riley Sager

Set in 1991, this book opens with protagonist Charlie, who is distraught and needs to get home to Ohio, and fast. So when she meets Josh at her college’s ride share board and they agree to carpool there, Charlie is just relieved she has a ride. But the drive is a long one, and the more time she spends with Josh the more uncertain she becomes that he isn’t who he says he is…and that he might in fact be a killer the police back on campus are searching for.

These Toxic Things by Rachel Howzell Hall

Mickie Lambert is the curator of digital scrapbooks, making her living collecting and digitally archiving objects than have significant meaning to their owners and preserving them so they’ll never be lost. But when her most recent client, Nadia Denham, passes away and leaves behind twelve precious objects, Mickie there is something far more sinister to them than mere mementos. Mickie starts to receive menacing letters telling to to leave them be…or else. Because these object might lead her straight to a killer.

For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing

Teddy Crutcher is a beloved teacher at Belmont Academy, and he has a reputation for pushing his students to be the best. No one really seems to notice that Teddy’s wife hasn’t been seen in a while, or that student deaths seem to strike far too close to Teddy and with far more regularity than anyone would life. Teddy just wants the best for his students…right? This is a great dark academia thriller that will take you to unexpected places.

My Sweet Girl by Amanda Jayatissa

Paloma was adopted at a young age and left behind her Sri Lankan orphanage to live in comfort and luxury in the U.S. But now that she’s thirty and her parents have cut her off financially, Paloma struggles to get by. She decides to sublet her second bedroom to Arun, who has recently arrived in the U.S. from India. She’s happy about this arrangement, until Palmoa discovers something dark about Arun…and then discovers him dead. But the plot only thickens when his body disappears. Now Palmoa is convinced that Arun knows her darkest secrets…and she might be next to die.

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Set in 1970’s Mexico City, this dual POV novel follows Maite, a secretary and hopeless romantic, and Elvis, hired muscle for a bad man. When Maite’s neighbor disappears and leaves her in charge of her cat, Maite begins probing into the case, hoping to find the missing woman. Elvis is also searching for her, but his reasons are less clear. It’s a race against time to see who will find her first, and what happens when she is revealed.

Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay

Matt Pine is a college student who has just received devastating news: His parents and younger siblings have died in an apparent gas leak. Matt is bereft, but it’s not the first time his family has been in the spotlight. His older brother Danny is in prison for the murder of his girlfriend, and his family was the focus of a documentary that sought to prove that Danny is innocent…but Matt has reason to think Danny is right where he belongs. With suspicions mounting, Matt dives into the deaths of his family and his brother’s crime, hoping to expose the truth.

The Turnout by Megan Abbott

Dara and Marie Durant are dancers, trained from a young age by their mother. They now run the ballet school she founded, taking over after her tragic death. Running the school is a precise balance, but the Durant sisters are good at that…until an accident and a newcomer throw off the perfect rhythm of the school, exposing fractured relationships and dark secrets.

The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Ambrosia has changed a lot since college, but when she receives an invitation to her ten-year college reunion and a note demanding that she confront what happened her first semester of college, Ambrosia knows that she has no choice but to go back. As she reunites with Sully, her college best friend, they find that someone knows their darkest secrets, and wants retribution for that fateful night that they no longer talk about.

The Hunting Wives by May Cobb

Sophie thought that she wanted to be a stay at home mom in a small town, but now that her family has moved from Chicago to Texas and the reality has set in, she’s bored. Until she meets Margot, a charming and effervescent socialite who invites Sophie into her circle of target shooting and partying. It’s all so alluring…until the body of a teenage girl is found, and Margot’s circle finds themselves at the center of a murder investigation.

Do No Harm by Christina McDonald

Emma is a doctor, happily married to a police detective, and mom to a wonderful little boy. But her happy life comes crashing down around her when her son is diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer and money evaporates. Desperate to make ends meet and save her son, Emma begins selling opioids. But that backfires spectacularly when someone winds up dead, and Emma finds herself trying to stay one step ahead of her own husband in order to save her son.

Need more to read? Check out our list of true crime recommendations! And if you love thriller and romance, then get on these thriller romance novels! Finally, don’t forget to check out our recommendations for the best mystery novels for your book club.

Want even more recommendations for the top thriller books? Sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that sends you books you’ll love to read. Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of — such as new top thriller books — and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Bibliologist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers in the mail in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!

The Best New YA Enemies to Lovers Books

There’s nothing more satisfying than watching two people who are meant to be go from bickering and resenting one another to realizing that whoops, that feeling they have for that person they think they hate might actually be…attraction? It’s confusing, it’s angsty, and we can’t get enough of it! If you’re a big fan of this trope, whether the love interests are archenemies or merely rivals, then good news! We’ve rounded up some of the best new YA enemies to lovers books that you’ll want to devour!

She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen

Scottie is getting over a rough break up when she accidentally gets into a fender bender with Irene, an intimidating cheerleader. Their moms force them into a carpooling situation while Irene’s car is getting fixed, and Scottie isn’t happy…until she sees an opportunity to pretend to date Irene to make her ex jealous. It works, but not in the way that Scottie expects when she finds herself catching feelings for Irene!

Last Chance Books by Kelly Rodkey

This book brings all of the You’ve Got Mail vibes with Madeline, who is bent on taking over the family indie bookstore after she graduates from college. But the struggling store and Madeline’s heart are in trouble when a brand new chain bookstore opens up across the street, and she realizes that Jasper, her new crush, works there!

Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

Liz Buxbaum has been dreaming of her movie-perfect happily ever after, and she’s certain she’ll find it with Michael, a childhood crush who’s recently moved back to town. The only problem? He hasn’t noticed her. So Liz turns to Wes, her annoying next door neighbor who is friends with Michael to try and get her chance. But what happens when she starts falling for the boy she’s hated since they were kids?

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Liz can’t wait to get out of her small Midwestern town, but when she loses her scholarship the only thing stopping her is money. So she decides to do something unconventional: run for prom queen. The winner gets a scholarship, so it could solve all of Liz’s problems. But Liz isn’t exactly prom queen material, and when the cute new girl decides to run against her, Liz finds herself in trouble!

May the Best Man Win by ZR Ellor

After coming out in his senior year as trans, Jeremy isn’t going to let anything or anyone hold him back. He decides to run for homecoming king against his ex-boyfriend Lukas, the captain of the football team. Lukas is just barely keeping it together after two big losses, and now his ex is running against him for homecoming king? Lukas won’t have it. The two embark on an epic campaign that just might end with them admitting they still have feelings for each other.

Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan

Morgan is an athlete who has had to start at a new school her senior year thanks to homophobia at her last school. Ruby is a beauty queen with a passion for fixing up old cars. Their first meeting is not auspicious in the least, and they don’t seem to like each other at all…and yet they can’t help but feel drawn to one another as they realize there is so much more to discover beyond outward appearances.

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Nishat has recently come out to her parents and it’s not going so well. So now is the perfect time to lose herself in her latest school assignment: Coming up with a business plan and then execute it. Nishat plans on using her art skills to launch her own henna business, but the last thing she expects is the cute new girl, Flávia, to launch a rival business. Now the two are in fierce competition, even as Nishat finds herself falling for Flávia.

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le

Bao and Linh are two Vietnamese American teens who’ve always known of each other, but never really connected until they begin to fall for one another. The only problem? Their families are bitter rivals. Both own pho restaurants, and they’ve been competitors for as long they can remember. But the heart wants what it wants, and as Bad and Linh’s relationship deepens, they must confront the source of their families’ feud.

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price

Lizzie Bennet is recast as an aspiring lawyer with one shot at convincing her family she has what it takes. She decides to prove herself by taking on a murder case. One Mr. Bingley has been accused of murder, and Lizzie decides she’ll defend him…but Mr. Bingley already has legal representation in the haughty Mr. Darcy. The two find themselves going head to head in a race to find the murderer.

Made in Korea by Sarah Suk

Valerie has a nice small business at her school, selling Korean beauty products to her classmate. Wes is the new kid, and when his mom gives him Korean beauty products to help him make friends, he decides to sell them and turn a profit. Soon Valerie and Wes are running competing businesses, but their school is only big enough for business. But Valerie has bigger problems when she realizes she’s falling for Wes.

Today, Tonight, Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Rowan and Neil are high school rivals who’ve clashed all throughout school. Now it’s the last day of senior year, and Rowan has one last chance to show up Neil, who stole her title of valedictorian. They’re going to compete in a game that the seniors play every year, but when Rowan is forced to actually team up with Neil, she discovers there is more to her nemesis than she imagined.

What’s Not to Love by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Written by a real-life husband and wife duo, this book is about academic rivals who are sick of each other by the time senior year roles around. When their principal assigns them the task of planning a ten-year reunion for some alumni, they’re forced to work together through their differences…and soon find that perhaps they don’t really hate each other after all. Perhaps they can even fall in love.

How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

Moon has always felt like the ugly twin, and that doesn’t change when her sister hits social media stardom. Moon tags along for a summer spent on her sister’s tour bus, where she meets Santiago. They can’t stand each other from the minute they meet, but their summer is full of surprising twists and serendipitous moments that keep bringing them together. And pretty soon, Moon has to face the reality that Santiago might be one of the only people in the world who truly sees her.

A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen

Liza and her mom don’t always get along, but she loves baking and she agrees to help her mom out at the family bakery’s annual baking competition. But Liza is shocked to realize that this competition is rigged—it’s full of eligible young men her mom wants her to date. Liza decides to persevere, but she can’t help but be drawn toward James Wong, who is stoic and focused on winning. When their clashes lead to some serious chemistry, Liza finds herself torn between attraction and her mom’s expectations.

I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre

Emma and Sophia are rival aspiring filmmakers who find themselves pitted against each other in a competition where the winner gets to head to LA for a popular film festival. But the last thing they expect is to start falling for one another…at least, they think that’s what’s happening.

Need more enemies to lovers romance? We’ve got you covered! While you’re at it, check out the best romantic movies based on books, and some great romances set in college.

If you need even more recommendations for YA enemies to lover books, sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that sends you books you’ll love to read. Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as YA enemies to lovers romances–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Bibliologist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers in the mail in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!

The Best Nonfiction Book Club Questions

Do you love the idea of a book club, but find yourself reaching for nonfiction rather than fiction? Perhaps you like discussing books with others, but you want those discussions to be more than just a social event. Nonfiction book clubs are totally a thing, and while the core principle might be the same as book clubs that focus primarily on fiction and discussion, you can make a nonfiction book club into an organization dedicated to growth and action! Here are some ideas and nonfiction book club questions to get you started!

Getting Started

Check out our guide to how to run a book club for some nuts and bolts on how to get started, and stay organized. While the advice is geared towards a fiction book club, it can be adapted for a nonfiction one as well.

One of the most important things you might want to do is create a mission statement. What is the purpose of your book club? This will be a guiding principle for how you pick books, but also how you discuss them, and what action you might take in your meetings. Some things to consider might be who makes up your group (e.g. are you colleagues, or do you serve on a committee together?), what your group’s goals might be, and the amount of time and resources you can devote to this book club. You might also want to decide how often you meet and how you choose the books you read, paying special attention to ensuring the you’re reading widely and diversely, and learning new things.

Nonfiction Book Club Questions

Once you’ve set up your club, and you’ve picked your first book, here are some book club questions for personal development and deeper conversation!

What are the central themes in this book?

What did you learn from reading this book? Did the book confirm something you already knew?

What resources did the author consult? Is the author an authority on this subject? Do they have credibility in this field?

Is there a piece of advise or wisdom that you disagreed with? Why? What would you suggest as alternative?

If the book discusses strategies or solutions for a problem raised, how might you apply these strategies and solutions in your own life? Walk through various scenarios, and role play with other members if necessary.

Does this work make you rethink current policies or procedures that are currently in place in your organization or place of business? Do your policies and procedures need to be updated?

How does this book address conflict, or conflicting information or opinions? 

What questions do you still have after reading this book? What other resources might you look into? Do any of your members recommend any news articles on the subject?

How familiar are you with this topic? Have you read anything else about the subject that you’d recommend to your group members?

What personal or group action can you take after reading this book?

Secondary Activities

Aside from discussing the book you’ve read, you can really take your club to the next level by brainstorming a way to pair your discussion with an activity that ties to the book in some way. For example, if you read a book about the opioid crisis, is there a documentary you can also watch that will complement your book? If you read a memoir about sustainability, is there a class you can take that will aid your members in their sustainability journey? Is your book politically minded? Consider attending a lecture or event that centers on an issue important to your club. Does the book talk about a need in communities that your group can fill? Look into volunteering opportunities, or discuss ways that your group can work collectively to make a positive impact. 

By taking what you learn and discussing ways to put the concepts into action, you can grow as a group, and as individuals. Your book club will be more than just a social event, but a learning opportunity a nd force for positivity and change in your community!

Looking for some great nonfiction recommendations for your new nonfiction book club? We can help! Sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that sends you books you’ll love to read. Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as fairy tales for adults–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Bibliologist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers in the mail in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!

The Best Nordic Noir Book Series

There’s something so atmospheric and intriguing about a good Nordic Noir book. The term, which has its origins going back to the 1990’s, describes mystery novels set in Scandinavian countries that tend to be written in a plain, straightforward style and feature protagonists that are often members of law enforcement or detectives of some kind. Bleak landscapes, brutal crimes, and morally grey areas are also recognizable elements of the sub-genre, and in recent years Nordic Noir book series have found a wide American audience thanks to the popularity of work by authors such as Henning Mankel and Stieg Larsson. If you want to explore this subgenre and you love series, here are essential Nordic noir book series to check out!

Harry Hole by Jo Nesbø

Harry Hole is one of the most famous detectives in Nordic noir, and his compulsive need to solve crimes coupled with his often unorthodox methods mean he is a memorable detective. Harry Hole is a recovering alcoholic who often has struggles with mental health, which both affect and inform his work as a detective with the Oslo Police Department. In addition to solving crimes in his home country of Norway, he os often sent abroad to investigate mysteries involving Norwegian citizens. Start with The Bat.

Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo took the world by storm, introducing readers to two memorable characters: Lisabeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. Salander is a genius hacker with a dark past, and even though she finds herself in bleak situations, she always manages to find a way out. Blomkvist is a disgraced journalist who is in desperate need of work. When a millionaire CEO asks Blomkvist to solve the cold case disappearance of his favorite niece and one-time heir, Blomkvist and Lisabeth’s paths collide. Larsson planned ten books in this series, but only managed to write three before his sudden death. Since then, Daniel Laggencratz has written three more books in the series. Start with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Louise Rick series by Sara Blaedel

This series is named for Louise Rick, a detective inspector in Copenhagen, but it also prominently features her best friend Camilla Lind, an investigative reporter. The series follows Louise as she starts off as a rookie detective and ascends the ranks, often balancing her professional and personal duties. Series order differs depending on sources, as Blædel did not write in chronological order, and English translation isn’t in publication order, but start with Call Me Princess or The Midnight Witness.

Department Q series by Jussi Adler-Olson

For readers who enjoy cold cases, Carl Mørck is your detective. This series focuses on Carl, a detective who isn’t exactly the most popular or social guy on the Copenhagen police force. After a mission that went wrong, a disillusioned Carl is put in charge of cold cases, given barely any funding, and shuffled off into the basement. But Carl’s keen instincts and relentless skills are the perfect fit for some of the most puzzling unsolved cases. These books are so popular in their native Denmark that three feature length films have been made starring Carol Mørck. This is an ongoing series and all books have been published in the U.S. Start with The Keeper of Lost Causes.

Wallander series by Henning Mankel

One of the most famous series that has spawned multiple adaptations and spin-offs, and often credited with being among the first books in the Nordic noir genre, this series stars Kurt Wallander, a Swedish detective who lives in the town of Ystad. Known for his bruise attitude, brilliant mind, and not-so-healthy lifestyle, Wallander is a detective who fully immerses himself in his cases. He also has troubled relationships with his family, which include an ex-wife and daughter Linda, and has a handful of lovers throughout the series. Another hallmark of his character is his complicated relationship with his father, an artist. Manekl wrote eleven Wallander novels, and one spin-off novel starring his daughter. Start with Faceless Killers.

Embla Nyström series by Helene Tursten

Embla Nyström is a young inspector in Gothenburg, Sweden who is known to be headstrong and impulsive, but whose big risks usually pay off when it comes to solving various crimes. She also suffers from nightmares and anxieties, and funnels her energy into her work and sports as a way of coping. Her mysteries often involve an unsettling mix of personal and business, but she never shies away from a case. Start with The Hunting Party.

Thora Gudmundsdottir series by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

This series is a slight departure in that it stars not a member of the police, but a lawyer named Thora Gudmundsdottir. She lives in Reykjavik and is the single mother of two children, and people often turn to her when a case isn’t easily solved or when the suspect the place have arrested the wrong person. This is an ongoing series that has a solid track record of being translated into English and published in the U.S. Start with Last Rituals.

Want to discover more great reads? Check out our recommendations fo the best true crime books of 2020, as well as our mystery book club recommendations and what we consider to be some of the best domestic thrillers. And if you want to find even more Nordic Noir book series, sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations!

TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that sends you books you’ll love to read. Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as Nordic noir books–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Bibliologist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers in the mail in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!

Do Romance Novels Ruin Relationships? Quite the Opposite

It seems like every time we turn around, there are half a dozen new voices proclaiming all of the reasons why reading and enjoying romance novels is “bad” for women. Upon closer analysis, the reasoning given is often misogynistic, not based in science, or just downright bizarre. The romance genre—and its readers—have been much maligned since the invention of romantic novels, but we are of the opinion that romance novels, particularly those being published now and in recent years, are some of the most empowering and uplifting entertainment someone of any gender can consume. So, do romance novels ruin relationships? Absolutely not. Here’s why.

Romance Is Feminist

Romance novels being published these days are especially feminist, and it’s exciting and empowering to read about women in a variety of situations dealing with real-life scenarios and relationship woes. And romance novels aren’t just about the romance, either—they star women in a wide variety of situations and careers tackling every day issues that the average reader faces, too. Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner take on workplace harassment, The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel addresses toxic family situations and the importance of boundaries, and No Judgment by Meg Cabot stars a character grappling with the fallout of an attempted sexual assault. Each of these books offers feminist messages about hard stuff in life, and provide empowering and uplifting storylines.

Plus, centering women and their desires and giving them voices to speak up for themselves in their love lives, and other aspects of their everyday lives, demonstrates positive feminist messages to real readers, empowering them to be strong women. 

Romance Novels Make Consent Sexy

We don’t talk about consent in our society enough, and there’s the false idea that checking in at various points throughout sexual encounters isn’t sexy or takes you out of the moment. Allow us to disabuse you of this notion. Romance novelists are incredibly creative when it comes to writing those “yes!” scenes, and they demonstrate the importance of getting enthusiastic, ongoing consent during all sexual encounters. Reading positive depictions of this can help readers advocate for consent in their own romantic lives, help normalize healthy boundaries, and empower them to speak up when they’re not 100% comfortable during sex.

Romance authors can take it a step further and show readers how consent can even be sexy. In The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, Stella is a woman who hired an escort to help her figure out how to date, so it’s super important that when she finally sleeps with the entrancing Michael, both are upfront about consenting to the interaction—and it’s very swoon-worthy. Similarly, Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston also demonstrates how sexy is can be when both parties consent to sex.

Romance Novels Promote Healthy Relationships

While it’s true that you can’t have a good romance novel without conflict, so many romance novels do a great job of displaying conflict that doesn’t make the romantic relationship look questionable. The romance genre showcases so many different kinds of relationships, and promotes healthy models for the happily ever afters, both when the conflict is between the love interests and when it’s external to the romance.

In Beach Read by Emily Henry, protagonists January and Gus are longtime rivals but their relationship, while rocky at the beginning, turns into a supportive one that enables January to heal from her father’s betrayal and for Gus to heal from his divorce. In Get a Life, Chloe Brown! by Talia Hibbert, both Chloe and her love interest Red have been hurt in the past by friends and former lovers and it affect their ability to connect with each other. They must work together to communicate their emotional and physical needs, and when they do so it enables them to have a stronger relationship. This type of modeling can help readers figure out how to have healthy communication in their own relationships. 

Do Romance Novels Ruin Relationships?

So, the million dollar question here: Do romance novels ruin relationships? Only if that relationship is toxic to begin with and a reader realizes that after reading some excellent romance novel, or if readers of romance start getting unrealistic expectations about romance and relationships. While we all love those heady days of first love, great romance novels teach us that love isn’t always racing hearts and butterflies. It’s communication and work and making yourself vulnerable and working  with a person you love to be the best version of yourself, to be supported by and support your partner. And if readers of romance can take those important lessons about what makes romance work, then it will only serve to strengthen their relationships, not ruin them.

Are you convinced yet? Then check out some of our favorite romance novel recommendations!

No matter what genres you love, TBR is here to help connect you with books you’ll love—with enthusiasm, and zero judgement! Sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that sends you books you’ll love to read. Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as great new romance books–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Bibliologist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers in the mail in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!


Murder, betrayal, dark secrets…all before the bell. One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus helped facilitate an explosion of new twisty murder mysteries that are set against the backdrop of social circles and high school life, and now there’s going to be a TV series on Peacock that you can stream if you can’t get enough! But in the meantime, get your fill of all things dark and twisty with these books like One of Us is Lying, from old favorites to the newest releases, all featuring twisty mysteries, dark secrets, and social groups or high school settings! They’ll make your high school experience look like a walk in the park!

The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Pip’s town has been haunted by the tragic murder-suicide case involving a pretty senior and her boyfriend, and Pip has always felt that there was more to the story than what was made public. For her senior project, she decides to dig into the five-year-old case and see what she can unearth…and gets the shock of her life when she uncovers discrepancies that cast doubt on what is known. But someone doesn’t want Pip asking questions, and they’ll go to great lengths to shut her up.

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo have just been made prefects at Niveus Private Academy, a dream come true. Being made a prefect will open doors to their future, and everything looks like it’s going perfectly until an anonymous tester begins sending them messages, letting Devon and Chiamaka know that they know their secrets…and they’re not above using them as leverage to get what they want.

How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao

Nancy is shocked when her best friend Jamie dies, and even more shaken when an anonymous person calling themselves the Proctor implicate Nancy and her friends Krystal, Akil, and Alexander in Jamie’s death. All four of them knew Jamie’s secrets, and it seems like it could get them in trouble—or much worse.

The Best Lies by Sarah Lyu

Remy thought her life was nearly perfect—she had a ride or die best friend named Elise, and a fantastic and loving boyfriend in Jack. Until one night Jack ends up dead, and Elise is the one who pulled the trigger. How could this have happened? Remy will have to face some uncomfortable facts to get to the truth.

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

If you like that dark academia vibe with some fantasy elements, pick up this book about Felicity, mourning the death of her girlfriend while returning to Dalloway School, a place haunted with rumors or witchcraft and magic. When new girl Ellis asks Felicity to help her research the school’s darker roots, she reluctantly agrees…and gets pulled into darkness she couldn’t have imagined.

They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman

Jill knows that darkness lurks under the facade of perfection in her hometown—her best friend was murdered by her boyfriend freshman year. But that’s in the past, and now that Jill is a senior and a member of the not-so-secret society at her school, she’s looking forward to a great year. Until she begins to receive messages saying that her best friend’s boyfriend is innocent…and a killer is still on the loose.

A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo

Jess is in love with her best friend Angie, but afraid to tell her. When Angie falls for the beguiling girl from the elite boarding school up the road, Jess is privately devastated, but she stands by Angie…even when it’s obvious her new girlfriend is no good, and neither are her friends. And then when a shocking crime occurs, Jess is at the ready to protect Angie, no matter what.

As I Descended by Robin Talley

In this retelling of Macbeth, set at an elite boarding school, Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are the school’s power couple and they’d do anything to secure Maria a much-needed scholarship that will ensure they’ll stay together, and continue on to college together. Even if that means taking down Delilah, Maria’s competitor for said scholarship, and calling upon an old dark power rumored to live on campus.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Stevie Bell is a true crime devotee who is dead-set on solving one of the oldest, most puzzling cases in the country. To that end, she secures a spot at Ellingham Prep, the site of a disappearance and murder case perpetuated by an unknown figure known as Devious…and gets the shock of her life when a new crime and evidence points to the fact that this seventy-five-year-old cold case might not be so cold.

The Obsession by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Logan loves Delilah, she just doesn’t know it yet. Yet when Logan stalks her, he discovers her darkest secret—she caused the death of her mom’s abusive boyfriend. Now the two are engaged in a cat-and-mouse game set against the backdrop of their fancy private school where Delilah is determined to escape and Logan wants to make sure she’s his…forever.

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

All Avery wants is to do well in school and win a scholarship so she can leave home, but her world is turned upside down when a billionaire leaves her his vast fortune. The only problem? Avery has no idea who he is or why she’s his beneficiary. And in order to collect her inheritance, she must enter the Hawthorne estate, where she must contend with the three very unhappy grandsons of the billionaire whose fortune she now lays claim to.

Escape Room by Maren Stoffels

If you like your thrillers with a side of horror, pick up this book about four teens named Alissa, Sky, Miles and Mint who are excited to go to an escape room together. But what starts out as a fun diversion soon turns into a nightmare are they realize there might not be any escape.

Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan

Mr. Griffin is the most feared teacher at Del Norte High, and everyone, even good students like Susan, fear him. So she agrees to join a group of her classmates who want to pull a prank on Mr. Griffin and teach him a lesson. Only, when the prank goes wrong and someone ends up dead, Susan has to face that fact that one of them is a killer.

This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher

A year ago, a teen was killed at a party that got out of control and five classmates all had a role to play in that death. Now, those same five teens arrive at a secluded mansion, expecting to compete for $50,000—but that turns out to be an elaborate farce designed to get them there so someone can take revenge.

All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban

Playing on the tropes of classic cliques, this is about an eclectic mix of students who are invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s all a devious ploy. They’re locked in a room with a bomb and syringe of poison and told they must pick someone to die, or they all will die…and together must face a year’s worth of incidents that led to this shocking night in order to discover the truth.

Want more great YA reads and books like One of Us Is Lying? Check out our recommendations for the best YA book club picks, and the 20 best YA books of 2021!

If that doesn’t satisfy, sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that sends you books you’ll love to read. Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as fairy tales for adults–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Bibliologist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers in the mail in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!

New True Crime Books About Murder

There’s something about murder that draws us to the subject, making it so we can’t look away. If you’re curious about some of the darker true crime cases throughout history, pick up any of these ten new nonfiction books about murder, serial killers, and other atrocities.

The Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing by Sonia Faleiro

One night in 2014, cousins Padma and Lalli went missing in the tiny village of Katra Sadatganj.  Family and friends noted their absence almost immediately and anxiously searched for the girls, and they were found hours later, murdered. They made headlines when their families initially refused to let their bodies be removed from where they were discovered, and Faleiro dives into the complexities of life for women in rural India, and how Padma and Lalli’s case struck a chord with millions.

The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer by Liza Rodman and Jennifer Jordan

If we came face to face with a serial killer, would we be able to sense the darkness? Most of us would like to think so, but here Liza Rodman tells of how she grew up lonely, with her single mom working long hours. She spent much of her time with a babysitter her mom hired, a handyman who worked at the same motel she was employed at. That babysitter turned out to be Tony Costa, a serial killer who terrorized Massachusetts for years…and Liza never put two and two together until decades later.

Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York by Elon Green

In the late 80’s and into the early 90’s, a killer known as the Last Call Killer preyed on gay men in New York City, killing them and leaving the gay community fearful for their lives. He would visit gay bars and identify his victims, but despite his campaign of terror, little was published about this serial killer, and knowledge of him was often swept away by news of AIDs crisis and high murder rates in NYC. This book aims to examine his reign of terror, and give voice to the victims.

From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo

This nonfiction account of the murder of Vincent Chin in Detroit in 1982 not only examines a brutal crime, but also covers how the two white men to blame got off on manslaughter charges and absurdly light sentences. Their sentences sparked protests across the country that bolstered a federal civil rights trial, starting the Asian American movement and spreading raising awareness for racism while fighting against hate.

Murder at the Mission: A Frontier Killing, Its Legacy of Lies, and the Taking of the American West by Blaine Harden

In this complex book that looks at the much-repeated stories of history, Harden examines two historical figures that had a tremendous impact on the American West. When thirteen white colonists were murdered by a group of Cayuse, this massacre was seen as justification for unspeakable violence and genocide that followed towards Native communities. Harden turns the narrative on its head and shows how propaganda led to more violence, which had had a ripple effect to this very day.

Covered With Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America by Nicole Eustace

In the summer of 1722, two white fur traders killed an Indigenous hunter, sparking tensions that led to a massive investigation and debate on the nature of justice. Eustace is a historian who recreates this event in history, and shows how one act of violence demonstrated the sharp contrast in ideals and values held by European colonists and the various Indigenous nations of the mid-Atlantic region, even as Indigenous peoples advocated for justice and peace in the face of violence.

Couple Found Slain: After a Family Murder by Mikita Brottman

While this book starts with a brutal double homicide, it’s not where it ends up. Brottman examines the case of Brian Bechtold, who confessed to the murder of his parents. The book follows not only the murders, but Brian’s fate after the confession and the violence and trauma he experiences in various psych wards, revealing that they aren’t always what we think.

She Kills Me: The True Stories of History’s Deadliest Women by Jennifer Wright

Want a collection of all sorts of lady killers that you’ve never heard of? This collection dives into the stories of forty female killers throughout history, subverting the commonly held expectation that only men are killers and women are merely their victims.

The Icepick Surgeon: Murder, Fraud, Sabotage, Piracy, and Other Dastardly Deeds Perpetrated in the Name of Science by Sam Keane

Science isn’t always pretty, and scientific advancement has often come at the cost of human life. In this book, Keane looks at all of the ways people throughout history have crossed the boundaries of ethics and humanity in their pursuit of science, from ancient Egyptians to the experimentation on enslaved Africans all the way up to the Manhattan Project. 

The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer by Dean Jobb

In the Victorian era, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream murdered ten people in North American and Great Britain before he was brought to trial in London in 1892. This book looks at the career of a serial killer, the birth of forensic science, and how much power medical professional hold when their patients trust them completely.

Looking for more dark and chilling reads like these new true crime books about murder? Check out our list of the best true crime books of 2020, and our recommendations for the best murder mysteries for book clubs.

If you’re still itching for more great books, sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that sends you books you’ll love to read. Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as new nonfiction about murder–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Bibliologist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers in the mail in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!

Must-Read New Military History Books

War is messy. Oftentimes, it’s easy to talk about conflict in terms of one side vs. the other, of the good guys vs. the bad guys, but the truth is a lot more complicated than that. And some wars, such as World War II, saw so many different players and so much action that hundreds, if not thousands, of books have been written about the conflict that spanned the globe. If you find the concept of certain wars overwhelming, or want to dig into the history a bit more, we recommend picking up any one of these new military history books to help you make sense of various wars and conflicts that have unfolded in both the distant and near past.

The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War by Craig Whitlock

In this detailed investigation into the war in Afghanistan, Whitlock demonstrates how a war that had initial public support so quickly turned out be a messy, complicated guerrilla battle even though no end to the fighting was in sight. Despite mounting evidence that there was no end to conflict on the horizon, three American presidents insisted that progress was being made in the region. This book relies on interviews and primary research from thousands of sources to tell the story of a doomed war, and the result is a book that is especially important given the Taliban’s recent takeover of the country.

Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution by Mike Duncan

Few historical figures played quite as pivotal of roles in revolutions as the Marquis de Lafayette. As a young man, he fought with the rebels in the American Revolution, bringing much needed aid at a critical moment. After the American Revolution, he returned to France where he spent his days agitating for revolution and plotting to overthrow kings. This is a remarkable book about a man of mythic proportions, and his ideals and military movements.

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler by Rebecca Donner

Mildred Harnack was an American woman who enrolled in a Ph.D program in Germany in the 1930’s, and got a front row seat to the rise of the Nazi Party. She began organizing political meetings to oppose fascism in her apartment, educating and organizing the resistance movement early on. When war broke out, she became a spy who organized countless acts of resistance and sabotage against the Nazis, only to be caught the day before she was to make her escape from Germany. This book is about her incredible legacy, written by her bret-great niece.

By Water Beneath the Walls: The Rise of the Navy SEALs by Benjamin H. Milligan

The U.S. Navy SEALs is an elite force often tasked with carrying out the most complicated, dangerous, and heroic missions of any branch of the military…but how did such a force get its start in the Navy, when most if their missions take place on land? Written by a SEALs veteran, this book takes a long look at the history of the Navy SEALs and the political landscape that shaped them. 

The Ambassador: Joseph P. Kennedy at the Court of St. James’s 1938-1940 by Susan Ronald

When Joseph P. Kennedy, father of future president John F. Kennedy, was appointed ambassador to the U.K. in 1938, it seemed to be an odd choice. Kennedy was a proud Irish-American Catholic who seemed all too sympathetic with fascism, and while he was initially welcomed in London, he quickly gained a reputation as one of the worse U.S. ambassadors in history. In this book, Ronald reveals how Kennedy’s personal ambitions clouded his political duty, and how that had a direct impact on the unfolding of WWII.

To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America Into Iraq by Robert Draper

In this book, Draper explores the circumstances that led the U.S. into war with Iraq, and how the intel that led the Bush administration into the conflict was all wrong. Based on years of reporting on the subject, Draper talks about the intelligence failures that led to conflict, and how these failures reverberated throughout the years. This is a must-read on the subject of the U.S. and Iraq.

Voices of the Pacific: Untold Stories from the Marine Heroes of World War II, Expanded Edition by Adam Makos and Marcus Brotherton

If oral histories are your jam, then pick up this expanded edition of the book that follows fifteen Marines through Pearl Harbor to their various posts throughout WWII, and finally back home. This book covers everything from their harrowing wartime experiences, the brotherhood they shared, and the effects of the war on their civilian lives after.

The Quiet Americans: Four CIA Spies at the Dawn of the Cold War by Scott Anderson

In this book, Anderson takes a deep dive into the lives and careers of four of the CIA’s first spies who began working after WWII on the behalf of the newly formed CIA to combat the Soviet Union and their efforts to fan the flames of revolution and communism around the world. This is an essential read to understand the politics and underhanded dealings that led to the escalation of the Cold War.

Want more great new military history books? Check out our list of great new history books, and then read more about the best history book subscription boxes.

If you’re looking for more great niche genre books, sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that sends you books you’ll love to read. Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as military history books–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Bibliologist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers in the mail in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!


If you’ve spent any time on BookTok lately, you might have seen Song of Achilles a lot. This backlist title by Madeline Miller has been making the rounds, and making readers feel all the feels while also giving them a new and interesting perspective on The Iliad. It is told from the perspective of Patroclus, who must follow Achilles to war and finds everything from his friendship to his courage tested in the events that follow. It’s a queer, atmospheric, and dramatic retelling that has certainly captured the hearts of readers around the world, and now you might be wondering–what should I read next? We’ve got 15 great recommendations of books like Song of Achilles for you! 

Note: The subgenre of myth retellings tends to be very white, and we could only find a few authors of color to include on this list of books like Song of Achilles. We hope in the future that publishing will prioritize the voices of people of color in retelling these tales.

Circe by Madeline Miller

This may seem like an obvious choice, but if you haven’t read Circe, pick up Miller’s novel about Circe, which retells the story of the goddess turned witch who was banished by Zeus, and comes to love mortals. As she crosses paths with Medusa, Odysseus, and many others, she must decide where she stands once and for all.

The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

For a moving retelling of epic mythology, but this time of the Norse variety, pick up this novel about Angrboda, a witch left powerless after Odin curses her. She flees into the woods where she meets and marries a mysterious man who provides her with a home, happiness, and children…until she learns her husband is Loki, and she begins to foresee terrible events ahead.

The Mere Wife by Maria Dhavana Headley

If you’re looking for another different epic tale retold, then pick up this contemporary retelling of Beowulf, which recasts Herot as a gated community and Grendel’s mother as a war veteran living off the grid in the woods outside of that community, and follows the events surrounding their clash.

Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin

Written by a sci-fi and fantasy master, this novel tells the story of a woman who is voiceless in the original myths and legends. Lavninia grew up happy and ignorant of the politics that would one day take over her life, until a fleet of Trojan ships arrives on the horizon. This is her story, all of the details that are glossed over in Aeneas’s pursuit of her hand in marriage.

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Ariadne is a princess whose life seems happy, but she and her people are haunted by the threat of the Minotaur, her brother, who lives in the labyrinth beneath their feet. And then Theseus arrives on Crete, Ariadne sees him as a chance for escape, even if it means betrayal of her family and her people.

Bull by David Elliott

For a different take on Theseus and the Minotaur, here is a playful verse retelling of the story. With anachronistic language and an edgy, funny voice, this book feels like what would happen if Lin-Manuel Miranda decided to retell myth.

Ransom by David Malouf

If you’d like to read another tale of Achilles, this time after Patroclus is lost, then pick up this novel about a grieving Achilles and Priam, who is full of regret after his son Hector killed Patroclus. It’s a story of grief and redemption, and learning how to move forward after tremendous loss.

The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason

This is a playful retelling of Odysseus’s journey, with new tales, insight, and fragments that make readers think more deeply about the original tale, and offer creative revisions to the original.

An Iliad by Alessandro Baricco

Relive the siege of Troy not through the eyes of the main players that we have come to recognize, but through twenty-one different minor and side characters. This is a moving retelling that mines deeper meaning to this classic tale.

The King Must Die by Mary Renault

If you’ve read and loved Madeline Miller, you must read Mary Renault, who rose to prominence after this 1958 release retelling the life of Theseus with fascinating historical detail, and who is widely regarded as one of the best scholars and writers of classic mythology.

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

This novella might take some tracking down as many editions are out of print, but for readers who enjoy when women of ancient times are given voices, pick up this story of Penelope, wife of Odysseus, who reclaims her own story after her husband finally returns home and inexplicably kills her maids and companions.

Helen of Troy by Margaret George

Helen of Troy has been regarded throughout history as an exquisite beauty whose “face launched a thousand ships” and started one of the most memorable wars in living memory. In this novel, George retells her story and includes all of the characters that are prominent in her story.

The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.

For something a bit different, here is a novel if you enjoyed the beautiful writing and queer love in Song of Achilles. Two men, both enslaved in the American South, fall in love but find their love and lives threatened by a power-hungry man.

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

This is the story of Briseis and many other women who are prisoners of Achilles in the Trojan War. Briseis is originally only given a few lines, but here she tells her story, and the stories of her fellow female prisoners.

The Devourers by Indra Das

For a fascinating and fully-realized epic tale, but set in India, pick up this novel about a college professor who agrees to transcribe a story from a jumble of notebooks and manuscripts, and finds himself encountering a strange and magical story set in Mughal India, about a woman who finds herself torn in two very different directions in a magical, epic struggle.

If you’re looking for more books like Song of Achilles, we’ve got them! Check out our list of the best cute LGBTQ+ books, and some great romance novels perfect for your book club!

If you’re looking for something more specific, sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that sends you books you’ll love to read. Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as books like Song of Achilles–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Bibliologist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers in the mail in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!

The Best YA Fantasy Books Like SHADOW AND BONE

You might have ben living under a rock if you haven’t heard of Shadow and Bone–either the trilogy of books by Leigh Bardugo, or their TV series adaptation on Netflix! Shadow and Bone was originally released as a trilogy of YA fantasy novels, and then author Bardugo expanded her fantasy world with two more duologies set in the same world–Six of Crows and King of Scars. The Netflix TV series cleverly combines the plots and characters of the first Shadow and Bone book with the characters and backstory of Six of Crows to make for a fantastic TV show, with a second season on the way! If you came to these stories by the TV show, we highly recommend that you pick up Leigh Bardugo’s books! If you’ve already read the books and are dying for season two of the show, then we recommend these books like Shadow and Bone to tide you over!

Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir

Similarly epic with a fully realized fantasy world, this series follows Laia, a girl whose people have been enslaved, and Elias, a soldier in the militaristic regime that has colonized and enslaved Laia’s people. When Laia enters the land’s elite military school as a spy, her path crosses with Elias, who has secretly been harboring doubts about his purpose and future, and their meeting sets their worlds on fire. Start with An Ember in the Ashes.

The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta

Nestled in a vast fantasy continent is the tiny land of Lumatere, which is enclosed by a stone wall. When the royal family is overthrown in a violent coup, a witch curses the land, shutting the gates of Lumatere to the outside world. Those who remain within are cut off, and the Lumaterans outside are exiled. Finnikin, son of the king’s guard, grow up in foreign courts trying to advocate for his people, until a mysterious young woman appears and tells him she can lift the curse, but first he must unite their people. Start with Finnikin of the Rock.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

This is a high-spirited standalone fantasy novel with a clever world building system and a romantic hero who gives off strong (but less evil) Darkling vibes. Elisabeth is a Librarian’s Apprentice working in magical libraries to protect people from dangerous grimoires. She’s been brought up to distrust all sorcery, but when a grimoire escapes and she’s implicated in the crime, Elisabeth must align herself with a notorious sorcerer and his sly demon servant to clear her name.

Legacy of Orïsha by Tomi Adeyemi

In this West-African inspired fantasy, Zélie remembers a time when her land hummed with magic and her mother was a powerful maji. But when the new king ordered them all to be put to death, magic was stamped down…but not completely. Now, Zélie will fight agains the crown prince in order to restore magic, even as she falls for him. Start with Children of Blood and Bone.

Graceling Realm Series by Kristin Cashore

If you’re looking for a series of books that has a wide cast of characters over many books, and a fully developed fantasy world with many different political powers, you can’t go wrong with this collection of epic, magical books. Set in a world where people possess special magical gift called Graces, this series is about a group of characters struggling against those who would use their Graces for great evil. Start with Graceling.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Like Alina Starkov, Lazlo Strange is a war orphan. Lazlo has been haunted since childhood by a dream of an epic city halfway across the world. When the opportunity presents itself for Lazlo to go in search of his dream, he seizes the chance to go. But discovering the mysteries of this epic city will test him to his limits.

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

If you enjoyed the found family and heist aspect of Six of Crows, then pick up this book about Nix, who has grown up on a time traveling ship that can sail anywhere in the world through any time period, as long as the captain has a map from that era. When her father, the captain, finds a map that will take him back to the time and place of Nix’s birth, she fears that he could undo her very existence.

His Fair Assassin Trilogy by Robin LaFevers

If you enjoyed the influences of history, religion, and culture on the Shadow and Bone books, then pick up this novel inspired by medieval France! Ismae has just escaped an arranged marriage and seeks refuge at St. Mortain’s convent…where she realizes that the nuns are all tasked with becoming assassins. She’s given a choice to train for death, or risk losing everything. Start with Grave Mercy.

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

Tilla is a bastard daughter of a lord who cast her aside as she grew older, and who spends her days at court with other bastards. They form a ragtag gang who mostly exist off to the side, until a visiting princess shocks the court by choosing to spend time with them. Soon, Tilla and her crew find themselves on various misadventures after dark…until they stumble upon the scene of a crime they were never meant to witness, and must figure out how to avoid civil war. Start with Royal Bastards.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

If “make me your villain” is a line that resonated with you in Shadow and Bone, then you definitely need to read this fantasy trilogy about a young woman’s origin story in villainy. As a child, Adelina survived an epidemic that gave her special powers, but those powers have isolated her from her family. When finally given the chance at belonging, Adeline faces a choice that will change her and her world forever. Start with The Young Elites.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Set in magical historical Paris, this is the perfect read for fans of Six of Crows!  Séverin Montagnet-Alarie’s birthright was stolen from him, so now he decides to assemble of crew of five other lost, orphaned, or otherwise outcast people in order to steal it back.

The Legend of Beka Cooper by Tamora Pierce

If you enjoyed reading about the lower and middle classes of a crowded fantasy city, then you definitely need to pick up the Beka Cooper trilogy. It follows Beka, who joins the Provost’s Guard and is assigned to the toughest part of the city. While on her patrols, she uses her secret magical abilities to discern that there’s a killer on the loose…and hunt him down. Start with Terrier.

City of Steel and Diamond by Francesca Flores

Aina Solís is all on her own after the murder of her parents, but she quickly becomes an assassin in a dangerous city where her boss has a lot of power, and her small found family are the only ones she can depend on. But when she uncovers a dangerous conspiracy, it will take all she has to survive. Start with Diamond City.

The Folk of the Air by Holly Black

Jude was a child when her parents were murdered and she was whisked away to the land of the Fae. Now living in the court, she wants nothing more than to belong there for good, even if everyone there, including the prince of the Fae, despise her. Start with The Cruel Prince.

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson

Lia was supposed to be born with the gift of Sight…but when it never materializes, her marriage is arranged to a stranger. Rather than go through with it, she runs away with her maid and best friend and creates a new anonymous life for herself, until two young men turn up in her new town. One is the prince she abandoned at the alter, and one is an assassin sent to kill her. Start with The Kiss of Deception.

Want more book recommendations? Check out our list of the best new LGBTQ+ YA books, and the best fantasy subscription services we recommend. If you still want more, sign up for TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that sends you books you’ll love to read. Here’s how it works: Simply fill out the reader survey and let us know what you want more of–such as Grashaverse readalikes–and what you’re not keen on. Then, an expert Bibliologist will read your responses and recommend three books just for you. Receive your recommendation letter via email in about two weeks, or opt to receive your recommendations as brand new hardcovers in the mail in about three to four weeks. Learn more and sign up now!