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17 Books That’ll Cure Your Glittering, Emotional ‘Euphoria’ Hangover

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17 Books That’ll Cure Your Glittering, Emotional ‘Euphoria’ Hangover

Books like Euphoria: Banner

If you’re someone who’s fallen in love with HBO’s latest hit, Euphoria, you should know that you’re not alone. This Zendaya-led series has been a powerhouse in storytelling, acting, costume, and pretty much every other facet. It’s a messy teenage tale of first love, gender identity, social media, and abuse in all its aspects, and it’s impossible not to fall in love with these incredibly crafted characters. But what are you supposed to do once you’ve finished?

Well, we’re here to help!

These books explore the same ideas as Euphoria and will tug on your heartstrings just the same. Expect well-crafted representation, dramatic school dances, and betrayals sure to crush your emotions to pieces. We know, we know, you can’t wait. So scroll down and let’s get reading!

 

17 Books to Read After ‘Euphoria’

PREPARE FOR ALL THE FEELS

 

1. Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju

Read this if: You cannot get enough of Rue and Jules, and were especially living for Jules’s ideas about shattering the patriarchy. Can we pluck the pair out of Euphoria and drop them into this more promising world, please?

Perpetually awkward Nima Kumara-Clark is bored with her insular community of Bridgeton, in love with her straight girlfriend, and trying to move past her mother’s unexpected departure. After a bewildering encounter at a local festival, Nima finds herself suddenly immersed in the drag scene on the other side of town.

Macho drag kings, magical queens, new love interests, and surprising allies propel Nima both painfully and hilariously closer to a self she never knew she could be—one that can confidently express and accept love. But she’ll have to learn to accept lost love to get there.

 

2. Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

Read this if: You fell hard for Rue’s story of recovery—but couldn’t tear your eyes away as she toed the line toward potential relapse.

When a car crash sidelines Mickey just before softball season, she has to find a way to hold on to her spot as the catcher for a team expected to make a historic tournament run. Behind the plate is the only place she’s ever felt comfortable, and the painkillers she’s been prescribed can help her get there.

The pills do more than take away pain; they make her feel good.

With a new circle of friends—fellow injured athletes, others with just time to kill—Mickey finds peaceful acceptance, and people with whom words come easily, even if it is just the pills loosening her tongue. But as the pressure to be Mickey Catalan heightens, her need increases, and it becomes less about pain and more about want, something that could send her spiraling out of control.

 

3. The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert

Read this if: Rue was, without a doubt, 100%, your favorite character. Read this if you treasured the scenes with her and Gia, and read this if her happy ending is the one thing you find yourself rooting for.

Dove “Birdie” Randolph works hard to be the perfect daughter and follow the path her parents have laid out for her: She quit playing her beloved soccer, she keeps her nose buried in textbooks, and she’s on track to finish high school at the top of her class. But then Birdie falls hard for Booker, a sweet boy with a troubled past…whom she knows her parents will never approve of.

When her estranged aunt Carlene returns to Chicago and moves into the family’s apartment above their hair salon, Birdie notices the tension building at home. Carlene is sweet, friendly, and open-minded–she’s also spent decades in and out of treatment facilities for addiction. As Birdie becomes closer to both Booker and Carlene, she yearns to spread her wings. But when long-buried secrets rise to the surface, everything she’s known to be true is turned upside down.

 

4. Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Read this if: You adored the nuance with which the show portrayed different sexualities, and how the characters continued growing to understand theirs without defining themselves by it.

Alice had her whole summer planned. Nonstop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting—working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating—no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library-employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.

 

5. Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro & Emily Henry

Read this if: Spoiler alert (!!!), you were ready for Rue and Jules to run away together. This is a book about two girls ready to burn the world down after getting pushed around just one too many times, and if you’re ready to read about two girls hitting the road and embracing their freedom, well, then this is the book for you.

Winona has been starving for life in the seemingly perfect home that she shares with her seemingly perfect father, celebrity weatherman Stormy Olsen. No one knows that he locks the pantry door to control her eating and leaves bruises where no one can see them.

Lucille has been suffocating beneath the needs of her mother and her drug-dealing brother, wondering if there’s more out there for her than disappearing waitress tips and a lifetime of barely getting by.

One harrowing night, Winona and Lucille realize they can’t wait until graduation to start their new lives. They need out. Now. One hour later, they’re armed with a plan that will take them from their small Michigan town to Chicago. Chased by the oppression, toxicity, and powerlessness that has held them down, Winona and Lucille must reclaim their strength if they are going to make their daring escape—and get away with it.

 

6. Perfect by Ellen Hopkins

Read this if: You lived for the ensemble cast, and found a new fave every time a different character got the spotlight. Cassie, Maddy, and McKay fans in particular will fall deep into this one—and yes, we know it’s a sequel, but we think it can stand on its own.

Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there.

Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body—no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run—on the field and off—Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never understand.

Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect?

 

7. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Read this if: The emotional whiplash of Euphoria won you over. If you found yourself laughing one second and hysterically sobbing the next. If you still have a million pent up emotions and need a good cry to let them out. If Rue’s final choice left you smiling—until you saw her fall down even further than before.

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again—but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Why does happiness have to be so hard?

 

8. The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Read this if: You want something with a similar vibe, but that travels down a very different path. Imagine em>Euphoria had spiraled into a chilling murder mystery, but still bore the emotional weight of #Rules’ burgeoning friendship when Jules first moved to town. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you The Vanishing Season.

When Maggie’s parents move them from bustling Chicago to small, rundown Door County, Wisconsin, she thinks she’ll spend a year reading classics and killing time until college.

That plan changes as soon as she meets Pauline and Liam.

Soon the three are inseparable, stretching out the love between two childhood best friends to fit over all of them and all their grand dreams. But what starts as an uneventful year suddenly changes. Someone is killing teenage girls, and the town reels from each new tragedy. And as the dynamics between Maggie, Pauline, and Liam shift and collide in irreversible ways, they all will experience love and loss hand-in-hand—but only two of them will survive the winter.

 

9. I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

Read this if: You want more of Jules’s story. This book is both heartbreaking and will have you smiling from ear to ear, and that’s exactly how we felt watching Jules’s journey, from her childhood to wherever we follow her next.

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

 

10. The Meaning of Birds by Jaye Robin Brown

Read this if: You want to cry over #Rules. This is a story of a life both with and without the person you thought was your person, and it broke our heart to watch Rue go through that same struggle for episodes at a time. Who is she when she’s with Jules? Who is she when she’s not?

Before: Jess has always struggled with the fire inside her. But when she meets Vivi, everything changes. As they fall for each other, Vivi helps Jess deal with her anger and pain and encourages her to embrace her artistic talent. And suddenly Jess’s future is a blank canvas, filled with possibilities.

After: When Vivi unexpectedly dies, Jess’s perfect world is erased. As she spirals out of control, Jess pushes away everyone around her and throws out her plans for art school. Because art is Vivi and Vivi is gone forever. Right when Jess feels at her lowest, she makes a surprising friend who just might be able to show her a new way to channel her rage, passion, and creativity. But will Jess ever be able to forge a new path for herself without Vivi?

 

11. Tiny Pretty Things by Dhonielle Clayton & Sona Charaipotra

Read this if: You stanned the entire messy cast, even as they did worse and worse things to one another. Because, after all, they all had each other’s back in the end. Well, some of them did. Kind of. But we know you were living for the drama most of all.

Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette’s desire to escape the shadow of her ballet-star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever.

When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

 

12. The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik by David Arnold

Read this if: You loved Euphoria‘s artsy irreverence. Strange Fascinations is an abstract take on the coming-of-age tale, and we think it fits in perfectly with the unique tone the series set.

This is Noah Oakman → sixteen, Bowie believer, concise historian, disillusioned swimmer, son, brother, friend.

Then Noah → gets hypnotized.

Now Noah → sees changes: his mother has a scar on her face that wasn’t there before; his old dog, who once walked with a limp, is suddenly lithe; his best friend, a lifelong DC Comics disciple, now rotates in the Marvel universe. Subtle behaviors, bits of history, plans for the future–everything in Noah’s world has been rewritten. Everything except his Strange Fascinations…

 

13. Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

Read this if: The story you fell in love with was one with a wide range of representation, that tackled important issues without exploiting them. Full Disclosure is more than just a stunning look at an overlooked topic—it’s a love story that will pull you in with characters who you’ll fall in love with.

Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She’s making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she’s HIV-positive, because last time… well, last time things got ugly.

Keeping her viral load under control is easy, but keeping her diagnosis under wraps is not so simple. As Simone and Miles start going out for real–shy kisses escalating into much more—she feels an uneasiness that goes beyond butterflies. And then she finds an anonymous note in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too.

Simone’s first instinct is to protect her secret at all costs, but as she gains a deeper understanding of the prejudice and fear in her community, she begins to wonder if the only way to rise above is to face the haters head-on

 

14. Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

Read this if: Euphoria exceeded your expectations in every way. What appeared to be a story about teens just going about their lives unfolded into a portrait of love, loss, intrigue, and drama. You never knew where it would take you. And if that’s what hooked itself into your heart, this book will treat you just the same.

Brooklyn, 1998. Biggie Smalls was right: Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are cool letting their best friend Steph’s music lie forgotten under his bed after he’s murdered—not when his rhymes could turn any Bed Stuy corner into a party.

With the help of Steph’s younger sister Jasmine, they come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: the Architect. Soon, everyone wants a piece of him. When his demo catches the attention of a hotheaded music label rep, the trio must prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.

As the pressure of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only, each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, they need to decide what they stand for or lose all that they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.

 

15. Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Read this if: You want something that breaks stereotypes and isn’t afraid to push boundaries. This is not the story of the good students their parents think they are; this is a story without supervision. It’s a story of rebellion, and romance, and every type of self-discovery in between.

“Our cousins have done this program,” Sophie whispers. “Best kept secret. Zero supervision.”

And just like that, Ever Wong’s summer takes an unexpected turn. Gone is Chien Tan, the strict educational program in Taiwan that Ever was expecting. In its place, she finds Loveboat: a summer-long free-for-all where hookups abound, adults turn a blind eye, snake-blood sake flows abundantly, and the nightlife runs nonstop.

But not every student is quite what they seem. And when these students’ lives collide, it’s guaranteed to be a summer Ever will never forget.

 

16. You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman

Read this if: The characters’ conversations about high school—is it their last taste of freedom? is it suffocating?—struck true for you. With all the pressure of academic competition and the helpless feelings of new love, this book is sure to keep you turning the pages.

Senior Ariel Stone is the perfect college applicant: first chair violin, dedicated community volunteer, and expected valedictorian. He works hard – really hard – to make his life look effortless. A failed Calculus quiz is not part of that plan. Not when he’s number one.

Figuring a few all-nighters will preserve his class rank, Ariel throws himself into studying. His friends will understand if he skips a few plans, and he can sleep when he graduates. Except Ariel’s grade continues to slide. Reluctantly, he gets a tutor. Amir and Ariel have never gotten along, but Amir excels in Calculus, and Ariel is out of options.

Ariel may not like Calc, but he might like Amir. Except adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push him past his limit.

 

17. Looking for Alaska by John Green

Read this if: You watched Euphoria thinking, either: this is the start of a brand new classic, or Rue is definitely narrating the show from the grave. You should delve into another YA classic packed with emotion, life, death, and an adaptation on the way.

Before: Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then…

After: Nothing is ever the same.

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