So, we’ve spent the last few months, years, lifetimes maybe, falling head over heels in love with Freeform’s incredible show, The Bold Type. Haven’t seen it? You totally should. It focuses on three friends, Jane, Kat, and Sutton, who all work for the same magazine and are going through the typical dramas of trying to balance love, friendship, and their careers. If you have seen it, you definitely know what we’re talking about when we say it’s everything we need right now.
The girls go through a rough patch here and there, sure, but they always put each other first and do whatever they can to encourage and lift each other up. They’re growing into their skills and interests, and figuring out just where they belong in the adult world. It’s amazingly inspirational, even if it is a bit aspirational. And what’s wrong with that?
In honor of our favorite girls (and the fact that we tragically have to wait for the next season), we put together a list of books to pick up after you’re done with The Bold Type, inspired by girl gangs, living large, and young adults ready to take on the world—despite how messy it sometimes may be. Scroll down to check them out!
12 Books like The Bold Type
TO READ BETWEEN BINGE (RE)-WATCHING
1. 99 Days by Katie Cotugno
No one captures messy pre-adult life like Katie Cotugno, and 99 Days is the perfect read for anyone who wants to follow a protagonist as perfectly flawed as any of The Bold Type‘s three leading ladies.
Molly is problematic and you may not like her all the time, but she’s taking the summer to face issues that she definitely would rather not face. Plus, her tortured romance totally reminds us of Sutton and Richard.
Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything. She has every right to hate me, of course: I broke Patrick Donnelly’s heart the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college and be done…
2. The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
The Carrie Diaries is our automatic go-to for a story about our dream NYC internship!
Whether you’ve seen the CW adaptation or not, we dare you to try not falling in love with Carrie as she navigates high school and the fashion behind the scenes of New York. With friendships that will make you cheer (and gasp) and romance that will make you swoon, this book basically has it all—and it’s an amazing throwback!
Before Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw was a small-town girl who knew she wanted more. She’s ready for real life to start, but first she must navigate her senior year of high school. Up until now, Carrie and her friends have been inseparable. Then Sebastian Kydd comes into the picture, and a friend’s betrayal makes her question everything. With an unforgettable cast of characters, The Carrie Diaries is the story of how a regular girl learns to think for herself and evolves into a sharp, insightful writer. Through adventures both audacious and poignant, we’ll see what brings Carrie to her beloved New York City, where her new life begins…
3. The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
Manhattan? Yes please. Manhattan in the year 2118? Even better. The drama of The Bold Type evolves incredibly fast, and the dazzling Thousandth Floor is one of the only YA series we know that keeps up.
This is definitely one to check out if your favorite part of the show is when the girls’ storylines all intertwine. It’ll keep you guessing until the very end—at which point it will make you literally gasp.
A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose. Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched. Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart…
4. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
We don’t just walk away from an episode of The Bold Type feeling entertained—we walk away feeling empowered. Which is the same way we felt when we turned each page of Elizabeth Acevedo’s sophomore novel, reading about Emoni’s effort to follow her dreams, care for her family, and balance ambition, skill, and the love she carries for others.
This story is complex, aspirational, ambitious… and gorgeous.
Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness…
5. The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven
With a confident, self-assured lead who gets shaken when life throws a curveball her way, reading through Izzy’s journey carried the same weight as the tougher topics that The Bold Type also handles. And it’s done with levity, nuance, and skill.
We think Izzy would get along with the Scarlet girls pretty well.
Eighteen-year-old Izzy O’Neill knows exactly who she is—a loyal friend, an aspiring comedian, and a person who believes that milk shakes and Reese’s peanut butter cups are major food groups. But after she’s caught in a compromising position with the son of a politician, it seems like everyone around her is eager to give her a new label: slut…
6. If You’re Out There by Katy Loutzenhiser
If you want a story anchored in the same powerful friendships, but with an extra dose of mystery added, we recommend If You’re Out There. There’s a nice romance—though it doesn’t overshadow the best friends at its core—and the tone wavers so smartly between dark comedy and tense thriller that we’re still not over this one. Seriously, just read how we felt over here.
After Zan’s best friend moves to California, she is baffled and crushed when Priya suddenly ghosts. Worse, Priya’s social media has turned into a stream of ungrammatical posts chronicling a sunny, vapid new life that doesn’t sound like her at all.
It’s only when she meets Logan, the compelling new guy in Spanish class, that Zan begins to open up about her sadness, her insecurity, her sense of total betrayal. And he’s just as willing as she is to throw himself into the investigation when everyone else thinks her suspicions are crazy…
7. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
If you’re more into historical drama, then The Luxe is the perfect series for you. These books take place in 1899, the turn of the 20th century, and it’s all about breaking social codes and balancing personal ambition and outside expectations in a world that’s all too eager to demand them from you.
Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan’s social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City’s elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth’s and Diana’s golden future…
8. I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski
The girls of The Bold Type are obviously a bit older than your typical YA protagonist, considering they’ve already finished college and are a few years into their careers.
In I See London, Sydney is already nineteen and has her summer and, she believes, the next few years of her life mapped out. If you prefer older-skewing drama and romance, we’d definitely recommend this one for you. Plus, it’s the perfect vaca-mood-inducing read!
Sydney has the perfect summer mapped out. She’s spending the next four and a half weeks travelling through Europe with her childhood best friend Leela. Their plans include Eiffel Tower selfies, eating cocco gelato, and making out with très hot strangers. Her plans do not include Leela’s cheating ex-boyfriend showing up on their flight…
9. The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding
Did you fall head over heels for Kat and Adena’s relationship? Because we sure heckin’ did, and even through their ups and downs, the chemistry between these two girls is undeniable. Enter: The Summer of Jordi Perez.
Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people’s lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby has stayed focused on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a prized internship at her favorite local boutique, she’s thrilled to take her first step into her dream career. She doesn’t expect to fall for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Abby knows it’s a big no-no to fall for a colleague. She also knows that Jordi documents her whole life in photographs, while Abby would prefer to stay behind the scenes.
Then again, nothing is going as expected this summer…
10. Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
Week after week, we’re astounded by how well The Bold Type manages to balance the characters’ personal lives, romantic endeavors, and larger world happenings. What it means to be privileged, to be a person of color, to be male or female in a constantly-evolving world…
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. These storylines are handled with intelligence and care, and there are few books that manage to juggle so many things—issues that many people, in real life, are dealing with at once—as well as this one.
Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that’s what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you’re a boy with a boat. But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about…
11. This Tiny Perfect World by Lauren Gibaldi
One of the recurring themes in the show is the need, sometimes reluctantly, to move on from a smaller past in order to sieze opportunities in the future. It’s something that everyone faces growing up, and something that YA books have mastered. This is one of our favorites, and we think you’ll love it, too.
Penny loves her small-town Florida life, and she has her future mapped out. She’s going to community college after graduation to stay close to home and her best friend, Faye. She’ll take over the family diner that her dad has been managing since her mother died. And one day, she’ll marry her high school sweetheart, Logan.
But when she unexpectedly lands a scholarship to a prestigious summer theater camp, she is thrust into a world of competition and self-doubt.
12. Symptoms of a Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra
Jane, Kat, and Sutton are good at what they do, and that’s not something the show tries to shy away from. These girls are smart, resourceful, and are encouraged by their mentors to embrace their strengths in and out of the workplace to achieve whatever goal is in their sights that day. We need more of this encouragement both in literature and in our daily lives, and what could be better for that than reading about an all-too-relatable teenage prodigy?
Fresh from med school, sixteen-year-old medical prodigy Saira arrives for her first day at her new job: treating children with cancer. She’s always had to balance family and friendships with her celebrity as the Girl Genius—but she’s never had to prove herself to skeptical adult co-workers while adjusting to real life-and-death stakes. And working in the same hospital as her mother certainly isn’t making things any easier.
But life gets complicated when Saira finds herself falling in love with a patient…
What other books serve you the perfect balance of inspirational and aspirational? Let us know below!