I hope you’re ready for another amazing month of TV, movies, music, and—yep, you guessed it—books! This past month we’ve really been enjoying things that have been on the lighter, fluffier, and mostly, ultimately, happy side, and there’s been so much of it that we’re glad to take a deeper dive in! Because we don’t want to miss a thing, and because we don’t want you to miss a thing, we’re here to help get it all on your radars.
If you’re checking in for the first time, every month we’ll be coming back with new of-the-moment shows, movies, and more, and pairing them with the books we think are perfect for their fans. Check out our first round right here, and then last month’s right here! Plus, we took some of your recommendations from last time into account, too! This month? We’re tackling things like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Deadpool, and so much more! So what are you waiting for? Scroll through and find your next favorite read!
Pop Culture Book Recs: May 2018
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC)
Jake Peralta, an immature but talented NYPD detective in Brooklyn’s 99th Precinct, comes into immediate conflict with his new commanding officer, the serious and stern Captain Ray Holt.
THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas
A take on law and order that blends humor with emotionally resonant topics
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline…
THE STRANGE FASCINATIONS OF NOAH HYPNOTIK by David Arnold
A quirky, unique story full of heart and a cast of lovable characters
This is Noah Oakman → sixteen, Bowie believer, concise historian, disillusioned swimmer, son, brother, friend.
Then Noah → gets hypnotized.
Now Noah → sees changes—inexplicable scars, odd behaviors, rewritten histories—in all those around him. All except his Strange Fascinations…
Jane the Virgin (The CW)
A young, devout Catholic woman discovers that she was accidentally artificially inseminated.
TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE by Jenny Han
A girl with strong family values has her life under control until it takes a major turn into adorable rom-com territory
Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only…
THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL by Maurene Goo
An unexpected change in plans, total warmth, and no shortage of laughs
Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute…
Younger (TV Land)
After being mistaken for younger than she really is, a single mother decides to take the chance to reboot her career and her love life as a 26-year old.
HOW TO DISAPPEAR by Sharon Huss Roat
Finding a balance between who you want to be, and who you are
Vicky Decker’s social anxiety has helped her to master the art of hiding in plain sight, appearing only to her best friend, Jenna. But when Jenna moves away, Vicky’s isolation becomes unbearable. So she decides to invent a social life by Photoshopping herself into other people’s photos and posting them on Instagram under the screen name Vicurious…
ALWAYS NEVER YOURS by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
From publishing to the school play, romantic drama as theatrical as its setting
Megan Harper is the girl before. All her exes find their one true love right after dating her. It’s not a curse or anything, it’s just the way things are, and Megan refuses to waste time feeling sorry for herself. Instead, she focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theatre, and fulfilling her dream school’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible…
Supernatural (The CW)
Two brothers follow their father’s footsteps as “hunters”, fighting evil supernatural beings of many kinds, including monsters, demons, and gods that roam the earth.
DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE by Laini Taylor
A high-stakes supernatural story with angels, devils, and everything in between
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out…
THE EDGE OF EVERYTHING by Jeff Giles
Hellish mythology, bounty hunters, and a family story at its heart
It’s been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father’s shockingly sudden death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in a cabin in the woods—only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X…
Vanderpump Rules (Bravo)
Vanderpump Rules follows Lisa Vanderpump’s employees at SUR, as they work on building their futures and the drama that occurs between them.
L.A. CANDY by Lauren Conrad
A drama-filled Hollywood story about coming of age in the face of fame
Los Angeles is all about the sweet life: hot clubs, cute guys, designer…everything. Nineteen-year-old Jane Roberts can’t wait to start living it up. She may be in L.A. for an internship, but Jane plans to play as hard as she works, and has enlisted her BFF Scarlett to join in the fun.When Jane and Scarlett are approached by a producer who wants them to be on his new series, they can hardly believe their luck…
ROYCE ROLLS by Margaret Stohl
An even more dramatic, tongue-in-cheek spoof of the reality genre
Sixteen-year-old Bentley Royce seems to have it all: an actual Bentley, tuition to a fancy private school, lavish vacations, and everything else that comes along with being an LA starlet. But after five seasons on her family’s reality show, Rolling with the Royces, Bentley wants out…
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.
HEART OF THORNS by Bree Barton
A fierce, feminist fantasy in a dark kingdom touched by magic
In the ancient river kingdom, where touch is a battlefield, bodies the instruments of war, seventeen-year-old Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood. The same women who killed her mother without a single scratch. But when Mia’s father suddenly announces her marriage to the prince…
THE POWER by Naomi Alderman
A storyline that’ll give you chills amidst a gender-based dystopia
Suddenly – tomorrow or the day after – girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman’s extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed, and we look at the world in an entirely new light. What if the power to hurt were in women’s hands…
A fast-talking mercenary with a morbid sense of humor is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers and a quest for revenge.
VICIOUS by V.E. Schwab
Morally gray heroes and villains, revenge, and serious stakes
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates–brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities…
RENEGADES by Marissa Meyer
Drama balanced with humor, secret identities, and superhero mythology
The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew…
Solo: A Star Wars Story
During an adventure into a dark criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.
A CONSPIRACY OF STARS by Olivia A. Cole
Space exploration, new worlds, and secret but dangerous threats
Octavia has always dreamed of becoming a whitecoat, one of the prestigious N’Terra scientists who study the natural wonders of Faloiv. So when the once-secretive labs are suddenly opened to students, she leaps at the chance to see what happens behind their closed doors…
AS RED AS BLOOD by Salla Simukka
A mysterious heist, and twists that get darker the further into them we look
Lumikki Andersson has made it a rule to stay out of things that do not involve her. She knows all too well that trouble comes to those who stick their nose where it doesn’t belong. But Lumikki’s rule is put to the test when she uncovers thousands of washed Euro notes hung to dry in her school’s darkroom and three of her classmates with blood on their hands…
The Shape of Water
At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.
GIVEN TO THE SEA by Mindy McGinnis
Twisted ambition, a struggle for survival, and romance warring with loyalty
Khosa was born to be fed to the sea, to prevent the kind of wave that once destroyed the Kingdom of Stille. She can’t be sacrificed until she produces an heir, but human touch repulses her… except for the touch of the Indiri. Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race with magic that’s seductive…
WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones
Forbidden love in the thralls of a darker world and the weight of sacrifice
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns…
A woman fights to protect her family during a home invasion.
ENDANGERED by Lamar Giles
A badass heroine and thrills that will keep you on the edge of your seat
The one secret she cares about keeping—her identity—is about to be exposed. That is, unless Lauren “Panda” Daniels—an anonymous photo blogger who specializes in busting classmates and teachers in compromising positions—plays along with her blackmailer’s little game of dare or… dare. But when the game turns deadly, Panda doesn’t know what to do…
THE WINDOW by Amelia Brunskill
Intense yet grounded action, familial mysteries, and page-turning action
Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside–it’s hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything. Or so Jess thought. After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess’s life begins to unravel…
Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance
The meeting and courtship of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
ROYALS by Rachel Hawkins
A fun, royal read about love, family, and life in and out of the spotlight
Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond…
THE QUEEN’S RISING by Rebecca Ross
Lush fantasy, swooning romance, and a world based in queenly mythology
Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron. Growing up in Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her. While some are born with a talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she chose knowledge. However, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—she is left without a patron…
No Tears Left to Cry – Ariana Grande
Oh, I just want you to come with me
We’re on another mentality
Ain’t got no tears left to cry
I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson
At first, Jude and her twin brother Noah, are inseparable. Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude wears red-red lipstick, cliff-dives, and does all the talking for both of them. Years later, they are barely speaking. Something has happened to change the twins in different yet equally devastating ways…
THE BEAUTY THAT REMAINS by Ashley Woodfolk
Autumn always knew exactly who she was—a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan always turned to writing love songs when his love life was a little less than perfect. But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough…
Boys – Charli XCX
Don’t be mad, don’t be mad, not like I had a choice
I was busy thinking ’bout boys
FENCE by C.S. Pacat & illustrated by Johanna the Mad
Nicholas Cox is determined to prove himself in the world of competitive fencing, and earn his place alongside fencing legends like the dad he never knew, but things get more complicated when he’s up against his golden-boy half-brother, as well as sullen fencing prodigy, Seiji Katayama…
I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE by Maurene Goo
Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That’s how she became student body president. Varsity soccer star. And it’s how she’ll get into Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends…
Girls Like Girls – Hayley Kiyoko
We will be everything that we’d ever need
Don’t tell me, tell me what I feel
I’m real and I don’t feel like boys
IT’S NOT LIKE IT’S A SECRET by Misa Sugiura
Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like the fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend…
THE BRIGHTSIDERS by Jen Wilde
As a rock star drummer in the hit band The Brightsiders, Emmy King’s life should be perfect. But there’s nothing the paparazzi love more than watching a celebrity crash and burn. When a night of partying lands Emmy in hospital and her girlfriend in jail, she’s branded the latest tabloid train wreck. Luckily, Emmy has her friends and bandmates to help her pick up the pieces…
Bloom – Troye Sivan
I need you to tell me right before it goes down
Promise me you’ll hold my hand if I get scared now
THE LOVE INTEREST by Cale Dietrich
There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets. Caden is a Nice: the boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: the brooding, dark-souled guy who is dangerously handsome…
TRUE LETTERS FROM A FICTIONAL LIFE by Kenneth Logan
If you asked anyone in his small Vermont town, they’d tell you the facts: James Liddell, star athlete, decent student, and sort-of boyfriend to cute, peppy Theresa, is a happy, funny, carefree guy. But whenever James sits down at his desk to write, he tells a different story. The truth is, he just isn’t into Theresa. It’s his friend, a boy, who lingers in his thoughts…
What TV shows, movies, music—anything, really—do you want to see some book recs for? Let us know in the comments below, and check back next month!