If you like these popular titles you may love these lesser known books

Here are some recommendations for books similar to popular books in your favorite genre.


Art by Cassandra Michaels

Books are becoming a major topic in politics today, with some causing people to post false threats directed at school libraries.

Eleanor Weitz, Managing Editor

Have you ever finished an amazing book that you just couldn’t put down and then immediately wished you could read another one just like it? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! This phenomenon is common amongst avid readers. The swell of disappointment and despair as the last page of an outstanding novel is turned can be remedied with another great book waiting on your shelf. Here are a series of recommendations based on your favorite books from many genres! 


First, the fantasy books. I wanted to refrain from mainstream and popular book series like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson and instead focus on slightly less popular titles in the genre. The fantasy genre is defined as speculative fiction set in a fictional universe. I’ve always found fantasy to be the most creative and inspiring genre. A book series that has won many a Goodreads Choice Award is “A Court of Thorns and Rosesby Sarah J. Maas. Definitely my favorite fantasy book series of all time and a little bit hard to live up to, but here are some books that do it pretty well. 


  1. Read the other books by SJM! She has another series called “Throne of Glass” that is definitely worth reading. She also just recently came out with a new series called “Crescent City” that I finished in less than two days. Sarah J. Maas is a talented writer with amazing imagery and characters. Nothing that comes from her ever disappoints. 
  2. “The Shadows Between Us”  by Tricia Levenseller is a novel that reminded me strongly of “A Court of Thorns and Roses” with the romantic and fantastical plot and characters. Rhysand and Kallias give off the exact same sullen and shadow-filled vibes.  If you enjoy the good enemies to lovers trope then this is the book for you. 


Another popular fantasy book to talk about is “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo. This book tells the story of a mismatched team of criminals performing a high-stakes heist. It’s both funny and real and dark and a bit disturbing at times. Here are some books you should check out from your local library if you enjoyed this sinister piece of literature. 


  1. This is a duology! The second book in this set is called “Crooked Kingdom” and it holds up wonderfully to the first. Some even hold the opinion that it is better than #1. 
  2. “Ace of Shades” Series by Amanda Goody. This is a three book series about a fantasy gang-ruled city. It gives the exact same vibes of “Six of Crows” with a unique plot and set of characters. It goes into class differences and the power differential between real people and the government in a really interesting and thought-provoking way. 
  3. “These Violent Delights” by Chloe Gong. This is a modernized Romeo and Juliet type story set in 1920s Shanghai. There’s a lot of commentary in this book about race and the segregated diversity of Shanghai at that time. One of those books I seriously could not stop reading. 


If teen romance is your thing, I’m willing to bet you’ve readTo All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han a few times over. It’s a great series and the Netflix adaptation blew up a few years ago. Here are some recommendations if you’re looking to watch a few teenagers fall in love. 


  1. “The Sun Is Also a Star” by Nicola Yoon. This is a book about two teens who run into each other on the street one day and feel a connection instantly. They spend all day together before being harshly separated.  It’s a heartwarming and well written book about love at first sight and getting through hardships. 
  2. Sarah Dessen is a young adult romance writer that has dozens of amazing books. Most are a little cliche but cute and enjoyable if you’re not looking for anything too deep. Some of her books I enjoyed most are “This Lullaby”, “Just Listen”, “Lock and Key”, and “Along For the Ride”. 


Onto the dystopian books! Dystopian books are books set in an alternate future universe where things tend to go badly. This genre is filled with very famous and well done novels and book series but “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins is arguably the most popular with teens.  This three book series is disturbing, heartbreaking, and emotional like all good dystopian novels are. Here are a few novels and series that remind me of Katniss and Peeta. 


  1. “The Grace Year” written by Kim Ligget. This novel is one of my all-time favorites. It’s not a happy book and there’s another depressing twist every few chapters but the characters are so well written you can’t help but connect with them. Of all the books on this list I feel like this is the most important to read. The dystopian society in the novel is extremely oppressive to women but the characters in the book give hope to women all over the world. It reminds me of The Hunger Games because of the cruel situation these children are put in and the harsh and violent ways they get through it. 
  2. “The Selection” Series by Kiera Cass. This book series isn’t for everyone and sometimes reinforces stereotypes of women and men’s power dynamic but looking further into it you can easily see that it is instead mocking the misogyny showcased. There’s romance and violence and assassination attempts and if that doesn’t convince you to read it then I don’t know what will. 
  3. “Scythe” by Neal Shusterman. This is the one book on this list I actually haven’t read. It’s been recommended to me multiple times as a dystopian/fantasy novel similar to The Hunger Games. Definitely on my reading list for the future. 

That’s it for my book recommendations! Hope you enjoyed and get to read some of these amazing books.