If You Like That, You’ll Love This: Book Edition

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It’s not easy to try new things, especially when it comes to reading material. Here’s a tip: when aiming to broaden your horizons and venture into new genres, focus on what you like about one genre as opposed to what you dislike about another. Elements of your favorite novel can be found behind unfamiliar covers. To get you started, here are four books that seem wildly different from each other but are actually more alike than one might expect.

Allow this to serve as a guide for seamlessly transitioning between reading genres, because there is much to explore in the literary world, and it doesn’t end with Colleen Hoover.

If you liked “I’m Glad My Mom Died” by Jeanette McCurdy, you’ll love “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” by Ned Vizzini.

Jeanette McCurdy’s autobiography “I’m Glad My Mom Died” hit the shelves and took the world by storm this past summer. McCurdy shares an illuminating account of her career as a child actress with an abusive mother and how she dealt with anorexia and bulimia. She manages to make her story humorous, heart breaking and yet still raw.

“It’s Kind of a Funny Story” is like the little brother of “I’m Glad My Mom Died” — even though it came out in 2006. The major difference between the novels is that “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” is fictional, though loosely based on the life of the late Ned Vizzini who died by suicide in 2013.

“It’s Kind of a Funny Story” follows the life of a teenage boy, Craig, who suffers from depression. After having suicidal thoughts, he calls a suicide helpline and gets admitted into a psychiatric hospital. Once in there he meets an eclectic group of people, including a girl with whom a budding love story begins to grow. Both stories address the harsh reality of mental health issues, while still managing to be witty, funny and heartwarming.

If you liked “Reminders of Him” by Colleen Hoover, you’ll love “We Were the Lucky Ones” by Georgia Hunter.

These two novels truly don’t have much in common, but at their core they are both stories of unconditional love and inevitable heartbreak. “Reminders of Him” is a true romantic drama, and unlike a lot of Hoover’s heart throbbing tales —it actually has a happy ending!

“We Were the Lucky Ones” is inspired by a true story of one Jewish family who gets separated during the Holocaust. Each chapter focuses on one member of the family at a time as they all fight to be reunited with each other. With every turn of a page family members, lovers and friends demonstrate unwavering devotion to each other.

One thing that separates “We Were the Lucky Ones” unique from “Reminders of Him” is the fact that it takes place in 1939 Poland, memorializing the true story of Hunter’s family. It’s an educational read that will leave you teary-eyed and inspired.

If you liked “Paper Towns” or “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green, then you’ll love “Normal People” by Sally Rooney.

Throwing it back to 2016, “The Fault in our Stars” and “Paper Towns” are both moody stories with lovable characters and emotionally moving storylines. Sally Rooney evokes similar emotions in her novel. “Normal People” which follows Marianne and Connell, two peers that share a mutual infatuation for the other, and their conversations over a span of four years.

“Normal People” is centered around the young Irish couple Connell and Marianne, who pretend not to know each other when at school. He’s popular and the star of the school soccer team, whereas she is a lonely outcast. When Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house, an undeniable connection grows between the two teenagers. “Normal People” carries the angsty, misunderstood vibe of John Green’s popular books, but with a little twist and less metaphors.

If you liked “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson, you’ll love “Pillow Thoughts” by Courtney Peppernell.

Mark Manson’s self-help book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” directly addresses the reader and implores them to take control of their psyche. It’s funny, yet enlightening in many ways.

“Pillow Thoughts” is sort of on the other end of spectrum, though it accomplishes a lot of the same things one might look for in reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.” It’s a poetry book, though it’s written to the reader. Each section is titled for whatever feeling someone might be experiencing. For example, “If you are dreaming of someone” or “if you need a reason to stay.”

Here’s an excerpt from the first page:

“Before we begin, I’d like to share a story. Once upon a time there was a jellyfish. We’ll call it You. You became lost sometimes You could be a little unsure You tried very hard But sometimes it didn’t feel like enough. I hate to spoil the ending.

But You is fine You is still here You is going to make it”

Courtney Peppernell

 Enjoy your new bookshelf and tweet @VALLEYmag with your fave new book, or a book you recently started that you thought you’d never read!

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