Like millions of other people, I’m a huge fan of Stranger Things, a Netflix original series that takes place the 1980s in rural Indiana. Nothing ever happens in the quiet town of Hawkins. Until kids inexplicably go missing, a girl with superhuman abilities shows up out of nowhere and Hawkin Lab, a nearby secretive science facility is trying to cover it all up. Described as a love letter to the supernatural classics of the 80’s, Stranger Things is full of suspense, humor, crazy events and just a touch of romance. If you haven’t seen it, then I highly recommend it. Here’s the trailer for season one:
1) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Genre: Paranormal, Teen
Page Count: 422 pages
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.04 out of 5 stars
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.
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.
When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
This is on the list because of the winged stranger that appears from a slit in the sky, a lot like how the monsters appear from a gate to the Upside Down in Stranger Things. Karou fills sketchbooks with monsters like Will Byers does and she has special abilities like Eleven does. Stanger Things fans will enjoy this book, especially those who liked the storylines focusing on the kids and teenagers the best.
2) The Raven by Sylvain Reynard
Page Count: 422 pages
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.98 out of 5 stars
Raven Wood spends her days at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery restoring fine works of Renaissance art. But an innocent walk home after an evening with friends changes her life forever. When she intervenes in the senseless beating of a homeless man, his attackers turn on her, dragging her into an alley. Raven is only semi-conscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attacker’s screams. Mercifully, she blacks out, but not before catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure who whispers to her…
When Raven awakes, she is inexplicably changed. She returns to the Uffizi, but no one recognizes her and more disturbingly, she discovers that she’s been absent an entire week. With no recollection of the events leading up to her disappearance, Raven also learns that her absence coincides with one of the largest robberies in Uffizi history – the theft of a set of priceless Botticelli illustrations. When the baffled police force identifies her as its prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence’s wealthiest and elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth about her disappearance. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets…
Joyce Byers fans will love this book. Like how Joyce had to uncover a conspiracy to save her son– while everyone thinks her crazy– Raven needs to uncover a supernatural conspiracy to clear her name and get her life back.
3) Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Page Count: 239 pages
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.92 out of 5 stars
From the author of the popular Weather Warden series comes the debut of an exciting new series set in Morganville, Texas, where you would be well advised to avoid being out after dark.
College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don’t show many signs of life, but they’ll have Claire’s back when the town’s deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood. Will she be able to face the town’s terror or will she drown like everyone else?
This series has a lot of the humor in it that you can see in Stranger Things. It has loyal friendships and romance without a lot of the angst that is found in vampire romances. The incredible friendships in this series will definitely appeal to fan of Stranger Things, where the loyalty between friends is what drives the characters to uncover the truth in Hawkins, Indiana.
4) Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle
Genre: Teen, Paranormal
Page Count: 357 pages
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.93 out of 5 stars
Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.
After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.
Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.
This book is perfect for those who like the love story between Nancy and Jonathan in Stranger Things. Like Jonathan, Ethan is an outsider and is considered creepy. He was also forced to mature beyond his years. Nara is a popular and smart girl like Nancy is, but she has a secret of her own right from the beginning. Ethan and Nara together fight supernatural forces just like Jonathan and Nancy fought together and they have a fantastic love story as well.
5) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Subtle Romance
Page Count: 211 pages
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.04 out of 5 stars
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.
“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract”.
Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?
I debated adding this one because it is not exactly a romance. However, there is a slight love story between Meg and Calvin so I decided it counted. Kids saving the day is perfect for fans of Stranger Things. A Wrinkle in Time features smart kids who just can’t quite conform, like the kids in Stranger Things who don’t fit in either. Meg’s family is considered crazy just like the Byers family is considered crazy and Charles is very smart and seems to possess the same intelligence that Eleven possesses. So despite the very subtle romance, this is still a very good book for fans of Stranger Things.
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