Happy Monday, friends, I hope all is well! Today I thought I’d do a different twist on the “if you liked this book, you might like this book” thing and instead do “if you DIDN’T like this book, you might like this book instead”. A few weeks ago, I asked y’all for books you wanted to like but didn’t:
Luckily, some of y’all answered with books I had read. I also tried to think of some books people commonly dislike, and what books they might like instead. So, here are my recommendations!
If you didn’t like The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (like Hannah)
You might like The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Hear me out. Both of these books both follow a man who has a secret and are, at their heart, about his personal relationships and internal struggles. If you enjoyed that aspect of The Heart’s Invisible Furies, but wanted a little more plot, you might like The Goldfinch. They’re both really well-written, follow a main character throughout his life as he goes through different traumas, and explores his internal and external struggles. The Goldfinch is more plot-heavy than The Heart’s Invisible Furies. Unfortunately, if you don’t enjoy pretentiousness, The Goldfinch might not work for you either.
You might also like Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
There are actually a lot of similarities between these books: both books take place over a long period of time; both focus on the relationships of the main characters and have complicated familial relationships; there are undertones of religious critique; both of them feature queer relationships. Fall on Your Knees follows a family in Cape Breton during the depression, whereas The Heart’s Invisible Furies follows a man in Ireland in the 80s(ish). Both are really well written and character-focused. If you want better female representation but something that had similar themes to The Heart’s Invisible Furies, you might enjoy Fall on Your Knees.
If you didn’t like Red Rising by Pierce Brown (like Sailor)
You might enjoy the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness
Both of these books have a lot of similarities, but also key differences. They are both dystopian, with male protagonists, and are geared towards similar age groups. However, there are some common issues people have with Red Rising that are absent in Chaos Walking, namely that it’s very slow and it uses women to further the men’s plot. Chaos Walking avoids both of those. It is fast-paced, but not overly action-packed just for the sake of it. It has strong, well-developed female characters. The main narrator isn’t an annoying know-it-all (sorry, Darrow, but). Chaos Walking also has some of the best character development of any series I’ve read, particularly in the second book. The main villain is fantastic, and the ending is amazing. I cannot recommend this series enough.
If you didn’t like One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus (like Rae)
You might enjoy Broken Things by Lauren Oliver or We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
If you were reading One of Us is Lying, you were probably reading it because you wanted a YA, high school thriller. Both Broken Things and We Were Liars are YA thrillers that take place in high school or just after. I gave both of them three or 3.5 stars, but found both of them enjoyable reads, more enjoyable than One of Us is Lying. My biggest issue with One of Us is Lying is that it tried to not be tropey, and was completely tropey in doing so. The smart girl cheated, the baseball player is gay, the perfect girl cheated on her boyfriend. It was totally predictable. I found both Broken Things and We Were Liars to be not as predictable, and much more interesting.
If you didn’t like The Secret History by Donna Tartt
You might like Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton
Both of these books have a somewhat similar plot: a friend kills their friend, and the protagonists are trying to cover up this murder. If you found The Secret History too slow or pretentious but enjoyed the plot, you might like Social Creature. It’s much faster-paced with less pretentious characters. Both have interesting settings and interesting characters, and both are well-written.
So, those are some books you might enjoy based on books you might not have enjoyed! Have you read any of these? What did you think? Are there any books you wanted to enjoy but didn’t? Let me know!