I know we are all still reeling from Season 2’s finale of Euphoria and everyone wants more immediately. Here are some books that will give you the same feelings while we wait (hopefully not as long as last time) for a new season. Check out these titles!
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizinni:
Mental health and the struggles that teenagers face are big themes in Euphoria and Vizinni captures those things beautifully in this story following a suicidal teen into a mental hospital. Craig meets other patients including a transgender sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio as he works through the events that led him there. The author’s own experience in a psychiatric hospital elevates the story just as Sam Levinson’s own battle with addiction impacts the show.
Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky:
Much like Euphoria’s narration from Rue, this book walks readers through the halls of high school through Charlie’s letters as he deals with the hilarity and devastation that can come with growing up – especially if you have trauma from when you were younger to work through. Exploring sex, drugs, and the search for the perfect song to feel infinite, this book is full of heart, even if it’s one that’s been cracked and bandaged back together a time or two.
Heroine by Mindy McGinnis:
This book follows Mickey, an injured high school softball player who gets hooked on painkillers, in a captivating and powerful exploration of the opioid crisis. Much like Rue, Mickey alienates herself from friends and family along her journey to find a high from something other than the sport she can no longer play. If you want to read about the balance between addiction and hope, take a look at this book.
The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert:
If you love Rue and her relationship with Gia, and find yourself rooting for them to have a happy ending, you’ll fall in love with Birdie Randolph’s journey as she navigates love and changing family dynamics. Birdie strives to be the perfect daughter, but things shift when she falls in love with a boy with a troubled past at the same time her estranged aunt Carlene moves into her family’s apartment after spending time in and out of addiction treatment centers. As she gets closer to them, secrets are revealed, which turns everything she knows to be true upside down.
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera:
Euphoria is known for taking viewers on an emotional roller coaster every episode much like this book confronting race, class, and sexuality during one charged summer in the Bronx. In the month’s after his father’s suicide, Aaron Soto is struggling to find happiness again until he meets Thomas. As his relationship with Thomas grows stronger, tensions from his friends and girlfriend also rise. In order to escape the tension, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is. This story takes you from laughing out loud to full-on sobs and back again so definitely be prepared with a box of tissues.
I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver:
If you found yourself connecting to Jules, especially in her special episode where we delved into her story through her therapy session, you’ll love connecting with Ben De Backer as they find themselves. After coming out to their parents as nonbinary and being kicked out of the house, they find acceptance and the beginning of a new life while living with their estranged sister A growing relationship with the charismatic Nathan Allen who takes them under his wing, they finally start to enjoy the last half of senior year. Finding acceptance and young love are the themes of this poignant look at hope in the face of adversity.
Two books, both memoirs, follow Nic Sheff as he details his life from the first drug he takes to where he is today. Tweak gives a brutally honest account of his days as an addict and the emotional and physical toll he took on himself and his loved ones along the way. We All Fall Down focuses on his continued efforts to stay clean and gives an eye-opening account of rehab stays, relapses, and difficult realizations. Eventually inspiring the film A Beautiful Boy, these books provide a heart-wrenching story of addiction and hope without other storylines to distract from the reality of getting sober.
Perfect by Ellen Hopkins:
For those who loved the ensemble cast of high schoolers trying to find their own paths, you’ll love this story following four high school seniors as they strive towards their varying ideas of perfection. Whether that perfection is about looks, love, or the ability to live up to expectations, these characters have to decide what they are willing to give up in order to achieve their goals. Following their journeys and how they intersect feels very much like sitting down to watch a new episode or maybe sitting in the audience at Lexi’s play. While this book can stand on its own, if you love it, check out the first book in the Impulse series as well.
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