I’ve been working on this post mentally for a very long time.
Thinking of If You Liked . . . recommendations can be hard enough sometimes, but thinking of quadruplets can be hair-pulling. Which is why this is definitely not going to be a monthly feature.
However, I’ve had these recommendations stewing around in my brain for a while, and finally wrote them down and turned them into a post! It’ll probably be six months before you see one of these again, haha!
But today, I have four sets of four books that go together really well. From dystopians to sci-fi to contemporary, there’s a lot of strong themes that tie this books together.
So, without further ado, here they are!
Dystopians for the Modern YA Reader
I think the YA dystopian genre now is very different than like, 2012ish when it was getting movies & a lot of mainstream popularity.
Now, these ~new dystopians~ are tackling things like social issues and aren’t just fun little circumstances to increase stakes, but feel horrifyingly real and close to home.
Like with Internment and the discrimination and racism against Muslims. Or The Fever King, tackling immigrations and so much more. Girls of Paper and Fire and We Set the Dark on Fire, both taking down the patriarchy.
All of these books are amazing and this common thread connects, them, which is why I think readers of one will really enjoy some of the others if they loved reading one of them.
RomComs featuring Strong Communities
This is a new favorite of mine, because these aren’t just cute love stories or coming of ages for the characters (although they are all this and more). They’re also extremely community-minded, which I really love.
Rosa is organizing a big even to raise money to keep the pier public in her small South Florida town. CJ is fighting to keep her family’s flower shop open and bring awareness to the effects the Japanese internment had on her North California community. Lou is fundraising to keep her town’s local amusement park open. Zuri is watching her neighborhood rapidly gentrify.
These stories are so modern and relatable and powerful and this doesn’t only mix a feeling of community into a normal character growth, but this also rounds out the stories and makes them more rich and full.
Space Stories with Deeper Themes
This is definitely a fun set, and these intergalactic stories don’t just build entirely new worlds in our universe, but they also tackle a lot of different themes in these settings.
From colonialism in A Conspiracy of Stars and The Pioneer, to capitalism and corruption in Once & Future and The Disasters, these are all edge-of-your-seat exciting out-of-this-world adventures that really do everything.
I definitely enjoyed all of these, and I think people who loved one will really enjoy the others.
Did someone ask for gritty contemporaries with a kick? Because boy, do I have the books for you.
From f/f fiction (Missing, Presumed Dead, The Dark Beneath the Ice, and Wilder Girls) to revenge (Missing, Presumed Dead and Sadie) to ghosts (The Dark Beneath the Ice and Missing, Presumed Dead) and survival (all of them), these aren’t just books in our contemporary world with a little extra magic or horror, they’re also stories of girls trying to survive in a world that’s been made toxic.
I love how intense these stories are and how they really embody the experiences of girls worldwide, and this is just a new contemporary subset that gives me the good types of chills.