Chances are that sometime in the past couple of months, you’ve either binged or at least heard about Netflix’s original series, Stranger Things. And chances are if you’ve binged it, you’re a teeny bit obsessed with it and can’t wait for Season 2 to premiere. Here are 11 (get it?) books we think El would adore—and they'll help to hold you over until Season 2 of Stranger Things. Don't forget to eat all of El's favorite foods to really get you in the spirit.
The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton
In The Mind Readers, Cameron Winters has a secret—she can hear the thoughts of others. At first she thinks she's the only one with her ability, until she meets Lewis, who introduces her to a whole group of Mind Readers. Cameron isn't alone anymore, but maybe that isn't such a good thing. This one may hit a little too close to home for El, but it's perfect for the fan who craves that telepathic-vibe.
Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan
It’s like the creators of this comic and the creators of our latest TV obsession timed the release of their pieces perfectly. Paper Girls is an 80s-era comic about a group of misfit girls who deliver papers in the morning and suddenly start to experience a whole host of supernatural strange things – from guys in masks to lights in the sky. Eleven could totally run with this posse.
It by Stephen King
The first half of It almost feels like it could be another season of Stranger Things, from the nostalgia to the group of preteens investigating the latest creepy monster in their town. Plus, it’s easy to see how influenced Stranger Things is by Stephen King when reading this book (or the one further down the list).
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
A classic horror novel about a carnival that comes to town and starts to lure all of the town’s children into its nightmarish and sinister mystery. Another one that also has a movie if you want a little something more.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
Spot on blend of 80s nostalgia, E.T. obsession, and demonic possession fans of Stranger Things will love. It’s also a story about the power of friendship that doesn’t shy away from the creepy supernatural stuff.
Firestarter by Stephen King
Yep, there are two King books on this list, but Stranger Things has been so inspired by the early works of Stephen King that it would be negligent to not have at least two of his books here. Like It, the writers behind our new obsession took a lot of inspiration from Firestarter. Similar to Eleven, the young protagonist in the novel, Charlie, gains superhuman abilities after a government science experiment, and after she and her father escape, they go on the run, which is something our dear Eleven could definitely relate to.
And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
Let’s just say that the UK title of this one is The Creeper Man, a tall, eye-less, skinny freaky monster that only some people can see and which haunts you. He’ll probably give you for-real nightmares. While this one doesn’t have the nostalgic feel or the big cast of characters, the feeling you got while watching the monster from the Upside-Down will come back to you while reading this book.
Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson
This one stands out on the list, we know. Lumberjanes is light-hearted, fun, and not-so-creepy, but it made this list because it’s about a group of characters at camp who supernatural beings are somehow always drawn to, forcing them to fight to save each other and their camp. Good for Stranger Things fans who are a little squeamish, and good for El when she's feeling like a light read.
The Passage by Justin Cronin
Another that’s a bit different from the list, but if you’re into absolutely terrifying and chill-inducing creatures, pick up The Passage, the story of Amy, a young girl abandoned by her mother, imprisoned by horrible government types – who are behind a seriously sinister, apocalyptic-sized experiment – and then tasked with the knowledge that she alone has the power to save the world. Eleven would love Amy. As for the whole "imprisoned by horrible government types" thing, Eleven will either feel a connection with the book or it might be a little traumatic for her. Best to warn her first before she dives in.
Summer of Night by Dan Simmons
If the thing you like most about Stranger Things is the group of boys hunting down an ancient evil, this one is for you. A creepy, old, evil monster begins to rise from the depths of the local school, and a group of boys decide they will hunt down this abomination to save their town.
Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, edited by April Genevieve Tucholke
A collection of short stories by a host of amazing YA authors, who’ve taken classic tales and written new, fresh, terrifying stories. From supernatural to super realistic, these stories will creep you out. And the best part is that there are 14 unsettling tales to help you wait for season two of Stranger Things.