Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has returned for its final season and before you say anything, we’re definitely not crying. You’re crying. We’re sending off this perfect bonkers series with some book recommendations. Because that’s how we show love, okay?
Trainwreck by Sady Doyle for Rebecca
We already know that Rebecca Bunch is a big fan of Roxane Gay, so of course we’re recommending another piece of feminist non-fiction for this fantastically flawed protagonist to sink her teeth into. Trainwreck by Sady Doyle flew under the radar when it was published in 2016, but for our money it’s the best exploration of unlikable women out there. In fact, we pretty much guarantee Rebecca will oscillate between two conflicting thoughts: “These women are nothing like me” and “Hang on, do I belong in this book?” And because the societal expectations put on women are full of contradictions, the best response to both thoughts is “Yes.”
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch for Josh
While Josh Chan is quick to dismiss Rebecca’s over the top behavior as “crazy,” we like to think it’s all a deflecting tactic. The truth is, Josh has never really had his life together. He settles comfortably back into living with his parents the moment something doesn’t go his way. (And frankly, his mom is sick of it.) He’s living life recklessly – within the confines of his super safe hometown. Which is why we’re recommending he read The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. When Pausch was asked to give a ceremonial “last lecture” at Carnegie Mellon, he didn’t have to imagine what the end of his life might look like. He was already there. Pausch had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer and rather than give a lecture about dying, he gave a lecture about living. With an adaptation method that’s “based on a movie” adjacent, The Last Lecture is exactly at Josh Chan’s reading comprehension level – and something he’ll potentially get a lot out of.
The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan for Paula
We have a feeling it’s been years since Paula Proctor had a chance to sit down and really enjoy a novel. And now that we’re in the final season of watching her on our TVs each week, we want to give that to her. Which is why we’re recommending The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. It’s the kind of novel you can melt completely into – a hint of royal family fandom mixed with a truly beautiful emotional roller coaster of a love story. It’s the kind of novel she can live vicariously through as she grieves her relationship with her ex-husband Scott. Bonus: this book was written by two best friends. Imagine Rebecca and Paula writing a novel together. How crazy would that be?
Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli for Valencia
Two years ago, Valencia Perez would probably turn her nose up at a young adult recommendation. But she’s grown and changed a lot in the last year and now we feel completely confident making a YA recommendation. Leah on the Offbeat is delightfully queer and incredibly female centric, making it the perfect novel for a woman who’s not only new to being friends with women, she’s also new to dating women. It’s a romcom for the awkward teenager who lives inside all of us – and since Valencia spent her high school years dating Josh Chan, she could use a do over.
All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister for Trent
When Trent Maddock shows up in Rebecca’s life, she’s surprised, but not entirely phased. But with repeat surprise visits, Trent is becoming more of an issue than a comedic device. Which is why we’re recommending he give Rebecca a ton of space and read All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister. It’s an investigation of the sexual, economic, and emotional histories of single women in the United States. And who knows? Trent may learn a thing or two while he’s at it.