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If You Love These International TV Series, Pick Up These Reads!

by  | June 12

Over the past decade, the way that we watch TV has changed a lot. Many of us have cut traditional cable subscription out of our lives and have replaced it with streaming services from Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, etc. Part of streaming’s beauty is that we are discovering more shows that we may never have found if we were just watching the shows offered through our cable network subscriptions.

These streaming services have added many foreign series to their catalog of content, and we’re LOVING it! It seems like they are amassing the rights to more international shows every day, and because of their fancy algorithms, they are able to recommend shows that we may enjoy based on others that we binged. “Yes, I am still watching after seven episodes in a row…DON’T JUDGE ME!”

via GIPHY

We don’t have a fancy computer algorithm over here—but our teams are here to give you recommendations based on our own experience of falling in love with a show and wanting the feels to continue with a book. Once you’ve decided you need a break from another streaming binge, pick up one of these reads, head outside, and dive into one of these page-turners.

Trail of Lightning

Trail of Lightning

by Rebecca Roanhorse

Nicole’s Pick:

If you like Wynonna Earp, read…

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Once in a while a show comes along that defies both description and expectation: a show that is about so much more than its plot. I’ve been in fandoms for decades, and I can safely say I’ve never seen anything like the power of Canadian gem Wynonna Earp. On the surface, it’s a sci-fi demon Western set in the fictional town of Purgatory, and follows its heroine (Wynonna) as she tries to defeat a family curse by sending Revenants back to Hell using her father’s gun (named Peacemaker). More importantly than that, though, Wynonna Earp is about family (both blood and found), reluctant heroism, love, sacrifice, and discovering the power that lies within all of us. Everyone involved with making this show treats the story with such care. They love it as much as or more than the fans do, and that comes across in spades on-screen. Because of the show’s message and focus on inclusivity, they’ve managed to cultivate a fandom filled with people who can connect with the characters, flaws and all—a fandom built on kindness. I can’t think of many other fandoms where the cast and writers are so dialed in and connected to individual fans and even know them by name! It’s a joy to be a part of, especially now as we continue to #FightForWynonna at a time when the show’s fourth and fifth seasons are in jeopardy. Wynonna Earp tackles everything from mental health to grief to meeting your ex-boyfriend’s/baby daddy’s ex-wife who just happens to be over 100 years old, and they do it with humor and with heart.

If that sounds like your jam, then you should check out Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. Meet Maggie Hoskie, an indigenous monster hunter who’s enlisted to help a small town find a missing girl. In her hunt, Maggie discovers a terrifying secret about the monster who took the girl. Follow her as she travels the rez and unravels clues to the young girl’s kidnapping. Wynonna and Maggie are both monster-slaying heroes, their wit is as fierce as their slaying, and they both drive pickup trucks! While those are important similarities, I would be remiss not to mention that they are also both women (!) kicking ass and taking names in worlds where fighting monsters is often left to the “big boys.”

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The Testing

The Testing

by Joelle Charbonneau

Leora’s Pick:

If you like 3%, read…

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Imagine a world where only 3% of the population gets to ascend out of poverty, and the decision is made by a series of elaborate tests so difficult and cutthroat that leaving with your lives is not a guarantee. Think that’s the Brazilian masterpiece 3%? Where you can’t tell which side all the very attractive people are on? Where Michele and Rafael are obviously meant to be together if they could ever stop trying to one-up each other? (Don’t @ me, I love Michele and Rafael together, and I don’t care what anyone says.) Read The Testing. It’s smart and about attractive people fighting each other using mental and physical tests to become the leaders of a Hunger Games-esque society. You’ve got all the ingredients: snarky girl who wants to do right by her male family member; two-faced boy who might be fighting for the resistance, but you’re never really sure; and the kinds of trials and tribulations that make you root, swoon, and inevitably fall for both of them.

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Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe

Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe

by Evan James

Heather's Pick:
If you like Schitt’s Creek, read…

Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe by Evan James

When you first hit “Play” on the Canadian sitcom Schitt’s Creek, you can’t possibly imagine how much you’ll come to adore the snobbish Rose family, New York elites who lose their entire fortune due to a shady accountant and resulting IRS investigation. They’re entitled, shallow, and self-absorbed. Yet as you watch them reluctantly settle into the small town of Schitt’s Creek and become part of its eccentric cast of characters, your opinion slowly evolves until you...kind of love them?! And that’s exactly what will happen when you read Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe by Evan James. Not only will you feel right at home with the book’s witty and satirical style, but you’ll be charmed by the eccentric Widdicombe family—Frank and Carol, along with their adult son, Christopher—and all their new neighbors on the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest. Chaos follows them around too, and it’s absurdly funny.

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The Wolf and the Watchman

The Wolf and the Watchman

by Niklas Natt och Dag

Nick’s Pick:

If you like Peaky Blinders, read…

The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag

If you’re a sucker for European historical fiction, like Peaky Blinders, you need to get your hands on The Wolf and the Watchman. Set in eighteenth-century Stockholm (before it was the beautiful place we now know), it cranks violence and gore all the way up to 100 in a vividly portrayed murder mystery. Like Peaky Blinders, it comes equipped with an extremely memorable cast of characters and will be able to scratch your itch until Season 5.

By order of the Peaky Blinders, read this book!

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Luckiest Girl Alive

Luckiest Girl Alive

by Jessica Knoll

Saimah’s Pick:

If you like Elite, read…

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

If you’re a fan of stories that follow the upper crust of society and the crimes they commit, you will love the Spanish drama Elite! Fans of Gossip Girl and The O.C. will flock to these types of stories…and if you’re looking for a book to match that craving, look no further than Jessica Knoll’s Luckiest Girl Alive.

As a teenager, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue-blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve. But she has a secret that she hopes nobody will ever find out.

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