This novel takes place in an alternate version of Victorian England (reminiscent of the Upside Down), where anytime someone behaves badly—especially members of the lower class—their body releases smoke. Thomas and Charlie meet at school, where they’re punished for having any black marks on their white uniforms. When the two visit Thomas’s family, they realize there might be more behind the smoke than what they’ve been led to believe.
In the summer of 1977, the Blyton Summer Detective Club takes on their final mystery: the Sleepy Lake monster. While this small-town group of detectives might sound like the gang in Stranger Things, by 1990, they’ve all gone their separate ways—something we hope never happens to the kids in Hawkins. But the estranged friends are each haunted by memories of the past, and they must reunite to set things straight.
While this one features a solo mission, Stranger Things fans will love the sci-fi aspect of the setting. Jazz has lived in Artemis, a colony on the moon, since she was a child. While she’s always been gifted at nearly everything she tries, she decides to work as a porter with a side hustle of illegal smuggling. When she’s offered a huge payday for the biggest crime of her life, Jazz promptly jumps on it, but it leads to a lot more trouble than she anticipated.
Lord of the Flies
What happens when you leave a bunch of boys alone to rule themselves? According to Lord of the Flies, nothing good (maybe that’s why Stranger Things brought in Eleven). The story of how these boys find themselves stranded on an island and forced to fend for themselves is still as fascinating as when it was first published over 60 years ago—a classic distraction until we’re back in Hawkins.
At Read it Forward, we’re more prone to binge-reading than binge-watching—but like everyone else, we got totally swept up in the release of Stranger Things 2. Whether you watched for the disturbing monsters or the heartwarming friendships, the latest season was so thrilling, it left us with an inevitable question: how do we distract ourselves until Stranger Things 3 comes out? Luckily, there are several great reads out there to fill the Eleven-shaped hole in our hearts, and we’re sharing them with you this week.
Featured Image: Courtesy of Netflix