Small Great Things
In Small Great Things, Jodi Picoult once again tackles a big, polarizing issue and manages to make it feel easier to understand, all while challenging readers to rethink their long-held belief systems. Here, Picoult takes on race, introducing us to an African American nurse named Ruth and the white supremacists who don’t want her to treat their baby, even when the infant’s life is in danger. Somehow, the author treats all parties with empathy in the legal battle that follows, leaving you with plenty to think about days after you finish reading the final page.
Conversations with Friends
Sally Rooney has become one of the poster children of the millennial literary movement, all thanks to her fresh voice and complicated characters—both of which you get plenty of in Conversations With Friends. Just like the relationships in Little Fires Everywhere, the dynamics in this story are rife with misunderstandings and unspoken truths. Both novels also provide subtle commentaries on class and an exploration of what happens when worlds collide.
Lights All Night Long
Like Mia and Pearl in Little Fires Everywhere, the main character of Lights All Night Long—a foreign exchange student named Ilya—is a newcomer to a tight-knit community who gets swept into some serious drama. In this case, the drama takes place thousands of miles away in Ilya’s home country of Russia, where his older brother has been accused of murder and put in prison.
Such a Fun Age
Such A Fun Age received the Reese Witherspoon stamp of approval as a pick for her Hello Sunshine book club… and that’s not where the similarities to Little Fires Everywhere stop! Kiley Reid has developed a strong cast of characters from different races and socioeconomic backgrounds and has thrown them into a situation that forces them to really come to terms with how they treat others and see the world. As a reader, you’ll fall in love with many of the characters and find your own loyalties and assumptions tested.
The Gifted School
In Little Fires Everywhere, you have Shaker Heights, Ohio. In The Gifted School, you have Crystal, Colorado. Both communities are teeming with social pressures, and in The Gifted School, those pressures boil to the surface with the news that a competitive new charter school is coming to town. The application process brings out the good, the bad, and the ugly—okay, well, mostly the bad and the ugly—within one group of close friends, revealing dark secrets along the way.
Baby of the Family
Maura Roosevelt is the great-granddaughter of Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt, but you’ll totally forget that fun fact after reading just a few pages of her amazing debut. In it, a wealthy American family is forced to adapt to the change in the status quo that comes along with its younger generation. Multiple perspectives, interpersonal drama, plenty of intrigue—it’s the perfect (fancy) cocktail for a juicy read.
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls
In the mood for a little more family drama? (I get it—it’s a lot of fun when it’s not your own.) Give The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls a try! The book tells the story of three sisters whose lives are turned upside down when the eldest sister and her husband are arrested for unknown reasons. The younger siblings have to come together and try to reclaim the heart of their family in the face of a heavy dose of outside judgment.
All the Bad Apples
All the Bad Apples adds a creepy thriller twist to the family novel, letting readers in on what happens when main character Deena’s older sister Mandy goes missing. Mandy is presumed dead, but Deena begins receiving letters from her, telling of a family curse that’s been handed down between women across the generations and her journey to try and break it. Deena takes it upon herself to figure out the truth about the curse and find out if her sister is alive or dead.
I Know You Remember
Ruthie Hayden returns to her hometown to discover that her best friend Zahra Gaines is missing. She starts asking questions around town, trying to figure out what her BFF’s life has been like in the years since Ruthie left and hoping for answers about Zahra’s disappearance. Like Little Fires Everywhere, I Know You Remember shines a spotlight on the darkness that can exist in our “normal” lives and the reasons behind it.
If you’re anything like me, you let out an audible squeal the first time you saw the trailer for the limited series adaptation of Little Fires Everywhere, streaming on Hulu starting on March 18. Watching the trailer brought me right back to the emotional, totally engrossing, page-turning experience of reading Celeste Ng’s novel, and to the very spirited book club meeting in which my friends and I got into an intense conversation about the story’s complex relationships, conflicts, and secrets.
So, yeah, you could say I’m pretty excited to watch Little Fires Everywhere play out on screen.
We can all make the wait a little easier by picking up any one of these nine titles, each of which shares some magic with Celeste Ng’s bestselling, award-winning book.
Featured image: Kevon Nicholas