Books You Should Read if You Love EUPHORIA
If you’re already missing Euphoria following the season 2 finale, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, Euphoria, created by Sam Levinson and starring Zendaya, has officially become the second most-watched show in HBO’s history. Yep, it’s still coming in behind Game of Thrones, but this is still a huge testament to how much people are loving this show. According to HBO, 6.6 million viewers tuned in to watch the final episode of season 2, and the per-episode viewership for season 2 averaged 16.3 million.
Since the second season of Euphoria was such a success, it will probably come as no surprise to you that HBO has officially announced that they have renewed the show for a third season. “Sam, Zendaya, and the entire cast and crew of Euphoria have taken Season 2 to extraordinary heights, challenging narrative convention and form, while maintaining its heart. We couldn’t be more honored to work with this gifted, wildly talented team or more excited to continue our journey with them into Season 3,” Francesca Orsi, Executive Vice President of HBO Programming, said in a statement.
But when can we expect the next season? No dates have been announced as of yet, which means we have a wait ahead of us. And what do we do when we have to wait for something? We read, of course! So with that in mind, here are books you should read if you love Euphoria and can’t wait for the third season.
Warning: like the series Euphoria, the books on this list cover a wide range of difficult topics, including addiction, depression, anxiety, disordered eating, racism, and homophobia. Of course, the books were included on this list because I believe the subject are handled with care, but something to keep in mind!
White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson
I would seriously recommend this book for anyone, Euphoria fan or not, because that’s how much I love it. But Euphoria people, hear me out. Yes, Tiffany D. Jackson’s White Smoke is a haunted house story, but more than anything, this is the story of a girl who is haunted by her past, her addictions, and her struggles with anxiety and OCD. If you find Rue’s character arc compelling, you’ll be equally moved by Marigold’s story and her efforts to be better for her family and the ones she loves while also fighting for control over her life in moments of uncertainty.
Margaret and the Mystery of the Missing Body by Megan Milks
Like Euphoria, Megan Milks’s queer coming-of-age story Margaret and the Mystery of the Missing Body explores issues of friendship, gender, identity, and mental health. At age 12, Margaret was the head detective of the mystery club Girls Can Solve Anything. But now that she’s entered high school, the club has been disbanded, and Margaret feels unmoored. All her friends are starting to grow up, but Margaret wishes everything could just stand still. In an effort to cope, Margaret develops an eating disorder that ultimately lands her in a treatment center.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
If you love the complicated friendships in Euphoria and characters with melancholy pasts, pick up Nina LaCour’s We Are Okay. Marin has left her old life in California behind, and she hasn’t spoken to anyone about what happened to her in those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel. But now that she’s in college in New York, Marin still feels like she hasn’t outrun her past. Now her past is coming to visit her. When Mabel comes to see her, Marin will be forced to confront her grief and everything she’s tried to forget.
The Love Song of Ivy K. Harlowe by Hannah Moskowitz
The Love Song of Ivy K. Harlowe is a sex-positive new adult novel that deals with drugs, partying, mental health, sapphic love. Andie has been in love with her best friend Ivy for as long as she can remember. But Ivy isn’t the relationship type, and she’s never slept with the same person twice. That is, until Dot. When Dot enters their lives, it becomes clear right away that Ivy is falling for her. And Andie can’t help but feel jealous. Why Dot? Why now? And why is Ivy choosing Dot over Andie?
Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert
Brandy Colbert’s works in general would be great for Euphoria fans, but try Little & Lion for the family dynamics and the mental health/LGBTQ rep. When Suzette returns home to L.A. after time away at a New England boarding school, she’s thrilled to be home with her friends and family. Especially because her stepbrother Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, is in need of her support. But everything gets complicated when Suzette finds herself falling for someone…who just happens to be the same girl her brother is in love with.
Heroine by Mindy McGinnis
If you were interested in Rue’s difficult road to recovery from addiction, then you’ll want to read Heroine by Mindy McGinnis. Mickey is a softball player who gets into a car crash right before the start of the season. To stay in the game and keep the pain at bay, Mickey relies on the painkillers that have been prescribed to her. But the pills do more than take her pain away. They make her feel good and they open her up to a whole new world and a whole new group of friends.
Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez
Rainbow Milk is a novel that will be a good fit for Euphoria fans who are interested in Jules and/or Kat’s storylines. This novel follows two storylines. Jamaican ex-boxer Norman Alonso moves to Great Britain in the 1950s with his family. And 50 years later, 19-year-old Jesse McCarthy leaves his home and his repressive religious upbringing to explore his sexuality and find his true self in London. To make his way in the city, Jesse turns to sex work, and he struggles to find his self-worth in an industry where he’s only valued for one thing.
Clean by Amy Reed
One of the things that makes Euphoria so special is its cast of dynamic characters who all get the opportunity to have the spotlight and their own backstories and histories. In Clean, we follow five teenagers — Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason and Eva — who form a friendship in a rehabilitation center. They all have one thing in common: they’re all addicts. And they’ve all landed in rehab because they’ve made some life-changing mistakes.
King, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju
Love Jules and the way she pushes against gender norms, sexuality, and the patriarchy? Then pick up King, Queens, and In-Betweens. Nima Kumara-Clark is not having the best time. For one, she’s bored and feeling stuck in her small community. Oh, and she’s madly in love with her straight friend. And a year ago, her mother left without an explanation. But when Nima attends a local festival, she finds herself suddenly immersed in the drag scene where she makes surprising allies and comes much closer to finding her true self.
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Euphoria is a story that follows teens with very different backgrounds and priorities. But they all have secrets. Karen M. McManus’s characters in One of Us is Lying is very much the same. This murder mystery features a cast of suspects who all have secrets to hide. And like Euphoria, we get a chance to get inside all of their stories to find out what’s really bubbling beneath the surface. One of Us is Lying was recently adapted into a TV show for Peacock, so if you’re looking for more TV like Euphoria, check this one out.
Hopefully these books will be enough to hold you over until the next season of Euphoria! If you make it through this list and still need more, here are some other book lists that you might find interesting: 50 Must-Read YA Books About Mental Illness, 6 Insightful Books About Addiction, 28 Sex-Positive Books for Readers of All Ages, or try Books with a Quirky Cast of Characters.
See you for season 3, Euphoria fans!