Read This Book

A Book That’ll Hit You In The ’00s TV Nostalgia Spot

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Emily Martin

Contributing Editor

Emily has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, MS, and she has an MFA in Creative Writing from GCSU in Milledgeville, GA, home of Flannery O’Connor. She spends her free time reading, watching horror movies and musicals, cuddling cats, Instagramming pictures of cats, and blogging/podcasting about books with the ladies over at #BookSquadGoals ( She can be reached at

Welcome to Read This Book, your go-to newsletter if you’re looking to expand your TBR pile. Each week, I’ll recommend a book I think is an absolute must-read. Some will be new releases, some will be old favorites, and the books will vary in genre and subject matter every time. I hope you’re ready to get reading!

Are you up for a little bit of fun? Because I think after the dark, twisty, and kinda depressing book I recommended last week, it’s time for something a little more fun. If you’re on board, let’s do this.

the daydreams book cover

The Daydreams by Laura Hankin

I’ll be honest, I hopped into this book thinking it was going to give me big The OC vibes. I was super excited about that, especially because I just did a big rewatch of all four seasons. Instead, The Daydreams is more like High School Musical, which I was not mad about at all. If you love early 2000s pop culture, especially early 2000s TV, I think you’ll love this book. This one is also perfect for fans of Daisy Jones and the Six.

Back in 2004 (which was 20 years ago, OMG), a little TV series called The Daydreams launched four young actors into superstardom. There was Summer, the innocent girl next door and the biggest rising star of the show; there was Noah, the leading man, and Summer’s love interest, both on and off the screen; Kat was the show’s villain (think Sharpay, and I promise this will be my last High School Musical reference); and Liana was the best friend. Every week on the show, the foursome would sing and dance and act out a story that bled into their real lives. The world ate up every moment of it. Then, on their live finale, everything fell apart.

Since then, Summer, Noah, Kat, and Liana have all gone in different directions. Noah is an A-list actor. Kat left showbiz to become a successful lawyer. Liana married a famous athlete. And then there’s Summer…whose life following the series has been a bit of a trainwreck.

With everyone hungry for 2000s nostalgia these days, it’s no surprise that the fans begin clamoring for a The Daydreams reunion special. Each of the former stars has their own reasons for agreeing to do the special. But there was also a reason everything became so disastrous all those years ago. Will this reunion be the big moment that heals all of those former wounds? Or will this only dig up old secrets and open up old wounds?

You’ve never seen The Daydreams, obviously. It isn’t a real show. But after you read this book, you’ll feel nostalgic about a show that never existed. From the first to the final page, this book was just such a fun experience. It’s like watching the best 2000s teen show while reading the juiciest celebrity gossip while also catching up with an old friend (or four). I hope you’ll love it as much as I did!

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