Stranger Things is one of the most popular shows on Netflix at the moment, and if you’ve watched every episode, you may want to have some more.
If you don’t want to rewatch the series again and try something new, then we can point you in the right direction.
We’ve found that along with spin-off novels about Stranger Things, there are also a number of books that tackle similar themes and plot elements.
If you have a preferred theme that you want to focus on, then don’t worry.
We’ll be discussing the different themes that Stranger Things tackles, and find the right novel for you.
Whether you enjoy reading novels or graphic novels, or whether you enjoy found family, small town mysteries, or supernatural horror, we have something for everyone.
With our help, you should have plenty of material to tide you over until the new season comes out.
If you love Stranger Things, then you’ll adore these books that are similar to it. Why not take a look at It, Paper Girls, Gallant, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Suspicious Minds, My Best Friend’s Exorcism and The Girl With All The Gifts. Find out more about these books and why you should check them out.
Themes In Stranger Things
Stranger Things tackles a collection of different themes, and one of the key themes is found family.
The kids of Hawkins, Indiana, all are a group of outcasts who work together. Even if they grow apart, they all find their way back to each other.
Of course, there’s another element that can’t be ignored either, and it’s the element of small town mysteries.
One of the defining themes of Stranger Things is how the kids group together to uncover the mysteries surrounding this small Indiana town.
For many fans, the ‘80s nostalgia is also a fun factor that you can appreciate alongside the supernatural horror elements.
It’s not only supernatural horror that the kids have to contend with, but the psychological trauma too.
Will and Eleven are both traumatized by the events taking place around them, including science experiments performed on Eleven for years.
Combining these with the pop culture elements including Dungeons & Dragons, there’s plenty of themes that you can find in other books.
If you’re looking for any books with these elements, then we have some great news for you: there are many books with these elements.
Whether you’re looking for supernatural horror set in another time, or discovering mysterious government experiments, then we have numerous recommendations for you to enjoy.
Books Like Stranger Things
It — Stephen King
It, the novel by Stephen King, is a horror classic. Focusing on a group of friends who have returned to their hometown to confront a nightmare they first fought as teenagers.
After 28 years of being apart, they must go back to confront the monster that is murdering children in their hometown.
The novel takes place in two time periods, the first set during the 1950s, and the second in the 1980s.
If you want a horror story that focuses on uncovering the mystery of a collection of murders.
It follows a group of friends who need to fight against a supernatural horror that they need to defeat to finally live in peace.
There are numerous similarities between It and Stranger Things. However, there are some scenes that aren’t appropriate for younger audiences.
- A classic horror novel from Stephen King that has been adapted for film and television.
- It offers a sense of fear of the unknown that will be enjoyable for Stranger Things fans.
- There are some scenes that may make readers uncomfortable.
Themes: Supernatural Horror, Mystery, Friendship.
Paper Girls — Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matt Wilson
The year is 1988, and four twelve-year-old delivery girls need to work together to uncover the biggest story of all time.
Together, they need to uncover an otherworldly mystery while also working their first jobs and experiencing the last of their childhood.
This graphic novel fully encapsulates the sense of ‘80s nostalgia that is also rife in Stranger Things.
Along with a group of friends with a desire to solve a mystery in their small time, Paper Girls has been compared to Stranger Things.
While you may have heard of the Paper Girls TV show, I also recommend reading the graphic novel to fully appreciate this series.
- Adapted into a highly-acclaimed TV series.
- The art is absolutely beautiful, and is a perfect companion to the immersive plot.
- It does have a bit of a slow-paced start.
Themes: Nostalgia, Friendship, Supernatural, Mystery,
Gallant — V.E. Schwab
If you enjoy parallel worlds, then you may enjoy Gallant by V.E. Schwab. In Gallant, Olivia Prior receives a letter to return to her mother’s home.
While there, she discovers there are strange monsters in a parallel world who are after her family.
Gallant is less-infused with ‘80s nostalgia, but provides a more historical setting when compared to Stranger Things.
Gallant is best enjoyed by those who enjoy the mystery elements of Stranger Things and the inclusion of a world that is the opposite of our own.
If you want to enjoy a novel where a young girl discovers a dark secret about her family’s past.
- A fresh take on haunted houses with a unique twist on the paranormal.
- The atmosphere is chilling and immerses the reader.
- It is slow-paced, but picks up in the latter half.
Themes: Mystery, Historical Fiction, Parallel Worlds, Family Secrets
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children — Ransom Riggs
Jacob and his father head to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where Jacob discovers Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
In a novel which uses both fiction and photography.
Combining these elements, you can enjoy a mixture of modern fantasy fiction with the discovery of vintage photographs that explain the story.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is great for younger audiences, and combines some light horror elements with a mystery setting.
It is a novel which feels as though you’re entering another world, much like the upside down.
While it is best suited for a younger audience, it’s also great for both young adults and older ones.
- Adapted into a successful film with the same name.
- The mixture of photography and prose offers a new sense of intrigue.
- Despite being horror, it’s not particularly scary due to having a younger audience.
- Characters could be more developed.
Themes: Horror, Mystery, Parallel Worlds.
Suspicious Minds — Gwenda Bond
If you want to read more Stranger Things, then you can always try out the Stranger Things novels.
There are three currently released, and Suspicious Minds focuses on Eleven’s mother.
Set during the summer of ‘69, Terry Ives signs up as a test subject for project MKULTRA, where she discovers a conspiracy that she couldn’t have imagined.
Suspicious Minds is made up of the science fiction mysteries that made Stranger Things so enjoyable.
With a focus on Eleven’s mother, we can read about the events that took place before the story.
If you enjoy uncovering the mysteries that have plagued Hawkins, then you could read this.
- Directly related to the Stranger Things universe.
- Offers more information about Eleven’s mother.
- Can’t really be read as a standalone novel, and readers must have watched Stranger Things first.
Themes: Science Fiction, Mystery, Conspiracy Theories.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism — Grady Hendrix
Set in 1988, this novel follows high school students Abby and Gretchen, best friends since fourth grade.
However, Gretchen changes after they both go skinny dipping one night.
Abby discovers that something has happened to Gretchen, and together, they need to find out if the power of friendship can defeat the devil.
If you enjoy ‘80s novels, then you will enjoy this trip back to ‘80s horror.
With elements that you would find in an ‘80s pulp horror film, My Best Friend’s Exorcism is a treat for any Stranger Things fan.
- Utilizes the ‘80s in a perfect way that brings you back in time.
- The characters and plot are well-developed, making it a fun, spooky read.
- As it’s set in the ‘80s, there is some language that readers might find offensive now.
Themes: Horror, ‘80s Nostalgia, Friendship.
The Girl With All The Gifts — M. R. Carey
Melanie is a little girl with special powers, and is referred to as a little genius. She is kept in a cell where she waits to be collected for class.
When she is collected, she’s strapped to a wheelchair and has a gun pointed at her.
Unbeknownst to Melanie, she could either save humanity, or wipe it out completely.
If you enjoyed the elements of hidden science experiments, and particularly Eleven’s plotline, then you’ll love The Girl With All The Gifts.
This novel focuses on one girl with supernatural abilities. Set in a universe where the apocalypse has taken place, this is a horrifying read.
However, it’s not particularly gorey, instead, we would argue that the strength lies in the relationships built in this novel.
- Offers a fresh take on the zombie apocalypse.
- It’s more introspective and philosophical than other horror novels.
- It does become more stereotypical zombie fiction in the latter half of the novel.
Themes: Horror, Supernatural, Science Fiction.
As you can see, there are many novels that are similar to Stranger Things.
If you want to satisfy your cravings for more, then hopefully these recommendations should help you until the new season is released.
The best aspect of Stranger Things is that it is versatile and is not only limited to one element.
Everyone loves a different element of Stranger Things, which means you can find a book that suits your favorite elements.
If you’d like to find more books that are similar to Stranger Things, don’t hesitate to look for your favorite themes.
You never know what you’ll find, and you may be surprised to discover your next favorite series.
We hope that you enjoy the books we have selected, and hopefully, these will tide you over while you wait for new episodes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is There A Stranger Things Book Series?
There are four novels that are set in the Stranger Things universe. These novels currently include Suspicious Minds, Darkness on the Edge of Town, Runaway Max, and Rebel Robin.
Is Stranger Things Based On A Book?
The Stranger Things series isn’t based on any novels. However, the Duffer Brothers were inspired by real-life events that took place.
At What Age Should You Read The Stranger Things books?
If you want to read the Stranger Things books, we recommend that you be over the age of 14.
What Genre Is Stranger Things?
Stranger Things is an American science-fiction, horror, and drama series with mystery and thriller elements.
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