63 books like Little Darlings

By Melanie Golding,

Here are 63 books that Little Darlings fans have personally recommended if you like Little Darlings. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Perfume

Theresa Levitt Author Of Elixir: A Parisian Perfume House and the Quest for the Secret of Life

From my list on perfume and scent.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian of science who just completed a book on the role of perfume in the quest for the secret of life and vitality. While writing it, I became fascinated with the challenge of translating scent into language. While our nose can recognize a virtually infinite number of odors, there are only a few basic categories of description (“floral,” “woody,” “citrus,” etc.). To fully describe them often requires a poet’s touch – invoking a tapestry of memories, associations, and feelings to create the experience in the reader’s mind. These are some of the best books I’ve encountered for talking about the complex world of scent, and the importance of perfume in human history.

Theresa's book list on perfume and scent

Theresa Levitt Why did Theresa love this book?

A gruesome story of murder and desire that also happens to have the most vivid olfactory descriptions of any genre.

Suskind’s preternatural ability to summon odor from the page makes you feel as if you are there beside him, walking through the flowered hillsides of Provence, or in the back room of a perfume shop on the Pont au Change. His twisted use of classic perfume techniques is as accurate as it is chilling.

By Patrick Suskind,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Perfume as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An erotic masterpiece of twentieth century fiction - a tale of sensual obsession and bloodlust in eighteenth century Paris

'An astonishing tour de force both in concept and execution' Guardian

In eighteenth-century France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. His name was Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, and if his name has been forgotten today.

It is certainly not because Grenouille fell short of those more famous blackguards when it came to arrogance, misanthropy, immorality, or, more succinctly, wickedness, but because his gifts…


Book cover of The Changeling

Tobi Ogundiran Author Of Jackal, Jackal: Tales of the Dark and Fantastic

From my list on modern mythology and folktale for the curious.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fascinated with mythology in all its shapes and forms. It fascinates me how cultures the world over have similar pantheons, for example, without any cultural cross-pollination. What I like to do in my fiction is blend various myths to create something new. And sometimes I create my own myths. It takes a curious, imaginative mind to come up with these myths, and most importantly a child-like sense of wonder, which, sadly, is extinguished by society as one is forced to “grow up”. I don’t ever want to lose that sense of wonder—to observe the world and see beauty and possibilities at every corner—so I preserve and interrogate it in my fiction.

Tobi's book list on modern mythology and folktale for the curious

Tobi Ogundiran Why did Tobi love this book?

The world of The Changeling is strange and exhilarating. At first we are presented with what seems like a mundane NYC, but then the edges start to bleed as a more fantastical, deliciously disturbing world seeps into and disrupts the ordinary.

At the core of the story is a family and the lengths they go to protect each other. There are so many reasons this book resonated with me, but particularly for this reason—the idea that if only you pay close attention, you will see that a more fantastical world dwells at the edge of our own.

This is an idea I tackle in my own book, where myths and legends, and fairytales come to life. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it. Everyone who reads The Changeling will be… changed.

By Victor LaValle,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Changeling as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Apollo Kagwa was just a child, his father disappeared, leaving him with recurring nightmares and a box labelled 'Improbabilia'. Now a successful book dealer, Kagwa has a family of his own after meeting and falling in love with Emma, a librarian. The two marry and have a baby: so far so happy-ever-after.

However, as the pair settle into their new lives as parents, exhaustion and anxiety start to take their toll. Emma's behaviour becomes increasingly erratic, until one day she commits an unthinkable act, setting Apollo on a wild and fantastical quest through a suddenly otherworldly New York, in…


Book cover of The Nest

Iphigenia Jones Author Of What Would Wednesday Do?: Gothic Guidance and Macabre Musings from Your Favorite Addams Family Member

From my list on reading like Wednesday Addams and indulging your dark side.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been drawn to the creepy and kooky world of the Addams Family. I’ve watched every episode of the 1960s sitcom. I fell in love with the 90s films, and when the Netflix adaptation Wednesday aired, I streamed every episode immediately. I’ve written two books based on Wednesday and her family, and I have an upcoming cocktail book with recipes based on gothic literature. My love of horror books and my understanding of the Addams family led me to seek out the perfect list of Wednesday read-alikes.

Iphigenia's book list on reading like Wednesday Addams and indulging your dark side

Iphigenia Jones Why did Iphigenia love this book?

In this middle-grade horror novel, Steve is feeling lonely and worried. His newborn brother is sick in the hospital, and his parents are understandably stressed. There’s also a wasp’s nest threatening their home, which becomes a bigger problem when the wasp queen visits him in his dreams. One night, the queen comes to Steve and offers to help “fix” the baby.

I have read many, many horror books. I consider myself a connoisseur of the creepy. This book, intended for middle-grade children, remains one of the scariest books I’ve read. It’s filled with dread while also centering on family.

I can imagine a young Wednesday (as played by Christina Ricci or the late great Lisa Loring) reading this book and imagining what she would wish upon her own brother should a wasp queen approach her.

By Kenneth Oppel, Jon Klassen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Nest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

'The first time I saw them, I thought they were angels.' The baby is sick. Mom and Dad are sad. And all Steve has to do is say, "Yes" to fix everything. But yes is a powerful word. It is also a dangerous one. And once it is uttered, can it be taken back? Treading the thin line between dreams and reality, Steve is stuck in a nightmare he can't wake up from and that nobody else understands. And all the while, the wasps' nest is growing, and the 'angel' keeps visiting Steve in the night.

A haunting coming of…


Book cover of Come Closer

B.G. Harlen Author Of Break Her

From my list on featuring villains you can’t stop thinking about.

Why am I passionate about this?

If only they made good guys as complicated and fascinating as the baddies, maybe I wouldn’t be so drawn to the dark side. I mean, I liked Luke, and Leia, and Han, and I even wanted them to win, but Darth Vader—now, that was an interesting dude. Perhaps because they do and are what most of us can’t and aren’t, these antagonists benefit from writers who, consciously or not, do their best work when they create singular villains. What makes the “bad guy” tick? Is it circumstances, or choices? Are they someone you cannot even imagine being, or someone you can? And what does that say about us?

B.G.'s book list on featuring villains you can’t stop thinking about

B.G. Harlen Why did B.G. love this book?

She’s either possessed by a particularly vicious spirit or just plain insane. Either way, I’ve never been able to forget the terrible things she does, although I read this so long ago, I can’t remember her name. It’s not gory; it’s eerie, and most of the horror is suggested rather than shown, meaning our own imaginations contribute to the impact. Ghost story or psychological horror, you decide.

By Sara Gran,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Come Closer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A dark, seductive cocktail of a thriller, with a splash of black humour and a twist of horror.' Francine Toon, author of Pine

There was no reason to assume anything out of the ordinary was going on.
Strange noises in the apartment.
Impulsive behaviour.
Intense dreams.
It wasn't like everything went wrong all at once.
Shoplifting.
Fighting.
Blackouts.
There must be a reasonable explanation for all this.

'It will scare the pants off you. It is a perfect horror novel.' Paul Tremblay
'A short, sharp shocker . . . Relentlessly creepy.' Sunday Times
'Deeply scary.' The Times
'Terrifying.' Daily Mail…


Book cover of The Incendiaries

Jenna Clake Author Of Disturbance

From my list on abusive and toxic relationships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a poet, novelist, and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Teesside University in the UK. I like to write and read about particularly gender power dynamics, and how those come to play in domestic situations. I love lyrical novels and books that explore characters’ interiority, and I’m interested in how, generally speaking, ‘toxic’ and ‘abusive’ relationships have become synonymous – even though they are quite different. These novels helped me write my own, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I did!

Jenna's book list on abusive and toxic relationships

Jenna Clake Why did Jenna love this book?

This novel is a masterclass in unreliable narration. It follows Will, a young man estranged from his family and religion, as he attends college and falls in love with Phoebe.

As Will takes over and narrates his recollections of their relationship, Phoebe’s friendship with a man named John Leal, and her inculcation into a religious cult, he becomes increasingly untrustworthy. Will rails against John Leal, his lies, and the damage he has done to Phoebe, revealing his complicity in toxic masculinity and his own harmful actions.

Kwon renders her characters as entirely believable, frightening people, in lyrical and considered prose.

By R.O. Kwon,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Incendiaries as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'R. O. Kwon is the real deal' LAUREN GROFF

'Absolutely electric . . . Everyone should read this book' GARTH GREENWELL

'Every explosive requires a fuse. That's R. O. Kwon's novel, a straight, slow-burning fuse' VIET THANH NGUYEN

'In dazzlingly acrobatic prose, R. O. Kwon explores the lines between faith and fanaticism, passion and violence, the rational and the unknowable' CELESTE NG

'A sharp, little novel as hard to ignore as a splinter in your eye' WASHINGTON POST

'Raw and finely wrought' NEW YORK TIMES

'The Incendiaries packs a disruptive charge, and introduces R. O. Kwon as a major talent'…


Book cover of Cuckoo Song

Katrina Monroe Author Of Graveyard of Lost Children

From my list on changeling lore.

Why am I passionate about this?

Most people don’t realize how deeply ingrained folklore is to our daily lives. Superstitious habits like tossing spilled salt over the shoulder seem silly now, but had grave implications a hundred or more years ago. I love books that draw lines between folklore and reality, that weave tales laced with superstition, especially through the lens of modern issues. Stories like these have always helped me to not only understand myself better, but the world around me. The things people do and say aren’t nearly as important as why. Folklore, like changeling stories, I’ve found, is the key to human understanding.

Katrina's book list on changeling lore

Katrina Monroe Why did Katrina love this book?

Cuckoo Song is not just a book about growing up, it’s a book about growing up in an environment where you suddenly don’t fit in.

Triss is a character I instantly related to. Once young adulthood hit, I found I’d pulled away from the rest of my family, a black sheep. Wrong. In Cuckoo Song, Triss bravely faces her darkest fears in order to find the truth of herself. And though it might be terrifying, it is her truth, and she will claim it.

By Frances Hardinge,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Cuckoo Song as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Read this thought-provoking, critically acclaimed novel from Frances Hardinge, winner of the Costa Book of the Year and Costa Children's Book Awards for The Lie Tree.

When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry, her sister seems scared of her, and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out. Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In…


Book cover of The Good People

Katrina Monroe Author Of Graveyard of Lost Children

From my list on changeling lore.

Why am I passionate about this?

Most people don’t realize how deeply ingrained folklore is to our daily lives. Superstitious habits like tossing spilled salt over the shoulder seem silly now, but had grave implications a hundred or more years ago. I love books that draw lines between folklore and reality, that weave tales laced with superstition, especially through the lens of modern issues. Stories like these have always helped me to not only understand myself better, but the world around me. The things people do and say aren’t nearly as important as why. Folklore, like changeling stories, I’ve found, is the key to human understanding.

Katrina's book list on changeling lore

Katrina Monroe Why did Katrina love this book?

Though Kent’s first novel, Burial Rites, was an absolute triumph, The Good People broke me in ways I am still discovering.

Based on a true story in Ireland, this book places a child at the center, surrounded by superstition and fear. He doesn’t speak or walk, which makes some folks believe he is a changeling. But the women who protect him demonstrate immense empathy as they try to navigate this world plucked out of a Grimm fairy tale.

Reading this book made me more deeply understand the power of kindness.

By Hannah Kent,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Good People as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of Burial Rites, "a literary novel with the pace and tension of a thriller that takes us on a frightening journey towards an unspeakable tragedy" (Paula Hawkins, bestselling author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water).

Based on true events in nineteenth century Ireland, Hannah Kent's startling new novel tells the story of three women, drawn together to rescue a child from a superstitious community.

Nora, bereft after the death of her husband, finds herself alone and caring for her grandson Micheal, who can neither speak nor walk. A handmaid, Mary, arrives to help…


Book cover of Bone China

Katrina Monroe Author Of Graveyard of Lost Children

From my list on changeling lore.

Why am I passionate about this?

Most people don’t realize how deeply ingrained folklore is to our daily lives. Superstitious habits like tossing spilled salt over the shoulder seem silly now, but had grave implications a hundred or more years ago. I love books that draw lines between folklore and reality, that weave tales laced with superstition, especially through the lens of modern issues. Stories like these have always helped me to not only understand myself better, but the world around me. The things people do and say aren’t nearly as important as why. Folklore, like changeling stories, I’ve found, is the key to human understanding.

Katrina's book list on changeling lore

Katrina Monroe Why did Katrina love this book?

Bone China, on the surface, is a book about a woman looking to start over, but she is quickly pulled into a world of fantastical lore and superstition.

Like The Good People, a child who is other sits at the center, who forces Hester to confront everything she thought she knew about herself. I am always fascinated by books in which the past directly influences the present, lines drawn between choices and events.

Reading Bone China made me think about my own past, the influence it had on my present, and the kind of future each choice might bring. 

By Laura Purcell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bone China as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Daphne Du Maurier-esque chiller set on the mysterious Cornish coast, from the award-winning author of The Silent Companions. 'Du Maurier-tastic' GUARDIAN 'Deliciously sinister' HEAT 'A clever, creepy read' SUNDAY EXPRESS Consumption has ravaged Louise Pinecroft's family, leaving her and her father alone and heartbroken. But Dr Pinecroft has plans for a revolutionary experiment: convinced that sea air will prove to be the cure his wife and children needed, he arranges to house a group of prisoners suffering from the same disease in the cliffs beneath his new Cornish home. Forty years later, Hester Why arrives at Morvoren House to…


Book cover of Estranged

Carolyn Watson Dubisch Author Of Deluge: The People That Melt in the Rain #1

From my list on YA graphic novels about a magical world that are not Harry Potter.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author and illustrator, I much prefer to present my writing with visuals. It’s how I write, by “seeing the story” in my mind. I have written and illustrated many graphic novels and comics on my own and as a part of a team. The art in comic books can be so much work it is often broken into stages: penciled art, then inked, and then colored. These graphic novels are some of the best magical stories for kids that I’ve ever read, and as someone who reads all the time, that’s saying a lot.    

Carolyn's book list on YA graphic novels about a magical world that are not Harry Potter

Carolyn Watson Dubisch Why did Carolyn love this book?

A boy without a name, referred to only as “The Human Childe”, lives in an underworld of magical creatures. Stolen from his true parents and kept almost as a pet or a trophy by the Fay King and Queen. He knows he is different and that he doesn’t belong here. 

In the world above is a boy named Edmund. Not really his name, for he is a changeling and replaced the true Edmund long ago, but this is the only family he’s ever known, and he loves them, and they love him. However, he can speak to birds and cats and accidentally sets his sister’s hair aflame.

This book is a very complete magical world with beautiful art throughout. The pacing is just excellent, and the story is really engaging.

By Ethan M. Aldridge,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Estranged as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Rising star author-illustrator Ethan M. Aldridge delivers a fantasy adventure with all the makings of a classic. Illustrated with over two-hundred pages of watercolor paintings, this epic graphic novel is perfect for fans of Amulet.

Edmund and the Childe were swapped at birth. Now Edmund lives in secret as a changeling in the World Above, his fae powers hidden from his unsuspecting parents and his older sister, Alexis. The Childe lives among the fae in the World Below, where being a human makes him a curiosity at the royal palace.

But when the cruel sorceress Hawthorne seizes the throne, the…


Book cover of Bayou Moon

Aimee Easterling Author Of Wolf's Bane

From my list on werewolves for lovers of adventure and romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write and read werewolf novels because I love the blend of human and animal. Alphas make the existing dominance struggles of humans more palpable. Packs contain the best and worst parts of found families. Mate bonds are romance turned to maximum. And, as someone who prefers to be outside and barefoot whenever possible, running through the forest in wolf form is the perfect fantasy break.

Aimee's book list on werewolves for lovers of adventure and romance

Aimee Easterling Why did Aimee love this book?

It's hard to go wrong with any book by this husband and wife team, who fill every book with mystery, adventure, and heart. But Bayou Moon is definitely the best bet for fans of werewolves. Plus, the Edge is an intriguing world where characters shop at Walmart one day then battle magic the next. To ice the cake, the series is easy to dip into since there's a different set of main characters and storylines in each book. Give it a try, and if this isn't your favorite check out the feline shifter world of Magic Bites.

By Ilona Andrews,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bayou Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in changelings, twins, and kidnapping?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about changelings, twins, and kidnapping.

Changelings Explore 17 books about changelings
Twins Explore 64 books about twins
Kidnapping Explore 111 books about kidnapping