100 books like The Fault in Our Stars

By John Green,

Here are 100 books that The Fault in Our Stars fans have personally recommended if you like The Fault in Our Stars. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Johanna van Zanten Author Of The Imposter

From my list on how the Second World War affected regular people and their families.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child with older sisters, I read their books beyond my age level under the blankets with a flashlight in bed at night. I became a reading addict. Raised in The Netherlands with the Second World War casting its large shadow on our lives, I only became interested, after my parents were gone, in how people survived and had to find their courage under impossible circumstances. They would never talk about those occupation years. My search into history led me to find the answers.

Johanna's book list on how the Second World War affected regular people and their families

Johanna van Zanten Why did Johanna love this book?

I loved this non-fiction book, and reading it, I often broke down in tears, realizing this personal and innocent true teenage story was all leading up to the tremendous death of millions of innocent people.

This is the only Anne Frank book that I recommend to everybody from a young age. It is THE introduction to the real events of World War 2.

By Anne Frank, B.M. Mooyaart (translator),

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Anne Frank as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

With 30 per cent more material than previous editions, this new contemporary and fully anglicized translation gives the reader a deeper insight into Anne's world. Publication of the unabridged Definitive Edition on Penguin Audiobook, read by Helena Bonham-Carter, coincides.

Book cover of Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays

Kate Doyle Author Of I Meant It Once

From my list on making sense of your life by writing about it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of the short story collection I Meant It Once. I often say it’s a book about being a mess in your twenties, but to speak more personally, writing it was a necessity, a way to make sense of both the intensity and mundanity of my own experiences. I love a book where you can palpably feel the author working to make sense of their own life, through language—and, in turn, sorting out what it is for any of us to be a person. Books like these are essential reading when life feels thorny, beautiful, and impossible to make sense of, and all you can do is try to write it down.  

Kate's book list on making sense of your life by writing about it

Kate Doyle Why did Kate love this book?

I’ll end with a book that started it all for me!

I still remember, in the year 2010, reaching the end of the essay "Goodbye to All That" where the date of publication is noted—1967—and how startled I was to realize something that feels so contemporary and alive had been written decades earlier. As in so much of her work, in this collection Didion offers vivid details from her life and brings her extraordinary powers of analysis to understanding their meaning.

As she once put it herself—in another essay, "Why I Write"—"Had I been blessed with even limited access to my own mind there would have been no reason to write. I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means.”

By Joan Didion,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Slouching Towards Bethlehem as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Joan Didion's savage masterpiece, which, since first publication in 1968, has been acknowledged as an unparalleled report on the state of America during the upheaval of the Sixties Revolution.

We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were

In her non-fiction work, Joan Didion not only describes the subject at hand - her younger self loving and leaving New York, the murderous housewife, the little girl trailing the rock group, the millionaire bunkered in his mansion…

Book cover of The Book Thief

Michele DeMarco Author Of Holding Onto Air: The Art and Science of Building a Resilient Spirit

From my list on transforming your mental and spiritual health.

Why am I passionate about this?

Officially, I’m an award-winning author and specialist in the fields of psychology, trauma, and spirituality. I’m also a professionally trained therapist, clinical ethicist, and researcher. Ultimately, I’m an ardent believer that the same life that brings us joy also (sometimes) brings us pain. More importantly, that every aspect of life has a role to play in making us who we are today and who we’ll be tomorrow. We don’t always have control over the events in life, but the script we live by is ours to write—and write it we must, as only we can. I’m also a three-time heart attack survivor.

Michele's book list on transforming your mental and spiritual health

Michele DeMarco Why did Michele love this book?

Markus Zusak’s book is definitely not for the faint of heart or those easily bored: its narrator is Death, and the book is over 500 pages long. Not really the kind of book you’d think of for those aged 12 and up (as it’s listed). But it is one that really ought to be universally read.

The book follows two young children battling for survival in Nazi Germany. Entropy hangs in the air like Death’s shadow. Life’s harsh realities—like evil, heartache, pain, and mortality—are ever-present. In Max's (the young boy) dreams, he is boxing with Hitler and lands a punch, knocking the Fuhrer down, but soon he’s overtaken by the crowd.

This is one of the reasons I appreciate this book: winners sometimes lose; bad things happen to good people. And yet, the response to this existential injustice isn’t to become a mere survivor, victim, or martyr. It’s to…

By Markus Zusak,

Why should I read it?

29 authors picked The Book Thief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

'Life affirming, triumphant and tragic . . . masterfully told. . . but also a wonderful page-turner' Guardian
'Brilliant and hugely ambitious' New York Times
'Extraordinary' Telegraph


1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.


The Unproposed Guy

By Bhavik Sarkhedi, Suhana Bhambhani,

Book cover of The Unproposed Guy

Bhavik Sarkhedi Author Of The Unproposed Guy

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Wanderlust Film Aficionado Bibliophile Solo Traveler Movie Buff

Bhavik's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

The Unproposed Guy is a captivating journey through the life of Kevin, a character stuck in a mundane existence and unfulfilling relationships, who discovers his passion for stand-up comedy and rapping amidst an existential crisis.

This contemporary fiction is peppered with humor, sarcasm, and poignant insights into modern relationships and societal expectations. Kevin's struggles and transformations offer a unique blend of comedy and emotional depth, making it a must-read for those seeking a fresh, humorous perspective on love, life, and self-discovery. Dive into Kevin's character of failed relationship and who portrays himself as "Every guy's best friend and every girl's worst nightmare".

The Unproposed Guy

By Bhavik Sarkhedi, Suhana Bhambhani,

What is this book about?

There has been no significant change in the life of Kevin—a monotonous routine, ordinary family, and miserably failing relationships—until he finds out he is going through something abnormal: 'Existential Crisis'.

He has always been a marvellous entertainer, but has a mysterious way of putting off girls. The talent in him is growing creatively, and abundantly, but his inability to impress a girl keeps pulling him down slowly. He realises he can be any guy’s best friend, but he also seems to be every girl’s worst nightmare.

Hop onto the rollercoaster journey of Kevin’s life, as he navigates through mocking friends…

Book cover of Eleanor & Park

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a YA contemporary author that enjoys falling back into the realm of the teenager with all its newness, awkwardness, and angst. I grew up with the Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, the genre that encapsulated and empowered the young adult voice. The coming-of-age story is so important because it molds the future of that character which in turn can mold the reader as well. What happens to a young person in their developing years will set the tone for their entire life. As a writer and a mother, I want to share stories that not only entertain but help young adults navigate difficult situations.

Gabi's book list on books that capture the tender moments while growing up under difficult circumstances

Gabi Justice Why did Gabi love this book?

First off, it’s set in the 80s. This is my generation. No smartphones. No social media. Just pure teenage angst.

Mostly, I love the back-and-forth conversation and inner thoughts of Eleanor and Park. Rowell nails the authenticity of teens. Their strange humor and insecurities. I want to throw my arms around them and shelter them from the cruel bullies haunting them.

Rowell sucks you into their lives, and it feels so real and raw that you remember the wonder and horror of your own teenage years. The dialogue is rich in its realness, and the tender little moments between Eleanor and Park are precious.

By Rainbow Rowell,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Eleanor & Park as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

'Reminded me not just what it's like to be young and in love, but what it's like to be young and in love with a book' John Green, author of The Fault in our Stars

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she's never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.

Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and - in Eleanor's eyes - impossibly cool, Park's worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to…

Book cover of Where the Crawdads Sing

Lori Duffy Foster Author Of Never Let Go

From my list on thrillers with twists.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my years on the crime beat, I often met good people who did bad things and criminals with good intentions and good hearts. We tend to draw a line between good and evil, putting ourselves on the good side. From that perspective, we sit in judgment, believing we are incapable of evil because it’s “over there.” Inaccessible. Unfathomable. But that line is fictional. We redraw it constantly to feel good about ourselves and avoid empathizing with the worst of human nature. What I love about these five novels is that they expose that truth. The twists remind me that even my own line is blurred and ever-shifting.

Lori's book list on thrillers with twists

Lori Duffy Foster Why did Lori love this book?

I love historical fiction, especially when authors throw in a touch of crime. So, that’s what first drew me to this book.

What kept me reading and what made me rank this novel so highly is the gradual unlayering of the main character as the story progresses. Sure, Kya is a victim and a survivor, but she is so much more, and she is capable of more than I could have anticipated. As in some of my other favorite novels, it’s that loyalty to human nature, the understanding that circumstances can make good choices wrong and poor choices right, that pulled me in.

If I had known the ending when I started the book, I might not have believed it possible, but Delia Owens made it work.

By Delia Owens,

Why should I read it?

44 authors picked Where the Crawdads Sing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


For years, rumours of the 'Marsh Girl' have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be…

Book cover of The Hunger Games

Martin Rodoreda Author Of Salvage

From my list on action-packed, post-apocalyptic fictions with a female protagonist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been heavily immersed in the fantasy and sci-fi world since the age of nine, across fiction novels, role-playing games, tabletop miniature gaming, and movies. My first love was fantasy, and that’s one of the reasons why the post-apocalyptic genre particularly appeals to me when it comes to sci-fi. It plays in that dark, gritty place between futuristic, sci-fi, technology, and dark-age style fantasy. In addition, I’ve always felt socially conscious and value writing that highlights themes that are relevant today. This is another place that the post-apocalyptic genre slides comfortably into. And, of course, there’s the zombies. Another fantasy element that works beautifully in post-apocalyptic, sci-fi settings.

Martin's book list on action-packed, post-apocalyptic fictions with a female protagonist

Martin Rodoreda Why did Martin love this book?

I love the contrast of bleak desperation with gross opulence and excess that Collins creates in The Hunger Games.

The parallels between Panem and Rome turn what could otherwise be seen as a somewhat far-fetched or unlikely story into a reasonably plausible post-apocalyptic future possibility. I enjoyed the building of tension in the lead-up to the beginning of the games, as well as the explosive release and action when Katniss finally enters the arena.

I liked the way Collins creates an enemy in the very terrain of the arena itself so that, when coupled with the threat of the other contestants, the tension is heightened even further. 

By Suzanne Collins,

Why should I read it?

43 authors picked The Hunger Games as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before - and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever...

Book cover of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

C.M. Surowiec Jr. Author Of DragonSin

From my list on that help you decide if dragons are good or evil.

Why am I passionate about this?

My fascination with dragons began at a young age and has intensified over the years. I think I’ve watched every movie with a dragon in it and read many of the books. I've tried to incorporate as much as I can, plus my own little twists, into each species of dragon in my world. The most excited I've been about dragons was while watching a special documentary on Discovery Channel. They explained how dragons could fly, the mechanics behind them breathing fire, and what their diet consisted of. It was a great speculative show but had enough science to make you wonder! I hope you enjoy the books on my list!

C.M.'s book list on that help you decide if dragons are good or evil

C.M. Surowiec Jr. Why did C.M. love this book?

The dragons are only a small part of this very popular book, but it is very memorable. The challenge that Harry (and others) must complete is very creative. The dragons in this story are closer to beasts than sentient creatures, and it forces the character and reader to realize that the dragons must be defeated with intelligence, not brute force. Although this is quite different from many stories, including mine, I can appreciate the difference and the value it brings to the trial Harry is trying to complete.

By J.K. Rowling,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

When the Quidditch World Cup is disrupted by Voldemort's rampaging supporters alongside the resurrection of the terrifying Dark Mark, it is obvious to Harry Potter that, far from weakening, Voldemort is getting stronger. Back at Hogwarts for his fourth year, Harry is astonished to be chosen by the Goblet of Fire to represent the school in the Triwizard Tournament. The competition is dangerous, the tasks terrifying, and true courage is no guarantee of survival - especially when the darkest forces are on the rise.

These adult editions with glorious jacket art by Andrew Davidson are now available in hardback for…

Book cover of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Colm O'Shea Author Of Claiming de Wayke

From my list on books with a gritty psychedelic worldview.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, and writing professor at New York University. I also have a fascination with altered states of consciousness, especially with mysticism, psychosis, and psychedelic art. (My book James Joyce’s Mandala examines all three.) My first novel, Claiming De Wayke, delves into those elements too, but with a particular focus on vivid first-person narration, so most of my recommendations involve books that are not only trippy in terms of plot and characterization but are also psychedelically inflected in their use of language itself. I hope you check some of them out.  

Colm's book list on books with a gritty psychedelic worldview

Colm O'Shea Why did Colm love this book?

As a young man, Ken Kesey worked as an orderly in a psychiatric ward and participated in CIA-funded hallucinogen studies conducted in the hospital. Looking out at the patients and nurses, he wondered what separated them.

What emerged from those experiences is the mesmeric narrator of his first book: the giant, Chief, sees the world through a terrifying poetic lens. Observant and cunning, he perceives all the forces of authority and conformity as a single machine he calls “The Combine.”

Kesey’s novel is a fable about the power of the individual to oppose any coercive larger force, even if victory isn’t certain. It’s dark, unflinching, and profoundly on the side of the freaks.    

By Ken Kesey,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey's 1962 novel has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Now in a new deluxe edition with a foreword by Chuck Palahniuk and cover by Joe Sacco, here is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her. We see the struggle through the eyes of Chief Bromden, the seemingly mute half-Indian patient who witnesses and understands McMurphy's heroic attempt to do battle with the powers that keep them…

Book cover of To Kill a Mockingbird

Paul Lamb Author Of One-Match Fire

From my list on understand the joys and sorrows of being a father.

Why am I passionate about this?

In the natural course as a young man, I became a husband and a father. I have four children and eleven grandchildren. Fatherhood has been the most difficult yet rewarding job of my life. You never stop being a parent. So, it was inevitable that this would become a subject of my writing. I have tried to be a compassionate caregiver and a positive role model to my children; you’ll have to ask them if I’ve succeeded. In my novel, I try to depict two fathers (and their two sons) as good yet flawed men, doing their best and finding their way. Just as all fathers do.

Paul's book list on understand the joys and sorrows of being a father

Paul Lamb Why did Paul love this book?

I think Atticus Finch represents the best qualities in a father and a man. If he is idealized, as many have said, it is an ideal all fathers can aspire to.

I first read this in high school, and I’m not sure I was mature enough to appreciate it. Later, it was a selection in the book discussion group I was in, where we focused less on the characters and more on the themes. When I read it a third time on my own, as an adult and father, I came to appreciate how Atticus Finch models the behavior he wants to see in the world, and that, I think, is the most effective form of fathering.

By Harper Lee,

Why should I read it?

32 authors picked To Kill a Mockingbird as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.'

Atticus Finch gives this advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of this classic novel - a black man charged with attacking a white girl. Through the eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Lee explores the issues of race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s with compassion and humour. She also creates one of the great heroes of literature in their father, whose lone struggle for justice pricks the conscience of a town steeped…

Book cover of The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure

Benjamin Patterson Author Of The Shadow of His Hand

From my list on old school fantasy books that pit good against evil.

Why am I passionate about this?

After devouring fantasy novels in my late teens and early twenties, I eventually hit a dead end. Where had all the good old-school fantasy gone? I wanted dashing heroes, compelling love stories, and epic battles between good and evil, but I could not seem to find it anymore–at least not as regularly as I wanted to. Eventually I set about writing my own stories, the kind of stories I always wanted to read. When I’m writing, I always go back to books on this list to rekindle my fire and remind me what good fantasy should be.

Benjamin's book list on old school fantasy books that pit good against evil

Benjamin Patterson Why did Benjamin love this book?

It’s not just an awesome movie, it’s a book, and it’s got everything I want in a fantasy epic: Pirates, princesses, sword fights, and giants. It’s old-school fantasy at its best.

If you’ve seen the movie, be prepared for some stark differences, but do not lose heart. It’s still a fantastic read where good overcomes evil and true love wins. 

By William Goldman,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Princess Bride as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

William Goldman’s beloved story of Buttercup, Westley, and their fellow adventurers.

This tale of true love, high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts was unforgettably depicted in the 1987 film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Fred Savage, Robin Wright, and others. But, rich in character and satire, the novel boasts even more layers of ingenious storytelling. Set in 1941 and framed cleverly as an “abridged” retelling of a centuries-old tale set in the fabled country of Florin, home to “Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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