100 books like The House in the Cerulean Sea

By TJ Klune,

Here are 100 books that The House in the Cerulean Sea fans have personally recommended if you like The House in the Cerulean Sea. 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 Good Omens

T.G. Sparrow Author Of Being Fiction

From my list on blending humor and heart.

Who am I?

Growing up, I didn’t read that much. My school-assigned books felt like enough. The turning point, as I remember it, was my introduction to Terry Pratchett. His Discworld novels were lighthearted and fun, but they still explored serious themes and presented honest reflections on humanity. That blend of levity and sincerity stuck with me and introduced me to the style of storytelling I now aim for in my own work. I find a lighter-hearted approach can make difficult or elusive topics more approachable, and mixing a little humor into the narrative helps us care. It connects us more deeply to the characters and makes a story’s heartfelt moments shine.

T.G.'s book list on blending humor and heart

T.G. Sparrow Why did T.G. love this book?

An angel and a demon work together to stop the antichrist from destroying the world. Simple enough. But things get off to a rocky start when they spend the first eleven years monitoring the wrong child.

I initially read this book on vacation, and while I don’t remember much about the trip itself, I remember the book! An otherwise-normal pre-teen with the power to shape reality takes this story to appropriate (and absurd) extremes, but at its core, it’s a narrative about good and evil, human nature, and free will—and it approaches these themes with sincerity, nuance, and care.

Come for the laughs, stay for the laughs…and for the profound reflection on humanity.

By Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Good Omens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE BOOK BEHIND THE AMAZON PRIME/BBC SERIES STARRING DAVID TENNANT, MICHAEL SHEEN, JON HAMM AND BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

'Ridiculously inventive and gloriously funny' Guardian

What if, for once, the predictions are right, and the Apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?

It's a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon, now find themselves in. They've been living amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.

And then there's the small…


Book cover of Where the Crawdads Sing

Rosemary Kubli Author Of Gullible

From my list on crime novels about good people who do bad things.

Who am I?

Mystery and crime novels have always been my favorite genre. I love the suspense and intrigue, the intricate storylines, and the clever plot twists. In middle school, while my friends were reading more age-appropriate books, I was reading The Godfather and The Spy Who Came In from the Cold. Is it any wonder then that Siena Ricci, the main character of my debut novel Gullible, is a shrewd and cunning female con artist? I had so much fun developing Siena’s story arc and creating the criminal world she inhabits that I decided to continue her narrative in a sequel, with plans for a third novel to round out the trilogy. 

Rosemary's book list on crime novels about good people who do bad things

Rosemary Kubli Why did Rosemary love this book?

At first, the story of an impoverished young girl growing up in the North Carolina marshes did not appeal to me, regardless of how much my friends raved about the author’s captivating style of writing. I shelved the book at the bottom of my TBR list and moved on. What a mistake!

Two years later, when I finally cracked this book open, I discovered a story told with such incomparable eloquence and compassion that I immediately began touting it as one of the best books I’ve ever read. And the best part is that this beautifully told story revolves around a murder mystery. Now we’re talking! 

I love this novel for its mesmerizing narrative, its memorable characters, and the jaw-dropping twist in the final pages.

By Delia Owens,

Why should I read it?

41 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?

OVER 12 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
A NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

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

Beth Morrey Author Of Clover Hendry's Day Off

From my list on books set in the world of television.

Who am I?

I worked in television as a development producer for twenty years, designing game shows, reality shows, formatted documentaries, all sorts of programming. One of the prerequisites of working in telly is to watch a lot of it, and that has always been a joy for me, as I love the medium. Even after I left the profession to become an author, I’ve retained my passion for the small screen and write a regular blog on what I’m watching. So, for me, a combination of books and television is something to be savored and celebrated. 

Beth's book list on books set in the world of television

Beth Morrey Why did Beth love this book?

I love to read children’s books as well as grown-up ones. This book is just as dark, gritty, and challenging as any adult novel and has a fantastically compelling premise. It also has a heroic and endearing protagonist in Katniss Everdeen and a wonderfully bleak backdrop in District 12.

I’m a big fan of sci-fi novels, and Suzanne Collins is such a great world-builder; everything feels plausible and timely, the stakes are dizzyingly high, and she pushes it all to the limit. 

By Suzanne Collins,

Why should I read it?

41 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 Dear Mr. Dickens

Aimee Bissonette Author Of Headstrong Hallie!: The Story of Hallie Morse Daggett, the First Female Fire Guard

From my list on brave and extraordinary women.

Who am I?

I am drawn to stories of women who display a fighting spirit, faith in themselves, and the drive to help others. Perhaps this is due to growing up during the women’s rights movement. So many women paved the way for me. Perhaps it was my upbringing. I was raised with six siblings - three brothers and three sisters – and my parents never thought that my sisters and I couldn’t do something just because we were girls. Combine these experiences with the fact that I love history and you can see why I love these stories. Now I get to write and share stories like these with young readers. Lucky me!

Aimee's book list on brave and extraordinary women

Aimee Bissonette Why did Aimee love this book?

Some people might not think writing a letter is a tremendously brave act, but it is if you are a young woman who knows in her heart that she needs to challenge a very famous and beloved author – a man even she admires! I had never heard of Eliza Davies and her letters to Charles Dickens and was captivated by the story. Davies wrote to Dickens protesting his stereotypical and harmful depiction of Jewish people in Oliver Twist. And she made a difference! I love how the story teaches kids that they, too, can make a difference and that activism takes many forms, in this case, letter-writing. Added bonus: the book contains quotes from Eliza’s actual letters, which appeals to me immensely as a history geek. 

By Nancy Churnin, Bethany Stancliffe (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Dear Mr. Dickens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2021 National Jewish Book Award Winner - Children's Picture Book
2022 Sydney Taylor Book Award Honor for Picture Books
Chicago Public Library Best Informational Books for Younger Readers 2021
The Best Jewish Children's Books of 2021, Tablet Magazine
A Junior Library Guild Selection March 2022
The Best Children's Books of the Year 2022, Bank Street College
2022 First Place―Children's Book Nonfiction, Press Women of Texas
2022 First Place―Children's Book Nonfiction, National Federation of Press Women

Eliza Davis believed in speaking up for what was right. Even if it meant telling Charles Dickens he was wrong.

In Eliza Davis's day, Charles…


Book cover of This Is My America

Liza Wiemer Author Of The Assignment

From my list on empowering youth to speak up against hatred.

Who am I?

I am an educator, cook, lover of rooftops and nature. In 2017, a series of extraordinary events brought me to Oswego, New York to speak about my debut YA novel, Hello?. With time to spare, I scrolled through Facebook and saw, “Homework? NY Students Debate Exterminating Jews.” Where was the assignment given? Oswego! And surprise, at my book signing, I met one of the two brave teens who protested the debate. These experiences spurred The Assignment’s journey. Speaking up against bigotry, hatred, and injustice is a life-long quest of learning, action, and sharing knowledge. I hope you’ll join me. These books are a great start.

Liza's book list on empowering youth to speak up against hatred

Liza Wiemer Why did Liza love this book?

When Tracy Beaumont’s father is convicted for a murder he didn’t commit, she refuses to accept the verdict. Her unwavering determination to fight the long-standing racism in her small town shows the depth of its hateful history and its horrific impact on her father and family. This unforgettable, heartbreaking, and hopeful novel provides a mirror and window into the courage needed to fight against injustice.

By Kim Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Is My America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Incredible and searing." --Nic Stone, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin

The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching yet uplifting first novel that explores the racist injustices in the American justice system.

Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time--her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy's older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star…


Book cover of American Betiya

Reenita Malhotra Hora Author Of Operation Mom: My Plan to Get My Mom a Life... and a Man

From my list on South Asian young adults.

Who am I?

I have a passion for this topic because I too am a South Asian author. I read these books to stay informed about the latest ideas shaping our understanding of the South Asian young adult, both within and outside of the geographical boundaries of South Asia. I want to see more stories out there with South Asian themes, characters, settings— contemporary stories in particular. I’d like to see South Asians in ordinary life and not stereotypical situations like The Indian Wedding. We have so many stories to tell! I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

Reenita's book list on South Asian young adults

Reenita Malhotra Hora Why did Reenita love this book?

Much as the young adult phase of life is defined by establishing your unique identity, separate from that derived by your school, community, or family, for South Asians this is always a dilemma. South Asians are brought up with very strict parental controls, even though they might want to break away, at a psychological level, they struggle with the idea of sub-consciously pleasing their parents because their own identity is so intrinsically linked to that of their parents. Anuradha explores these very bold, disturbing, and realistic themes that send her protagonist, Rani through an inner journey of emotional turmoil.

By Anuradha D. Rajurkar,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked American Betiya 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?

A luminous story of a young artist grappling with first love, family boundaries and the complications of a cross-cultural relationship. Perfect for fans of Sandhya Menon, Erika Sanchez and Jandy Nelson.

Praise for American Betiya
A Bank Street College of Education Best Book of 2022
A YALSA Best Best Fiction for Young Adults
A Cosmopolitan Best 100 Books of All Time
A Book Riot best YA Book of 2021
A South Asia Book Award 2022 honoree
A Children's Cooperative 2022 Best Book of the Year
A 2022 Nerdy Book Club Best Novel Award Winner

Rani Kelkar has never lied to…


Book cover of Turtle Boy

Diana Renn Author Of Trouble at Turtle Pond

From my list on young environmentalists.

Who am I?

I live in a town near a wildlife refuge. I frequently encounter wildlife, including turtles, in my neighborhood. Trouble at Turtle Pond was inspired by volunteer work my son and I did with a local conservation group, fostering endangered Blanding’s turtles. Although my previous books were mysteries set in other countries, I have become interested in the mysteries we can find in our own back yards and in other community spaces we share with nature. I love eco-fiction about kids who love animals, who are “nature detectives,” who have strong opinions, and who are working for the environment, recognizing that every small step makes a difference.

Diana's book list on young environmentalists

Diana Renn Why did Diana love this book?

This book is one of my favorite middle-grade novels. At first glance, it may not look like it’s about an environmentalist. Indeed, it is about many things. A boy with a medical condition that affects his chin and jaw. Bullying, grief, anxiety, drumming (!), bar mitzvah prep, coming out of one’s shell. And Will is not exactly modeling good conservation practices by taking turtles from the nearby marsh, caring for them in his bedroom, or gifting a Blanding’s turtle to a boy he visits in the hospital. But Will’s learning process about these turtles and their threatened habitat is a major part of this riveting novel. Will’s identification with turtles is deep, symbolic, incredibly moving. Treat yourself to the audio version, narrated in a lively way by this multi-talented author.

By M. Evan Wolkenstein,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Turtle Boy 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?

This is a powerful story of hope and friendship, perfect for fans of Wonder and The Goldfish Boy. Exploring self-image, family and grief, this book will make you laugh and cry.

Meet Will Levine.
Here are three things Will loves: turtles, the nature reserve behind school, being left alone.
And one thing Will really hates: his nickname.

Kids at school call Will Turtle Boy because of his funny-looking chin. But when Will meets RJ, he learns not everyone is his enemy. RJ has a bucket list of adventures which extends way beyond his hospital room, and he needs help ticking…


Book cover of They Both Die at the End

Terry Bartley Author Of Tyranny of the Fey

From my list on casually queer sci-fi fantasy.

Who am I?

I’ve always been a big fan of sci-fi and fantasy, especially anything involving superheroes or D&D-style adventure. For the longest time, I had to find queer representation through subtle glances and creative readings of characters. I loved these stories for the sci-fi and fantasy elements, but it was frustrating that every love story that came up was straight. It didn’t feel possible for queer love to be a part of a plot, and even when there was a queer character it had a “very special episode” vibe to it. Finally, queer characters are becoming part of the story, and it doesn’t have to be a “big deal.”

Terry's book list on casually queer sci-fi fantasy

Terry Bartley Why did Terry love this book?

I love a soft sci-fi and Adam Silvera knows how to deliver.

What makes his world different from ours is a technology that can let people know the day they are going to die, on that day, so they have a chance to say goodbye. It provides such potential for deep introspection (for his readers as much as his characters) and heartbreak. 

By Adam Silvera,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked They Both Die at the End 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?

From the author of the INTERNATIONAL NO. 1 BESTSELLER THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END comes an explosive examination of grief, mental illness, and the devastating consequences of refusing to let go of the past.

Please note that covers may vary.

You're still alive in alternate universes, Theo, but I live in the real world where this morning you're having an open casket funeral. I know you're out there, listening. And you should know I'm really pissed because you swore you would never die and yet here we are. It hurts even more because this isn't the first promise you've…


Book cover of Kings of the Wyld

Joe Parrino Author Of Alone

From my list on stories that conjure another world with craft.

Who am I?

I got started as a writer through writing fiction intended to accompany a hobby, to deepen worldbuilding, and breathe life into the miniatures in a table-top wargame. I have always been fascinated by the worlds that grab our attention, that yank at our nostrils and dare us to make something more, to tell our own stories in this grander universe. So, I put together this list of books to accompany you as you dream of other worlds and build something with that hobby, whether it is painting miniatures for your friends, knitting, or whatever keeps your hands occupied. Here is a list of books to keep you company. 

Joe's book list on stories that conjure another world with craft

Joe Parrino Why did Joe love this book?

Nicholas Eames crafted a radical take on the standard fantasy adventuring party by giving them rock band style. This book is a fun take on the fantasy genre with a group of over-the-hill mercenaries getting together for one last score. It isn’t often that a book comes along and grabs me by the ears and sets me to head banging. Kings of the Wyld was that book. I couldn’t put it down as I followed Clay and his ragtag band of mercenaries. I love the mix of humor and epic fantasy with the found family thrown in. The audio version is a riot that preserves the rock and roll tone and makes for a great time painting your newest D&D miniature.

By Nicholas Eames,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Kings of the Wyld as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'An outstanding debut which will make you laugh and cry and hold your breath. This is a book that has it all' - K. J. Parker Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best - the meanest, dirtiest, most feared and admired crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld. But their glory days are long past; the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk - or a combination of the three. Then a former bandmate turns up at Clay's door with a plea for help: his daughter Rose is trapped in a city…


Book cover of In Other Lands

Kate Haley Author Of Welcome to the Inbetween

From my list on feelgood fantasy with rainbow characters.

Who am I?

I am a rainbow fantasy author who has been writing and studying LBGTQIA+ fantasy for over a decade, most well known for being the author of YA fantasy epic The War of the North Saga. I have an absolute passion for healthy and positive queer representation in fiction, and even though I was only able to pick a mere 5 books I hope I have offered up a teeny varied buffet of options to get readers started in the #1 genre that makes my heart sing.

Kate's book list on feelgood fantasy with rainbow characters

Kate Haley Why did Kate love this book?

A huge part of why I write is that I struggle to find books I like written by other people, yet this one came out of left field and bowled me over (Elliot would probably hate that I used a sports metaphor for that). Elliot is the protagonist of this book and he is a walking queer disaster. I love him, I hate him, and I became strangely, desperately invested in him. The book doesn’t have what I would describe as a conventional plot, but Brennan does a fantastic job studying her characters with a depth that got me obsessed. During the few days it took me to read this book (when I had to put it down and do life things) I would huff around the house muttering ‘FFS Elliot!’ under my breath. If you want to know why, I recommend giving it a go.

By Sarah Rees Brennan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked In Other Lands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Georgia Peach Award Nominee * Florida Teens Read Award Nominee * ABC Best Books for Young Readers * Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year * A Junior Library Guild Selection * Hugo & Locus award finalist

In Other Lands is an exhilarating novel from bestselling author Sarah Rees Brennan about surviving four years in the most unusual of schools - friendship, falling in love, diplomacy, and finding your own place in the world - even if it means giving up your phone.

Excerpt:

The Borderlands aren't like anywhere else. Don't try to smuggle a phone or any…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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