10 Nostalgic and Suspenseful Books like Stranger Things | TheReviewGeek Recommends

If you can’t get enough of the nostalgic and suspenseful TV show Stranger Things and are looking for similar experiences in the world of books, you’re in luck. Stranger Things  (2016) is a Netflix TV show that is rolling in ’80s nostalgia. The story of a group of friends discovering a young girl with powers, this show has gained and maintained its popularity with its 5th season coming up in 2024. So, here’s a list of books like Stranger Things that capture the essence of the show, with their compelling storylines, supernatural elements, and a touch of ’80s nostalgia.

It by Stephen King

It by Stephen King shares notable similarities with the TV show Stranger Things, making it a perfect choice for fans craving more of that ’80s-inspired supernatural charm. Both the book and the show revolve around a group of young friends facing a malevolent entity that preys on their worst fears.

Like the characters in Stranger Things, the kids in It exhibit resilience, friendship, and perseverance in the face of terrifying situations. Moreover, the nostalgic ’80s setting and the blend of horror, camaraderie, and coming-of-age themes are present in both works. Dive into the unsettling world of It and relish in the spine-chilling parallels to Stranger Things.

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury has several similarities with Stranger Things, making it a captivating choice for fans seeking a similar eerie atmosphere. Both explore the theme of dark forces infiltrating a small town, engulfing it in mystery and danger.

Set in the nostalgic backdrop of the 1960s, both works capture a sense of childhood innocence and friendship as the protagonists face otherworldly threats. Both Bradbury’s novel and Stranger Things masterfully blend coming-of-age themes, supernatural elements, and a touch of horror, immersing readers in a thrilling and nostalgic journey that will keep them on the edge of their seats.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle is a timeless science fiction novel that takes readers on a fantastical journey filled with wonder, sacrifice, and the triumph of love. The story follows the brave and determined Meg Murray as she sets out on a quest through different dimensions in search of her missing father.

With its imaginative world-building and themes of courage and friendship, A Wrinkle in Time captures the hearts of readers young and old. It shares elements of adventure and a group of young protagonists with Stranger Things, A Wrinkle in Time offers a mystical and whimsical experience, exploring the power of love and the enduring strength of family bonds.

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey is a gripping and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic thriller that masterfully combines elements of horror and science fiction. Set in a world overrun by zombie-like creatures, the story centres around a group of survivors, including a young girl named Melanie, whose extraordinary abilities might hold the key to humanity’s survival.

The novel delves into themes of identity, humanity, and societal collapse, captivating readers with its intense atmosphere and compelling characters. While both stories share a sense of danger and suspense, The Girl with All the Gifts provides a more dystopian narrative compared to the nostalgic and supernatural tone of Stranger Things.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is a uniquely imaginative young adult novel that blends elements of fantasy and mystery to create a memorable and haunting tale. The story follows the adventures of Jacob, a teenager who discovers a hidden world filled with eerily gifted children and the supernatural forces that threaten them.

The novel’s combination of vintage photography and richly detailed world-building creates a compelling reading experience that will fascinate readers of all ages. While Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children shares some similarities with Stranger Things, its gothic atmosphere, and dark undertones set it apart, making it a more suspenseful story, focusing more on the adventure aspects.

The Bad Beginning  (A Series of Unfortunate Events)
by Lemony Snicket

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket is the first book in the highly popular A Series of Unfortunate Events. It features the three Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, who, after their parents’ tragic death, get sent to live with their scheming relative, Count Olaf. The book deftly balances humour, suspense, and tragedy, painting a world that is both whimsical and deeply unsettling.

The series offers a darker, more biting exploration of children’s literature that is reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s works. While both have a macabre and a sense of surrealism, The Bad Beginning is more satirical than Stranger Things, but just as eerie.

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero is a clever and humorous homage to classic teenage detective stories like Scooby-Doo, with a delightful twist of horror and Lovecraftian elements. The story follows a group of former teen detectives, now grown up, reuniting to solve one final case that had haunted them since their childhood.

Cantero seamlessly blends humour, mystery, and supernatural elements, creating a thrilling and entertaining read. While both Meddling Kids and Stranger Things revolve around a group of young protagonists facing supernatural threats, Meddling Kids offers a more satirical and self-aware take on the genre, filled with even more pop culture references and witty writing.

Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key) by Joe Hill

Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill is a gripping and atmospheric graphic novel that plunges readers into a world of dark secrets and supernatural mysteries. The story follows the Locke family as they move to their ancestral home, Keyhouse, after a tragic event. As the family unravels the mysteries of the house, they discover magical keys with incredible powers and uncover a malevolent presence lurking in the shadows.

With its blend of horror, family dynamics, and coming-of-age themes, Welcome to Lovecraft shares similarities with Stranger Things. Both narratives delve into a small-town setting, explore supernatural elements, and focus on the bonds of friendship and family in the face of terrifying unknown forces.

The Stars Forgot Us by R.J. Garcia

The Stars Forgot Us by R.J. Garcia is a captivating young adult paranormal fantasy novel. The story follows a teenager named Jacob who is dealing with a lot in his life. After moving back home, and experiencing a series of strange occurrences  Jacob believes his home is haunted. However, when he discovers a mysterious girl, Sanctuary, living in the house, Jacob is pulled into a world of mystery and nightmares. 

With its compelling narrative, well-developed characters, and thought-provoking themes, The Stars Forgot Us shares a similar sense of mystery and adventure found in Stranger Things. Both explore the resilience of young protagonists and their fight against dark forces, creating a thrilling and engaging reading experience that will leave readers eager for more.

The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson is a nostalgic and haunting coming-of-age novel that follows Jake Baker, a young boy growing up in a small town. Alongside his eccentric uncle, Jake forms a secret club to explore the town’s eerie mysteries and uncover its hidden ghosts. Davidson’s expert storytelling evokes a sense of wonder, innocence, and bittersweet nostalgia, as Jake navigates the complexities of friendship, family, and self-discovery.

While The Saturday Night Ghost Club does not contain supernatural elements like Stranger Things, it shares a similar atmosphere of childhood adventure and exploration, as well as a profound exploration of the human experience and the power of nostalgia.

These books provide the same kind of mysterious, exhilarating, and nostalgic experiences that make Stranger Things irresistible.

Dive into these captivating narratives and let your imagination run wild as you immerse yourself in their supernatural worlds.

Are you a fan of Stranger Things? Are you ready for the new season in 2024? Do you have any recommendations for books like Stranger Things? Comment below and let us know! 

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