Books to Read After Watching ‘Stranger Things 3’

Stranger Things 3 arrived in a blaze of fireworks, Russian conspiracies, and mind-melding monsters, but after binge-watching all eight episodes, we’re right back where we started, wanting more. If, like us, you’re eager for more Stranger Things vibes, check out one—or all—of these books while you wait anxiously for more information about a potential season four. 

The Stranger Things Tie-In Books

The easiest fulfillment for more Stranger Things is to pick up one (or two or three) of the tie-in books and comics. Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond follows Terry Ives as she signs up for government experiments in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. Darkness on the Edge of Town by Adam Christopher recounts one of Hopper’s cases during his time working for the New York Police Department. And Runaway Max by Brenna Yovanoff gives us a glimpse of Max Mayfield before she and Billy rolled into town. The Other Side, a full-color comic book by Jody Houser, reveals what Will experienced during his time in the Upside Down, and The Book of Barb by Nadia Bailey provides a fun peek into the life of fan-favorite Barb Holland. There are also several guidebooks to peruse, including Stranger Things: World Turned Upside Down, How to Survive in a Stranger Things World, and a two-in-one Hawkins Yearbook

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

If you’re looking for something similar but unrelated to Stranger Things, The Devouring Gray takes place in a small town buried in rural New York known as Four Paths. Surrounded by woods, Four Paths had experienced enough odd stuff to rival Hawkins due to a monster lurking in another dimension known as the “Gray.” The descendants of the founders of Four Paths manifest magic abilities, which may be their only chance of stopping the monster once and for all.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

If government conspiracies and characters with insane powers are your thing, read Aurora Rising. Set in outer space, this book follows a squad of misfits from Aurora Academy after they rescue a girl who’s been in cryo-sleep for two hundred years and just might be the catalyst for a war that’s been brewing for the past million years. Aurora Rising features a diverse cast, spooky space monsters a la the Mind Flayer, and… space elves. That’s right, space elves

When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry

While this book may be more similar to Super 8 than Stranger Things, it has the whole what-in-the-world-is-happening vibe after a group of outcasts encounter what they think is an alien. Ripe with banter and weird powers, When the Sky Fell on Splendor is a crazy ride from start to finish and might, like Stranger Things, leave you wanting more.

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen, and Shannon Watters

If you’re looking for something strange but without the spooky and scary, the Lumberjanes comics are a blast. Set at a summer camp for “hard-core lady-types,” Lumberjanes follows five members of the Roanoke cabin as they encounter a mysterious old woman transforming into a bear, secret caves, anagrams, and plethora of mythical creatures. Full of friendship, diversity, and girl power, Lumberjanes is ridiculously fun.

Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier

With monsters, a ragtag group of kids, and an endless supply of Oreos, Last Kids on Earth is the perfect “future” counterpart to Stranger Things. Thirteen-year-old Jack Sullivan cannot face the hoards of monsters on his own, so he forms an army of unlikely allies to join the battle. With black and white illustrations to complement the text, Last Kids on Earth is a fun read for all ages.

Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang

The Paper Girls comic series is the female-centric Stranger Things if the kiddos traveled through time instead of to the Upside Down. Hailed as one of the best comic books during its debut, Paper Girls has it all: weird science-fiction elements, 80s aesthetic, and squad goals. 

The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

1980s. Conspiracy theories and haunted places. A coming of age story. If those aspects of Stranger Things draw you in, you won’t want to skip reading The Saturday Night Ghost Club.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

If you want more of an 80s vibe, Ready Player One is the book for you. Chock-full of 80s references, the story follows Wade Watts as he navigates a virtual utopia to unlock clues to the creator’s fortune. As he continues on this quest, he encounters enemies both real and digital and realizes his knowledge of the 80s just might be the key to winning the game.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Stranger Things makes a lot of references to pop culture, including The Hobbit. The boys refer to the surrounding woods as “Mirkwood,” and “Radagast” is the password to get into Castle Byers. To understand these references or maybe just lose yourself in a solid fantasy world, read The Hobbit.  

Stephen King Novels

This suggestion is a no-brainer since Stranger Things is heavily influenced by Stephen King’s writings. Any of Stephen King’s novels are sure to ease your long suffering as you want more strange, somewhat spooky or creepy, suspenseful storylines and characters that won’t be easily forgotten. 

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