Here’s What Book You Should Read Based On Your Favorite Stranger Things Character

by  | October 26

So you’ve almost reached peak Stranger Things mania. You’ve entered a sassy phrase into the logo generator. You’ve built your Joyce Byers Halloween costume with cardboard and Christmas lights. You even attended a vigil for Barb (and cried more than when your cat died). But we’re coming through with the best for last: book recommendations!

(Here’s your official SPOILER ALERT. If you didn’t know Barb dies, why did you click on this?)

We’re just like you, slipping slowly into madness in the Upside Down waiting for the next season. Instead of holing up in Castle Byers with nothing but salty tears for nourishment, we decided to actually do something about it.

We present the Stranger Things Book Generator! You tell us your favorite character, we provide the perfect book. We got you whether you’re a classic Eleven superfan or crushing on Hopper. This list should last you until Season 2 (or until you forget enough of the details of Season 1 to binge watch it again).

If your favorite character is Joyce Byers…

before-i-go-to-sleepRead: Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson

When Hopper told Joyce Byers that Will’s dead body was a fake you jumped for joy, threw confetti in the air, danced a jig, kissed the person you were watching it with or kissed your cat or kissed yourself—FINALLY SOMEONE BELIEVES JOYCE! You’ll experience that same ecstasy at the end of the thriller Before I Go to Sleep.

Amazon / B&N / Indiebound

If your favorite character is Eleven…

station_eleven_coverRead: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

You thought we’d go with an obvious magical kid book here. But don’t worry, there is more in common here than “Eleven” in the title. Mandel’s science fiction tale is set in a world that is flung into chaos and follows characters that are, despite the outcomes, trying to do the right thing.

Amazon / B&N / Indiebound

If your favorite character is Jim Hopper…

his-bloody-projectRead: His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Did you high-five when Hopper knocked some answers out of that chump behind the bar? Did you wince at the incompetence of the two dopey officers? Then you’re ready for the next step in crime investigations. This Man Booker Prize finalist lays out documents pertaining to a triple murder in mid-1800s Scotland that you, the reader, must vet.

Amazon / B&N / Indiebound

If your favorite character is Nancy Wheeler…

0912_the-nixRead: The Nix by Nathan Hill

If you’re a Nancy supporter at the end, you loathe a “traditional female character.” You appreciate Nancy for being a natural gunslinger, choosing the thick-haired hottie over the greasy paparazzo, and not letting her grandma-closet-raiding-friend slut shame her. Nathan Hill’s The Nix follows a whole gaggle of odd characters, but centers on the mystery of a woman who is an intellectual, mother, student, daughter, protestor, lover, and—most of all—recluse.

Amazon / B&N / Indiebound

If your favorite character is Mike Wheeler…

Read: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

This young adult novel is also set in the 1980s and deals with first love between two outsiders. Except in Rowell’s book the kids are older and the monster isn’t a tulip-headed child-eater, but an abusive stepfather.

Amazon / B&N / Indiebound


If your favorite character is Lucas Sinclair…

julius caesar
Read: Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Et tu, Mike?

Amazon B&N /  Indiebound


If your favorite character is Dustin Henderson…

princess-brideRead: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

In the mind of “Toothless,” his best friend didn’t almost die. His comrade was captured by a monster, thus his band of merry adventurers went on a quest to rescue him. For more eccentric goofballs in perilous situations, try the book that preceded the classic movie The Princess Bride.

AmazonB&N / Indiebound

If your favorite character is Barbara Holland…

elena-ferranteRead: The Neapolitan Quartet by Elena Ferrante

Barb should be canonized. She dies while making sure her friend isn’t harmed by Skeezy Steve! If this female friendship made you want to toss your TV out the window (in the best way), immediately purchase the entirety of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet. The books are like Barb and Nancy’s friendship stretched over four novels. Yes, Europa Editions, you can use that quote on the next edition.

Amazon B&N Indiebound

If your favorite character is Jonathan Byers…

secret-historyRead: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

The misunderstood, unhappy kid who yearns for an East Coast college where he can forget his modest upbringing and meet sufficiently interesting friends? Sounds like Richard Papen, the narrator of Tartt’s first novel.

Amazon B&N / Indiebound


If your favorite character is Will Byers…

100deadlyskillssurvivalRead: 100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition by Clint Emerson

The only skill Will seemed to possess was the ability to memorize the chorus to one Clash song. In Emerson’s second book in this series, the retired Navy SEAL provides easy instructions for everything from fortifying your home to “navigating back to civilization no matter the environment.” This includes (I assume) the Upside Down.

Amazon / B&N / Indiebound



Steve Harrington: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Mr. Clarke: Unstoppable by Bill Nye

Tommy & Carol: Kama Sutra by Vātsyāyana

Dr. Martin Brenner: Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Karen Wheeler: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Holly Wheeler: An American Childhood by Annie Dillard

Benny Hammond: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The Monster: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Troy & James: NO BOOK FOR YOU. But if these guys are seriously your favorite, click here.


(Featured photo:

What You Should Read (Based On Your Favorite Stranger Things Character)