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20 Must-Read Books Like “Stranger Things” by Gwenda Bond

Exploring the Unseen: Find Your Next Adventure with Books Similar to Stranger Things
by The Blinkist Team | Mar 14 2024

20 Engaging Books Like Stranger Things

Gwenda Bond’s “Stranger Things” novel has captured the imaginations of fans who love the blend of supernatural elements, 80s nostalgia, and the strong bonds of friendship. If you were thrilled by the adventures in Hawkins, Indiana, and are craving more stories where the mundane meets the extraordinary, then you are in the right place.

Whether it’s the camaraderie, the eerie settings, or the thrilling plot that had you hooked, this list of books will keep you immersed in worlds where anything is possible. Let’s embark on a journey to discover your next favorite book that channels the spirit of “Stranger Things”!

The Best 20 Books Like “Stranger Things” by Gwenda Bond


1. “It” by Stephen King

The tale of childhood friends battling an evil force in their small town mirrors the camaraderie and otherworldly horror of “Stranger Things.”

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • A close-knit group of kids facing supernatural threats.
  • Small-town setting with sinister undertones.
  • Nostalgic 80s backdrop.


2. “The Body” by Stephen King

Another tale from King, though more grounded, showcases the bond between a group of kids on a quest, evoking “Stranger Things'” emphasis on friendship and adventure.

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • A story of childhood friends on a mission.
  • An element of mystery and discovery.
  • Reflects on the journey from youth to adulthood.


3. “Paper Girls” by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang

This graphic novel series, rich in 80s references and starring a group of girls entangled in a supernatural conflict, resonates with “Stranger Things'” charm.

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • Strong group dynamics among young protagonists.
  • A blend of science fiction and supernatural elements.
  • Nostalgic setting with modern twists.


4. “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs

Follows a group of children with unusual abilities, combining supernatural elements with a deep sense of mystery, akin to “Stranger Things.”

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • Children with extraordinary powers.
  • A dark and mysterious setting.
  • An adventurous plot with supernatural twists.


5. “The Girl With All the Gifts” by M.R. Carey

A unique take on a post-apocalyptic world, this story centers on a special girl, blending human drama with supernatural elements.

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • A young protagonist with extraordinary abilities.
  • A band of survivors coming together.
  • Blurs the lines between science and the supernatural.


6. “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline

Mixes 80s nostalgia with futuristic virtual reality, offering an adventure that fans of “Stranger Things” would enjoy for its escapism and camaraderie.

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • A love letter to the 1980s.
  • A thrilling adventure with high stakes.
  • Themes of friendship and resilience.


7. “Firestarter” by Stephen King

This tale of a young girl with pyrokinesis on the run from government agents is filled with suspense and superpowers, echoing the supernatural elements of “Stranger Things.”

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • A child with supernatural abilities.
  • Government conspiracy and intrigue.
  • A tense, thrilling narrative.


8. “My Best Friend’s Exorcism” by Grady Hendrix

Set in the 80s, this horror-comedy about high school friendship tested by demonic possession captures the era’s essence and camaraderie found in “Stranger Things.”

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • 80s high school setting.
  • A blend of horror, humor, and heart.
  • The power of friendship against otherworldly forces.


9. “The Chalk Man” by C.J. Tudor

A group of friends uncovers a sinister mystery in their town, blending suspense with a nostalgic feel that will appeal to “Stranger Things” fans.

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • Mystery and suspense in a small town.
  • Flashbacks that tie past and present events.
  • A group of friends at the story’s center.


10. “The Troop” by Nick Cutter

A terrifying tale of a scout troop facing a horrifying threat on a remote island, where survival becomes their ultimate test, mirroring the tension and terror of “Stranger Things.”

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • A focus on young characters’ resilience.
  • A blend of horror and survival elements.
  • An isolated setting that heightens suspense.


11. “Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase” by Jonathan Stroud

In an alternate London plagued by ghosts, a group of young operatives runs an independent agency, fighting supernatural forces, aligning with the adventurous and mysterious tone of “Stranger Things.”

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • Young protagonists dealing with the supernatural.
  • An alternate reality setting.
  • A mix of humor, horror, and adventure.


12. “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury

Two boys’ encounter with a malevolent traveling carnival brings them face-to-face with the eerie and supernatural, capturing the childhood wonder and dread found in “Stranger Things.”

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • The transition from childhood innocence to awareness of the world’s darkness.
  • A small-town setting with supernatural events.
  • A gripping, atmospheric narrative.


13. “The Impossible Fortress” by Jason Rekulak

A tale of adolescence, friendship, and 80s video game culture, offering a lighter but equally nostalgic counterpart to “Stranger Things.”

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • Set in the 1980s with a strong nostalgic feel.
  • A story of friendship and coming-of-age.
  • Involves a quest driven by youthful determination.


14. “American Elsewhere” by Robert Jackson Bennett

An uncanny blend of science fiction and horror in a town not found on any map, where the protagonist uncovers chilling secrets, echoing the mysteries of Hawkins.

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • Secretive small-town setting.
  • A blend of supernatural and sci-fi elements.
  • A compelling mystery driving the plot.


15. “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman

A man returns to his hometown and recalls events that blend childhood wonder with supernatural elements, reminiscent of “Stranger Things.”

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • The intersection of the mundane and the magical.
  • Themes of memory and nostalgia.
  • A dark and compelling narrative.


16. “Summer of Night” by Dan Simmons

In the summer of 1960, a group of young boys confronts an ancient evil in their small town, echoing the camaraderie and supernatural intrigue of “Stranger Things.”

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • A group of kids as the protagonists.
  • A small-town setting with sinister happenings.
  • A blend of horror and adventure.


17. “The Monstrumologist” by Rick Yancey

Set in the 19th century, this series follows a young apprentice and his mentor as they study and combat monsters, mixing horror and adventure in a way that fans of “Stranger Things” will appreciate.

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • The study and confrontation of the supernatural.
  • A mentor-apprentice relationship.
  • A dark, atmospheric setting.


18. “Wayward Pines” by Blake Crouch

A Secret Service agent arrives in a small town to find two missing agents but discovers far more, including a mystery that defies time, evoking the enigmatic and eerie atmosphere of “Stranger Things.”

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • A small town with deep, dark secrets.
  • A blend of mystery, sci-fi, and horror.
  • An overarching sense of mystery and suspense.


19. “14” by Peter Clines

Tenants of an old Los Angeles apartment building uncover mysteries that lead them to a government conspiracy and supernatural forces, offering a mix of suspense and mystery akin to “Stranger Things.”

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • Unraveling a deep, dark conspiracy.
  • A close-knit group of characters.
  • Elements of horror and supernatural.


20. “The Raven Boys” by Maggie Stiefvater

A group of friends embarks on a quest revolving around ancient and mystical forces, with strong themes of friendship and destiny, resonating with “Stranger Things” fans.

Elements in common with “Stranger Things”:

  • Friendship and loyalty at the story’s core.
  • A quest involving supernatural elements.
  • A blend of mystery, magic, and reality.

In conclusion, if “Stranger Things” by Gwenda Bond left you longing for more tales where the ordinary turns extraordinary, where friendship is tested against the backdrop of supernatural adventures, and where every page holds a new thrill, any book on this list is sure to captivate.

Dive into these worlds of wonder, horror, and adventure to satisfy your craving for stories that blend the familiar with the unknown. Happy reading!


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