If anyone could appreciate creating lists of books for their favorite TV and movie characters, it’s Jessica Day. She would probably assign book suggestions to her stuffed animals and then present them in the form of a jaunty song. While we patiently wait for the next season to start up, I thought I would compile a list of books that the characters of New Girl would enjoy.
New Girl provides a large cast of characters that are so over-the-top that it feels authentic. I mean, who wouldn’t want to play a round of “True American” and climb atop furniture while spouting random historical facts? For those who are not familiar with the premise for the show, it’s fairly simple. Jess answers an ad in Craigslist and moves in with three guys, Nick, Schmidt, and Winston. The guys are not used to living with a girl, and Jess turns out to be much more than they expected. Jess has several quirks that set her apart from the other girls they know, but it soon comes out that they have their own bizarre traits as well.
If you haven’t seen the show, I suggest watching it immediately. After watching an episode or twelve, come on back and see what books each character would read.
Jess – While this title is a bit on the older side of YA lit, I would not be surprised if Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli was sitting on Jess’s shelf. Stargirl wears granny dresses and plays the ukelele, which are two things I would most definitely see Jess doing as well. Jess has a celebratory air about her and she would relate immensely to a girl who wants to do her own thing, despite how many people around her wish she would just conform to the rest of the crowd. In a similar vein, I would also give Jess Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick. Amber Appleton would most assuredly be buds with Jess and Stargirl, but this book skews slightly into drama when Amber’s story is revealed.
Nick –Nick is simultaneously clinging onto his more immature, responsibility-free past as well as conducting himself in a manner resembling an old man. He is quite the juxtaposition. Aside from working at a bar, Nick has been slaving over a book for quite some time. Knowing of his obsession with his zombie book, I would definitely recommend some zombie titles. Although, it’s hard to pick just one. I would bury him in zombie stories including Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, Zom-B by Darren Shan, and The Infects by Sean Beaudoin. Also, I’d throw in Spanking Shakespeare by Jake Wizner. It’s not about zombies, but it’s about a teen who is trying to write his memoir. The humor and personality of Shakespeare is something Nick would enjoy.
Schmidt – Schmidt is one of those guys who can have a talk show about absolutely nothing but in which he talks for 45 minutes straight. I would watch that show every day despite that fact and I would probably get slightly offended and would be interested in actually slapping some sense into him. He tries to overcompensate for the fact that he used to be overweight. Now that he’s in shape, dressing better, and catching the eyes of the ladies, Schmidt is ready to capitalize on it. There are two books that I would recommend to Schmidt. The first is Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have by Allen Zadoff. This recommendation, which goes to the past teenage Schmidt, is about a boy who joins the football team in order to get more popular and possibly lose some weight. The second book goes to the trendy, current Schmidt. For this Schmidt, I would suggest So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld which is a book about a boy who is tasked with finding the newest trends before they become old news.
Winston – Winston is constantly struggling to figure out what he’s supposed to do now that he’s done playing basketball in Latvia. He tries out broadcasting for a bit and then decides he really wants to be a police officer. Sometimes you just know a book that someone should read. I feel that way with Winston. I would give Winston 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith. In this book, Finn analyzes his life and the course it has gone. He was hit by a horse that fell off a bridge; an incident that killed his mother. Ever since the accident, he has dealt with epilepsy. What connected this book to Winston is Finn’s battle to understand who he really is. Finn’s father wrote a best-selling novel in which Finn is the main character and an alien. While I don’t think that Winston is an alien, I think that he would enjoy Finn and his crazy friend Cade.
Cece – Cece is Jess’s best bud and go-to female when she has questions her male roommates cannot answer. Cece is a model and instantly grabs Schmidt’s attention from day one. Cece stands out from her professional friends and doesn’t fit into the model stereotype. Because of this, I would give Cece the “Airhead” trilogy by Meg Cabot which includes Airhead, Being Nikki, and Runaway. In this series, Emerson’s brain is transferred into the body of supermodel Nikki Howard after an accident involving both of them. Em sees the modelling world up close and personal and gets a firsthand account of the ins and outs of the biz. To me, it seems like Cece views the modelling industry in a similar way to Em.
Feel free to add more titles in the comments below. Happy reading!
-Brandi Smits, currently reading Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling