Oh Riverdale – I have a special place in my heart for you, but I think your teenaged residents could use some time away from town quarantines and drug induced hallucinations and really horrible parenting. Luckily, YALSA’s 2019 award winners and nominees have books to help your beleaguered high school students cope with all the drama. (Warning: Season 3 Spoilers)
I know you have a lot of pressure on you between leading the Serpents, going up against Hiram Lodge, and your mom coming to town. But deep down, I think you really just want to be a writer. So for you, I recommend Between The Lines by Nikki Grimes (BFYA 2019). Not only does the main character want to be a journalist, but the entire novel is based on the idea of telling people’s stories, which is what you do every episode.
As someone who never stops until the truth is found, I think you would enjoy a twisted mystery. But girl, you need some levity in your life because obsession is your middle name. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson (BFYA 2019) gives you murders and multiple suspects to engage your inner detective, but Stevie’s narration may show you that you can still keep a sense of humor.
You were dealt a nasty hand with those parents of yours. Granted, you have led a life of luxury, but trying to be a good person is not an easy road for you. I think you could really connect with the main character in Sanctuary by Caryn Lix (BFYA 2019 Nominee), who also had the curtain pulled back on what she thought was true and is forced to change as a result.
You’ve been through a lot, mostly because of your own really poor decision making and need to play the hero. However, I feel that it would do you good to read A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti (BFYA 2019 Top Ten), which tells the story of someone who suffered a truly traumatic experience and is recovering in the only way she knows how. Also – you can connect to the idea of running as healing, since you did your own disappearing act until that whole bear/coma thing brought you back to town.
You have sacrificed so much for your music, but is it ever enough? You’ve started to question your decisions and your future. I think you would find a book soulmate in Yvonne, who is dealing with many of the same feelings in the novel Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert (BFYA 2019 Nominee).
Since the beginning of the show, you’ve really grown on me. I know you’ve got troubles at home with your dad, and that you’ve gotten in deep with Veronica and the speakeasy. Maybe you could gain some insight from Ryan Hess in Crossing the Line by Simone Elkeles (QP 2019 Nominee) on what to do when romantic involvement turns dangerous.
Sometimes you make it reaaaaalllllly hard not to hate you. I get it, though; the only person in your family I would trust not to kill me in my sleep is your grandma. Maybe reading The Window by Amelia Brunskill (QP 2019 Nominee), a book about someone else who lost their twin in shady circumstances, will be cathartic.
You are a badass. I don’t totally approve of Cheryl being your girlfriend, but luckily she loves you, so I don’t think she’s going to ruin your life. And look, I know she recruited a new gang for you, but in case it doesn’t work out, you could always become a witch and make your own, like Mila in Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson (QP 2019 Nominee).
You poor thing. You just can’t get a win. For so long, Moose refused to acknowledge your relationship, and when he finally does, his dad pretty much destroys your lives. I think you need to read a happy romance that reinforces love is love, which perfectly describes This is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kheryn Callender (QP 2019).
You are messed up in so many ways, but first and foremost, you need to accept that cults are not the answer. So go read After the Fire by Will Hill (BFYA 2019) and then for the love of Pete stop proselytizing for The Farm.
*I wrote this post before the recent passing of Luke Perry, who played Fred Andrews on the show. Perry died on March 4th, 2019, at the age of 52. Rest in peace.
–Whitney Etchison, currently reading Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.