Don’t know what to read after finishing the most buzzworthy book of the Fall season, Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney? Don’t worry, Sally Rooney fans! Here are some perfect readalikes that will quench your appetite for compelling and thought-provoking literary fiction!
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
If you are looking for another raw and blunt narrative but spoken through a diverse voice, then you cannot go wrong with this one! Still popular after it’s 2019 debut, this wonderful novel provides so much insight, intertwined with a compelling narrative, something Sally Rooney readers strive for.
Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
Politically alert, heartbreakingly raw, and dryly funny, Exciting Times is thrillingly attuned to the great freedoms and greater uncertainties of modern love. In stylish, uncluttered prose, Naoise Dolan dissects the personal and financial transactions that make up a life—and announces herself as a singular new voice. (Credit: Ecco)
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.
Joyfully polyphonic and vibrantly contemporary, this is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible. (Credit: Hamish Hamilton)
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Also perfect for Jojo Moyes fans, this book will appeal to Rooney readers for it’s inside look of mental health and the conversation it starts about loneliness. Eleanor’s bluntness and quirkiness is just what made me fall in love with this book. The relatable characters in this popular novel will definitely draw Rooney readers!
Swing Time by Zadie Smith
Two brown girls dream of being dancers–but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.
Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her friend leaves the old neighborhood behind, traveling the world as an assistant to a famous singer, Aimee, observing close up how the one percent live.
But when Aimee develops grand philanthropic ambitions, the story moves from London to West Africa, where diaspora tourists travel back in time to find their roots, young men risk their lives to escape into a different future, the women dance just like Tracey–the same twists, the same shakes–and the origins of a profound inequality are not a matter of distant history, but a present dance to the music of time. (Credit: Penguin Books)
Big Girl Small Town by Michelle Gallen
Majella is happiest out of the spotlight, away from her neighbors’ stares and the gossips of the small town in Northern Ireland where she grew up just after the Troubles. She lives a quiet life caring for her alcoholic mother, working in the local chip shop, watching the regular customers come and go. She wears the same clothes each day (overalls, too small), has the same dinner each night (fish and chips, microwaved at home after her shift ends), and binge-watches old DVDs of the same show (Dallas, best show on TV) from the comfort of her bed.
But underneath Majella’s seemingly ordinary life are the facts that she doesn’t know where her father is and that every person in her town has been changed by the lingering divide between Protestants and Catholics. When Majella’s predictable existence is upended by the death of her granny, she comes to realize there may be more to life than the gossips of Aghybogey, the pub, and the chip shop. In fact, there just may be a whole big world outside her small town. (Credit: Algonquin Books)
Tatty by Christine Dwyer Hickey
Tatty is a devastating, yet hilarious, depiction of a troubled Dublin family told through the lively, charismatic voice of a little girl.
With brutal honesty, Tatty tells the story of her life with her beloved, feckless Dad, her tormented Mam, her five siblings and the booze that brings them down. This not just an entertaining tale, but also a heartbreaking account of a disturbed childhood that makes for compulsive reading.
Careless by Kirsty Capes
Sometimes it’s easy to fall between the cracks…
At 3.04pm on a hot, sticky day in June, Bess finds out that she’s pregnant.
She could tell her social worker Henry, but he’s useless.
She should tell her foster mother, Lisa, but she won’t understand.She really ought to tell Boy, but she hasn’t spoken to him in weeks.
Bess knows more than anyone that love doesn’t come without conditions.
But this isn’t a love story…(Credit: Orion)
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
A Little Life follows four college classmates–broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition–as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. While their relationships, which are tinged by addiction, success, and pride, deepen over the decades, the men are held together by their devotion to the brilliant, enigmatic Jude, a man scarred by an unspeakable childhood trauma. A hymn to brotherly bonds and a masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century, Hanya Yanagihara’s stunning novel is about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves. (Credit: Anchor Books)
Ordinary People by Diana Evans
Melissa has a new baby and doesn’t want to let it change her but, in the crooked walls of a narrow Victorian terrace, she begins to disappear. Michael, growing daily more accustomed to his commute, still loves Melissa but can’t quite get close enough to her to stay faithful.
Meanwhile out in the suburbs, Stephanie is happy with Damian and their three children, but the death of Damian’s father has thrown him into crisis – or is it something, or someone, else? (Credit: Vintage)
Sally Rooney’s Bibliography
If you haven’t done already, make sure to read all of the titles in Sally Rooney’s repertoire!