5 YA Books for Fans of Wynonna Earp

Vengeance RoadFor me to really binge a TV show, it has to fill three criteria: great writing, great female characters, and lesbians. And since Jessica Jones isn’t coming back for a few months, and I’ve just finished bingeing Orphan Black, I needed a new show to tide me over and fill the awesome-female-character void in my heart.

That’s where Wynonna Earp comes in.  It’s Buffy meets the Wild West and follows Wynonna, a descendent of Wyatt Earp forced to hunt down the demons her great-great-great-grandfather killed when she turns 27. Aided by Officer Dolls, a member of the secret U.S. Marshall’s Black Badge division, an immortal Doc Holliday, and her cinnamon roll of a sister, Waverly, Wynonna hunts down the demons and sends them back to where they belong—hell. It’s a fun, rollicking adventure of a show in the midst of a summer of “gritty” reboots and reality series. And while SyFy still hasn’t announced whether they’re renewing the show for a second season, here are some recommendations to tide you over in between rewatching season one and writing WayHaught fanfic.

Vengeance Road, by Erin Bowman
Wynonna Earp is an incredibly complex character—she chases down revenants and kills them in cold blood, but will do anything to protect her sister, Waverly. Bowman’s heroine, Kate Thompson, shares a lot of the same traits. When bandits murder her Pa for his journal that reveals the location of a gold mine, Kate disguises herself as a boy and sets out on a path of vengeance. She rides through the plains looking for answers about her father’s murder, shadowed by a pair of brothers who won’t leave her alone. But as she grows closer to finding out the truth about her family—and grows closer to one of the brothers—Kate has to choose which is more important: Love, or revenge?

Everything Leads to You, by Nina LaCour
One of the best parts about Wynonna Earp is the relationship between Waverly and Officer Nicole Haught, particularly in a year when there’ve been more dead lesbians on TV than happy ones. LaCour’s novel is a similarly sweet f/f romance, and follows Emi, a production designer in Los Angeles trusted with her brother’s apartment for the summer with one caveat: she has to do something great during her time there. Fantastic at her job but floundering in love, Emi meets Ava, the long-lost granddaughter of a recently deceased Hollywood legend. Determined to solve the mystery of Ava’s past, and to prove herself as a production designer, Emi entangles herself in Ava’s life, soon realizing the mystery isn’t the only thing she’s interested in.

Imaginary Girls, by Nova Ren Suma
The complex relationships between the Earp sisters—whether in the present with Wynonna and Waverly, or in the past with all three Earps—is a driving force behind the show. In much the same way, the complicated relationship between Chloe and her younger sister, Ruby, drives Suma’s novel. Set in a small town much like Purgatory, Suma weaves supernatural elements into Imaginary Girls as expertly as they’re woven into Wynonna Earp. Chloe fled town after discovering the body of a classmate floating in the reservoir, and since then Ruby has tried her hardest to get her back. Now, two years later, she’s finally successful. Chloe falls easily back under her sister’s sway which isn’t difficult: Ruby charms everyone she comes across. But Chloe soon realizes Ruby’s got secrets she hasn’t been sharing—secrets about their town, about the reservoir, and about herself. Chloe thinks she would do anything for her sister, but soon she’s wondering—how far is she really willing to go?

Wild Awake, by Hilary T. Smith
One of the interesting aspects of Wynonna Earp is the slow-build romance between Wynonna and Dolls, and Wynonna and Doc. Both romances are given equal weight, and neither are the true driving force behind the show, which is refreshing. Wynonna, Doc, and Dolls are all complex characters, each battling demons (literal and figurative) in their own ways. In the same vein, Wild Awake follows Kiri Byrd, a teen given charge of her home while her parents are away for the summer. Kiri plans to sleep in and spend her days practicing piano, which she loves, and playing in her band with Lukas, whom she may have a crush on. But fate has other plans—fate, and the guy who calls her and says he has a box of her sister Sukey’s stuff. Sukey, who died three years ago in an accident. And then there’s Skunk, the mysterious guy Kiri runs into while out biking one evening. As the summer lengthens before her, Kiri is drawn into finding out what happened to Sukey, as well as her relationship with Skunk. But can she balance that, piano, and band practice without unraveling?

Not a Drop to Drink, by Mindy McGinnis
Mindy McGinnis’s heroine, Lynn, has a lot in common with Wynonna—both are tough, smart, and good with a gun. Living in a world where water is scarce, Lynn has been raised to protect the farm, and the precious lake just behind it, taught never to trust anyone except her own kin for fear they’ll take the family’s water. But when her mother dies and Lynn finds herself protecting the farm alone, she realizes she’ll have to rely on strangers—like Eli, the mistrustful boy living by the stream—for survival. Armed with her wits and her shooting ability, Lynn slowly learns to trust, and maybe love, the people around her. And she’ll have to. Because there are people out there more dangerous than Eli, people who would do anything to get their hands on water.

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