In the nearly ten years since the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we Potterheads have reread every book so many times we can practically recite them. No story will ever fill the Potter-shaped space in our hearts, and no new characters can replace our first loves. So what do you do now that you’ve devoured Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them five times? Eventually you may long for the thrill of discovering new characters and plots for the first time—so when you’re reaching for a brand-new read, here are six great books whose awesomeness stands on its own, while evoking nostalgic feels for your wizarding world favorites.
Hardcover $17.96 | $19.95
If you want to save the world with Harry Potter, read An Ember In The Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir
If you love Harry for his sense of honor and the fact that he always puts his friends first, you’re going to love Laia and Elias. After her brother is arrested by the Empire, Laia makes a dangerous deal with a group of rebels in exchange for their promise to free him. She is to embed as a spy in the Martial Empire’s military academy, led by a nightmarishly brutal commandant—a task no one expects her to survive. While there, she meets Elias Veturius, who, despite his elite standing as one of the best soldiers in the academy, wants nothing more than to be free from the corrupted leaders who took him away from his family at a young age. But when he finally has freedom in his sights, Elias might throw it away to save an innocent life. An Ember in the Ashes is filled to the brim with bravery and nobility, perfect for those experiencing major Harry withdrawal.
If you want to study for your O.W.L.’s with Hermione Granger, read Highly Illogical Behavior, by John Corey Whaley
Like Hermione, Lisa is a girl who isn’t afraid to do what it takes to get what she wants. And what she wants more than anything is to win a scholarship to the college with the second-best psychology program in the country. To make that dream come true, Lisa needs to write an admission essay titled “My Experience With Mental Illness.” Her plan? Befriend 16-year-old Solomon Reed, an ex-classmate with agoraphobia, and “fix” him. Deep down, Lisa knows it’s not her place to meddle in Solomon’s life, but she’s willing to put aside all morality long enough to get her scholarship. When she finally meets Solomon in person, however, he’s not at all who she expected him to be. Told through both Lisa and Solomon’s perspective’s, Highly Illogical Behavior gives off strong Hermione vibes and will leave you begging for a sequel.
If Ron Weasley is your king, read City Of Bones, by Cassandra Clare
Cassandra Clare has been publishing her Shadowhunter novels since 2007, so if you haven’t read City of Bones yet, stop reading this post right now and get on it. Seriously. I’ll wait. The Mortal Instruments series is great for so many reasons, and one of those is Simon Lewis. Quirky, unnaturally optimistic, and constantly dragged into danger by his best friend, Simon was never meant to get involved with the dark happenings in this novel—but that doesn’t mean he’s not up for the challenge. For better or worse, Simon quickly learns to adapt to his supernatural surroundings after his best friend’s mother is kidnapped, and he even kills a few bad guys in the process. If you’re feeling nostalgic for Ron’s goofy personality and hilarious one-liners, this is definitely the book for you.
If you want to solemnly swear you are up to no good with Draco Malfoy, read Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell
This one’s a bit of a cheat on my part, because Carry On was clearly inspired by Harry Potter, and Baz Pitch was clearly inspired by Draco Malfoy. But if you miss the snobbish, entitled-yet-at-times-oddly-endearing personality your fave is famous for, you’re going to want to check this book out. Filled to the brim with hilarity, angst, and questions of morality, Carry On will help you to fall in love with Draco Malfoy all over again. Oh, and if you’re a Drarry shipper? I’m going to bet you’ll find this story satisfying.
If you want to practice Bat-Bogey hexes with Ginny Weasley, read Dumplin’, by Julie Murphy
Do you love Ginny because she’s super independent and unafraid to stand up for herself and her friends? Well, meet Willowdean Dickson. Despite her mother’s traditional beauty standards, Willowdean has always been comfortable in her skin. She doesn’t care if people think she’s too big to wear swimsuits, and it doesn’t faze her that her best friend is the epitome of westernized beauty. But when a hot guy starts falling for her and her best friend starts pulling away, Willowdean realizes she’s maybe a little more insecure than she thought. And what’s the one thing you do when you start to doubt your appearance? That’s right: Enter a beauty pageant. Dumplin’ is an awesome book that will give you all of the feels, and will remind you why Ginny is your favorite Harry Potter character.
Paperback $11.69 | $12.99
If you want to pick Dirigible plums with Luna Lovegood, read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J. K. Rowling
I was trying to find another book that encapsulates the unique spirit that is Luna Lovegood, and I fell flat. But if you think about it, that’s the problem in itself: Luna is unequivocally unique. While there are tons of YA books with eccentric, nonconformist characters, none of those characters are eccentric and nonconformist in the exact ways Luna is. So if you’re feeling nostalgic for your favorite Ravenclaw, this is probably the time to pick up Order of the Phoenix and relive where your love began.
If you want to spike the butterbeer with Puking Pastilles with Fred and George Weasley, read The Spiderwick Chronicles, by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
This series isn’t considered YA, but if you love Fred and George and are looking for a story that contains satisfactory amounts of magical mischief, it’s time to check out The Spiderwick Chronicles. When Jared Grace finds a secret book filled with information about the different types of faeries living in and near his family’s new house, he’s told he must destroy the research so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. The only problem? Jared doesn’t like doing what he’s told. Featuring a new set of identical twins for you to fall in love with and pranks your favorite Weasleys would be proud of, The Spiderwick Chronicles document the lives of the three Grace children as they learn there’s a lot more to their world than they originally thought. And the first book is only 128 pages, so if you’re looking to binge-read a whole series in the course of a few days, you’ve got even more of a reason to pick this story up.