By now, everyone and their mother has finished binging Netflix’s newest hit, Russian Doll. (If you haven’t–what are you waiting for? It’s eight episodes!) Here are some hand-picked book reccomendations to follow-up that strange little series.
Want another take on the Groundhog Day/stuck-in-a-time-loop scenario?
See a very different character try to solve a mystery and escape the loop in Stuart Turton’s The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. It’ll scratch your itch for a mind-bending puzzle box, but (fair warning) won’t provide any of the female-centering amazingness of Russian Doll. My review definitely has some complaints about the book’s treatment of secondary characters, but there’s a lot to love in this one–especially if you’re tired of being one step ahead of mysteries.
Want another flawed, lovable heroine who almost destroys her sci-fi world?
You want Jazz Bashara from Artemis by Andy Weir, author of The Martian. Jazz and Nadia are in very different settings but do have a little in common; Jazz’s arc is satisfying in some of the same ways. Obviously, this is full-on sci-fi, rather than a story with a speculative twist like Evelyn Hardcastle or Russian Doll, so you have to be ready to follow the explanations of Jazz’s world that will be crucial later on. Don’t let that scare you if you aren’t big into science fiction, though–I rarely read it, and I loved loved loved Artemis.
Want to know more about that Emily girl Nadia kept talking about?
Read the book that plays a key role in the series: Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery, who, yes, also wrote Anne of Green Gables. I’ve never read it, but I might have to learn more just so I can understand how it was used in the series a little better. It looks… well, it looks like much the same story as Anne, just with a new set of characters. If it ain’t broke, I guess.
Want another tale of two people finding each other post-death, struggling to understand how their actions affect their surroundings?
Justin Reynolds’ YA speculative romance Opposite of Always strikes a very different tone than Russian Doll, and the main characters couldn’t be more different. If you’re looking for a completely different take on the time-loop repeated-death scenario, this is a great pick. Like Russain Doll, the book is a close-up of a character that asks big questions about what responsibility people have to one another. (My review)
Do you honestly just want more television?
That’s fair. I suggest The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon original) and The Good Place (NBC, available on Netflix) as follow-ups for Russian Doll.