Season two of the creepy, nostalgia-inducing Netflix series Stranger Things begins streaming Friday, just in time for Halloween. The first season followed a series of Dungeons & Dragons-loving friends as they try to save their friend from a supernatural creature living in an alternate dimension. One you’ve binged the new season, check out these books that influenced the series or feature the things that make Stranger Things so addictive.
It by Stephen King
Stranger Things owes a lot to Stephen King’s iconic novel. A group of misfit friends investigates a monster terrorizing a small town. Sound familiar? If you were sucked into the nostalgia, camaraderie, and creepiness of Stranger Things, this is a must-read.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Unlike most of the other picks on this list, Ready Player One doesn’t fit in the horror genre. But what it does share with Stranger Things is a love of 80s pop culture. The year is 2044, and teenager Wade Watts finds himself in the middle of a virtual reality treasure hunt. As he works his way through the game, he comes across characters from Atari games, Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, and other greats from 80s science fiction and fantasy.
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
Everyone is excited when a carnival rolls into a small Midwestern town the week before Halloween, but two teen boys soon discover it’s not all fun and games. The carnival promises to make all your wishes come true–at a price. This coming of age tale explores the importance of friendship and bravery.
Like It, readers will find many nods to Bradbury’s classic novel in Stranger Things.
Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang
The boys in Stranger Things make many references to popular comic books, so this list wouldn’t be complete without at least one graphic novel. Paper Girls is set in 1988, and follows four 12-year-old girls who uncover an alien monster invasion in their hometown. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.
Header image courtesy of MakeItStranger.com