If you’re like me growing up, Harry Potter took over your life. Another book in the Harry Potter saga coming out? I’m there at the midnight release party at the local book store. A new movie adaptation premiering? Once again, I’m there at midnight, maybe even in a costume.
Sadly, the series had to end. And while we have Pottermore and the Fantastic Beasts movies, it’s not the same as the original seven books. So a way to combat our wizard deficiencies is to find books like Harry Potter. And while the following 12 books aren’t exactly full of Hogwarts, Floo powder, and butterbeer, they each have their own merits and are quite enjoyable
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorn and Roses is the first book in a really amazing series. There are magical creatures who live and rule in different courts, like Spring Court and Night Court. I personally feel like I belong in Night Court, but that’s besides the point. In the first book Feyre, the main character we follow throughout the series, is captured by Tamlin, a hot faerie, and brought to the Spring Court. There are curses, dangerous games, and a fight for love. I fell right into the series and anxiously awaited the release of each new book.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
I was in my local bookstore and overheard one of the employees describing this book as an adult Harry Potter to another customer and I poked my head around like a cartoon character and said, “What book is this?” And that’s when I was introduced to Neverwhere. It’s set in London, so it has that English Harry Potter-feel, and it has unknown worlds and a main character who has to navigate this whole new fantasy-like realm and try and find his way out alive.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Shadow and Bone is the start of a fantastic trilogy with magical creatures, humans with powers, and a love triangle. We loved this book, and series, so much we included it on our roundup list of the best books we read in 2018. Alina is the female main character, and she is a badass. She uncovers her magical powers when she goes to save her best friend from The Fold, where there are flesh-eating creatures. She is a Sun Summoner, which makes her a Grisha—humans with different magical abilities. I read the first one, and then had to read the next two in the series as quickly as possible.
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
If you haven’t heard of A Game of Thrones, I don’t know how to help you because you must be living under a rock. The television show is massively popular and the books might even have a bigger fan following. It has the main ingredients of what makes Harry Potter popular: magic, dynamic characters, epic battles, intrigue, and dragons! Plus, there’s some sexy time for us adults in the room.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Dystopian worlds and young adult novels go together like peanut butter and jelly, and the Divergent series is no exception. Tris is the badass female protagonist who lives in a society that when kids turn 16 they must a pick a faction to join based on a trait— either Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, or Erudite. But things are not like they seem between the factions and some dark secrets comes out. It’s full of fighting and struggles for good to triumph over evil, which you know it has in common with Harry Potter.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Imagine a world where love is basically illegal and considered a disease that people are immunized from. Delirium takes you into this alternate reality, and while, yes, it’s definitely more of a softer read than Harry Potter, it’s still got some grit. Just because it’s about love doesn’t mean there isn’t a resistance, epic battles, and government infiltration.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Red vs. Silvers. Power vs. weakness. Pick a side in Red Queen! Silvers, super humans with silver blood, rule over the Reds, regular ol’ humans. Mare is a downtrodden servant working in a Silver Palace when, after being thrust into a life-threatening situation, Silver abilities surface even thought she has red blood. Bum, bum, buuuuuuum! Cut to militant resistance groups, hardcore training, and a love triangle. You’ll definitely get your Harry Potter fix with this series.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Sarah J. Maas makes it onto the list twice with Throne of Glass. Maas is basically a go-to when you are looking for books like Harry Potter. The Throne of Glass series leans more towards the young adult crowd than her A Court of Thorn and Roses series. You are going to get your fill of strong women in this novel as you follow Celaena Sardothien from the salt mines to the royal court. As people around her start dying Celaena needs to figure out who is targeting them and discover her own strength.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
The Golden Compass is the first book in a trilogy centered around 12-year-old Lyra as she journeys North to find her uncle, Asriel, and her friend, Roger. The trilogy features animals that embody a person’s soul (remind anyone of a Patronus?) and a young child destined to help balance their world (hellooooo Harry Potter!). You’ll enjoy these books if you long for Harry Potter.
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Featuring drugs, sex, and drinking, The Magicians is not for the young adult crowd. Quentin spends his time reading fantasy novels set in Fillory, but then gets admitted to a secret magic school where he finds a group of friends and spends his time studying and learning spells. One day, his friends discover that Fillory is real and they decide to venture into this new world. You’ll get your adult fill of Harry Potter when you read this trilogy.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
If you want a book that will make you swoon with paranormal romance, A Discovery of Witches is a good fit for you. Diana is a professor at Yale and has a history of witches and magic in her family. She accidentally summons a long-lost manuscript and this sets in motion a series of events and creatures come out of the woodwork seeking this document. Matthew, a vampire, is one of the beings that seeks out Diana and romance blossoms between the two. While Matthew and Diana are falling in love, danger is circling.
The Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I have espoused the greatness of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows in the past. It’s like a steampunk fantasy version of Ocean’s 11. Kaz is tasked with a heist that could make him and his crew incredibly rich. There’s romance, incredible imagery, and magic. This is the second appearance of Leigh Bardugo on this list, and the second installment in her amazing Grishaverse. Her new book, King of Scars, which is also set in the Grishaverse, will most likely be another book you can use to fill that Harry Potter hole in your heart.
Are there any books that you’ve read that helped you with your longing for Harry Potter and Hogwarts? Let us know in the comments!