I thought you said you didn’t read much.Rory Gilmore
Gilmore Girls changed my life. This time last year, I was mentally crumbling and all I cared about was finally leaving high school. I didn’t feel like I had anybody I could rely on and I had zero faith in my writing. University seemed pointless to me because of this. By the time I was leaving high school, I’d binged all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls and my journalistic dreams had been revived. I genuinely never related to a character as much as I do Rory Gilmore.
Since I watched Gilmore Girls for the first time one year ago today, it feels only right I commemorate what the show means to me in a blog post. So, these are some books that give me the same warm, fuzzy feelings as Stars Hollow and beyond.
Small Towns Hearts has, as the title suggests, a small town that is every bit as drama-filled and loveable as Stars Hollow. Babe, our main character, is a café manager and, whilst it’s no Luke’s, there’s a similar vibe and it’s a hot spot for her budding romance with Levi, like Luke’s was for Lorelai. Babe’s satisfaction in her small town life and desire to one day own the café is reminiscent of Lorelai in many respects too. There’s no shortage of relationship woes in Vale’s feel-good debut though with Babe’s ex girlfriend being back in town (side note, the casual bi representation here was great) and friendship struggles. As much as it is full of friends to lovers fluff, there’s also open discussion about sexuality and leaving your past behind.
Don’t Date Rosa Santos is another book featuring a small town with residents as close-knit and crazy as Kirk, Taylor and Miss Patty. It has a lot of fun town events like Spring Fest and sees the characters all coming together to plan a wedding. Moreno’s 2019 debut includes family drama that could give the Gilmores a run for their money too — but it is in equal parts heartbreaking. Rosa’s flighty mother reminds me a lot of the ever absentee Christopher and acts as nonsensical as Lorelai at times. In itself, Don’t Date Rosa Santos is a strong, endearing read without any comparisons to my favourite show. There’s a focus on Rosa’s heritage as a Latina girl raised in America and following Rosa as she finds herself is a rewarding experience.
Little White Lies is the first book in the Debutantes series and it explores the glittering world of the elite through our fish-out-of-water Sawyer Taft. Whilst Sawyer is a lot fiercer than Rory, there are a lot of parallels in their lives; both were raised by single mothers that disgraced their families with a teen pregnancy, both have a rich grandma that is desperate to rope them into high society and both have absentee fathers that they know little about. If it was the Hartford side of Gilmore Girls that appealed to you, Little White Lies is perfect, but it does differ by diving into the grittier side of high society.
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things is another book that is ideal for anyone that preferred Hartford over Stars Hollow. Edie, our protagonist, is spending her final few months of senior year in Mansfield with her wealthy Aunt and cousins, but finds herself caught in a love triangle between the sweet boy next door and the local bad boy. Whilst Henry is no Jess Mariano, he is charismatic and a little bit misunderstood. As Edie tries to navigate first love and a new private school as Season 1 Rory Gilmore did, she struggles to avoid the drama of fake dating, cheating and mean girls in this modern retelling of Mansfield Park.
The Ivy is for everyone who loved Rory’s Yale years as much as I did — as chaotic as they were. Albeit, this book certainly matches the chaotic aspect well, but is somehow impossibly addictive at the same time. Instead of Yale, Callie attends Harvard and, arguably, has a wilder ride than Rory did (can you really get wilder than stealing a yacht?), but shares some similarities in the sense she is striving to be part of the coveted school newspaper and somehow gets herself tangled up in a secret society. There’s partying, multiple love interests and times you’ll want to punch the main character in the face, all of which can be found in Gilmore Girls. As much as I love her, you are lying if you say you didn’t want to punch Rory in the face once or twice.
Challenge Accepted was one of those books that I didn’t expect to like as much as I did. I think I liked it so much because Emma and Logan remind me a lot of Rory and Logan. Emma is bookish and reserved whilst Logan is a bit of a douche in the beginning. There are parallels in their relationships through their witty banter and the fact both relationships really began from a mutual agreement — Logan is helping Emma get her crush to notice her and Logan (Gilmore Girls) is helping Rory with an article. Not that I’d go as far as to say Rogan were enemies at the start, but there was definitely some tension between the pair like there is between next-door-neighbours, Emma and Logan. This book is such an easy, fast-paced read with lots of cute moments and fun character dynamics.
Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies features aspiring teen writer Harper Anderson, who struggles to navigate a prestigious magazine internship in New York City as she loses herself in lies. Aside from the fact both Rory and Harper like writing, I found that their attitudes were very similar when it came to them shamelessly hurting people to get what they want — remember when Rory called a ballerina a hippo in one of her articles? Harper might not go that far, but she hurts her best friend in the process of trying to be the cool dating advice columnist everyone expects her to be, despite having no experience in dating. We also see Stampler write a Gilmore Girls worthy love triangle as Harper is forced to choose between a privileged blogger (think Logan Hunztberger had he been written in 2016) and the nice guy dog-walker. Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies is exciting and full of situations I could totally have imagined a teenage Rory Gilmore getting herself into.
That wraps up my book recommendations based on Gilmore Girls, but tell me in the comments if I should do more book recommendations based on TV shows or films!
read it and weep,
Well . . . What is much?Jess Mariano