Loved 'Normal People'? The best similar books to buy, according to fans of Sally Rooney's novel

Maisie Bovingdon
Shopping writer
Loved watching and reading Normal People? We have found a selection of similar books to keep you occupied. (Normal People/BBC)

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If you’re anything like us you have whizzed through Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People, and binge watched the BBC adaptation starring Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones (twice already).

But now you may be feeling a little lost, and in need of another novel to fill the void - we know we are.

For those who need a refresher of the plot, or have yet to read Normal People, it is a coming of age novel, which was released in 2018.

The story follows the journey of Connell Waldron and Marianne Sheridan as they navigate their way through their first love, the challenges of school and university, money woes, family problems, as well as loss and depression.

Buy it: Normal People by Sally Rooney | £6.29 from Amazon

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Rooney’s second novel has proved to be a huge hit with readers, as it was recognised as Waterstones Book of the Year 2018 award, Costa’s Novel of the Year 2018, as well as the Book of the Year 2019 award.

The BBC and Hulu series has been equally as successful, as it has racked up over 16 million views in its first week of hitting the small screen, which was on 26 April.

Connell’s chain in the TV adaptation has not gone unnoticed by avid fans, as it has its very own Instagram account, while others are impressed by the shows soundtrack and Mescal’s singing abilities.

While some may need some time out to mend their broken hearts after being engrossed in all forms of Normal People, others may be looking for another book to delve into.

We have compiled a list of similar novels, which have been recommended by fans of Normal People, to keep you entertained and fill the Normal People shaped hole.

Shop similar books to Normal People

One Day by David Nicholls | £6.21 from Amazon

One Day by David Nicholls

Nicholls’ 2009 novel, which has since been made into a movie starring Anne Hathaway, has been hailed a “wonderful book” by readers.

This story follows the life of Dexter and Emma who meet on their graduation day and vow to stay in touch.

The novel continues to explore their lives and relationship on St. Swithin’s Day (15 July) over 20 years, which sees them travel to different cities, fall in and out of love with one another and form other relationships, before they finally reunite - until a tragedy stops their love in its tracks.

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney | £6.30 from Amazon

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

For those who fell in love with Sally Rooney’s writing in Normal People, may want to check out her debut novel Conversations with Friends.

This novel follows the friendship between Frances and Bobbi, whose lives take an unexpected twist when they meet a photographer - especially when Frances is taken with her husband.

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks | £6.23 from Amazon

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

Fans of The Notebook and romantic fiction may already be familiar with Sparks’ romantic novels, including The Last Song and Safe Haven.

The Best of Me has you on tenterhooks, as it follows the story of two childhood sweethearts who fall in love, but are forced to go their separate ways.

Later in life the pair reunite, and rekindle their romance, but this is short lived, and a life changing accident connects them in more ways you can imagine.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | £7.44 from Amazon

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah has proved to be a popular novel among many readers, as it has received glowing reviews, with one describing it as a book to be “cherished”.

The 2014 text explores the budding romance between Ifemelu and Obinze, and the hurdles they face to stay together, when Ifemelu moves to America, but Obinze’s visa is denied.

However, later in life the two are successful in their own ways and later reunite.

The Idiot by Elif Batuman | £7.67 from Amazon

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

Batuman’s 2018 novel is set in 1995, and explores Turkish student Selin’s journey into adulthood as she enrols at Harvard university.

The book sees Selin befriend Svetlana, and forge a more mysterious bond with Ivan.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert | £11.56 from Amazon

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Gilbert’s novel has been recognised as The New York Times bestseller, with some describing it as a “lovely” book.

City of Girls is set in the 40s and explores Vivian’s life as she navigates her way through university, but after being kicked out she then gets involved with the energetic life of theatre.

But after a scandal unfolds Vivian is left reflecting over her experiences in this top-rated novel.

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams | £6.47 from Amazon

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Queenie is said to be a must read for fans of Sally Rooney and Dolly Alderton’s books, plus it has been recognised as The Sunday Times bestseller.

This novel, which was released in February 2020, depicts Queenie’s struggle to catch a break in her work, family and love life.

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton | £5.99 from Amazon

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

Dolly Alderton’s memoir has been a huge hit with readers across the nation.

This text depicts Alderton’s experiences with love, break ups and work life, in a highly witty but relatable way.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris | £4.20 from Amazon

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Morris’ 2018 novel is an international bestseller, so it is no surprise it has been recognised by readers as “a powerful story”, as it captures a romance in the backdrop of World War II, and the Holocaust.

This romantic novel sees Lale experience love at first sight during his job tattooing prisoners in Auschwitz.

He meets Gita while carrying out his duties, and the pair pursue a romance in the camp, although their romance is not smooth sailing as they are frequently split up and even fear losing one another for good.

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman | £6.80 from Amazon

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman 

Call Me By Your Name is another bestselling novel, which depicts a young romance between Elio and an older guest at his family’s Italian mansion Oliver.

The pair enjoy a love affair over the summer months, and remain friends, until Elio learns Oliver has gone on to marry a woman and start a family.