Friday, July 14, 2017

15 Books to Read While You're Waiting for Orange is the New Black Season Six

I recently finished Orange is the New Black season five (I know, it took me long enough), and I am SHOOK. After crying nonstop through the last episode, I emerged with two goals: dismantle the prison industrial complex, and read and recommend OITNB-esque books. And while I can’t quite complete the former, I can certainly complete the latter.

Here are 15 books you should read if you can’t stand the thought of waiting another year for season six—or if you want some excellent reads about prison, morality, drama, revolutions, guilt, and innocence.

The Walls Around Us // Ghostly, haunting, suspenseful, and enchantingly immersive, this book about three (wrongfully?) incarcerated teenagers is one of my all-time favorites.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly // After escaping a fundamentalist religious cult—a cult that chopped off her hands after she rebelled—Minnow must question everything she once believed while locked in a juvenile detention facility.

Dangerous Girls // Nothing is what it seems in this obsession-worthy murder mystery about friendship, the power of persona, and guilt versus innocence.

Seven Ways We Lie // Seven distinct, equally-enthralling voices intertwine in this novel about small town scandal and the ways we lie to ourselves and others.

Salt to the Sea // This book features four unforgettable narratives that intertwine majestically—and it includes some of the best supporting characters I’ve ever encountered.

One of Us is Lying // Five students walk into detention. One of them, a notorious gossip posed to release dark secrets about four of his classmates, never walks out.

Moxie // In this empowering novel, the protagonist sparks a series of nonviolent protests, fundraisers, and more to challenge her high school’s deeply sexist administration.

All American Boys // I know you’ve heard about this book, but seriously: if you haven’t read it yet, you need to change that ASAP.

Wildthorn // Imprisoned in an asylum and stripped of her identity, this book’s protagonist must grapple with horrifying treatment—all while holding on to her dream to become a doctor and wondering whether or not she is truly mad.

Tiny Pretty Things // Dance, diversity, and drama form the cornerstones of this story about ballerinas who will do whatever it takes to be the best.

The Female of the Species // This book asks a seemingly simple but deeply troubling question: how far is too far when it comes to standing up for people you love?

Conversion // An unusual ailment is sweeping the student body at St. Joan’s, a private academy in Danvers, MA. Could the cause be cutthroat academic competition? Or are more magical forces at work—the same forces that were instrumental in the Salem Witch trials centuries ago?

Dear Killer // This book spotlights a highly-trained moral nihilist whose after-school job is to assassinate by request. I’ll leave you with that.

The Devil You Know // One boy could be the protagonist’s next love; the other could be a murderer. The only problem? She’s on a road trip with both—and she doesn’t know which is which.

The Naturals series // In this brilliant series, four teenage protégés collaborate to solve FBI cold cases—but soon cold cases become active killers, and members of their own ranks may not be worthy of trust.

Do you watch Orange is the New Black? Are you as angry about the ending of season five as I am? And what books would you recommend to fans of the series? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.


  1. I've just added a whole FIVE books from list to my wishlist, and that's almost unprecedented for me! I hadn't heard of most of them, but they all sound amazing.

    Looking forward to reading The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly the most, I think. Great list!

  2. DANGEROUS GIRLS. Emily, you know how much I love that book. (Funny story: I went to Aruba on a cruise a few years ago and apparently their slogan is "One happy island." Like Dangerous Girls makes me think otherwise about that...)

    The Naturals and The Female of the Species are amazing as well. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous choices! <3

  3. i've never watched an episode of ointb but i still loved this post...probably because i love to read about all of these things!! thanks for all the recs!!!


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