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The adaptation for Judy Blume’s Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret is almost here, and we’re excited to see a timeless classic tale make it to the big screen. While you wait, we’ve rounded up some fun reads that give a similar vibe, from family dynamics to secrets amongst friends, mother-daughter duos, and feeling like an outcast in a new town.
If Only by Richard Paul Evans
Like Margaret, who doesn’t like her family’s decision to move, Eric’s family just moved from California to Utah, and Eric isn’t coping with it well. One night he meets a girl, Grace, hiding out in a dumpster behind his job. When he recognizes her as a classmate and learns that she is a runaway, he decides to help her hide in his backyard clubhouse. As the two grow closer, can their new relationship handle the realities around them, as well as Eric’s father’s illness—and how long can Grace remain hidden until she’s found?
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
The feeling Margaret has waking up in a new home unsure of her life is all too relatable in this novel. Dannie Kohan is a Manhattan lawyer with a five-year plan who just aced her job interview and accepted a marriage proposal from her boyfriend. But as she falls asleep, she wakes only to find herself in a different apartment, with a strange man wearing his wedding ring. When Dannie gets a hold of herself, she discovers that it’s the very same day, only five years in the future, to be exact. But once she’s asleep again, Dannie finds herself back in the past unable to shake the future life she saw. Now that she’s back to her regular routine, she tries to shake what she saw until she bumps into the same man from her vision.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, has an equally intelligent daughter Bee who’s won a family trip to Antarctica. The news throws Bernadette into a frenzy trying to prepare for the perfect trip. But after years she’s spent trying to live up to the expectations of those in her city, and a fundraiser gone wrong, Bernadette has a meltdown and flees, leaving her family behind. Now Bee is left to pick up the pieces weaving together emails, invoices and school memos that all reveal a side of her mother Bee never knew. Like Margaret in Are You There God, Bee too becomes surrounded by others’ secrets.
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Four Chinese women immigrated to San Francisco around the same time. Frequently, they meet to continue bringing life into their Chinese culture and traditions. Each one has a daughter, and as the years pass, each mother tries to pass on their culture and traditions. But they have secrets, ones that become revealed over time and ones that threaten the ties between them all. If you enjoyed the intricate relationship with Margaret, her mother, and grandmother, this novel too explores the connections between mothers and daughters.
What a Happy Family by Saumya Dave
Having a usual family dynamic is something Margaret and the Joshi family have in common. From the outside looking in, Bina and Deepak have the picture perfect Indian-American family with three wonderful kids, but soon things fall apart. Bina, is a former Bollywood actress and a prominent member of her local Desi community in Atlanta, Georgia. Deepak is a successful psychiatrist, and Suhani, Natasha and Anuj, their children, are successful in careers and lives. Soon Bina starts to become an outsider in her community, and Suhani, who is happily married, realizes things aren’t what they seem. But the hardest blow the family faces is when Natasha, who marches to the beat of her own drum, sees one too many rejections that attack her mental health and leave her in a downward spiral. If they are to survive it all, the family must come together and rely on one another in ways they haven’t before.
Two Truths and a Lie by Meg Mitchell Moore
Running from a bad divorce(and a bit more), Sherri Griffin and her daughter, Katie, recently moved to the idyllic beach town of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Needing a babysitter, Sherri finds Alex Coleman, who has time on her hands after falling out with her longtime best friends. Rebecca Coleman, Alexa’s mother, a former leader of the Newburyport Mom Squad has begun making an effort to include Sherri into the closed-group activities. But while there are truths, each daughter and each mom also has lies entangled into their story that come to light in one way or another. The mother-daughter relationship dynamic is something Margaret knows too well.
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
Experiencing your first crush is something young Margaret can relate to, and one that Persephone Fraser has to relive years later as an adult when she receives a call that sends her home. Persephone remembers spending summers with Sam Florek and being attached at the hip until everything fell spectacularly apart. When she meets Sam many years later, it’s as if time stopped and as they reconnect, Persephone will have to find the strength to confront the decision she made as a young teen that ended it all.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Mia Warren is an enigmatic artist with a teenage daughter named Pearl. Mia’s renting a house in Shaker Heights from the Richardson family, but in this placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland where everything is prim and proper, Mia and Pearl stand out like a sore thumb. When Mia disregards the rules and gets on the wrong side of Elena Richardson, the secrets of Mia’s dark past might come out and threaten her new life in Cleveland.
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Hannah Martin isn’t sure where her life is going. At twenty-nine, she’s been in six different cities and held many jobs. After leaving another city, she heads back home to stay with her best friend, Gabby. One night out with Gabby, she meets up with her high school boyfriend, and soon Hannah finds herself at two crossroads, go home with Gabby or stay with Ethan. Told in concurrent storylines, Hannah’s life plays out to show what would happen if she made either decision. Along the way, she learns a lot about friendship, herself and true love.
City of Likes by Jenny Mollen
Megan Chernoff is a talented copywriter, but currently she’s unemployed. After the birth of her second child, she’s in the middle of an identity crisis until she moves with her family to New York City. There she meets the stylish, well-known momfluencer, Daphne Cole. Daphne and Meg grow closer, and before long Meg is immersed in Daphne’s world of power mom groups, fancy wellness rituals, and receiving validation from her growing followers. When Meg realizes her world is losing its authenticity and her relationship with her sons is at risk, it’s up to her to find a way back to her real life before she loses it all.
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