Growing up with the Harry Potter series was a magical thing. So much so that many of us are already planning on reading them to our own kids, because everyone deserves that experience. But when you grow up with a series of books as amazingly life-changing as Harry Potter, where do you go from there?
It seems impossible to think that anything could compare, but if you look hard enough, there are books we can read as adults that have some of the same elements as our beloved Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling taught us a lot about friendship, love, and family. If you're still missing some of these things, then you're in luck, because as it happens, there are plenty of books for you to pick from!
If you're looking for a story about a friendship as strong as Harry, Ron, and Hermione's, you might want to try Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch. If a battle between good and evil is more your jam, then The Queen of the Tearling will be right up your alley (and bonus, Emma Watson is set to star in its adaptation!). No matter what you loved best about Harry Potter — there are so many things! — there's a book for you.
The Name of the Wind By Patrick Rothfuss
The Name of the Wind is the story of a young man who grows up to be the most famous wizard the world has ever known. This concept might sound just the tiniest bit familiar to Potter fans. Kvothe is an orphan who braves his crime-ridden city and enters an incredible school of magic. Rothfuss creates a grittier, more adult version a magic school which leaves room for a whole new, world-encompassing series for fantasy lovers to enter.
The Magicians By Lev Grossman
This one is probably on every "Books Like Harry Potter" list around, but it's for good reason. The first in a series abut a young wizard finding his place in the magical world gives readers everywhere a taste of what they've been missing since Deathly Hallows. And besides, it is an amazing reminder of the power of a book to take you away completely.
The Goldfinch By Donna Tartt
No magic here, I know, but that's not to say it isn't a magical reading experience. Donna Tartt's Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel is the story of Theo Decker, who loses his mom at a young age and is estranged from his father. What gets him through a terrible time in his life is the friendship he forges with another seemingly lost kid, Boris. Harry Potter is about magic, wizards, and everything in between, but it is ultimately a story about the power of friendship. So if you're missing the dynamic between Harry, Ron and Hermione, give this one a try. (Oh, and the length will definitely remind you of Harry Potter, too.)
Ender's Game By Orson Scott Card
Ender's Game is about a generations-long war, and one young boy who will come through and try to save the planet he calls home. Sounding a little familiar? Fans of Harry Potter will love the "chosen one" aspect of Ender's Game, and the epic battles will be reminiscent of several showdowns from the fantasy series.
Neverwhere By Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman has the same amazing ability as J.K. Rowling to make readers believe the most impossible things, and with that, they could step into the pages and be a part of those impossibilities themselves. Richard Mayhew leaves his humdrum life behind and enters a world he never could have imagined. It's kind of what would happen if a muggle was thrown into the wizarding world with zero warning or explanation. With every turn of the page, Neverwhere draws readers further and further in, and you will lose yourself in this book like you haven't since the end of Potter!
The Queen of the Tearling By Erika Johansen
Emma Watson is starring in the movie adaptation of this book, so we basically all have to read it eventually, right? Right. BUT. There's so much more to it than that! The Queen and the Tearling is about a princess who, in order to claim her throne, must defeat a sorceress in a battle between light and dark powers. Have we finally received the female answer to Harry Potter? It definitely could be.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell By Susanna Clarke
It's 1806, and the majority of people no longer believe in magic anymore. So naturally, when local recluse Mr. Norrell reveals his own magical powers, he becomes a celebrity overnight. But soon, another, much younger wizard comes forward: the enigmatic Jonathan Strange, who becomes a student of Mr. Norrell. But before long, Jonathan's interest in the darker sides of magic strains their relationship, and threatens everything around them. An immense tale of a battle between dark and light magic, Harry Potter fans will simply devour this.
The Eyre Affair By Jasper Fforde
It's 1985 in Great Britain — but not the Britain we all know and love. Cloning and time travel are definitely A Thing, and nothing is taken more seriously than literature. It seems like an amazing time to be alive, right? Wrong! London is basically a police state where anyone can get lost inside the world of a book or poem, and characters themselves can escape from the pages of their books to wreak havoc on the world. It's a magical page-turner that will capture the attention and hearts of Potter readers everywhere.
Cloud Atlas By David Mitchell
David Mitchell's writing is as immersive and mind-boggling as Rowling's. In Cloud Atlas, Mitchell weaves together the stories of several people at once, and in doing so crosses countries, generations, and worlds in a way that seems almost impossible. As we read the Harry Potter series, we kept wondering, "How did she do it?" and readers are pretty much guaranteed to have similar mind boggled reaction to Cloud Atlas, in the best way possible.
St. Lucy's Home for Girl's Raised by Wolves By Karen Russell
What brings Harry Potter to life more than anything else is the dimension of its characters. Through 10 stories, Russell writes vibrant characters to life, and her eerily magical settings will only take you deeper into each one. If you're drawn into the book by the title and cover, you won't be disappointed by what's inside!