6 Books to Read If You Love 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'

by Melissa Ragsdale

When my friend sent me a link to the trailer to the TV show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, I literally started jumping up and down with glee. This show seemed too good be true. A feminist musical with bright colors and quirky humor? It was everything I'd ever wanted out of life. Luckily, wonderfully, the show exceeded my expectations.

From its amazing costuming to its unabashed habit of expressing even my most scandalous thoughts, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is full of treasures. Like that whole song about passive aggressive yoga. Or, in the song about how gross beauty routines, that priceless moment when the rapper leaves to apologize to all the women he's body-shamed. And who didn't start blushing when tuxedo-clad Greg started singing "Settle for Me"? The list goes on and on.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is groundbreaking on almost every level for a show. Its on-point feminist perspective and its ability to play around with every trope make it shine. With complicated friendships and realistic anxieties, it's hard not to be rooting for every character.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has all the makings of great books, too. Here's a reading list for when you can't get enough of Rebecca's adventures in West Covina (two hours from the beach, and four in traffic!).

1. Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

If you're head over heels for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's knack for mixing absurdity with sex-positive themes, look no further. A graphic-novel hailed for its appeal to women, Sex Criminals is the story of Suzie and John, who each have the power to stop time when they have sex. Upon discovering that they share the same ability, the duo naturally starts using their coital powers to rob banks.


2. Where'd You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Just like Rebecca at the start of the series, Bernadette Fox has a seemingly perfect life. However, her life in Seattle and people in general are becoming increasingly overwhelming. And when Bernadette suddenly disappears, it's up to her daughter Bee to find her.


3. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

You may be familiar with the hilarious writings of Allie Brosh from the online version of Hyperbole and a Half. The book offers pieces you've read online along with brand new stories. In the same way that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend uses imaginative music/costuming to add bizarre comedy to Rebecca's story, Brosh utilizes often-crude illustrations to show readers what's really going on in her head.


4. Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel

Of course, one of the best things about the show is its unapologetic feminism and its flair for turning stereotypes on their head — particularly the habit of labelling women as "crazy." This collection of essays is right on the same page. In this self-proclaimed "triumph of pussy power," Elizabeth Wurtzel catalogs the plight of women known to be "crazy" and "manipulative," from Delilah to Hillary Clinton, examining the true motives within our history.


5. Ball by Tara Ison

Though she definitely shouldn't be labelled as "crazy," Rebecca certainly isn't perfect. If you like the complex flaws of her character, take it one step further with Ball. This imaginative story collection takes you into the darker corners of womanhood, friendship, and desire. Plus, many stories are also set in California.


6. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

This book is about as close as you can get to a literary musical. After a lifetime of unpopularity, Elise simultaneously stumbles into friendship, romance, and a newfound passion for DJing. Filled with lyrics and music references, This Song Will Save Your Lifeexplores identity, passion, and everything in-between.


Images: Eddy Chen/The CW