I love the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series possibly more than any other show on television. I first discovered Buffy when I was in high school, back in the days when Netflix was just a mail service; my mom used to hide the DVDs from me until I had finished my math homework. As someone who's always been the "weird" kid, Buffy the Vampire Slayer made me feel like I had a place where I belonged. It's a show where being weird means you can also be powerful. It's a show where you can be cute and dorky and badass all at once.
Buffy is more than a series about slaying vampires. It's about characters you feel a million feelings for all at once. It's about trying to make sense of a life that keeps throwing one strange challenge after another at you. It's about girl power. And it's about finding friendship and love in a world full of monsters.
If you're like me, you've plowed through both Buffy and Angel more times than you can count, and you're constantly hungering for more. So, fellow Buffy-enthusiast, whether you love the Scooby Gang's antics, the goofy creatures, or the actual, bone-chilling evil that is at play in Buffy, you're sure to find a book on this list that will slay you.
1. The Regional Office is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales
This new book from Manuel Gonzales has everything a Buffy fan could ask for: ickass female assassins, a management firm that protects the universe from evil, and, naturally, the imminent end of the world. Adventure, the supernatural, and snark all come together in this delightful read.
2. Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
In this addictive, innovative read, vampirism is a parasite transmitted much like HIV. Our hero, Cal, is a carrier for the disease, and all of his girlfriends have become vampires. (Oh, it also gives him superpowers.) Working for an underground, centuries-old bureaucracy, Cal attempts to track down his vampiric exes, in hopes of finding the girl who infected him in the first place. But what he finds is a threat much greater than he could have imagined.
3. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
This graphic novel will leave any Buffy fan in knots. Nimona is a bloodthirsty, shape-shifting teenager who has declared herself the sidekick of evil (but actually pretty moral) mastermind, Lord Blackheart. Hi-jinx are a plenty as the two pair up to take down the actually evil government.
4. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Xander would have delighted in writing this book (in fact, Ness even quotes him). Set in a town not unlike Sunnydale, this is a book about the people who aren't The Chosen One. You get a brief synopsis of what the "indie kids" are doing (fighting zombies, etc.), but the story is really about how normal people, can be remarkable for non-epic reasons.
5. Everyone Says That at the End of the World by Owen Egerton
When the end of the world comes to Austin, TX, chaos ensues with delightfully original flavor. In this book, Earth is the universe's asylum, and an alien race has come to shut it down. From a slacker couple expecting their first baby, to a horde of Jesus clones, to a hermit crab, the characters you meet in this book are unforgettable. Philosophy and adventure come together to create a delightful read.
6. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
Buffy contains so many Anne Rice references, and when you read this book, you'll understand why. A classic in the vampire canon, Interview with the Vampire is breathtakingly good. Set in Louisiana, the story begins when a young man is turned into a vampire. The stakes are raised when this young man and the vampire who sired him turn a girl into a vampire, and she confronts the violent consequences of being a child forever.
7. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
If you loved the story first Slayer, you'll fall hard for this phenomenal book. Set in post-apocalyptic Nigeria, this book follows a society in which women are horrifically and systemically oppressed. The main character, Onyesonwu, discovers an enormous magic within herself, and she fights to control her powers, find her murderous father, and stop the genocide that rages across her country. This is a book all about female power, and a must-read for all Buffy fans.
8. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
A companion to the beloved book Fangirl, this page-turner takes place at the Watford School of Magicks, where Simon Snow is in his last year. All Simon wants to do is relax, but trouble keeps finding him — everything from his missing roommate/nemesis to the threat of actual evil. The jacket copy puts it perfectly: "It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters."
9. The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
Whoops, I had to put a second book by Scott Westerfeld book on here, because The Midnighters series is too perfect not to share. All born at the stroke of midnight, a group of teenagers in Bixby, Oklahoma live during an extra, secret hour of the day, a time in which they fight dark creatures. Each has their own superpower, from reading minds to incredible math skills. Just like the characters in Buffy, The Midnighters have to balance saving the world with their everyday lives. But when a new girl comes to town, their already chaotic mission becomes even more dangerous.
Images: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation and UPN