Release your inhibitions and feel the rain on your skin, fellow early-2000s reality television fans: The Hills revival is here. With The Hills: New Beginnings, MTV is ushering in a whole new era in the lives of small screen stars Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, Audrina Patridge, Whitney Port, Brody Jenner, and even The O.C. alum, actress Mischa Barton. For those who need a little refresher, The Hills first premiered in 2006, a spin-off of 2004's Laguna Beach. It followed cast member Lauren Conrad after high school graduation, as she left Laguna Beach for L.A.
I watched for six seasons as Lauren Conrad and her friends tried to make it in the high-stakes worlds of magazine publishing, fashion design and public relations, and went through more friend and romance drama than one iconic black mascara tear could contain. Although Conrad — who is busy being a fashion designer, blogger, and mom — won't be returning to her reality TV roots, New Beginnings promises to make this summer one nostalgic ride.
But once you've finished the premiere, you might want to fully immerse yourself in the The Hills' unique brand of complicated relationships, high stakes careers, and sunny California vibes. I've got 11 books below that will give you all the same vibes as your favorite reality TV show:
'Maybe In Another Life' by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Should Lauren have gone to Paris? The Hills was full of storylines that explored the road taken (Heidi siding with Spencer, Lauren staying in L.A. with Jason, etc.) and the opportunities missed. Maybe in Another Life follows L.A. native 29-year-old Hannah Martin in two different timelines: one, after leaving a party with her best friend; the other, after leaving with her ex-boyfriend.
'Everything Leads to You' by Nina LaCour
Emi has just has just graduated high school, but she's already a wunderkind young set designer, starting to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world. She might have her career path mostly figured out, but her romantic life is a different story. When she meets Ava, the two embark on a life-changing adventure through L.A.
'Watch Me' by Lauren Barnholdt
Reality TV enthusiasts will love Watch Me, which harkens back to its early aughts heyday. The novel follows Ally, who is about to move into a house full of strangers and have her life broadcast to the world. When Ally starts spending time with her housemate Drew, suspicions and lies start piling up, Soon Ally's not sure if she can trust anyone, even herself.
'The Way You Make Me Feel' by Maurene Goo
Like The Hills, Goo's novel is at its core a love letter to Los Angeles, and both also deal with major friend drama and coming-of-age storylines. The Way You Make Me Feel follows Clara during a summer working on her dad's food truck, figuring out who her real friends are, finding love for the first time, and reckoning with her influencer mother's lifestyle.
'My (Not So) Perfect Life' by Sophie Kinsella
For Lauren and company, "making it" in L.A. isn't all its cracked up to be, and each must wade through expectations versus reality when it comes to looking and acting the part of thriving young professional. The same is true for Katie Brenner, who must deal with office politics, complicated romance, and putting on a brave face for the camera (in her case, for Instagram).
'The Summer Of Jordi Perez' by Amy Spalding
The first season of The Hills in particular held so much promise — promise of new adventures and life-changing friendships and the seemingly neverending blue skies of L.A. For the same feels, pick up The Summer of Jodi Perez, which follows Abby Ives, whose love of fashion leads her to a coveted internship at a local boutique. When Abby meets Jordi Perez, their summer turns into one they'll never forget.
'The Proposal' by Jasmine Guillory
By the end of its original run, audiences everywhere learned that so much of The Hills was an experimentation in public perception — what we do when we we're being watched, and how that affects our lives. Guillory tackles those subjects in these steamy, sweet romance set in L.A that begins after the heroine, Nikole, turns down a public proposal at a Dodgers game in front of 45,000 people.
'The Intern' by Gabrielle Tozer
Lauren and Whitney's fraught Teen Vogue internships are among the most iconic plotlines of the series. In The Intern, Josie Browning lands a similarly fraught internship at the glossy fashion magazine Sash.
'Screen Queens' by Lori Goldstein
If your favorite part of The Hills was the career drama, you'll love Screen Queens. It follows Lucy Katz, Maddie Lik and Delia Meyer, all of whom are vying for a dream tech internship. Add in one first love, a two-faced mentor, and an ex-boyfriend-turned-nemesis and things get... complicated.
'For Real' by Alison Cherry
Although much of The Hills was about drama between its heroines, it was also about the complex dynamics of female relationships. This reality-show based novel follows sisters Claire and Miranda on a summer road trip competition. Hoping to outshine Miranda's fame-obsessed ex while having an amazing summer, the sisters are thrown a curveball when they find out the show has a twist.
'Invincible Summer' by Alice Adams
The Hills' original leading ladies — Lauren, Heidi, Audrina, and Whitney — are about as different from one another as they come. Yet, their friendships are the show's emotional core. The same is true in Invincible Summer, a book about four friends who struggle to navigate their relationships over the years.