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Read-Alikes for ‘Our Missing Hearts’ by Celeste Ng | LibraryReads

LJ Talks with Lauren Kung Jessen, Author of 'Lunar Love'

Heart of the Sun Warrior

Tan’s sequel to Daughter of the Moon Goddess is a beautiful story inspired by Chinese mythology, serving up both exquisite worldbuilding and emotional characters.

The Keeper’s Six

The latest from Elliott (Servant Mage) is a rollicking magical adventure with a beating heart. Recommended for readers who like their portal fantasies to step through actual portals and especially for those who fell in love with the hidden linked worlds of Ilona Andrews’s “Innkeepers Chronicles” series.

The Crane Husband

Beyond retelling a folktale, Barnhill (When Women Were Dragons) constructs nuanced characters with conflicting motivations and loyalties. The plot is sometimes slow-moving as readers wait for the narrator to catch up, but it arrives at a thought-provoking conclusion.

Lost in the Moment and Found

The eighth book (after Where the Drowned Girls Go) of McGuire’s “Wayward Children” series is a haunting adventure about the loss of childhood innocence and ultimately, about finding strength and belonging.

The God of Endings

Holland’s well-crafted debut features atmospheric prose and excellent character development. Great for fans of Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire and V. E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.

Mr. Breakfast

At its heart, this is an arresting and imaginative meditation on life. Perfect for fans of magical realism with a free-flowing style like that of David Mitchell and Toshikazu Kawaguchi.


This adult debut from YA author Weeks (The Waking Forest) is perfect for fans of Erin Morgenstern and fairy tale retellings, with great character development and a mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

The Terraformers

An incredibly emotional and action-packed novel deftly taking on personhood, corporate ownership, and terraforming.

Vampire Weekend

Chen’s latest (after Light Years from Home) is an ode to a love for vampires, music, and family, where darker memories can be revealed in the light of the present day.

The Children of Gods and Fighting Men

Lawless’s absorbing debut sets the stage for an enticing new historical fantasy series. Perfect for readers who enjoy mythological retellings that are cunning, brutal, and full of feeling.

The Ivory Tomb

Ryx’s arc is satisfying, and her strengths come alive as she navigates the world and her values. Caruso completes a solid epic fantasy series that will appeal to fans of Sarah J. Maas and Rowenna Miller’s complex schemes.

Where Black Stars Rise

This is an impressive graphic novel from Shammas (Squire) and Enger (Regression) that features life in the diaspora, an inclusive retelling, and a strong, cosmic horror tale. A great option for fans of T. Kingfisher’s modern updates of horror classics and the recent anthology Under Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign.

The Plot and the Pendulum

With a cold case, a sinister mansion, a book collection, a skeleton, and Edgar Allan Poe, this is a treat for fans of McKinlay’s “Library Lover’s” series, Halloween-themed mysteries, and well-written cozies.


A Gatsby for the 21st century, this book offers a satiric look at corporate-think, the desire for easy fixes, and the dissolution of the American Dream. Written with a dry, tongue-in-cheek wit, the novel also explores how the desire for love and connection can cause a kind of obliviousness. Perfect for fans of social satire and literary fiction.

How To Win a Wallflower

In her third “Rebels with a Cause” Regency romance (following How To Deceive a Duke), Parish wields a deft hand with dialogue, characterization, and plotting. Readers will quickly fall into the love story of this extrovert/introvert pair and become emotionally caught up in their personal struggles. The novel assumes familiarity with the series, so start readers with the first installment, How To Survive a Scandal.

The Rom-Com Agenda

Denker’s (Lucky for You) sweet and slow-burn love story, showcasing in-depth knowledge of romantic comedies and featuring a supporting cast worthy of their own novels, will be a perfect addition to every library.

In Love’s Time

Breslin (As Dawn Breaks) weaves a tale of intrigue, secrets, romance, and redemption in wartime England that will satisfy demand for light-hearted historical reads. Fans of Tracie Peterson, Deanne Gist, and Mary Connealy will enjoy this.

The Medici Murders

History buffs may appreciate this intricate character study more than most casual mystery readers.

Lunar Love

Debut author Kung Jessen does an impeccable job helping two adversarial lovers find common ground in their Chinese American heritage and creating a slow-burn romance with lots of humor, family, and food. An excellent match for fans of Jackie Lau, Jayci Lee, and Helena Hunting.

Pride & Puppies

It’s a very slow burn, but this ticks a lot of small-town romance boxes that readers love: puppies, local festivals, nice boys-next-door, and plenty of friends and family.

All the Lost Places

Using a lyrical style heavy with metaphor, Dykes connects a myriad of details to form an epic tale of beauty and redemption with echoes of all the great love stories. With a bit of a National Treasure vibe and a unique setting, this will appeal to historical fiction fans who appreciate art, archaeology, and history.

The Book of Everlasting Things

A long and luxurious tale of love, loss, memory, and place, told against a backdrop of tumultuous historical events.

You Should Smile More

A quirky coming-of-age tale and sweet romance with unique characters and improbable situations. Great for readers who want a happily-ever-after with a cozy twist.

Swann’s War

Fans of Jess Montgomery’s “Kinship” series may appreciate another historical mystery featuring a woman struggling to take over her husband’s role.

Meredith, Alone

In a world contending with the mental health fallout from COVID, Meredith is immediately relatable. Executed with care, humor, and grace, this novel pokes at the bubble of solitude to show each of us that suffering has a sense of community and with that, the prospect of optimism.

When the Night Bells Ring

Seamlessly blending Western, ancient evil, and climate horror tropes, Kaplan (It Will Just Be Us) has created an immersive, chilling, and compelling tale that fans of Christina Henry and Camilla Sten will devour.

Still Waters

Fans of the series will enjoy this entry, which includes fascinating details about search dogs and their work as well as a unique settings and a colorful cast of recurring characters.

A Guide to Being Just Friends

A cozy, contemporary romance wrapping up an otherwise average trilogy. Recommended for libraries with an extensive romance collection or those already invested in the series.

A Quiet Teacher

The chapters are short, and the writing is sharp as Oyebanji demonstrates a confident and developed voice and style. Never pulling punches, he smoothly places societal issues in service of the story and ends up multiplying the power of both.

Lady Meets Earl

Fans of Carlyle’s series will enjoy the beauty of Scotland and the magnetic attraction between James and Lucy. Also hand to those who love smart heroines who aren’t afraid to risk going after what they want in love and life, as well as the heroes who adore and support them wholeheartedly. Victoria Alexander and Lenora Bell are good read-alikes.

Last Circle of Love

Landvik usually excels at creating novels with quirky characters and small-town charm, but there are so many characters and subplots here that the charm gets short shrift. Nonetheless, Landvik is popular, so buy accordingly. Should delight fans of Fannie Flagg and Debbie Macomber.

Someday, Maybe

This is an emotional story of a woman moving through grief with the help of a tremendous support system. The author doesn’t shy away from difficult realities. Readers looking for a window into the grieving process will gravitate toward her story.

A Dash of Salt and Pepper

Jackson’s (I’m So (Not) Over You) sexy grumpy/sunshine romantic comedy will grab readers from the first page. Highly recommended for all collections.

Angels of the Resistance: A WWII Novel

Despite its flaws, this is a worthwhile read, especially for those who enjoy fiction set during the Second World War.

Blackwater Falls

Readers who enjoy a meatier mystery that grapples with contemporary themes, along the lines of a James Lee Burke thriller, will find much to admire.

Breakable Things

Khaw’s critical acclaim and popularity are skyrocketing, and this collection showcases exactly why. It allows readers a chance to swim around in their unique brand of intensely unsettling tales, submerging themselves in a larger pool of their beautiful but horrific waters. For fans of the dark speculative stories by Angela Slatter, Nadia Bulkin, and Samanta Schweblin.

Witcha Gonna Do?

Flynn’s fans will enjoy this detour into paranormal romance, but regular readers of the genre won’t be impressed.

The Man I Never Met

Full of highly effective yearning, this heart-wrenching and bittersweet story of love out-of-reach will have special appeal to fans of angst-filled romance and could also draw in fans of relationship fiction focused on bigger issues of illness and self-actualization.


A strong entry in a series best read in order.

The Gentleman’s Book of Vices

Everlee creates an intriguing cast of found family for Charlie and truly thorny obstacles for the lovers to overcome. Fans of Cat Sebastian and Olivia Waite will enjoy this queer Victorian romance.

Murder at the Jubilee Rally

Suggest for fans of mysteries featuring small-town police forces, including novels by Claire Booth, Steven F. Havill, and Tricia Fields.

Twice in a Lifetime

Baron’s novel has aspects of speculative fiction but is grounded in reality. A good fit for readers interested in exploring a character’s inner life, dusted with a light amount of sci-fi.

When I First Held You

This profound story of loss delivers an emotional gut-punch but also displays human resilience. Recommended for fans of Jodi Picoult.

Dark Matter Presents: Human Monsters

The theme of this anthology, coupled with the inclusion of some of horror’s hottest authors, will cast a wide net of interest. Library workers can also count on the table of contents for dozens of further reading suggestions, but it is the stunning cover that will be the MVP for library displays.

All Roads Lead to You

Ashenden’s second visit to Brightwater in her “Small Town Dreams” series (after Find Your Way Home) is filled with chemistry, steam, and a heart-warming sense of community while delicately tackling the heavy subjects of grief, loss, and learning to love again.

Ghost Town

A highly recommended story of past, identity, and family.

Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six

For fans of creepy, cunning locked-room thrillers based on controversial social norms. Readers will revel in the search for genealogical justice amid best-kept secrets, while wondering who will live and who will die.

Death in Heels

This character-driven mystery flips convention on its head when the straight amateur sleuth is an outsider to the drag community where her best friend is welcome.

Georgie, All Along

Told from alternating viewpoints, this tender and sexy contemporary romance from Clayborn (Love at First) also features strong friendships and will appeal to fans of Emily Henry.

A Sweet Lowcountry Proposal

Perfect for fans of slow-burn second-chance romances.

The Sweet Spot

Fans of K. Bromberg (The Player) and Heidi McLaughlin (Hawk) will enjoy.


This high demand sequel to one of the best and most terrifying books of 2019 will delight fans. Suggest both books to fans of epic, post-apocalyptic, socially conscious horror such as Joe Hill’s The Fireman, Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro’s “The Strain Trilogy,” and Justin Cronin’s “The Passage Trilogy.”

Kiss Me, Catalina

A feel-good, slow-burn romance that explores new territory with the mariachi setting.

My Mother’s Secret

This story of Russian-Jewish history, dysfunctional family relationships, and romance, from the author of The Nesting Dolls, is a good choice for book clubs.

The Night Travelers

Correa’s novel stands out in its attempt to trace the lingering individual and social consequences of wartime trauma in postwar Germany and revolutionary Cuba. It can be hard to keep track of all the characters and their intersecting lives, but this moving, if relentlessly bleak history of one family should appeal to fans of multigenerational stories set against the backdrop of global events.

The Dressmakers of Prospect Heights

With themes of betrayal and love, followed ultimately by hope and new beginnings, Zeldis has written the type of historical fiction that book groups love, about strong women overcoming horrible situations.

City Under One Roof

The claustrophobic atmosphere in this unique one-building town, isolated by tunnels, weather, and secrets, builds a memorable debut crime novel.

The Next Best Day

This charming and emotional stand-alone story from Sala (The Best of Me) is recommended for readers who appreciate contemporary romances with small-town Southern settings.

The Circus Train

For readers who love a good circus, this debut keeps a long story on track, with a few hairpin turns to make it interesting.

They Were Here Before Us

LaRocca is selling his small press titles in larger press numbers, and this might be his best and most accessible work yet. It is a superior example of extreme horror, in the vein of the thought-provoking depravity of Agustina Bazterrica’s Tender Is the Flesh and Kathe Koja’s The Cipher.

Chasing Your Tail

This delightful, romantic comedy is a quick, fun read. Give to fans of the “Bromance Book Club” series, and be prepared to fill requests for the rest of McMurray’s “Whitman Street Cat Café” books (including What the Cat Dragged In).

The Hidden Palace

This second installment in the “Daughters of War” trilogy encompasses the rich sense of place and strong female characters that fans have come to expect from Jefferies. On its own, the novel paints a vibrant picture of family, survival, and courage in war-torn Europe.

The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks

This richly-plotted romance from Robinson (Must Love Books) is full of charming characters and will appeal to fans of Jenny Colgan, Abbi Waxman, and Katarina Bivald.


This sharp satire about lost people is utterly satisfying and wry. Expect interest from listeners after the recent release of Perrotta’s follow-up, Tracy Flick Can’t Win.

Heroes Ever Die

Fans of both superheroes and pulp noir are sure to love Crawford’s action-packed dialogue and descriptions.

Some of It Was Real

Featuring an opposites attract romance filled with mystery and intrigue, this title will capture the audience of women’s lit with its distinctive plot and exploration into the psychic realm.

Smile and Look Pretty

This sometimes infuriating, sometimes ridiculously funny workplace dramedy will be an instant hit; recommend to fans of The Devil Wears Prada and 9 to 5.

This Way Out

Romance is central, but Ahmed’s novel will also appeal to those interested in family conflict. The cross-appeal makes this a must for any audiobook collection.

Night of the Living Rez

This rich collection of interwoven stories will add a new perspective to any collection. Highly recommended, especially for libraries looking to highlight diverse voices and communities.

The Mad Girls of New York

Share this highly recommended audio with fans of New York’s Gilded Age, or with anyone who appreciates a daring story of women doing it for themselves.

The Dismembered

Fans of the gothic will love how Janz uses well-worn tropes in more modern ways, while at the same time readers of 21st-century horror will gain a new appreciation for the genre’s roots. Suggest far and wide to anyone looking for a fast-paced, fun, and scary read, but especially to those who enjoyed The Hacienda, by Isabel Cañas, or the “Stoker’s Wilde” series, by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi.

Stay Awake

Recommended for Goldin fans and those who enjoy listening to tales of suspense.

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches

Mandanna’s enchanting fantasy will have wide appeal and is a must-buy for all public library collections.

22 Seconds

This expertly narrated audio is a fast and entertaining listen. A solid installment in this ever-popular series.

A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder

This charmingly narrated audio will appeal to followers of the series and fans of Victorian cozies and light romantic mysteries. Previous knowledge of the series is helpful but not necessary.

The Beached Ones

This haunting audio deserves a wide audience. Share with fans of atmospheric literary fiction in the vein of Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library or Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life.

The Kew Gardens Girls at War

Recommended for those who enjoy WWII stories and women’s fiction. Series fans will enjoy catching up with old friends, but it is not necessary to have read the first book to enjoy the sequel.

The Favor

This haunting thriller is recommended for most collections.

The Romance Recipe

A charming, stand-alone workplace romance with a foodie bent that will appeal to fans of Hot Copy; a must-have for library audiobook collections.


The complex plot and interlinked characters won’t disappoint series fans.

Nobody But Us

This dual-narrated psychological thriller is a must-have for public library collections.

The Echoes

A fitting finale to this historical fiction series inspired by the first woman sheriff in the state of Ohio.

Haunted by the Past

The 11th book in Green’s fantastical mystery series (following Buried Memories) pokes fun at the genre, with fun and plenty of cathartic resolution for readers who like rueful chuckles with their chills. Recommended for those who like antiheroes with more than a bit of snark.

To Each This World

This stand-alone from Aurora Award–winning Czerneda (Spectrum) is highly recommended for SF readers looking for hopepunk in the midst of both alien and human conspiracies.

Better the Blood

Bennett (who is Maori and of Te Arawa descent) deftly illuminates the historical plight of the Maori people and its continuing effects in New Zealand. His action-packed narrative, blended with various cultural references, recalls the novels of Tony and Anne Hillerman, Craig Johnson, and William Kent Krueger.


Nightwatch Over Windscar

Eason successfully melds a multiverse full of technology, arithmancy, and alchemy in this engaging military space opera that should be read in series order.

The World We Make

Highly recommended for readers who loved the deep dive into myth and roots of American Gods by Neil Gaiman, those fascinated with conspiracy theories about politics and corruption, and anyone who loves a good adventure where plucky underdogs rise up and triumph in spite of themselves.

The Prisoner

Paris (Behind Closed Doors) reduces a woman to a state of near incapacitation and then enables her to face a terrible situation with resolve. For fans of Joy Fielding.

Exes and O’s

A perfect beach read for fans of contemporary romance who enjoy unique and compelling leads.

The Year of Cecily

Giving a fresh start to former sweethearts, debut author Lin handles complicated family culture and romantic tension by writing passionate, strong-willed protagonists and triumphantly delivers a satisfying second-chance romance.

Tell Me I’m Worthless

This debut is a fantastic and disorienting take on the haunted house trope, but it is also a compelling and emotional story about trauma, fascism, and the hard truth of living an openly trans life in the 21st century.

High Spirits

The charming sequel to Be My Ghost will delight readers of paranormal cozy mysteries who enjoy quirky characters and a Christmas setting.

Never Name the Dead

The mystery is secondary in this debut wrapped in Kiowa history, stories, and culture. This novel is slow-paced, but a perfect fit for a story keeper account. Recommended for readers of David Heska Wanbli Weiden’s Winter Counts.

Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man

Edwards’s strength is in the creation of the setting and atmosphere of New York in 1950. For fans of hardboiled PIs with hearts of gold.

The Sanctuary

A tepid mystery that will appeal primarily to aficionados of Scandinavian noir.

Someone Had To Do It

Fans of Alyssa Cole and Zakiya Dalila Harris, whose characters navigate the issues women of color face in the workplace, and of psychological thrillers like Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train will enjoy this one.

A Love by Design

Enjoyable characters and an avoidance of many of the most common tropes of historical romance enliven Everett’s novel; a must-read for those looking for STEM romances.

In It To Win It

With plenty of physical humor, hijinks, and heart, this is a fun, steamy second-chance romance that builds on the world Cooper began with Business Not As Usual. Recommended for readers who also enjoyed Farrah Rochon’s The Boyfriend Project.

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