"Can I borrow your copy of Normal People?" is the question on all my friends' lips. The second novel by 29-year-old Irish author and Costa book prize winner Sally Rooney, tells the story of Marianne and Connell who meet at school and proceed to love each other beautifully, but infuriatingly.
After being adapted into one of the sexiest and most successful TV series of the year, Normal People has become lockdown reading for half of the UK population. I read it in three hours and texted my boyfriend this quote when I finished it in a puddle of emotion: "She had tried to be different in the past, as a kind of experiment, but it had never worked. If she was different with Connell, the difference was not happening inside herself, but in between them, in the dynamic." Oof.
I hadn’t read a book that instantly compelling for years, and now, like every other Normal People fan, I'm on a mission to find another high calibre 'will they, won’t they' love story that turns hours into minutes and interferes with my soul. Ahead are 10 recommendations for 'books like Normal People', some from me, some from bookworms at Refinery29, to fill the hole Marianne and Connell have left in our spare time.