I recently wrote about my 2019 reading goals and hinted that I had an idea for a book-related project that I wanted to start working on. Well, I am excited to introduce the bulk of what I plan on reading for the first three to six months of the year: The PotterAlike project!
Whenever I’m on Pinterest, I am constantly bombarded by infographics that say things like, “Twelve books you must read if you enjoyed Twilight.” After years of seeing these posts, I finally decided that I want to put this concept of readalikes to the test for the first time using a series near and dear to my own heart: ‘Harry Potter’.
Over the years, nearly everything has been compared to the ‘Harry Potter’ series, so there is no shortage of books to choose from. I ultimately chose this New York Public Library article to be the list of readalikes that I work with because I appreciate that there is a mix of children, young adult, and adult titles on the list. My plan is to read all sixteen books on this list, as well as four of my own personal additions, for a total list of twenty.
The Shadow Thieves – Anne Ursu
The Amulet of Samarkand – Jonathan Stroud
Splendors and Glooms – Laura Ann Schlitz
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making – Cathrynne Valente
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs*
The Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan
*Note that I have already read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, but it was years ago and I will be rereading this one.
Young Adult books
A Great and Terrible Beauty – Libba Bray
Carry On – Rainbow Rowell
The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien*
The Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge
The Stars Never Rise – Rachel Vincent
*I read The Fellowship of the Ring in 2018, so I will be starting with The Two Towers instead of doing a reread.
A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness
The Magicians – Lev Grossman
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell – Susanna Clarke
The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic – Emily Croy Barker
A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab
The False Prince – Jennifer A. Nielsen
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow – Jessica Townsend
The Queen of the Tearling – Erika Johansen
Now that I have introduced the books, I’ll explain a bit more about what I plan to do here. My intention is to read every one of these books and write a review for them. In my review, I will discuss not only the quality of each title, but also the similarities and differences from ‘Harry Potter’. After I have finished everything, I will do a wrap-up post where I do a definitive ranking of “Potteralikes”, listing my personal favorite books, as well as the books that were the closest readalikes to J.K. Rowling’s series. I have no set time frame for how long this will take, but my hope is to have this project wrapped up by the end of June, as I would like to do a second readalike project with another series in the second half of the year.
As you may notice, many of these books are the first entry in a series. I am committing myself to read the first book for each title, and I will then continue to read the series for as long as I am engaged in the narrative. Part of my test for how good of a ‘Harry Potter’ readalike a book is will be based upon how well the entirety of the series holds my attention. In the case of an in-progress series that is currently unfinished, I will take into account how much I am anticipating the next entry.
Overall, this is my project in a nutshell! If you’re intrigued by this project, you are welcome to join in if you want! I’m going to tag any post I make about this topic with “Potteralike”, so if you want to try some readalikes, use the tag so I can see what you think! Let me know in the comments below what you think of this or if you’re joining in!