Once upon a time you used to wait in line for the next perfectly crafted Harry Potter book, dressed in robes bearing your house crest. You would read the book in one night, and fall asleep hugging it like a teddy bear, because the world of Hogwarts was magical and the students there were your best friends.
You even bought the Harry and Hermione Barbie dolls, which came with a chocolate frog-scented bracelet, which you wore every day even though it smelled more like plastic than chocolate.
But then disaster struck: You held the final book in your hands. You finished the last page. And even though it was amazing and beautiful, reading the words “all was well” meant that it was actually, truly over. So you scrambled to find books to fill the gaping hole in your heart: Percy Jackson, Eragon, evenGame of Thrones… but the problem with the Harry Potter broken heart is that it can never really be fixed. The only remedy is to 1) reread the series again and again, crying and eating Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, and to 2) find other books that can cast a spell, because you can only read your paperback Sorcerer’s Stone a certain number of times until it completely disintegrates. (JK. Like you only have one copy.)
'The Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern
Erin Morgenstern’s fantastical tale about Le Cirque des Rêves (the Circus of Dreams) is just dripping with magic. Magicians-in-training Celia and Marco are pitted against one another in a dark competition, and they weave beautiful displays amidst other circus acts so elaborately described that you’ll feel as if you were actually there. Fans of the enchantments in HP will be spellbound.
'American Gods' by Neil Gaiman
Everything Neil Gaiman writes is magical, and American Gods is no exception. This dark and twisted book follows Shadow, a recently released convict, in his work as a bodyguard for the mysterious Mr. Wednesday. Harry Potter fans of the darker elements in the series will be drawn to this folklore-inspired creation of an American mythology.
'The Blue Sword' by Robin McKinley
This book is about an orphan named Harry with magical powers — sound familiar? In this book, however, Harry is a girl, and her powers help her wield a mystical sword once used by a legendary war heroine, Lady Aerin. Set in the fictional land of Damar, this book will appeal to fans of the battles in the Potter series.
'The Horse and His Boy' by C.S. Lewis
Most people are familiar with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but this later addition to the Narnia series is a hidden gem. Set entirely in Narnia, this book follows Shasta (an orphan with a talking horse) and his adventures with Aravis (a runaway aristocrat who’s basically a warrior princess) in a journey reminiscent of Harry and Ron’s drive through the Forbidden Forest.
'Princess Academy' by Shannon Hale
If Hogwarts itself was your favorite part of Harry Potter, you might likePrincess Academy. This YA book by Shannon Hale (author of Goose Girland Austenland) follows Miri, a young woman who attends a “princess academy” to learn how to be a royal.
'The Princess Bride' by William Goldman
No, this isn’t another princess book. And it’s not a kissing book, either. William Goldman’s masterpiece, which was the basis for one of the most quotable movies of all time, is an action-packed yet hilarious work of fantasy that will enchant HP fans. Goldman’s quirky tone is reminiscent of Rowling’s smart humor, and the classic fairytale themes will stick with readers looking for a little bit of magic. Plus, the frame story will make you cry, because it’s perfect.
'The Shadow of the Wind' by Carlos Ruiz ZafónCarlos Ruiz Zafón uses magical realism to weave this captivating story-within-a-story. Fans of Rowling’s ability to blend together memories from the past with the present (pensieve, anyone?) will enjoy Zafón’s tale of Daniel Sempere, a young man on a quest to discover everything he can about the life of his favorite author, the mysterious Julián Carax.
'A Great and Terrible Beauty' by Libba Bray
A school with a magical past. A protagonist with mysterious powers. A diary that conceals a shocking secret. Am I describing Harry Potter or Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty? BOTH. Bray’s book follows Gemma Doyle, a young woman forced to attend finishing school after her mother is murdered under strange circumstances. The book explores the concept of feminine power, and the austere Spence Academy is reminiscent of the magical, magical halls of Hogwarts.
'The Blue Sword' by Robin McKinley
This book is about an orphan named Harry with magical powers — sound familiar? In this book, however, Harry is a girl, and her powers help her wield a mystical sword once used by a legendary war heroine, Lady Aerin. Set in the fictional land of Damar, this book will appeal to fans of the battles in the Potter series.'Sorcery & Cecelia' by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
Told through the letters of best friends Cecy and Kate in Regency England, Sorcery & Cecelia is kind of a mash-up of Jane Austen and Harry Potter. It’s quirky, magical, and a great light read for HP fans.
'The Secret of Platform 13' by Eva Ibbotson
If your favorite part of the Harry Potter books is the magical leap from King’s Cross into another world, you’re in luck, because Eva Ibbotson’s book The Secret of Platform 13 also tells the tale of this fantastical threshold. Great for any age, this story has quirky humor and is drenched in magic, just like Harry Potter. There must be something special about King’s Cross, because it seems to be the place to go when one wants to access a secret world.
'Ready Player One' by Ernest Cline
Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One (which is being made into a Warner Bros movie directed by Steven Spielberg) is like a combination of the virtual world in The Matrix and the classic quest elements of Harry Potter. Protagonist Wade Watts races to find an Easter Egg in the OASIS, a virtual world created by a genius who was obsessed with the 1980s. It’s fast paced, full of pop culture references, and perfect for anyone looking for a story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
'The Secret of Platform 13' by Eva Ibbotson
If your favorite part of the Harry Potter books is the magical leap from King’s Cross into another world, you’re in luck, because Eva Ibbotson’s book The Secret of Platform 13 also tells the tale of this fantastical threshold. Great for any age, this story has quirky humor and is drenched in magic, just like Harry Potter. There must be something special about King’s Cross, because it seems to be the place to go when one wants to access a secret world.'Graceling' by Kristin Cashore
People called “Gracelings” have special powers in Kristin Cashore’s debut work Graceling, and protagonist Katsa is gifted with the Grace of fighting. Fans of Rowling’s realistic and complex female characters will be drawn to the characters in Graceling, and intrigued by this enchanting story of survival despite the odds.
'Airborn' by Kenneth Oppel
Airborn follows an alternate history timeline — one in which airplanes don’t exist, and airships are the favored form of flight. It may not be a Nimbus 2000, but the airship Aurora finds plenty of adventure, with cabin boy Matt Cruse and student Kate de Vries onboard.
'Fangirl' by Rainbow Rowell
In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, protagonist Cath is obsessed with (and writes fan fiction about) a book series called Simon Snow, which is pretty much the Fangirl universe version of Harry Potter. Although Rowell’s book is realistic fiction, following Cath through her first year in college, fans of Harry Potter will definitely relate to Cath’s… wait for it… fan-girling.
'The Cuckoo's Calling' by Robert Galbraith
When all else fails, you can always turn to the queen herself to fill that HP-sized hole in your heart. In The Cuckoo’s Calling, J.K. Rowling’s new protagonist Cormoran Strike investigates the death of supermodel Lula Landry. Rowling’s newest series (published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith) may not be set in the magical universe of spellbooks and lightning-shaped scars and letter-carrying owls, but her writing is still totally magical.