This show is a whole vibe. For those of you who love it, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you who don’t, I’ll try to paint a picture, but know that I will fall astronomically short.
Euphoria tells the story of a young girl named Rue recently out of rehab fighting to maintain her relationships with her family, rebuild trust in her friendships, befriend the new girl (Jules), and stay out of trouble (and stay clean). Sounds like every show this side of the CW, right? Oh, so wrong. No show, in my humble experience, has captured the essence of life as a Gen Zer more accurately or more viscerally than Euphoria, with the possible exception of Eighth Grade. It’s thoughtful, contemplative, and impeccably acted (by an incredible young cast including Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, Barbie Ferraira, Storm Reid, and more). From its innovative set designs, seamless integrations of technology, and heart-pounding soundtrack, this show is unafraid to go there. It does what really great storytelling achieves: makes you feel something and sticks with you.
It’s no surprise that it’s being honored at the 2020 Emmy awards in multiple categories. So join us on a read-along with these books for fans of Euphoria or a rewatch of the show to celebrate.
Featured image: HBO
A memoir that begins its journey with a little boy in the Philippines and ends with an accomplished and self-directed woman in America, Meredith Talusan takes readers on a powerful and poignant ride through her own honest and raw experiences with life.
Every Body Looking
Don’t take it from me, listen to Jacqueline Woodson, “Candice Iloh’s beautifully crafted narrative about family, belonging, sexuality, and telling our deepest truths in order to be whole is at once immensely readable and ultimately healing.”
Take Me With You
The themes explored in Andrea Gibson’s (literal) little book of poetry are similar to those explored in Euphoria. Family? Love? Gender? Forgiveness? Check, check, check, and check. Her poetry is evocative, yet visceral. Just like the show, her words are bound to stick with you.
This book explores the modern-day opioid epidemic, and how painkillers have taken insidious roots in young people and vulnerable populations alike. Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter Barry Meier shares decades worth of investigative journalism meant not just to shock, but to help make sense of this “national tragedy.”
Boy Erased (Movie Tie-In)
While Euphoria doesn’t specifically grapple with conversion therapy, various characters are trapped in heteronormative views of themselves and clash with kids from more supporting families, creating a powerful dynamic tension. Few stories stir, in such a visceral way, the interconnected dynamics of the individual and the family unit as Boy Erased. Unpacking shame, grief, depression, and more, these themes help elucidate the struggle of many LGBTQ+ youth.