From origins in comic books to a television show and back to the printed word, everything comes full circle in this list of "Riverdale" read-alikes. Inspired by characters from the Archie Comics universe, the CW’s "Riverdale" has a strong fan following. Its grim, nostalgic style reflects common themes in both young adult and adult fiction. If you’re a fan of crime, mystery, privilege, small-town dramas and teens running things, check out some of these selections while you’re waiting for the next episode to drop.
The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci
After social outcast Christopher Creed goes missing, high school boarding student Torrey Adams is determined to find out the truth about what happened to him. While much of the town presumes Christopher to be dead, Torrey isn’t convinced until members of the community begin to throw around accusations of murder. "Riverdale" meets its match in darkness in The Body of Christopher Creed with plenty of thrills in this young adult mystery.
Picture Perfect by Elaine Marie Alphin
Haunted by weird dreams and hallucinations, Ian Slater can’t remember what happened to his best friend Teddy. Now that Teddy is missing, Ian feels responsible for whatever has happened to him. But the more Ian learns about Teddy's disappearance, the less any of it makes sense. With another gritty look at what happens when something terrible befalls a peer, Picture Perfect reflects the true-crime feel "Riverdale" accomplishes so well.
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
With a fuzzy memory and few friends to speak of, Romy Grey wants to keep her head down. When her memories refuse to stay hidden as news of sexual assault and another girl gone missing shake the town, Romy doesn't think she can stay silent. It’s not so easy, though, when the assaulter is the town’s golden boy. Mixing difficult trauma with social politics, All the Rage reflects the horror of Jason’s death and the influence of the Blossom family in "Riverdale," particularly with a stark divide between the haves and the have-nots. Plus, the diner where Romy works plays a strong role just as Pops does in "Riverdale."
This Raging Light by Estelle Laure
Lucille may only be 17, but she’s forced to fend for herself and her young sister now that both of her parents are effectively out of the picture. If this isn’t complicated enough, she’s beginning to develop feelings for a guy, who is both helpful and, unfortunately, her best friend’s brother. Teen relationship drama is a huge part of "Riverdale" and it finds its gritty match in This Raging Light. Themes of poverty and self-reliance similarly bring "Riverdale" to mind.
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
From the perspective of an unnamed narrator, The Virgin Suicides details the quiet suburban drama of the Lisbon girls. As the first-person-plural narrator(s) describe life in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, something sinister is lurking in the seemingly perfect community. As they discover and explore their emerging adulthood, grief and sexuality, one by one, the girls commit suicide. The narrator’s observations are akin to Jughead’s philosophical voiceovers throughout the "Riverdale" show, while the twisted subtext beneath a picture-perfect community will remind readers of the town of Riverdale.
Madapple by Christina Meldrum
Raised in an environment that only allows her contact with her mother, Aslaug is thrown into chaos when her mother dies and she has to move in with extended family. Her new life might be a miracle or a nightmare, depending on perspective. A more mature young adult novel, Madapple features strong themes of family and survival seated in a puzzle fans of "Riverdale" will want to devour. Like "Riverdale," Madapple also has two generations at play in its story, with implications of the first generation’s lives weighing heavily on the second’s.