This post was originally going to be “5 Books You Might Enjoy if You Love 80’s Teen Movies,” but that was just too broad and specific at the same time. For starters, I feel like I didn’t need to limit it to any particular decade. The angst and problems the teens face in the Breakfast Club are timeless, although the 80’s were pretty awesome in terms of movies (and music). Also, The Breakfast Club just has a certain vibe that not every 80’s movie has.
Title: The Breakfast Club
Director: John Hughes
Writer: John Hughes
Cast: Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy
IMDb | Wikipedia | Amazon
Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought. The story line follows five teenagers, each members of different high school cliques, who spend a Saturday in detention together and come to realize that they are all more than their respective stereotypes, while facing a strict disciplinarian. Five high school students from different walks of life endure a Saturday detention under a power-hungry principal (Paul Gleason). The disparate group includes rebel John (Judd Nelson), princess Claire (Molly Ringwald), outcast Allison (Ally Sheedy), brainy Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) and Andrew (Emilio Estevez), the jock. Each has a chance to tell his or her story, making the others see them a little differently — and when the day ends, they question whether school will ever be the same.
So, without further ado, here’s 5 books you might enjoy if you love the Breakfast Club:
1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Technically, the Perks of Being a Wallflower is set in the early 90’s, but it’s still a coming-of-age novel that explores similar themes that are present in The Breakfast Club. Perks shows what it’s like to feel like an outsider as Charlie navigates high school and the challenges of being a teenager. Perks has wonderful, dimensional characters that will make you laugh, cry, and completely relate to what they’re going through. Plus, while it’s not set in the 80’s, this book absolutely provides a wonderful dose of nostalgia, if that’s what you’re looking for!
2. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King
Like The Breakfast Club, there’s something honest and uncensored in Please Ignore Vera Dietz about what growing up and being young is like. Although the stories are totally different, there’s similar themes of coming-of-age and friendship despite the circumstances. This book has hints of realism and there’s some pretty weird sections from the perspective of things or places, but all in all, Vera is a book that is heartfelt, funny, and honest.
3. The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos
If you like The Breakfast Club for its amazing soundtrack (Don’t You!), then you’ll like The Scar Boys. The Scar Boys follows a young boy in a punk rock band. Harry was severely burned in an accident (or more like a cruel incident) that leaves him covered in burns. Harry knows what it’s like to not fit in and be bullied for how he appears. But with the help of a friend and some good music, Harry gets through it all. The Scar Boys is a coming-of-age novel that will have you rooting for Harry as he takes you on his journey through adolescence.
4. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
The Breakfast Club has some cute (somewhat weird) romance, and so does Eleanor and Park. Set one year after the Breakfast Club, this book totally has the 80’s vibe you’re looking for. Don’t be fooled by the fact that this is a YA romance into thinking that it’s all fluff and giggles. Eleanor and Park has some pretty dark, sad aspects that will have your heart breaking for the characters. But there’s definitely some cuteness and giggles, too.
5. We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun and Susan Mullen
It’s the summer of 1982, and for Scott and Cath, everything is about to change.
We Are Still Tornadoes is probably THE best 80’s teen romance book I’ve ever read. That being said, the truth is that I haven’t read very many. BUT it’s still an adorable book about growing up, adjusting to college, and the joy and struggles of friendships. Cath and Scott will absolutely win your hearts from the start. This book is packed with pop culture (particularly music) references from the 80’s that will give you a dose of nostalgia.
BONUS: One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
I haven’t read One of Us is Lying, but here’s a review by Lola @ Hit or Miss books! This book has a summary that practically describes the characters in The Breakfast Club EXCEPT this book is a mystery/thriller! So if you’re looking for something a little bit different but still reminiscent of TBC, check this book out! 🙂