I loved Wednesday! No, I don’t think you understand. I LOVED Wednesday! Like, I’ve been looking up the makeup used in the show and it’s been sitting in my Sephora cart for a hot minute! (Btw, Wednesday’s signature lip is MAC’s Nightmoth Lip Pencil mixed with a sheer balm, because good girls don’t gatekeep.) I’ve rewatched the show in full two times and certain episodes 4 times. Truly, it is the perfect blend of YA boarding-school mystery and camp horror that speaks to my dark-academia-vintage-goth-emo-phase teenage heart. So here is what I’m planning on reading instead of watching Wednesday for the fifth time as I anxiously await that second season.
If you adored Wednesday you will absolutely love Etiquette & Espionage and the whole Finishing School series! This series is set in a steampunk fantasy version of England, where Queen Victoria rules, vampires and werewolves are integral to London society, and a secret school for female assassins floats around the countryside in a dirigible disguised as the prestigious Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Fourteen-year-old Sophronia will need to learn how to navigate lessons in the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette as well as how to deal out death, diversion and espionage. With utmost politeness, of course! With the perfect amount of camp and dark humor with high-stakes adventure and all the absurdities of Victorian society, Etiquette & Espionage is the perfect match for Wednesday!
Okay, now look. I know this is a middle-grade book but I don’t care! It’s a pitch-perfect book for Wednesday fans and no one can stop me from putting it on this list. Plus, it’s a brilliant read for all ages and as I said above, good girls don’t gatekeep! Nevermoor follows the trials and tribulations of Morrigan Crow, a girl as precocious as she is cursed. And she is cursed – she was born on Eventide, the unluckiest of all days, and is blamed for all manner of calamity. Never mind that she is destined to die on her eleventh birthday. But instead of dying, she is saved by a mysterious man named Jupiter North and whisked away to a land called Nevermoor. And the mysteries of Eventide and Nevermoor are only the beginning! This series has it all! It’s got a school for the unusual and gifted, strange magic around every corner, and a main character who is dark, whip-snap sharp, and deeply misunderstood. Plus that name – Nevermoor, Nevermore Academy… I mean it’s a match made in the Wednesday equivalent of heaven. So, like, a match made in an oubliette?
Speaking of oubliettes, if you loved Wednesday for its synonymous main character and her dark, devious mind you are in luck! Beyond the Ruby Veil is easily the most insane book I have ever read. Seriously, if you love surprises and break-neck plots, go into this one as blind as possible! The main character in this duology is straight-up a villain, but she is a fun, unashamed villain who is fully aware that she is awful and doesn’t care. It’s great. It’s insane, and its great. Combine that with a gothic fantasy setting and enough gore to sate even the most blood-thirsty of readers, Beyond the Ruby Veil is absolutely spot-on to be your next fave if Wednesday’s darker antics were right up your alley.
You asked for a dark fantasy featuring a school for the magically gifted, yes? And a main character who is clever, devious, and utterly uninterested in playing by the rules? Voila! You’ve got it in It Ends in Fire. This book is like Harry Potter if Hogwarts were actually evil and the main character was a girl determined to burn it all to the ground. This book really has it all – a unique and compelling magic system, intense action, backstabbing and double crosses, and sexual tension of the love-triangle-with-a-twist variety! If you wanted to see more of the Poe Cup Race from episode two, you’ll love this book!
If you loved Wednesday’s witticisms and her strange partnership with Thing, you’ll adore these books! The Bartimaeus series truly is a modern classic, sporting an intriguing magic system with roots in real-life occult history and a main character who is both flawed and fascinating! Set in an alternate London where magicians rule, this series follows young Nathaniel, a magician’s apprentice, and the enigmatic Bartimaeus, a djinni of great power. If you loved watching the interactions between Wednesday and Thing, you’ll love the banter (and unlikely friendship?) of these two. With tons of charm and verbal wit, these books will reveal an ever more devious world full of tricksy demons and petty magicians that will keep you absolutely hooked!
A dark YA mystery with a touch of romance and tons of style, Stalking Jack the Ripper is for those of you who loved the investigative side to Wednesday! Follow Audrey Rose Wadsworth, daughter to a lord with a secret fascination for forensic medicine, who gets dragged into the hunt for the infamous Jack the Ripper. With a dark Victorian setting and plenty of real-life historical forensic influences, and of course a brooding and mysterious love-interest in the form of Thomas Cresswell, this book will leave you breathless for more! But don’t worry, the full series is now out for your binging pleasure. The perfect way to help distract you from the wait for Wednesday season two!