Mindy Kaling’s second season of the hit HBO Max series, The Sex Lives of College Girls, has recently ended on a fantastic note. With the show being renewed for its third season, we think it’s high time we take a look at the show through our trademark bookish lens and ask ourselves the question: if the four girls were big readers, what books would they love?
Join us now as we try to figure that out together!
We, of course, have to start with our resident sapphic mean girl with a heart of gold! Leighton is the kind of girl who we see more as scoffing at reading anything a little too sincere. But deep down, she’s got a lot of soul to her, so her book choices would have to reflect that too! It’s a happy coincidence that all the books we’ve picked out for her happen to be pretty in pink!
She Regrets Nothing by Andrea Dunlop: A novel that mixes the drama and sensationalism of Gossip Girl with the old money and family tensions of The Great Gatsby. We can see Leighton picking this one up and relating to the clever and tenacious protagonist of its glittery story.
she is the poem by June Bates: So, Leighton would definitely laugh (and loudly at that) at picking this book up. Still, we think that even if she’d be a little snarky about the poetry, it might call to her nonetheless. Bates’ poems are soulful and romantic, walking the line between romance and self-love effortlessly.
#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso: And, of course, game recognizes game! Sophia Amoruso’s story is practically legend now after it was turned into tv series in 2017. It also feels like Leighton would definitely be appreciative of Sophia’s savviness and the girlboss-gatekeep-gaslight-ness of it all!
Next up is the comedic and sex-obsessed Bela. Her arc in season one was one I’m sure many women could relate to––unfortunately, sexual misconduct and harassment being as commonplace as it is––and she’s since grown quite a bit! Her reading choices have to reflect her interests in improv and comedy, as well as contain a hint of raunchiness to keep things interesting!
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding: Name a more iconic novel! Bela seems like someone who would be drawn to read the book after watching the movie and wondering if it did the story justice. Bridget Jones is known for being hilarious to watch as things go wrong in her life, which is just right for Bela to take inspiration from!
Yes Please by Amy Poehler: Between Mean Girls and Parks and Recreation alone, Amy Poehler is someone Bela definitely admires and whose footsteps she’d want to follow in. So it makes perfect sense for her memoir to be on Bela’s TBR list!
The Deal by Elle Kennedy: Finally, we have this first installment in the steamy Off-Campus series by Elle Kennedy. Bela, being as joyously open about her sex life as she is, would just adore the romances in this sexy series.
In season one, Whitney finds herself in a relationship with the assistant coach of her soccer team––a man who is married, mind you. Since breaking it off, she’s matured a fair bit and decided to put herself first instead of slumming it with guys who definitely don’t deserve her time! Her book taste would be contemporary and modern, with stories featuring complex and strong characters!
Honey and Spice by Bolu Babalola: A tongue-in-cheek story that features fake dating and a stacked social hierarchy lead us to think that Whitney would devour this book immediately! In the same vein as Dear White People, it’s a perfect medley of drama and romance to hold Whit’s interest!
Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid: While, technically, Carrie Soto Is Back isn’t out yet, we just know that Whitney would have the book on her watch list. Especially because Carrie is meant to be an epic athlete, much like Whitney herself!
I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet by Shauna Niequist: This is exactly the kind of book Whitney’s mother would foist onto her, but we think there’s a lot to be gained in giving it a read! Shauna Niequist talks candidly about the mistakes she’s made in her life, and we suspect Whitney would find a kindred spirit in the author!
Like Whitney, Kimberly also has some seriously crappy love luck when it comes to her freshman year at college. Between getting her first yeast infection and her heart broken, she’s been through a lot. And, of course, there’s all the white guilt too. When it comes to Kimberly’s reading habits, we see her picking up sweet and intense romances most often!
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover: We imagine Kimberly falls into Booktok without meaning to and finds herself unable to escape! Which is so relatable of her, frankly. Anyway, Colleen Hoover seems like the ideal fit for her reading taste, doesn’t it?
Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski: We can definitely see Kimberly deciding to do some sex-positive research into reproductive health. This book, written by a bona fide doctor, is highlighted as being transformative and educational all at once!
Faking Under the Mistletoe by Ashley Shepherd: Having met Kimberly’s parents in season one, we just know that she’s a big Christmas girl––whether or not she may be Christian! This novel, saccharine sweet as it is, will surely call to her inner Hallmark movie lover.
With that, we’ve come to the end of our list. As fun as it is to speculate on the kinds of novels the girls would gravitate toward, let’s be real here: between dating, hook-ups, and finals, do they even have the time to crack open a book? Yeah, probably not!
For more book recommendations, click here!
For more sex-positive books, click here!