Friends in Odd Places: Books to Read if You Liked Remarkably Bright Creatures

Remarkably Bright Creatures came out nearly two years ago, yet it remains a top New York Times bestseller and is still very popular among Chicago Public Library patrons. It makes sense. The book’s themes of grief, the human-animal bond and unlikely friendships are all written in a heartfelt way. Below are some titles that have a similar focus on unlikely friendships and the healing they bring.

In Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson, Lillian is tasked with caring for the twin stepchildren of her long lost best friend from boarding school. Lillian, whose life is full of disappointment up until this point, thinks this will be an easy way to make money over one summer, except for a small fact: the twins spontaneously combust when they are upset. What starts as a random summer job eventually turns into something more meaningful between Lillian and the fiery twins. Bonus tip: if you are an audiobook listener, this remains one of my favorite audiobook narrations of all time.

The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise by Colleen Oakley involves a mystery and a road trip. 84-year-old Louise enjoys living independently until she slips and falls and her daughter demands she has a live-in nanny. Tanner, a 21-year-old college dropout, is the person assigned the responsibility. Tanner and Louise are great at ignoring each other in a situation neither of them wants to be in. That is until Louise demands Tanner pack her bags in the middle of the night so they can escape town….

I read Unlikely Animals by Colleen Oakley shortly after reading Remarkably Bright Creatures and enjoyed some of the similarities they had. In Unlikely Animals, Emma is a med school dropout who returns home upon learning that her dad is sick and needs help. Emma and her dad, who has hallucinations from his illness, go on a mission to find Emma’s missing high school friend, who everyone in town claims is a drug addict. This book is full of many other relationship dynamics between Emma and her family and the people in her hometown. It’s delightfully quirky but also features some heavy topics, so please read with care.

In Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen, Zoey moves to the Dellawisp to claim an apartment once owned by her deceased mother. Upon arriving, Zoey is absorbed into the world of her peculiar neighbors and even gets brought into a murder mystery that takes her all around the Dellawisp’s mysterious town of Mallow Island. This book includes magical realism, secrets and, of course, unexpected friendships.

Do you have a favorite book about unlikely friendships or friendships that help heal? Let us know in the comments.