In a year full of uncertainty, one of the only things we had to rely on was television. Dozens of shows premiered in 2020 across many different channels and streaming platforms, so I thought I would help give those who enjoyed a new series this year an idea of what to do next...Read one of these books! I've matched a Young Adult book to 30 of the new shows from 2020 (each of which have a link for further information), so find your favorite and get reading. If your favorite is missing from this list, then I either didn't get a chance to watch it this year or couldn't find a good book rec to go along with it. Happy reading and Happy New Year. (Update: I've tried my best to add trigger warnings to all the shows & books that I remember deal with sensitive topics at some point. I'm sure I forgot some though, so please make sure to look the show or book up if you're concerned before watching/reading)
Outer Banks (Netflix)
Outer Banks premiered in April and followed a group of friends searching for treasure in their beachside town while dealing with rich rivals and other obstacles.
Serious Moonlightby Jenn Bennett offers readers two of the elements that make Outer Banks so binge worthy- mystery and romance... this time it's just set in a hotel.
Never Have I Ever (Netflix)
Never Have I Ever premiered in April and followed Indian-American sophomore Devi hilariously trying to survive high school and check some things off her list.
10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon has an Indian-American main character with striking similarities to Devi, whether it be her constant butting heads with a male adversary or a strained relationship with her mother.
Mrs. America (FX)
Mrs. America premiered in April and showcased the ladies of both sides of the Equal Rights Act of the 1970s.
Yes No Maybe So by Aisha Saeed & Becky Albertalli takes on politics just like this TV show, although this time it's a couple teens door-to-door canvasing in Georgia.
Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)
Little Fires Everywhere premiered in March and depicted a series of events leading to a perfect family's house being burned down.
Folded Notes From High School by Matt Boren is heavy on the drama (albeit of the high school variety) just like this show and also takes place in the 90s; it does have more of a comedic feel to it though.
Katy Keene (The CW)
Katy Keene premiered in February and followed the lives of the titular character and her roommates trying to make it big in their dream careers in New York City.
Fireworks by Katie Cotugno is also all about friendship and chasing your dreams, making this one a no brainer.
Hunters (Amazon Prime Video)
Hunters premiered in February and chronicled the lives of a group of Nazi Hunters in the 1970s in America.
Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen has a main character who also likes to kick Nazi butt.
The Great (Hulu)
The Great premiered in May and was a raunchy twist on the rise of power of Russia's Catherine the Great.
Lady Janies Series by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows take well known heroines from history and literature and put a humorous spin on them too. (The link is only to the first book of the series)
High Fidelity (Hulu)
High Fidelity premiered in February and introduced us to Rob and her top 5 worst heartbreaks of all time.
The 7 Torments of Amy & Craig (A Love Story) by Don Zolidis displays the inevitable ups and downs of a relationship just like Rob went through.
Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (NBC)
Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist premiered in January and had main character Zoey stuck hearing people burst into song to express their true feelings.
Kind of a Big Deal by Shannon Hale takes our protagonist into the books she's reading, so she too, like Zoey, has to figure out what is going on.
Love Life (HBO Max)
Love Life premiered in May and followed our main character as she falls in and out of love with many different (and the same) people.
Four Days of You and Me by Miranda Kenneally gives us a glimpse at our two main characters on their class trip all four years of high school and how their relationship has changed each year.
Defending Jacob (Apple TV+)
Defending Jacob premiered in April and showed viewers how far a family must go to prove their son is innocent in a classmate's murder.
The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas keeps you constantly guessing with mysteries on top of mysteries in this one small town that the protagonist must solve, including ones that hit close to home.
Run premiered in April and introduced us to ex-college flames who agree to get on a train and travel across the country if one of them texts "Run".
Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro & Emily Henry is two friends who travel across the country to get away from all their problems too.
Love in the Time of Corona (Freeform)
Love in the Time of Corona premiered in August and showed us how different types of love are affected by the Coronavirus and being apart.
Quarantine: A Love Story by Katie Cicatelli-Kuc has two teens falling in love while quarantining together after being exposed to a serious illness.
Stargirl (DC Universe)
Stargirl premiered in May and chronicled a teenage girl in my home state of Nebraska learning how to become a superhero and recruit other teens to join her.
Faith: Taking Flight by Julie Murphy has a heroine full of tons of powers of her own who is learning how to save the day.
Diary of a Future President (Disney+)
Diary of a Future President premiered in January and gave us a glimpse at the middle school adventures of the future president of the United States.
Running by Natalia Sylvester has numerous similarities to this series- a Florida setting, a Latina lead, a patriotic theme, and plenty of activism/standing up for what you believe in.
(Trigger Warning: several depictions of mental disorders)Ratched premiered in September and focused on the infamous evil nurse from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest as she works at a mental hospital in the 1940s.
(Trigger Warning: schizophrenia)Words on Bathroom Wallsby Julie Walton can give you a more modern look at having a psychological disorder, in this case a teenage boy with schizophrenia.
Julie and the Phantoms (Netflix)
Julie and the Phantoms premiered in September and had us singing along to the band that Julie started with the 3 ghosts that she befriends.
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson also has a Latina protagonist with a lot of ghostly friends.
Emily in Paris (Netflix)
Emily in Paris premiered in October and had audiences watching as Emily tried to make her new life, job, and relationships work in a whole new country.
Again, but Better by Christine Riccio will also give you a taste of experiencing new things in a new country, although in this book our main character will get a do-over that I'm sure Emily wishes she had at times.
The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix)
The Haunting of Bly Manor premiered in October and gave viewers the chills as they watched an American Au Pair try to figure out the mysteries of the creepy house filled with ghosts she was now staying in.
Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol has, as the title obviously gives away, a ghost, and she's about as friendly as the ones in this show.
Saved by the Bell (Peacock)
Saved by the Bell premiered in November and picked up where the original show left off with a whole new generation of students descending on the halls of Bayside High.
Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills reminds me of this series so much. They both feature a great cast of characters, interesting relationships, and plenty of plans/schemes to save the day.
Everything's Gonna Be Okay (Freeform)
Everything's Gonna Be Okay premiered in January and showed us one man trying to figure out how to be the new guardian for his teenage half-sisters, one of whom is autistic.
The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas gives us an inside look at the life of a British teen with autism, trying to deal with her family, relationships, and a mean girl.
Little Voice (Apple TV+)
Little Voice premiered in July and took us along with an aspiring singer named Bess trying to juggle all the aspects of her life while finding her voice and making it big.
Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo also has a musical element to it, although in this story it's a K-Pop star. There's definitely some romance in here too just like in the TV show.
Upload (Amazon Prime Video)
Upload premiered in May and gave us a look at a different type of afterlife where you are uploaded to the computer and live there in a new world.
Layoverland by Gabby Noone also deals with what happens to us when we die; this time though, our protagonist is forced to help people move on in a purgatory that looks like the airport.
Spinning Out (Netflix)
(Trigger Warning: bipolar disorders)Spinning Out premiered in January and focused on sister ice skaters competing to make it to the Olympics and grappling with a slew of issues, including mental health, romance, and their mother.
Every Reason We Shouldn't by Sara Fujimura is ice skating and romance too; these two are just meant to be together.
The Undoing (HBO)
The Undoing premiered in October and followed a perfect family being entangled in a murder investigation.
A Good Girl's Guide to Murderby Holly Jackson has a murder investigation of its own, this time though, it's up to one high school girl to solve a cold case in her town.
Dash & Lily (Netflix)
Dash & Lily premiered in November and was a perfect dose of Holiday cheer as we watched Dash and Lily leave each other dares in a red journal during Christmastime in New York City.
10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston will also make you feel the love and holiday spirit, being a rom-com that takes place in December too.
I Am Not Okay with This (Netflix)
I Am Not Okay with This premiered in February and depicted a teenage girl dealing with many new developments in her life, whether they be romantic or supernatural.
Brown Girl Ghosted by Mintie Das has our heroine having a similar struggle of coming upon magic powers and having to figure out how to use them in a high school setting.
Love, Victor (Hulu)
Love, Victor premiered in June and introduced us to Victor, a boy exploring his new school and his sexuality.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan gives us some of the same themes from this show, including messy friendships and burgeoning sexualities/relationships.
The Right Stuff (Disney+)
The Right Stuff premiered in October and chronicled the competition between 7 astronauts for who would make it into space first.
We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian has an ensemble of characters with that same competitive nature as they duke it out for who's going to be the star of the field hockey team but also demonstrates the same growing friendships seen in the show.
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
Ted Lasso premiered in August and followed American football coach Ted Lasso as he tries his hand at coaching a soccer team in England with no soccer knowledge.
Losers Take All by David Klass has the same humor and heart while also following an unconventional soccer team.