Books Like ... the TV Show Smash


In my new "Books Like" feature, I pick a topic  (a book, or TV show or some other pop culture phenomenon -- I'm going to try to get creative!) and try to come up with YA books that I think will appeal to fans of that topic.

Bloggers spend a lot of time focused on the latest and newest, and this is also a great way for me to show the love for some books that you may have missed out on.

Today's topic is....

I'm a huge fan of the TV series Smash. Season two is premiering on February 5th. You can still catch up on season one on Hulu.

What's it about? Ivy (portrayed by Megan Hilty, formerly of Wicked), who feels likes she's danced in the back row of every ensemble on Broadway, has finally been cast as the star of a new musical. Can this chorus girl revinvent herself as a leading lady? Iowa farm girl Karen (played by Katherine McPhee, a runner-up on American Idol) has been cast as Ivy's understudy, but is happy to step in if Ivy's not up for the job.  Then there's bickering playwrights Tom and Julia, newly divorced producer Eileen, philandering director Derek, and eavesdropping assistant Ellis...

So, as always on Bookalikes, I'll break the formula down:

Girl rivalry +
Reinvention +
Country girl in the big city +
Betrayal and heartbreak +
Let's put on a show +

Here are my recommendations of books that might appeal to fans of the show. Click on the book covers to get to the Goodreads page.

Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer
Published by HarperTeen October 2011

Girl rivalry + love and heartbreak + let's put on a show

The story of two singers: queen bee Brooke and underdog Kathryn. Both are competing for the prestigious Blackmoore prize. The two were also close friends whose relationship imploded for reasons that are slowly revealed over the course of the story.

by Lili Wilkinson
Published by HarperTeen February 2011

Let's put on a show + reinvention + love and heartbreak

Former goth girl Ava Simpson has re-dyed her hair, left her girlfriend Chloe, and is trying to fit in at a new school in a new persona. Soon she finds herself auditioning for Bang! Bang! the school musical, flirting with guys, and finding a place among the Screw Crew, the group of kids who builds stage sets. But eventually she'll have to quit playacting and figure out who she really is.

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
by Dyan Sheldon
Published by Candlewick 1999

Let's put on a show + girl rivalry + reinvention

When Mary Elizabeth Cep has to move from Manhattan to boring New Jersey, she reinvents herself as Lola and sets out to beat popular Carla Santini for the lead in Pygmalion. She also befriends sensible Ella and leads her on a wild goose chase through Manhattan as they try to track down Lola's favorite singer, Stu Wolff of Siddhartha. Also a 2004 Disney movie starring Lindsay Lohan.

A Long Way From You
By Gwendolyn Heasley
Published by HarperTeen in June 2012

Reinvention + heartbreak + country girl in the city

Texas cheerleader Kitsy Kittridge has always dreamed of being an artist, but instead she puts her dreams on hold while she serves as a caretaker to her mother and younger brother. When she's accepted at a prestigious summer art program in New York City, will this country girl be able to say goodbye to her boyfriend and handle life and love in the big city?

New Addition -- Feb 2013

The Reece Malcolm List
by Amy Spalding
Published by Entangled Teen in February 2013

Reinvention + heartbreak + country girl in the city + let's put on a show

When Devan's father dies, she's whisked off to live with her biological mother -- best-selling author Reece Malcolm. Soon Devan's living her dream -- attending a prestigious performing arts school, trying out for the school musical, and falling in love with boys. But can she figure out her famous mother, and trust her not to walk out again?

Also file under: Books Like the TV show Glee. Books Like The TV Show Fame. 

Tell me in comments: do you watch Smash? Have you read any of my choices? Do you have any other suggestions for my list?


  1. I haven't watched Smash, but I'm sure its a show I would love! I haven't read any of the books. Rival sounds very good to me!

  2. Love books that feature musicals/plays. Will also second the fact that people should read Rival, an excellent book!

  3. I wish I watch more tv but alas I do not. LOL!

  4. I started watching it, but didn't stick with it. There are very few shows that I watch every single week. I'm not a big tv person. I would definitely check out some of those books though.

  5. I really liked the first season of Smash (yay, February's not too far off!) so I will definitely have to check out these books. Thank you for some great suggestions! :)

  6. cool idea. Right now my TV world consists of SOA and GOSSIP GIRL--how can one be expected to turn away from CHuck Bass?

  7. I think I might have seen half an episode of smash once. Haven't had time to watch more though! (too busy reading) I haven't heard of any of the books you mention so I will check them out :)

  8. I love Smash! I'm excited to check out these recommendations. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I haven't heard of any of these books. Thanks for doing this feature. It's such a cool idea.

  10. I haven't watched Smash or read any of these books but I've been dying to read Rival and A Long Way From You!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

  11. I don't think I have heard of any of these books! I may have to check out Rival. Thanks for sharing! :)

  12. I haven't seen Smash or read any of these books, but I still totally love this feature!!! Seriously! One of my fave features that I've seen in a long time!

  13. I've never even heard of SMASH, but then I don't watch much television.


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