8 Books To Read While You Wait For TV Shows & Movies To Come Out

Who’s been watching all the TV? With a pandemic pushing forward, there’s not much else to do on a Friday (and Saturday and Sunday) night but hit up DoorDash and turn on Netflix. However, well into August, there’s a good chance your watch lists are drying up. If you’re not-so-patiently waiting for your favorite shows to premiere and those new movies to finally drop, we’re with you. It’s a drag.

But we come bearing solutions. The wonderful world of movies and television may be on pause, but books haven’t missed a beat. The publishing industry is still pushing out new releases, and many of them are reminiscent of popular binge-worthy shows and upcoming blockbuster films. As you’re waiting around for that premiere date to finally get locked in, these books will tide you over.

For fans of Mindhunter

Season two of the suspenseful Netflix series left off as Bill’s home life was crumbling and the mystery of young Black boys turning up murdered in Atlanta was left unsolved—a scapegoat taking the fall. The green light for season three is still on hold, not just because of COVID, but also because the director is focused on other projects. Luckily, Matthew Farrell’s Don’t Ever Forget drudges up crimes of the fictional past. It all starts when a state trooper is murdered. Investigator Susan Adler traces evidence back to an elderly patient and his caretaker, which reopens two cold cases from years ago. As more people start to turn up dead, Susan and her wingman Liam have to find answers fast.

For fans of The Nightingale

Kristin Hannah recently announced her hit book Firefly Lane will be adapted into a Netflix series, but fans of the author are also anxiously waiting for The Nightingale to releaseThe drama set during World War II is set to feature the Fanning sisters (Dakota and Elle). With the release date postponed one year to Christmas 2021, We Came Here to Shine by Susie Orman Schnall will fill the void. It checks the historical fiction box and features two strong female characters. As two friends come together in 1930s New York, they’re determined to take the future into their own hands. Realizing that men have too much of a hand in their personal and professional happiness, they team up to make their dreams come true at all costs.

For fans of Where the Crawdads Sing

Reese Witherspoon announced plans to adapt the bestseller for the big screen, but everything from the cast to the release date is yet to be determined. As you wait for details to trickle their way into headlines and pray that production doesn’t get delayed, get into some similar reading. Fans of Crawdads will get lost in The Best Part of Us by Sally Cole-Misch. Beth treasures her summers spent at her family’s lake property in Canada lake, her brother’s paintings of the serene setting and all. Fourteen years after her family was forced out, Beth’s grandfather calls her back, and she’ll have to make tough choices. With themes of loyalty, nature, and survival in play, you may have some major Crawdad vibes.

For fans of The Undoing

The Undoing miniseries will hit HBO courtesy of David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies showrunner), but the story itself is based on Jean Hanff Korelitz’s novel You Should Have Known. As you’re waiting for the miniseries to debut, you can devour The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michele Campbell. When Tabitha is reunited with an old love after his wife takes her own life, a woman he never loved, she becomes a convenient suspect. She finds a diary with one simple statement that changes everything: “I’m writing this to raise an alarm in the event of my untimely death… If I die unexpectedly, it was foul play, and Connor was behind it. Connor—and her.”

For fans of Gossip Girl

It’ll be at least 2021 before the confirmed Gossip Girl reboot hits HBO Max. What will the story be this time? Will Blair and Serena still be at the center? Who’s the new Chuck? Fans of the cult classic may have to wait to find out what drama will unfold, but in the meantime, author Jessica Goodman has written a story about elite prep school kids that’s giving fans a major Gossip Girl feel. Goodman’s They Wish They Were Us centers around the murder of Shaila. Despite the tragedy, her best friend tries to start fresh. She’s admitted into their school’s secret society and set for an epic senior year. Except, she can’t help but feel the wrong guy is doing time for the death of her BFF.

For fans of Daisy Jones and the Six

There’s still no official release date for the TV series adaptation of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestselling novel about a fictional 70s rock band. And fans may be just as eager to hear the original music as they are to binge the episodes themselves. Solo by Kwame Alexander has a similar musical charm, sucking you into the lyrical world of Blade and Rutherford—a son and his washed-up, ex-rock star father. The story takes you through their heartache, hopes, and healing while the music that consumes them colors the journey.

For fans of Dune

The long-awaited Warner Bros. remake of Dune already had its release date pushed back once, and the new release date of December 18, 2020 has fans eager for what could be the new Star Wars. While we wait for this star-studded film’s release, another star has released just the book to meet our galactic needs. The Tinderbox: Soldier of Indira by Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba, Prodigal Son), is an unforgettable science fiction fantasy tale about a solider forced to serve. When a battle with mortal enemies goes wrong, Everson finds himself stranded on an unfamiliar planet where everyone is out to get him. But will forbidden love with an unexpected enemy be their chance to end this war once and for all?

For fans of The Woman in the Window

This eerie movie filled with A-list names such as Amy Adams and Julianne Moore has had a bumpy road to the big screen. After being delayed once due to early audience reactions, its release was postponed again due to COVID-19 and issues finding a streaming platform. While Netflix finalizes an acquisition deal, we recommend reading Lucy Foley’s chilling thriller The Guest List to hold you over. When a glamorous wedding celebration on a remote Irish island turns dark, not everyone will leave alive. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And why?

Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.

Images: Christin Hume / Unsplash; Amazon

The 7 Worst Random Characters On ‘Gossip Girl’

One of the things I love most about Gossip Girl is the slew of random characters whose sole purpose is to keep the plot interesting by shaking things up for our favorite four Upper East Siders and two annoying Brooklynites who endlessly complain about their unfortunate financial lot in life from their gigantic loft in one of New York’s most expensive neighborhoods. I digress. Anyway, as with any television show, each season introduces a few new characters, some of whom are truly perfect temporary additions to the cast, like Fleur Delacour Eva Coupeau, and others are less than perfect, like most of the writers’ choices. 

I’m a loyal GG lover, so I typically hold back when it comes to some of the laughable wardrobe choices, but as I rewatch this scripted trash for the ninth time, I can’t bite my tongue about the most egregious part of this show: the randos. Without further ado, I give you the worst and/or most annoying random characters who we all love to hate. Enjoy.

Juliet Sharp

For those of you who forgot who she is, allow me to remind you. She’s the sister of the boarding school teacher-turned-convicted-felon with whom Serena allegedly had an affair when she was 15 and he was…older than 15. Mhmm, makes sense. Anyway, if I had to pick the worst thing about Juliet, it would have to be the way she dresses. Literally, all of her outfits are different yet heinous versions of the same business-professional dress with a cropped blazer over it. Like???? When I was in college, I literally wore jeans and sweaters every goddamn day.

Aside from her sartorial errors. her character is also incredibly creepy. I’m pretty sure the most disturbing exchange in this entire series is one that took place between Juliet and her brother during a prison visit when she says, “Keep your focus on not getting raped or killed” to which he responds, “It’s a minimum security prison” and she counters with, “And you’re hot” and then they seductively hold hands across the table and exchange minxy smiles. I think it’s totally okay to say he’s handsome or attractive because, criminal or not, he is both of those things, but hot? That’s your BROTHER. Why don’t you go take a cold shower, sis! Also, her whole purpose on this show is to, like, physically injure Serena and get her expelled from college, which is pretty shameful. Even Georgina would disapprove of this. 

Damien Dalgaard 

Damien has a lot of unfortunate qualities that earned him a spot on this list, but the one thing I truly couldn’t stand was how condescending he was to Jenny while they were dating. When they were about to have sex, she was really nervous because she was a virgin and he was like, “I get it. I’m older than you and when I date someone, sex is a a big part of the relationship. You’re a young, innocent girl, so I get that you’re nervous.” He was in Serena’s class at boarding school, which would make him no more than two years older than Jenny, so I’m confused as to why he’s talking to her like a World War II veteran who’s seen more than she ever will. 

Acting like a cultured citizen of the world was like, his whole persona, which I just found incredibly annoying because he was literally 18 at the time, so no one’s buying it, sweetie. 

Lady Catherine

This is another character whose circumstances really confused me. My knowledge of British monarchy is based solely on The Crown, so forgive me if I’m wrong, but if Catherine were a “lady,” that would mean she’s married to a duke, which we’ve been told she is. So if that’s the case, why would they be summering in the Hamptons and living in a townhouse in Manhattan the rest of the time? Don’t they have royal duties in England to carry out? Don’t forget, this was pre-Meghan Markle. 

The second, and slightly bigger, issue with this lady is that she has a title of nobility and yet she’s paying an underage American kid to bang her against her dryer every few days. Two felonies for the price of one! How did this affair even work? Would she text him on her burner cell and be like, “Hey, when you’re done with algebra, can you come over?” Let us not forget, she was also f*cking her stepson. Safe to say, this woman needs therapy. 

Vanessa Abrams

I know she’s not technically considered random since she’s in every season, but she’s not part of the main six, so to me, she’s a random. Sorry (not really) to all of the Vanessa die-hards, but she plainly sucks. She’s one of those people who feels way too comfortable around people she just met and, maybe it’s just me because I still don’t feel comfortable around people I’ve known my whole life, but that’s not a likable quality. Second, I didn’t like how she was always at private events for schools she didn’t attend! Like, she was at literally every dance, party, and study session of the Constance girls and then at the Columbia alumni events. Seriously, she doesn’t even go here!

Ivy Dickens

Okay, to set the record straight, I hated the fake Charlie Rhodes (Ivy Dickens), but lived for the real Lola Rhodes. I know this isn’t a character flaw, but there was something about her voice that made it really hard to get on board with anything she was talking about, and her pretending to have a mental illness to explain her behavior wasn’t cool. 

I know she was an actress being paid by the real Lola Rhodes’ mom to pretend to be her (happens all the time), but couldn’t Ivy have just, like, gotten another acting job that didn’t involve fraud? I can’t imagine being so desperate for a job that I’d hear Carol’s pitch and think it was a good idea. 

Tripp Vanderbilt

Sorry, but Tripp and his waspy-ass name was a giant p*ssy. Like, literally everything about him was so pathetic and sad—especially when he crashed his car and put Serena in the driver’s seat to make it seem like it was her fault. Why do all of these people in positions of power take no more than two seconds to consider whether or not they want to commit a crime? I take more time deciding between two identical pale pink nail polishes than Tripp did to pin a car crash on his mistress. I also feel like Nate’s fancy politico cousin should have been 10 times hotter than Tripp, who looks like he calls his mom four times a day. I definitely wouldn’t have voted for him. 

Aaron Rose

Hands down Serena’s least likable boy toy. His skinny scarves and confusing haircut were enough for me to decide he sucks, but then he opened his mouth and…it didn’t help his cause. Like Damien with Jenny, Aaron acts like Serena is just a young and stupid child who doesn’t understand the complexities of adulthood, which is hilarious to me because Blake Lively was 22 playing a 17-year-old, but whatever. Anyway, even if that is the case, you are fully aware that she’s in high school, so stop acting like her being young is a flaw you have to get past! He should be more concerned with the statutory rape he’s committing. 

Also, his whole “I date multiple women at once” thing is just gross. I understand that you can’t expect monogamy after knowing each other for approximately five minutes, but Aaron, you don’t need to constantly remind her that you’re f*cking 10 other women at the moment. All in all, he was not hot enough to act that smug and condescending, and I was truly elated when Serena told us Dan that she left in him in Argentina. 

And there you have it, the worst random characters in Gossip Girl! Did I leave any out? Let me know who you hated the most in the comments! Until next time, Upper East Siders. XOXO, Gossip Girl.

Images: Giphy (8)