Book Recommendations for the Emotions of Inside Out 2

Hey guys! You’ve probably noticed (at least I hope you have) that I haven’t posted in a while. Like, a long while. I decided to take a break to study for AP tests this spring and then it just took me a while to get back into the groove of writing blog posts. However, I have some really fun posts scheduled now and I’m super excited to rejuvenate this blog. So, let’s just forget about my lengthy absence and get into today’s post!

Last week I saw Inside Out 2 in theaters and honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by it. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting that much from it, but it ended up being a super cute film. Plus, I loved the anxiety representation. And, I loved all the new and old emotions. So obviously, the only thing that makes sense is to write another post like I did when the Barbie movie came out last year, recommending each of the emotions books I think they would love. Let me know which emotion your reading taste is the most similar to!

Joy – The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams

Sarah Adams once wrote on her Instagram, “Before I was an author, I was a reader with high anxiety who wanted books that are start to finish happy with low conflict. That’s why I wrote [my books].” I mean, come on! Does anything scream Joy louder than that? In both Inside Out films, Joy has struggled with allowing Riley to feel emotions other than Joy. She just wants everyone to be happy all the time.

The Cheat Sheet is a super cute romance between an NFL quarterback and a ballet teacher. This book has all of the tropes: childhood-friends-to-lovers, sports romance, fake dating, and mutual pining. I mean, what more could you want? It is a light, fluffy, and low-stress read that I just know Joy would love.

Sadness – The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Sadness knows that sometimes you just have to feel your emotions. It’s okay to cry and just let it all out sometimes. So, of course, I had to recommend the classic sad book. The Fault in Our Stars is the ultimate tear-jerker. Yes, it’s sad, but it’s also so much more. It’s inspirational, powerful, and moving.

The Fault in Our Stars follows Hazel and Augustus who meet at a support group for teens with cancer. It’s so much more than that though. It’s a beautiful love story with two amazing main characters. There are powerful discussions on life and love and death. It’s so beautiful and it left a lasting impact on me. The Fault in Our Stars is the perfect book that shows how sometimes you just need to be sad and also the beauty and strength that can come from sad things when you allow yourself to feel them completely and totally.

Anger – The Witches at the End of the World by Chelsea Iversen

The Witches at the End of the World follows a pair of sisters who hide in the forest so they can practice witchcraft freely. The younger sister, Kaija, wishes to return to the village they were born in, where their mother was burnt at the stake, but the older sister, Minna, has no desire to give up her craft. Kaija leaves in the night for the village, leaving Minna all alone. Unable to control her rage, casts a curse to punish all of those that have hurt her.

Oh, Anger, Sweet, quick-to-setting-on-fire Anger. I think I can confidently say he would be able to relate to Minna as well as learn a lot from this book. Throughout the book Minna acts rashly and struggles to control her anger. Like Minna, Anger is, well, quick to anger. Even when minor things go wrong in Inside Out or Inside Out 2, he usually ends up with his head in flames seeking revenge. Minna goes one step further than harmless-head-flames by lighting a candle-witch-circle thing and cursing everyone who’s wronged her. Like I said, I pretty confident Anger would be a fan.

Disgust – Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

Disgust was one of the more challenging emotions for me to pin a book to. I mean, I can’t recommend a book that disgusts me so it just doesn’t work! So, I instead decided to recommend a book with a main character that reminds me a lot of Disgust. And that character is Maddie from Not If I Save You First.

After a failing kidnapping attempt when she was a kid, Maddie’s father quits his job as a Secret Service agent and whisks her off to Alaska to keep her safe. By doing so, he separates her from her best friend, Logan, the first son. Years later, Logan goes to visit Maddie in Alaska and they both get kidnapped!

I know, this might not sound like a situation Disgust would totally relate to, but trust me. Maddie and Disgust have really similar personalities. Maddie is sassy, feminine, and badass all at the same time. She’ll casually mention fighting off grizzly bears and collecting mud for spa masks in the same sentence. She’s totally the kind of girl Disgust would get along with.

Fear – R. I. P. Eliza Hart by Alyssa Sheinmel

In R. I. P. Eliza Hart, Eliza is found dead on the cliffs outside her boarding school’s dormitories. Of course, the primary suspect is Ellie, her ex-best friend whom she has publicly made her enemy. Ellie never her even did anything wrong! She doesn’t even know why Eliza hated her so much, let alone who killed her. To clear her name, Ellie will have to face her and Eliza’s pasts, uncover secrets she never could have guessed at, and overcome her crippling claustrophobia.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Sophia, how are you such an idiot? You’re literally so stupid! Why would you recommend a mystery involving a dead girl and in depth descriptions of claustrophobia??? And, yes, you do have a point. However, I think Fear would really relate to Ellie and how her fear can control her. I also think he would appreciate reading about her fighting to keep her fear from holding her back.

Anxiety – One Way or Another by Kara McDowell

Anxiety was a tough one for me to pick a book for because I’ve read several amazing books with great anxiety representation. Some that I didn’t pick for this post but would also strongly, strongly recommend include Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall, The Boy Who Steals Houses by C. G. Drews, and This Is My Brain in Love by I. W. Gregorio. However, I just finished One Way or Another and its portrayal of anxiety felt the most similar to that which is in Inside Out 2.

One Way or Another follows Paige, who has to decide whether to go on a dream trip to New York or to a romantic mountain cabin with her best friend, Fitz, who she’s definitely a bit in love with. Paige struggles with making minor decisions, so this choice feels impossible to her. The novel diverges into two very different storylines: one where she decides to go to New York and one where she decides to go to the cabin with Fitz.

This idea of exploring every trade-off and opportunity that came with Paige choosing one decision over another reminded me a lot of Anxiety. In Inside Out 2, Anxiety even hires Mind Workers to think of ways things can go wrong, similar to how this book splits into two storylines to analyze the trade offs of such a big decision.

Embarrassment – I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Embarrassment was probably my favorite new emotion lol. He was so sweet and cute. So, it’s just fair that I recommend him the first book in one of my favorite series. The Gallagher Girls series, and especially the first book in the series, I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You, have no shortage of embarrassing moments. Like, the second hand embarrassment is real but in the best way possible lol. Like I said, Gallagher Girls is one of my favorite series. Ally Carter somehow even makes teen awkwardness fun to read about. She’s seriously a miracle worker lol.

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You follows Cammie, a teen girl who goes to a boarding school that trains her to be a spy. (Cool right?) Gallagher Academy has classes on espionage and advanced martial arts but the all-girls school provides very little information on how to act around boys. Naturally, when Cammie meets a boy from the nearby town who knows nothing about the secret mission of Gallagher Academy, it’s pretty awkward. Very cute, but painful awkward lol. Embarrassment would probably have to hide in his sweatshirt while reading this book, but he would definitely be able to relate.

Ennui – Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth

I’m going to be honest, Ennui was a tough one for me. What book do you recommend to someone who’s entire personality consists of being bored by everything? It’s quite the dilemma, but ultimately, I think I found the solution. That solution is titled Not My Problem, which I think Ennui would like right off the bat.

Aideen runs into her nemesis Meabh in the middle of a freak out. Meabh is involved in way to many extracurriculars. Luckily, Aideen is willing to help her. She pushes Meabh down a flight of stairs, spraining her ankle and giving her a break from her cluttered schedule. I think Ennui would totally approve of going to such great lengths just to have some time to relax. After all, I don’t think he ever gets off the couch in the film lol. Eventually, other students hear about what Aideen did and come to her for help with their own problems as well. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I think Ennui would really appreciate the conclusion and message of this book as well.

Nostalgia – Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

You thought I was going to forget about dear old Nostalgia, didn’t you? Please. She may not have gotten her own character poster, but Nostalgia is iconic and totally deserving of a stunning book rec. I, being the amazing person I am, am happy to give her just that.

I don’t know how to explain it, but reading Every Heart a Doorway for the first time made me feel so nostalgic. I know it doesn’t really make senes, after all I’ve only read it once, but it feels like reading a story from your childhood. Seanan McGuire’s writing style is so pretty and lyrical. Mixed with the premise of the book: a boarding school for children that traveled through doors to fantasy worlds and have been spit back out on Earth, much to their disappointment, it feels like reading a fairy tale.

The character’s experiences are very reminiscent of Alice and Wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia, and many other stories that we cherished as children. Nostalgia would definitely appreciate the wistful feeling this book gives the reader and how reminiscent it is of the fairy tales so many of us grew up on.

Wow! That was definitely a lengthier post. I hope you enjoyed it though. It was really fun to write. What do you think of the books I picked for each emotion? Did you think of any books you thought would have fit better? Let me know down below. Also let me know what posts you’d like to see from me. It’s been a while and I’d love to hear from you! As always, I hope this post finds you well and you have a great day.

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