11 beautifully strange romance books to read if you loved The Shape of Water

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11 books to read if you love The Shape of Water

Awards season frontrunner The Shape of Water just hit theaters, and moviegoers are already enthralled by the Cold War-era interspecies romance. If you can't get enough of Guillermo del Toro's supernatural love story, here are some novels to keep you occupied this season. 

Rachel Inglass, Mrs. Caliban

This cult-favorite novel about a suburban housewife, Dorothy, who falls in love with a murderous lizardman finding refuge in her home after escaping from the Institue for Oceanographic Research bears a striking resemblance to del Toro's film. The novel was recently reissued for new fans to discover. Buy it here.

Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches

After finding a long-lost and enchanted manuscript, Diana Bishop discovers a fantastical underworld. The first novel in Harkness's popular All Souls trilogy features vampires, romance, a sweeping history and — you guessed it — witches. Buy it here.

Anne Rice, The Witching Hour

From the queen of literary mysticism, this novel tells the story of a family haunted by a dangerous and highly seductive supernatural being. Love and family history take center stage in this spellbinding tale. Buy it here.

Richard Powers, Galatea 2.2

This semi-autobiographical novel by Powers is an updated take on Pygmalion, centering on an AI experiment that doesn't go as planned. The increasingly sentient experiment demands to learn more about itself, the world, race, and sex, leading to a fascinating inquiry. Buy it here

Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

In the first book of the wildly addictive Mortal Instruments series, 15-year-old Clary Fray gets caught up and sucked into the world of the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the Earth of demons. Buy it here.

Toby Barlow, Sharp Teeth

This free verse horror novel details a gang of werewolves struggling for power in the underbelly of Los Angeles. In the middle of it all, a human dog catcher falls in love with a female pack member who abandoned her fellow werewolves. Buy it here.

Cassandra Rose Clarke, The Mad Scientist's Daughter

Finn, an android who looks and acts more human than he actually is, is tasked to tutor Cat and be her confidant as she grows up. But all the while, the government is cracking down on the increasing robot-population. Buy it here.

Issac Marion, Warm Bodies

Told from the perspective of R, a zombie in the middle of a "no-life" crisis, this love story between a human-eating zombie and a human girl causes a ripple in their world. The novel, which became a 2013 film starring Nicholas Hoult, is quirky, haunting, and deeply romantic in equal measure. Buy it here.

Maggie Stiefvater, Shiver

Often compared to Twilight, Stiefvater's novel of a supernatural romance between a girl and a yellow-eyed boy who lookes eerily like the wolf that hangs out behind her house is a touching, suspenseful read. It's also spawned some compelling sequels. Buy it here.

Marissa Meyer, Cinder

Mix together Star Wars and Cinderella and you have Cinder. The fate of the Earth rests in the titular cyborg's hands, whose life soon becomes tangled with that of Prince Kai, as she finds their forbidden romance at the center of her intergalactic struggle. Buy it here.

Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

First published in 1968, Dick's post-apocalyptic novel about a bounty hunter who hunts down rogue androids is a pulse-pounding classic which served as the inspiration for Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049Buy it here.