6 Small Town Books for Fans of Gilmore Girls

As the weather gets cooler, we get into the best time of the year: Gilmore Girls rewatch season. While the show originally aired from 2000 to 2007, this show that features a mother-daughter duo living in the small town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut is still beloved today.

In the first season of the show, we meet young single mom Lorelai Gilmore and her academically gifted 16-year-old daughter, Rory. To help pay for the expensive private school Rory was accepted to, Lorelai asks her wealthy parents—who she is not close to—for assistance. Her mother, Emily, agrees, but under one condition: the girls must attend dinner at their house every Friday night.

There are many reasons Stars Hollow is so beloved; it’s a haven for anyone who loves coffee shops, bookshops, and independent businesses. Fans of the original series, as well as the 2016 Netflix revival, will enjoy our list of six books that feature small towns!

Why Small Town Books Are So Popular

Small towns and slower lifestyles have been romanticized for centuries. Writers have fashioned stories about the innocence of small-town life, the sanctity of country churches, and the wholesomeness of the simple pace. Today, there’s a renewed interest in reading books set in small towns.

Many readers are drawn to these locations as escape pods—they’re quiet and offer seclusion. But these small towns offer readers more than just an aesthetic; there is an intimate familiarity to many of these fictional locales that draws people back again and again. Paired with a cast of characters who have known each other for years, small town books are perfect for readers looking for a comforting read to immerse themselves in.

Small Town Books - Bella and the New Guy by Amy Sparling

1. Bella and the New Guy

by Amy Sparling

In the small Texas town of Roca Springs, Bella is about to graduate from high school and is looking forward to spending her summer at the local motocross track. Her passion is dirt bikes and the last thing she’s looking for is Liam Mosely to appear in her life. The disgraced motocross star was kicked off the professional team he was on for being arrogant and cocky. He’s trouble but attractive, and Bella suspects that this summer may not go according to her plan.

If you are Team Jess when it comes to Rory Gilmore’s love life, you’ll enjoy this first book in Amy Sparling’s Love on the Track series. One rave review on Amazon says, “Bella’s character is strong and relatable while Liam is exactly what you’d expect (but swoon!). And their chemistry sizzles on the page!” Don’t miss this small town young adult read!

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Small Town Books - Small Town Rumors by Carolyn Brown

2. Small Town Rumors

by Carolyn Brown

Jennie Sue Baker has returned home to Bloom, Texas after her life in New York became a mess. Bloom’s residents thrive on gossip and the former high school queen bee’s downfall has the town buzzing. Rumor has it that Jennie is crushing on Rick Lawson, a farmer, and now works as a housekeeper. As a romance begins to spark, Jennie will have to navigate life’s twists and turns in the midst of small town chatter.

Written by a New York Times bestselling author, Small Town Rumors features a tiny town fueled by gossip. In Stars Hollow, Patty and Babette are often seen chatting about their town’s fellow residents. Similar to Lorelai overcoming her past, Jennie must do the same while figuring out what it is in life that matters the most.

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Small Town Books - That Boy by Jillian Dodd

3. That Boy

by Jillian Dodd

Jayden Reynolds is friends with Danny Diamond and Phillip Mackenzie. Danny is a golden boy with dreamy eyes and perfect hair. Every girl crushes on him, and it’s not hard to with his smile. Phillip has known Jayden since they were little. He can basically read her mind and is always there for Jayden when she needs help. Both of these boys are Jayden’s best friends, but only one will be her first kiss, one will be her prom date, and one will propose to her.

This contemporary young adult romance from author Jillian Dodd features a love triangle storyline that is perfect for fans of the Gilmore Girls episodes where Rory was faced with choosing between Dean and Jess. There are over 2,700 five-star reviews on That Boy, and they all agree “this is legitimately one of the cutest, awesomest love stories!”

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Small Town Books - All for You by Melody Grace

4. All for You

by Melody Grace

Summer Bloom’s days as a high-end pastry chef are spent creating sweet treats. When a detour takes her to a run-down bakery, she sees it as a new opportunity to chase her dreams and build a new life in Sweetbriar Cove. But she doesn’t anticipate her new landlord, Grayson Reid, to steal her heart. Will this pair find their happily ever after in their small east coast town?

Melody Grace is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sweetbriar Cove series, which has 17 books. If Sookie, Lorelai Gilmore’s best friend, was one of your favorite characters in the show, you’ll love this feel-good romance that features a talented chef!

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Small Town Books - The Inn on Harmony Island by Anne-Marie Meyer

5. The Inn on Harmony Island

by Anne-Marie Meyer

Shelby never planned on returning to Harmony Island. But when her grandmother’s lawyer says if she doesn’t return to fulfill her grandmother’s stipulations, the old inn that has been in the family for generations would be sold to the highest bidder. As her past catches up with her, Shelby befriends a local bookstore owner and finds herself falling for someone from her childhood.

If some of your favorite Gilmore Girls scenes took place at the Independence Inn or the Dragonfly Inn, you’ll love this series starter from USA Today bestselling author Anne-Marie Meyer that focuses on romance and friendship. Don’t miss out on this “great addition to the small town trope” that has over 1,300 five-star reviews on Amazon!

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Small Town Books - The Bad Mother's Handbook by Kate Long

6. The Bad Mother’s Handbook

by Kate Long

Despite 17-year-old Charlotte Cooper’s efforts to complete school and cope with her family, she’s pregnant. Karen, Charlotte’s mother who wasn’t planning on becoming a grandmother at 33, uncovers a big family secret that involves her own birth. Meanwhile, Karen’s mother, Nan, knows things will work out for Charlotte in the end. But if she could put her fragmented memory’s pieces together, she’d have some fun tales to share.

Similar to Gilmore Girls, The Bad Mother’s Handbook features three generations of women, each trying to navigate the complexities life throws at them. This international bestseller has received lots of praise since its publication in 2007, and one rave review calls it “a must-read for mothers and daughters everywhere.”

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