Scandal returns next season–here are three scandalous books while you wait

in Fiction by

Dear Scandal: Never has a show hooked me quite like you have. I both love and loathe you at times, am constantly surprised by you, and even when you break my heart, I come back for more. You’re like a really bad (or maybe really good) boyfriend.

This season you’ve been particularly cruel. Gone are the days of Olivia and Fitz making out in supply closets. Instead everyone was forced to make impossible decisions – ones I’m still questioning months later. Can I ever forgive Jake for shooting James? Why didn’t Mellie tell Fitz about her assault earlier? And, whoa! Man, that finale! A dead son, a just-barely-thwarted terrorist attack and Olivia in the wind. You certainly bring the drama, Scandal, and it’s your fault that my fingernails still haven’t grown back all the way.

Now I’m stuck waiting, which is almost crueler than what you did to poor Jerry (OK, not quite). But in the meantime, here are three books I’ll be reading as I impatiently wait for your return:

Once Upon a SecretOnce Upon a Secret: My Affair With President John F Kennedy and Its Aftermath by Mimi Alford

I’m not even going to pretend that the Olivia and Fitz relationship isn’t the best thing about you, Scandal. Sure, it’s lurid, morally ambiguous, and all around heartbreaking, but it’s just so—hot. And passionate. And addicting. What better way to celebrate their torrid love than with another tale of a President-employee affair, this one between intern Mimi Beardsley and JFK in the early ‘60s? The memoir recounts their time together, starting from her days in the White House, to his death and her private grief. Like Olivia, Beardsley is torn between worlds, unsure of her place in the life of the most powerful man in the world. And just like Fitz, JFK is one of the most enigmatic, interesting presidents around.

Something BorrowedSomething Borrowed by Emily Giffin

What I love about Fitz and Olivia is how they convince you they should be together even when you know it’s wrong. If you’re looking for another affair-turned-epic-romance, try Emily Giffin’s Something Borrowed, about a woman named Rachel who falls in love with her best friend’s fiancé, Dex. It should feel wrong, but Rachel and Dex are so clearly meant for each other that you find yourself rooting for them regardless of the consequences. Sometimes we just have to put our blinders on and follow our hearts, I guess. Or, in Fitz and Olivia’s case, pray that the fantasy of Vermont will someday become a reality, even as they’re cleaning up (or maybe creating) all the messes around them.

Good Self Bad SelfGood Self, Bad Self: Transforming Your Worst Qualities into Your Biggest Assets by Judy Smith

Judy Smith is the inspiration behind Olivia Pope, a real-life crisis management expert who has dealt with countless scandals in Washington D.C. Good Self, Bad Self is her first self-help book, in which she advises readers on how to take care of potential issues before they can become full-blown problems later on. I honestly can’t think of a better person to get life advice from than the actual Olivia Pope, so this book is a must-read.

Sometimes I want to quit you, Scandal, but who am I kidding? You have my heart – and my nerves – while I sit on the edge of the couch anxiously waiting for Season 4. Don’t take too long though; if I don’t get an Olivia and Fitz fix soon there’s no telling what will happen. It might even involve Jake, a cover-up, and dark alley, and we all know that won’t end well.

Rachel Carter grew up surrounded by trees and snow and mountains. She graduated from the University of Vermont and Columbia University, where she received her MFA in nonfiction writing. She is the author of the So Close to You series with Harperteen. These days you can find her working on her next novel in the woods of Vermont.