Are the Virgin River books worth reading?

VIRGIN RIVER - Alexandra Breckenridge as Melinda Monroe of VIRGIN RIVER - NETFLIX (c) 2020
VIRGIN RIVER - Alexandra Breckenridge as Melinda Monroe of VIRGIN RIVER - NETFLIX (c) 2020 /

Many fans of the Virgin River, the Netflix series, are curious about the books that inspired the much-loved show. It’s useful for people to know what they can expect before committing to a lengthy book series. You may find yourself thinking if the books are better than the TV show or if they are, in fact, better. Or maybe you want answers to the TV show’s plotlines while waiting for season 3.

The author of the Virgin River books, Robyn Carr, created a very expansive, enjoyable, and relatable cast of characters. There are currently 21 books you can read, and the romances and stories are wildly addicting. The short answer to the question, should you read Virgin River, is yes! Absolutely!

You will love everything about Virgin River. The characters, the town, the writing, the romance, and everything combined makes you feel like you are reading about your longtime friends. The books are better than the TV show in a few ways. There’s much more depth, different bits of drama, and much more romance than what they show on Netflix. Season 1 and 2 of Virgin River do the books much justice, but if you find yourself craving more of the story, then the books are a great option to fill that void.

Each book in the Virgin River series focuses on a different couple. The first book, Virgin River, is concentrated on Mel and Jack’s story. The second book, Shelter Mountain, is about Paige and Preacher. Season 2 of the show strayed a bit from the books in many ways, so Paige and Preacher’s fans may appreciate the more intimate story within the text. The third book, Whispering Rock, is about Jack’s sister Brie. The show cast Brie already, so it’s safe to say we’ll see a glimpse of Brie’s story next season.

Does Virgin River follow the books?

The books offer much more rated-R love scenes than what’s shown on Netflix. Book readers may find themselves blushing, and audiobook lovers may feel obligated to turn down the volume in certain spots. Most of the male characters are outdoorsy, ex-military type guys in their late 30s. There are some stories with younger men and silver foxes, too.

Most of the female characters are strong, independent women. Carr does a fantastic job writing about a woman’s strength and complexity. There are very few “damsel in distress” moments, and she focuses on showing a woman’s power instead of her reliance on a man for support. Every character has a flawed backstory of some kind and accepts each person who enters their radar.

Besides the romance, Virgin River offers stories about neighbors being kind to their neighbors and solving problems together as a community. The residents lift each other, support one another, and want everyone to live their happiest lives.

Every story takes place in Virgin River’s little town filled with enormous Redwood trees, towering mountains, and charming cabins. Each book has a happy ending so you won’t feel concerned at the end of a book like you may feel at the end of season 1 or 2 of the TV show. Some book readers may be turned off by reading straight romance, so please know that these stories are a bit more complex at times and have some depressing, sad moments. Carr did a fantastic job of sharing real-life stories that many people can relate to as they are reading.

Some of the books are a challenge to find, and you may wonder if you need to read them in order. Yes, it’s recommended you read them in order. Carr sprinkles different characters throughout each book, and they may play a larger role in a later book. They are more enjoyable to read in order too because you need to gather a lot of necessary information for the books that follow.

The town continues to grow with each book, and previous characters, like Jack and Mel and Paige and Preacher, have a reoccurring role throughout the entire series. Reading them in order provides you with more depth, and you will grow with the town instead of jumping around from story to story.

The Virgin River books are beautifully created and may make you want to pack your bags and move to a little cabin on a river. But for now, enjoy reading the books while we wait for Virgin River season 3.

Next. Virgin River season 2 ending explained and what's next. dark