Monday, August 12, 2013

Sweet Summertime Reads: Back to School!

Even though it's technically still summer, it's almost that time to go BACK TO SCHOOL for a lot of kids (and adults like me!).  I thought it would be a fun post to feature some YA books that are set during the school year.  As much as I love my summer books, a lot of my favorite YAs take place in the depths of teenage drama set against the backdrop of high school & college.

Oh high school... such a trying time.  From what to wear, to who you'll sit with at lunch, and lets not forget all those tests to study for, that you may (or may not!) need to know ever again outside of high school.  It's those crucial years that shape and mold you, yet you're still so lost and confused on who you're supposed to be.  Lots of Young Adult literature is set during high school, which made it difficult for me to choose which books I'd showcase for this feature.  I decided to go with books that made me laugh, reminisce about my own high school days, and pulled away from the norm - sending an authentic message to its readers.

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart - this book is about the friendship & dating side to high school.  Through all the laughter is a clear message about realizing who your true friends are.  It's also about discovering the boy who you never thought twice about... until now.  This is the first in a hilarious series that every teen (adults too!) should read. [add to goodreads | read my review]

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales - you know that kid in school who never quite fits in with anyone? You know the one.. who sits at the lunch table all alone.. the one who the "popular kids" pick on constantly?  Well this story is about THAT KID.  It's also about discovering who you are outside of the stereotypes of high school. I really, really loved this one. [add to goodreads | review to come!]

The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding - though this story isn't set at your typical public high school, it still has all the drama and insecurities that any teen encounters.  For the high school kids who set the bar high and want to achieve success, this is an excellent portrayal of what it takes to get there.  Plus there's a deeper story at home that influences Devan's choices and the decisions she makes. [add to goodreads | read my review]

On to college... which I feel is a very important stepping stone into adulthood.  Though college may not be for everyone, it certainly impacts the ones who choose to attend.  It's breaking away from your teen years and embarking on a freedom full of late night study sessions in the library, getting along with a complete stranger as your roommate, and deciding on whether to attend that frat party this weekend, or go home & visit the parents who you secretly do miss.  It's such an exciting time!  I've chosen three books set during college that I feel give an honest portrait of what college may be like for others.  There's roommate drama, all the stress and anxiety over choosing a major & what the hell you plan on doing with it, to meeting that one guy who could change every other path you thought you had set for yourself.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - oh holy heck I loved this one!  The portrayal of Cath attempting to succumb to typical college life was so spot on.  It's like there's this mold everyone is suppose to fit inside, but what happens when the parties & random roommate thing just isn't your scene?  Lots of anguish & uncertainty! [add to goodreads | read my review]

Just One Day by Gayle Forman - though this book begins during the summer, it's the later part of the story, where Allyson is in college that really makes her question her own life.  She's been given a day of freedom she never knew existed, but now she must go back to the life that was always planned out for her.  But what happens when that one day changes the course you had originally set out on?  I believe college is meant for exploring, but always keep the finish line somewhere within sight. [add to goodreads | read my review]

Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty - Jessica Darling could have been listed in both the high school & college category, but I chose to list her story here because of the changes she goes through.  Even the most prepared students for college can be blindsided.  The relationship she thought was stable gets shaken up a bit.  A dose of reality, that isn't always sugar coated, becomes a hard pill to swallow. And as you'll see in the next two books in this series, the decisions she makes now can (and will) effect her future. [add to goodreads | read my review]

Gotta love those school picture days!


What are some books set in school that take you back to your own school days?  Share in the comment below.  Be sure to stop by Rather Be Reading tomorrow for more back to school fun, as well as Fiction Folio on Thursday!


  1. I like this particular post during this feature and find myself wondering if you're putting some of these books on your classroom shelves later on, G?? You know, although I was a HUGE reader throughout my entire life, during high school I didn't read *quite* as much as I did during the rest of my life because I played all the sports! And I had a job. So my reading was basically the required reading (hooray classics, yayyy) and not the superfun stuff like this. But these all look like books, particularly that top row, that would be great for librarians and teachers to recommend to the school crowd (I assume, I haven't read them all).

    1. I REALLY REALLY want Layla Greta and Jack to be exposed to more than just the required classics. REALLY.

  2. Ahhh how cute/pretty are you?! I really love books set in college or right before/after (is this a criteria of NA?) and I can't wait to read Fangirl. And we all know I need to read Jessica Darling ;)

  3. I loooooooooove every single book listed. I want more college books just like these...not like crazy NA emo style ones. Also, you are so cute! Little G!

  4. Fab post, G! I've read most of these and two of them are coming up very soon on my list! I haven't read Leila Sales' new book yet because I'm teasing myself with the awesome, hah! The sooner I read it, the sooner I'll be finished, bah!

    Tara @ Hobbitsies

  5. Oh my gosh, it was amazing how real The Boyfriend List felt to me. So many of the things that the guys did reminded me of guys from my high school days. I felt like E. Lockhart had been peering over my shoulder through those four years. Crazy!


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