It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish!
This week’s topic: Top Ten Favorite Books With X Setting
TOP TEN BOOKS TAKING PLACE IN/AT COLLEGE
I’ve been craving books that take place in college since I started college… in 2005!! So basically I’ve been dying for these novels for 8 years. FINALLY we see the rise of “New Adult” fiction, but like many others, I’m not entirely happy with the genre and how it’s been sort of stereotyped as tons of sexy times. Honestly, I have no problem with the sexy times, but what I was really craving from “New Adult” was more of the college experience and more focus on college living, roommates, and living away from home for the first time.
I haven’t read most of the NA books that are out there because I just haven’t found the right ones for me yet, but here are my top choices of “Books That Take Place in/at College”!
THE ONES I LOVED
FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell
I just recently read FANGIRL (review coming soon!) and this is exactly the kind of “New Adult”/college age book I was looking for. Rainbow Rowell did a great job of portraying the college life, especially highlighting the woes of an incoming freshman.
If you’re not familiar with it, ANATOMY OF A SINGLE GIRL is the follow up to ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND by Daria Snadowsky. Dom, now fresh out of high school and starting college, has to start adapting to the changes not only with school, but also with her family, friends, and dating life.
JUST ONE DAY is actually half the summer after high school and half Allyson’s experiences in college. I know some people who didn’t quite latch onto the book had issues with how quickly and easily Allyson fell into a depression but let me tell you, if everything is going wrong and you’re miles away from home, best friends, and family, it’s pretty easy to lose yourself. I think Gayle Forman did a great job of portraying the quirks and seriousness of possible college situations.
Whoops, another Gayle Forman book (oh, who am I kidding? Gayle dominates most of my top lists…) and again, she totally nailed it. I loved seeing Mia at Julliard and Adam out in the real world, both kind of lost without each other. You see them really start to become grown-ups and mature at a rapid rate.
Although it’s not the main focus, we do see a lot of Karou at the university/art school. I think I just appreciate the university life style because it’s more laid back and there’s a lot more freedom for the character instead of sticking to a rigid school schedule and stuck in the same halls and same walls. I feel like Karou’s story would have been vastly different if she was still in high school (not like I know what the Prague “high schools” are like, but still). I also really liked seeing her be able to focus on what she really loves and wants to do.
THE ONE I’M CHEATING BY USING
Okay, so technically Franny is still in high school, but the theater camp takes place at a college, so I’m counting it. It’s still got a taste of the college experience with the kids in dorms and although they’re not attending class, they’re still performing plays and learning in workshops. Franny’s also got a bit more freedom (well, kind of) by staying with her aunt and all of it is a new and exciting experience.
THE ONES I DIDN’T LIKE SO MUCH… BUT STILL COUNT
I didn’t particularly care for this one because it was a little off-the-wall, but this was another book set in college. I just really appreciated all the freedom Ariel had and without it, the story would have been MUCH different.
COMMENCEMENT by J. Courtney Sullivan
I really only picked up COMMENCEMENT because it took place in college! I loved the idea of seeing these girls develop such tight friendships in college but it was really too feminist for me AND the story took a weird turn at the end. It wasn’t quite the book for me, but I really appreciated the university setting!