Curious about what to expect when you start college this fall, or already navigating your way through those late-night study sessions, classes with quirky professors and dorm drama? College comes with its own set of challenges. We think the experiences of the characters in these books, filled with self-discovery, new friendships and newfound freedom, may offer some guidance.
I Hate Everyone but You by Gabby Dunn and Allison Raskin
This novel is a series of texts and emails exchanged between Ava and Gen, two best friends who are heading off to their first semester of college on opposite sides of the country. The two share everything from first loves, heartbreaks and strange roommates to self-discovery, coming out and communicating about mental health. Ava and Gen must learn to maintain their friendship in their ever-changing world.
Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
Elizabeth is looking forward to escaping her New Jersey beach town and her mom to start over in California. In San Francisco, Lauren, the oldest of six is surprised to get a message from Elizabeth about them rooming together in college since she requested a single. All summer, before meeting in person, the two communicate through email and lean on each other to share secrets and get through similar relationship changes before college.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
In this character-driven book, Marin tries to avoid her old life and loss of her grandfather until her best friend Mabel comes to visit her for winter break at her New York college. Marin can’t run from her feelings anymore and must face them and the loneliness that has taken over.
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
Before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall, Jay Requero wanted to spend his last summer playing video games. His plans change when, during President Duterte’s war on drugs, his Filipino cousin Jun is murdered. Jay travels to the Philippines to uncover the real story of what led to Jun’s death. Not only does Jay learn of the many sides of his cousin, but also the part he has played in Jun’s death.
Frat Girl by Kiley Roache
Cassie is determined to take down the Delta Tau Chi fraternity. The members who exhibit offensive and sexist behavior have one year to clean up their act before losing their house. In an attempt to earn a scholarship to the college of her dreams, Cassie proposes a research project. She wants to pledge Delta Tau Chi and expose their misogynistic behavior. She is surprised to find that fellow pledge Jordan isn’t the classic “bro” she expected to meet. Meanwhile, the boys of the fraternity have their own agenda.