Coming of Age stories are some of the most widely known and promoted stories in the media. Most of them fall under the YA category, and books under this category typically get turned into movies and shows when they reach a certain amount of fans/audience. Finding a good coming of age book can be hard when you don’t know where to start so here are my top 3 coming of age book recommendations.
1. Looking For Alaska
Looking For Alaska by John Green is probably my most favorite novel of all time. I’ve read this book numerous times and I never seem to get bored of it. The story starts off with Miles Halter aka “Pudge,” our main protagonist, as he moves to a boarding school in search of the “Great Perhaps.” He meets his roommate and from there the story takes off. Pudge faces many situations he has never been in before, he makes decisions he didn’t know he would make. But he knows one thing, he likes Alaska Young, one of his close friends that he made. The whole novel is about him searching for her and trying to figure her out.
This book has been turned into a Hulu show and I’ve watched most of the episodes and it’s safe to say they stayed really close to the storyline of the book. If you aren’t much of a reader but you still want to know about the story I highly recommend watching the show!
2. The Hate U Give
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is an amazing novel that highlights racism, racial profiling, and racial sterotypes. This is a great book to read if you want to educate yourself on social issues. The main protagonist, Starr Carter, is a teenage girl from a rough neighborhood that goes to a private school where she is surrounded by her rich, mostly white classmates. One night when she was driving home from a party with her best friend, a cop pulls them over and asks them to get out of the vehicle. Her best friend, Khalil, reaches for his brush and the cop pulls out his gun and shoots him. Starr is the only one who witnessed the incident and has to testify in the trial of the case. She ends up fighting for her friend and making sure he gets justice, and along the way she loses friends and unites her community.
I read this book in my freshman year English class and it was very eye opening. I come from a community where issues that were in the book were prevalent in real life and my classmates related to a lot of the problems that were brought up. If you aren’t from a community like the one in the book and haven’t learned anything about those problems, reading this book is a must. This novel is also a movie, so if you prefer watching movies over reading, I suggest watching the movie!
3. Eleanor & Park
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is about two teenagers from two completely different backgrounds that somehow manage to create a bond that would change their lives. Eleanor is a girl that lives with her mom, her stepdad, and her younger siblings, but doesn’t get along with them. She is the misfit of the school, the popular kids make fun of her and people tend to avoid her, yet nevertheless she’s one of the smartest people in her class. Park on the other hand comes from a “complete” family and has a good relationship with his parents. Nobody bothers him at school and he is labelled as “socially accepted,” unlike Eleanor. The two meet one day on a bus ride home where Park offers his seat to Eleanor after an altercation with the mean kids. After that they start sitting on the bus together regularly, and Park finds Eleanor reading his comic books over his shoulder. And that’s where their friendship begins.
This book gave me such a warm fuzzy feeling reading it, and in some parts it did the opposite. It is a wholesome book that teaches the importance of being kind and respectful to a stranger because you never know how much that will impact their life. The relationship/dynamic of the two main protagonists is tear-jerking and angsty at times, but also really soft and sweet. This novel hasn’t been turned into a movie/show just yet, but I hope that we’ll see one in the future!
And that's all the recommendations I have for now! I hope you guys have a great week and stay safe!