The Compulsive Reader: Reading Rants: YA Books That Go Beyond High School

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Reading Rants: YA Books That Go Beyond High School

We all know that YA books aren't limited to an audience of teens still in high school--I'm proof of that. But just because a book is YA doesn't mean that the protagonist necessarily has to be in high school. There is a surprisingly large (and varied) amount of YA books out there about teens finding their way after high school, whether they're in college or not. These books have really appealed to me lately, especially as I'm realizing myself that where you go to college doesn't really matter as much as I once thought.

Here's a list of some of my favorite post-high school YA reads!

The Snowball Effect by Holly Nicole Hoxter

This was one of my favorite books of 2010, and I think everyone should give it a try despite the bad cover. Lainey's graduation should be a happy event, but when her mother commits suicide just days after, all of Lainey's plans change...now she's unsure about everything. Read my review here.

Twelve Long Months by Brian Malloy

Molly hates living in her tiny Midwestern town, and dreams of two things: dating her hot lab partner Mark Dahl and going to college in New York City. So everything seems to be coming together perfectly when she discovers that Mark is moving to New Jersey after graduation. But after the two move out east and reconnect, Molly discovers Mark's secret that will dramatically change their relationship. Read my review here.

Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson

Leigh's first semester in college as a psych major should be awesome, but instead she finds herself worrying and over-analyzing everything--her boyfriend, her mentor program, and her boyfriend's distractingly cute roommate. Read my review here.

The Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

Fashioned after Judy Blume's classic, Forever..., this one follows Dominique as she goes through her senior year of high school and her first year of college, experiencing the ups and downs of first love, relationships, and sex for the first time. Read my review here.

Bass Akwards and Belly Up by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain

What happens when four friends do the exact opposite of what is expected of them and postpone college for a chance to pursue dreams that everyone else considers far-fetched?

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen and Stay by Deb Caletti

These two books both take place the summer after each protagonists' graduations. In the Dessen, Auden learns a lot about her parents, their divorce, and attempts to reclaim her childhood. In Deb Caletti's book, which will be out this spring, Clara is hiding from an ex-boyfriend and attempting to recover from an abusive relationship in a tiny seaside town, where she discovers much more than a safe haven and redemption.

Now, I know there are more out there, so what are some that you've enjoyed? And what's your opinion about college-aged protagonists in YA? Should those books be considered adult? Where's the "line"?


Miss Remmers said...

Twelve Long Months and the Anatomy of a Boyfriend both sound very intriguing - I have heard of neither! Both are now added to my TBR! :) Happy Wednesday!

Miss Remmers Review

Marynellie said...

I've heard about The Ivy and that's it. We need more out of HS characters.

Anonymous said...

Oh, they sound great.
I do love an after-high school YA book. :) I recently listened to The Piper's Son and it was amazing (the characters are all 21 or 22) :D

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I wish there were more college-aged YA books. I think it would appeal to adult readers of YA and younger readers of YA because younger kids like to read up and when you're older, all of YA is reading down...so college just gives a new perspective.

As a college student, it means I have more to relate to as well. :)

My current ms is about two boys...one isn't going to college and the other is taking a year off. So it takes place the first semester of the "year off"


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Jessica Love said...

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen is also after high school/before college

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Diana Peterfreund's "Secret Society girl" is end of college, so it's kind of between YA and Adult. But I really enjoyed it, especially books 3 and 4! It's refreshing from the high school setting. I'm taking note of your suggestions!

Jane said...

Like Jessica said, This Lullaby is a great one.

I also read I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak last year and it definitely is an after high school YA.

I also agree with Lauren about college-aged YA. Now that I'm in college, I want to read about the life I'm living, and be able to relate to other stories. College stories are so rare, I've found.

I'm definitely going to look up some of the books on your list!


Melissa Walker said...

Great roundup! I haven't seen THE SNOWBALL EFFECT but I'll look for it now!

Christina Reads YA said...

Thank you so much for featuring PSYCH MAJOR SYNDROME here! I think you reposted this recently, since I remember seeing this list and buying PSYCH MAJOR SYNDROME not long afterward... Anyway, I loved it! And will be linking to your post when I review the book.