Growing up, I always adored reading books. It's almost peculiar how you can feel like you're in the setting with the characters, experiencing everything they go through. Being a college student, I've found myself with a lot of free time that I spend watching Netflix. It's been a while since I found a good book that can keep my interest long enough, on top of the many drink specials at the bars, on a nightly basis (which makes it hard for any of us broke college students wanting to read). However, I've accumulated a list of the best 10 books to read for a college student seeking an enlightened source of storytelling. They're all centered on young adults like us and the relatable experiences they go through - growing up, falling in love and discovering who you really are. Here they are, ranked from 10 to 1 (#1 is seriously the best book I've ever read, but they're all highly recommended):
10. 13 Reasons Why
13 Reasons Why, written by Jay Asher, is an absolutely brilliant book. It follows a teenage boy, Clay, who finds 13 cassette tapes recorded by a classmate who committed suicide. Clay listens into the secrets and the trials his classmate and friend, Hannah, faced. This book opens a new door into an intimate view of mental health and the adolescent society we live in today. Also, the Netflix series is awesome! Read the book before you watch the series, though!
I know what you're thinking. "Isn't this kind of outdated?" The reason I put these books on this list is that I read this series in less than 2 months (given school and what not). The movies don't come close to doing the books justice. If you haven't heard of Twilight before (small majority, I know), it's essentially about a vampire who falls in love with a human in a depressing town in Washington. The suspense in this series of books is spectacular and kept me up many nights, as well as kept me wishing for a boyfriend to appear in my window in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, the only living thing that appeared in my room at night was my spoiled cat meowing at me for food.
This raunchy coming-of-age novel follows a girl named Bettina, whose mother is the heiress to a huge Chocolate company. With all of that money come consequences and differences that Bettina and her mom face. This book follows Bettina as she grows into a young adult with humorous yet relatable confrontations to the society she has to face.
Sarah Dessen is by far one of my favorite authors, as she writes so honestly about adolescence and the rollercoaster it is. Dreamland is my absolute favorite book of hers, and it follows a girl named Caitlin whose older sister/best friend runs away on her birthday, leaving her to start her senior year off alone. She meets a boy named Rogerson, who is very wealthy and charming. As they become more intimate, Caitlin discovers the monster behind the guy who she thought she was in love with. (I don't want to spoil this for you but seriously, this book rocks!)
Yes. I'm putting this book on here. If you get past all of the kinky/fantasy/BDSM nonsense, there is actually a great story of an emotionally abused boy who never got to grow up. EL James fearlessly explores the divide between the super wealthy and the lower middle class with a romance that's full of twists and turns. This book trilogy is definitely one of the most interesting romance novels I've read in a while. Also, the movies don't do this trilogy justice, believe me.
I actually had to read this novel when I was a freshman in high school. Out of all the books I was forced to read during those years, this one stuck with me for a long time. The Glass Castle unmasks the truth behind growing up in poverty in America, as told by author Jeannette Walls. The book recounts her rocky upbringing that will most likely leave you in tears. 10/10 recommend.
This trilogy is absolutely awesome. It follows a girl named "Belly", who shares a summer vacation home with her family, and her mom's best friend and her sons. Without revealing too much, Belly develops feelings for the brothers and a love triangle soon emerges. The trilogy follows the summers of her growing up in the beach house.
3. Why Not Me?
Mindy Kaling, if you're somehow reading this, I am absolutely in love with you. This book had me hooting and hollering on a flight home from New York over the summer, in which I received many dirty looks. Besides being a comical genius, Mindy shares with us her personal and intimate moments of being a young adult. I actually found this book in an Urban Outfitters in Miami, sat down and promptly began to read it, but the store was closing and I got escorted out before I could even finish chapter 1.
2. Losing It
This book follows a college student named Bliss, whose friends been constantly nagging for being a virgin. She finally gets the chance to lose her virginity and then comes to find out that the same guy is her new theatre teacher. This humorous romance novel explores the "Hot Teacher fantasy" many college girls can relate to, and that horrifying moment you see someone from the night before on campus.
I am writing this in all caps for a reason: THIS WILL BE THE BEST BOOK YOU WILL EVER READ. My life was changed after reading this trilogy of books: Reason to Breathe, Barely Breathing, and Out of Breath. It follows a girl named Emma ,who lives with her abusive aunt. She is an all around high school student, athlete and friend, but has to hide the scars of her home life underneath her clothes everyday. This trilogy follows her escape of her abusive home life and into the loving arms of a guy named Evan. I can't even begin to explain how awesome of a book series this is, and I can promise you it will keep you up late at night reading. This trilogy still has me shook to this day!