Coming of Age Fiction

In the best coming of age books, you get to relive the most pivotal time of life as the main characters transform from childhood to adulthood.  Let’s be honest, none of us want to relive those years again, but it can be fascinating to experience it through literature.


Go as a River

Shelley Read

Seventeen-year-old Victoria Nash runs the household on her family's peach farm in the small ranch town of Iola, Colorado—the sole surviving female in a family of troubled men. Wilson Moon is a young drifter with a mysterious past, displaced fr

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The Island of Missing Trees

Elif Shafak

Two teenagers, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot, meet at a taverna on the island they both call home. In the taverna, hidden beneath garlands of garlic, chili peppers and creeping honeysuckle, Kostas and Defne grow in their forbidden love for ea

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True Biz

Sara Novic

True biz? The students at the River Valley School for the Deaf just want to hook up, pass their history finals, and have politicians, doctors, and their parents stop telling them what to do with their bodies. This revelatory novel plunges readers int

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The Heart's Invisible Furies

John Boyne

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery -- or at least, that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he? Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and

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The Great Reclamation

Rachel Heng

Ah Boon is born into a fishing village amid the heat and beauty of twentieth-century coastal Singapore in the waning years of British rule. He is a gentle boy who is not much interested in fishing, preferring to spend his days playing with the neighb

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The Lonely Hearts Book Club

Lucy Gilmore

This world was a terrible place, Arthur thought. It gave you people to love and then took them away before you stopped loving them. It made you mean and angry and cruel to those who needed you most. It ground you down until it was all you could do to

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Fates and Furies

Lauren Groff

Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one

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Maame

Jessica George

It's fair to say that Maddie's life in London is far from rewarding. With a mother who spends most of her time in Ghana (yet still somehow manages to be overbearing), Maddie is the primary caretaker for her father, who suffers from advanced

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The Half Moon

Mary Beth Keane

Malcolm Gephardt, handsome and gregarious longtime bartender at the Half Moon, has always dreamed of owning a bar. When his boss finally retires, Malcolm stretches to buy the place. He sees unquantifiable magic and potential in the Half Moon and hope

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The Violin Conspiracy

Brendan Slocumb

Growing up Black in rural North Carolina, Ray McMillian's life is already mapped out. If he's lucky, he'll get a job at the hospital cafeteria. If he's extra lucky, he'll earn more than minimum wage. But Ray has a gift and a

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The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell

Robert Dugoni

Sam Hill always saw the world through different eyes. Born with red pupils, he was called "Devil Boy" by his classmates; "God's will" is what his mother called his ocular albinism. Her words were of little comfort, but Sam pe

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The Secret History

Donna Tartt

Under the influence of a charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at a New England college discover a way of thought and life a world away from their banal contemporaries. But their search for the transcendent leads them d

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A Little Life

Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life follows four college classmates--broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition--as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. While their relationships, which are tinged by addiction, success, and pride, deep

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Every Summer After

Carley Fortune

They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Instead of glittering summers on the lakeshore of her childhood, she spends them in a stylish a

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Where the Crawdads Sing

Delia Owens

For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But K

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Demon Copperhead

Barbara Kingsolver

Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father's good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierc

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Ordinary Grace

William Kent Krueger

Looking back at a tragic event that occurred during his thirteenth year, Frank Drum explores how a complicated web of secrets, adultery, and betrayal shattered his Methodist family and their small 1961 Minnesota community.

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The Lost Girls of Willowbrook

Ellen Marie Wiseman

Sage Winters always knew her sister was a little different even though they were identical twins. They loved the same things and shared a deep understanding, but Rosemary--awake to every emotion, easily moved to joy or tears--seemed to need more prot

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Beyond That, the Sea

Laura Spence-Ash

As German bombs fall over London in 1940, working-class parents Millie and Reginald Thompson make an impossible choice: they decide to send their eleven-year-old daughter, Beatrix, to America. There, she'll live with another family for the durat

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West with Giraffes

Lynda Rutledge

Woodrow Wilson Nickel, age 105, feels his life ebbing away. But when he learns giraffes are going extinct, he finds himself recalling the unforgettable experience he cannot take to his grave. It's 1938. The Great Depression lingers. Hitler is th

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Never Never

Colleen Hoover, Tarryn Fisher

Charlize Wynwood and Silas Nash have been best friends since they could walk. They've been in love since the age of fourteen. But as of this morning...they are complete strangers. Their first kiss, their first fight, the moment they fell in love

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Dear Edward

Ann Napolitano

What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live? One summer morning, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them are a Wall Street

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Black Cake

Charmaine Wilkerson

We can't choose what we inherit. But can we choose who we become? In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett's death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a black cake, made from a family recipe with a

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The Vanishing Half

Brit Bennett

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything:

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Normal People

Sally Rooney

Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation—awkward but electrifying—something life changi

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All the Missing Girls

Megan Miranda

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking d

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Never Let Me Go

Kazuo Ishiguro

As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how sp

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