Did you just graduate high school this past Sunday? If you did, and you are looking for something to read this summer, check out this list of novels and graphic novels about the summer before college or the first year of college. There’s also some great nonfiction titles that can help you prep for your first year in college.
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
YA GREEN, J.
Having been recently dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend to try to find some new direction in life while also trying to create a mathematical formula to explain his relationships.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
YA ROWELL, R.
Feeling cast off when her best friend outgrows their shared love for a favorite celebrity, Cath, a dedicated fan-fiction writer, struggles to survive on her own in her first year of college while avoiding a surly roommate, bonding with a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words and worrying about her fragile father.
Don’t Stop Now by Julie Halpern
YA HALPERN, J.
Recent high school graduates Lil and Josh leave Illinois for Oregon seeking Lil’s sort-of friend Penny, who faked her own kidnapping to escape problems at home and an abusive boyfriend, but Lil also wants to find out if she and Josh are meant to be more than friends.
An Off Year by Claire Zulkey
YA ZULKEY, C.
Upon arriving at her dorm room, eighteen-year-old Cecily decides to postpone her freshman year of college and return to her Chicago home, where she spends a year pondering what went wrong while forging new relationships with family and friends.
Hell Week by Rosemary Clement-Moore
YA CLEMENT-MOORE, R.
While working undercover on a series of stories for her campus newspaper, college freshman Maggie reluctantly endures mixers, rites, and peculiar rules, but soon learns that members of the sorority to which she has pledged have strange powers and a terrible secret.
Between Gears by Natalie Nourigat
YA GRAPH NOURIGAT, N.
This honest, autobiographical account of a college senior’s life will transport you to the land of Jell-O shots, term papers, job interviews, road trips, and sanguine optimism in the face of uncertainty and change.
Little Fish: a memoir from a different kind of year by Ramsey Beyer
YA GRAPH BEYER, R.
Told through real-life journals, collages, lists, and drawings, this coming-of-age story illustrates the transformation of an 18-year-old girl from a small-town teenager into an independent city-dwelling college student.
Take This Advice: the most nakedly honest graduation speeches ever given edited by Sandra Bark
YA 815.008 TAK
Bark compiles the 40 most powerful, affecting graduation speeches delivered in the last ten years by popular speakers such as Toni Morrison, Judy Blume, Mister Rogers, Al Franken, Gloria Steinem, Jon Stewart, and many others.
10 Things Employers Want You to Learn in College: the know-how you need to succeed by Bill Coplin
YA 378.013 COP
Ten tools for maximizing your college years and planning for post-graduation success.
The Secrets of College Success by Lynn F. Jacobs and Jeremy S. Hyman
YA 378.198 JAC
Over 600 essential tips and tricks for current and future students.
What Color is Your Parachute? for Teens: discovering yourself, defining your future by Carol Christen and Richard N. Bolles with Jean M. Blomquist
YA 331.702 CHR
New chapters on social media and sustainable jobs update the classic title that provides all the big-picture advice you need to set you up to land the job that’s perfect for who you are– and who you want to be.
College Cooking: feed yourself and your friends by Megan & Jill Carle
YA 641.5 CAR
The Carle sisters (authors of Teens Cook) are off to college, where they serve up an array of tasty dishes with their usual know-how and attitude, presented in a richly photographed package.
The College Dorm Survival Guide: how to survive and thrive in your new home away from home by Julia DeVillers
YA 378.1987 DEV
Comprehensive, humorous, and practical, this handbook to dorm living covers everything from roommates to hot plates to the Freshman 15.