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9 Nostalgia-Inducing YA College Fiction Books

Looking for some college fiction to fill the older YA void? I’ve got the books for you. Sometimes high school drama can be too much, so why not shift the drama to fit a more…mature (??) college freshman?

9 Nostalgia-Inducing YA College Fiction Books

College Fiction Books


These books will make you day-dream about your time living on campus with crazy roommates, tons of freedom and zero money. Ah, the life…

1Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – Although Anna is technically still in high school, she’s away in a boarding school in Paris. For all intents and purposes, she’s living like a college student. Plus, she’s got a senior-grade cutie she’s got her eye on.

2Looking for Alaska by John Green This book is also set in a boarding school, and it’s by John Green, so automatic win. I think this book has more of the adventure-some, heavy topics associated with the college experience. Plus, there’s a ton of “finding yourself” moments.

3Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McQuire – The premise alone intrigued me – especially because I can relate with the “good girl goes to college” situation. I love hearing reading stories about people who challenge who they really are to dig a bit deeper.

4Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty By the third book in the series, Charmed Thirds, Jessica Darling enters college. I read these books in high school and loved the snark and realism of the characters. I can only hope that the NYC/Columbia setting is as gritty and authentic.

5Withering Tights by Louise Rennison– Not only is this college fiction book written by one of the most hilarious authors ever, it’s also set in Wuthering Heights England country! If it’s anything like the Georgia Nicolson series, I know I will literally LOL all the way through.

6Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt– I love a good road trip story, so pair that with an epic break-up at the beginning of college, you’ve got this book. Very Felicity-esque, right? Oh, Felicity… Plus high school break-ups at the beginning of college is SUCH a huge life lesson.

7The Summer I Turned Pretty series by Jenny Han– Books about the summer are what I used to live for. They are romantic and dreamy, and especially as a college student, what you fantasize about all year long. If only we had summers as adults…

8Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park– Love complicated romantic situations? This book is for you! Like vs love and everything in between is dealt with in this novel. It’s not about finding the answers, though, but just figuring it out along the way.

Do you wish there were more college fiction books in the YA/Chick-lit genre?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.