If You Like Stories About New Adulthood

If You Like… is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love. This week’s post includes recommendations for stories that take place during new adulthood.

If you like stories about new adulthood, you might like


Recommended by Jennifer @ YA Book Nerd:

  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson: Ginny’s aunt leaves her a blue envelope and urges her to buy a plane ticket to London. What she finds in the rest of the envelopes will change her life forever.
  • Bass Ackwards and Belly Up by Liz Craft & Sarah Fain: Four friends give up a year of college to chase their dreams.
  • The Best Girl by Emma Harrison: Jane’s brother is getting married and she just wants her mother to stop trying to run her life, she’s in college for god sakes.
  • Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares (4th in a series): The summer after their first year of college for the four best friends. They won’t be together, but can the pants magical still connect them?
  • Getting to Third Date by Kelly McClymer: Katelyn doesn’t believe in dating a boy three times unless he’s got major potential. She gets into an argument with her newspaper editor and is forced to take another look at some of the boys she’s rejected and write about it.
  • Glass Houses by Rachel Caine (1st in a series): 16 year old Claire hates living in the dorms. She finds an old house on campus and begins to understand more about the town and the vampires who run it.
  • Hell Week by Rosemary Clement-Moore (2nd in a trilogy): Maggie Quinn’s determined to get a spot on the newspaper, even though the paper doesn’t allow freshman writers. So she goes undercover to report on the evil doings of sorority week.  She finds much more than she bargained for.
  • Son of the Mob: Hollywood Hustle by Gordon Korman (2nd book): Vince left home for LA to get away from his mob family – but “family” members keep arriving cramping his college life and his love life
  • Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald: Tasha and Emily both need to get away, so they swap lives for the semester – one in England and one in California.
  • Sorority 101 series by Kate Harmon: A fun series of sorority girls with strong friendships but have family, love, and school drama.
  • Violet in Private by Melissa Walker (3rd in the trilogy): Violet wants to turn her back on the modeling world and just become a college student – however being so close to New York City and her modeling friends just might tempt her to take a few jobs.

Recommended by Kari @ A Good Addiction:

  • Love Story by Jennifer Echols: Freshman year of college. And a hot boy.
  • Tempest by Julie Cross: So this book isn’t out for another month, but Jackson’s in college. At least, till he does that whole jump to the past thing, but, you know, details.
  • Where She Went by Gayle Forman: Admittedly, Adam doesn’t go to college, but he’s still old enough. And still figuring things out. And people around him do. So it counts.

Recommended by Tahleen @ Tahleen’s Mixed-Up Files:

  • Erynn Mangum: Christian fiction trilogies that follow the lives of 23- and 24-year-old women.
  • Jill Mansell: She writes fantastic chick lit chock full of what I’ve described as “wacky shenanigans.” Plus, they take place in England. What more could you ask for?

Recommended by Anna @ Anna Reads:

  • Jessica Darling Series (starts with Sloppy Firsts) by Megan McCafferty: Sure these books (aka my FAVORITE books ever) start with Jessica as a high-schooler, but they follow her through age 25. The perfect new adult novels, in my humble opinion.

Recommended by Jessica @ I Read to Relax:

  • Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald: A cute book about two girls that swap schools during a year abroad and learn a lot about themselves in their new surroundings.
  • The Alpha Bet by Stephanie Hale: How far will one girl go to be accepted into her desired sorority?


Recommended by Jennifer @ YA Book Nerd:

  • Accepted: A high school student gets rejected form every college he applied to – so he makes up a college to get his parents off his back.
  • Legally Blonde: Elle Woods gets dumped by her fraternity boyfriend and decide to follow him to law school in hopes of winning him back.
  • Sydney White: Sydney moves into a house with seven nerds and attempts to make them cool.

Recommended by Jessica @ I Read to Relax:

  • Accepted: A bunch of misfits that couldn’t get accepted to college make up their own to keep their parents happy.
  • Sorority Wars: When Katie’s mother’s sorority rejects her, she joins the rival sorority and finds friends who truly accept her.
  • Post Grad: Ryden thought her life would be easy once she graduated from college…boy, was she wrong.
  • Sydney White: Sydney goes to college expecting to follow her mother’s footsteps, only to find that she’s rejected and must make her own way on campus.

TV Shows

Recommended by Jennifer @ YA Book Nerd:

  • Greek: Rusty joins his sister at college where she’s a sorority darling. He decides to broaden his engineering horizons and pledges a fraternity.

Recommended by Tahleen @ Tahleen’s Mixed-Up Files:

  • Undeclared: A funny look at college life created by Judd Apatow.


Recommended by Anna @ Anna Reads:

  • Leaving Town” by Dexter Freebish: A great song I played just about nonstop in college about moving on from your hometown.
  • I Love College” by Asher Roth: What? It’s relevant. “Pass out at 3, wake up at 10, go out to eat and do it again.”
  • A Lifetime” by Better Than Ezra: This song plays like a YA novel about tragedy and growing up post-graduation. Listen to it.
  • Campus” by Vampire Weekend: The dude in this song falls for his professor and then pines after her. And it’s fabulous & dancey.

Recommended by Isaiah @ From Yes:

  • Harbinger by Paula Cole: This mostly forgotten 90s alt-pop gem may be Cole’s best album (and its her debut!). From the first track, “Happy Home,” the singer tries to negotiate her new position in the adult world. She wants to escape her bitter childhood (“Bethlehem”), find love (“Oh John”), be more confident (“I Am So Ordinary”), and discover her identity (“Black Boots”). It’s a great record that has become overshadowed by its high-profile follow-up, This Fire.
  • Martha Wainwright by Martha Wainwright: Like Cole’s first record, Wainwright’s is steeped in insecurity and anger. This is an album about being in your 20s, single, wandering through one-night stands, and hoping to find a place to belong and settle. Wainwright does not pity herself so much as hunger for a good life in the face of loss and difficulty. By the end of the album, you feel like she’s on her way.
  • “Mushaboom” by Feist: The anchoring track on her second LP, Let It Die, is a cheery anthem for young renters everywhere, “waiting for their dreams to match up with [their] pay” because they “guess that’s how the future’s done.”
  • “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens: Yes, a predictable pick, but this whispery lullaby about newly discovered freedom and love was the soundtrack to my college years. The superior version is the breezy acoustic recording featured on the b-side collection, The Avalanche.

What are your favorite books, movies, tv shows, or music set during new adulthood? Please share your own recommendations in the comments!

If you would like to get involved in future weeks of “If You Like…” please contact me for more information. You can check out past weeks of If You Like posts here.

6 Responses to "If You Like Stories About New Adulthood"

  • More books set between high school and college:

    Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Mattson
    Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

    To me, the classic New Adult Movie is Reality Bites.

    1 JenRyland said this (December 12, 2011 at 11:54 AM)

    • I LOOOOOVE Amy and Roger.

      I need to read some Sarah Dessen soon because I know I’ll love her books (and I have just about all of them).

      2 Melanie said this (December 12, 2011 at 2:08 PM)

  • Yay! I LOVE new adult books so I love this list. I just added a few more to my “to-read” list! Thank you! I’m currently reading Help Wanted, Desperately by Ariel Horn, a book about a 21-year-old senior in college who’s trying to find a job. So far, it’s pretty good: I’ve laughed out loud a couple of times and I hardly ever do that!

    3 katiecoops said this (December 12, 2011 at 3:13 PM)

  • I never get to read New Adult books (since there are still so few!), but I’ve been lucky to get to read two amazing amazing (I’m talking 5/5 here) books — new releases: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard and Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder.

    In Wanderlove, the main character Bria is 18, and while she still has that naivety to her, she does mature as she braves the unknown (to her) in Central America.

    And Touch of Power, although it is high fantasy and therefore is of a completely different world, the main character is 20 years old, and the majority of the characters are 20+. However, the book itself still reads like a YA, but has extra layers to it that I can see adults enjoying the book too. Many full-on laugh-out-loud sessions were had.

    I must get on with reading AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR! Great list, though I’m ashamed to say that I’ve only read two of those books.

    4 Cass (Words on Paper) said this (December 14, 2011 at 4:47 AM)

  • This is an awesome list! I’d agree with Cass, Wanderlove fits this bill as well. Just finished it up last week and it was pretty good.

    5 Michelle said this (December 17, 2011 at 10:08 AM)

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