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I’m contributing

November 1, 2010

to the new Kirkus Reviews blog, and my first post there is up. They’ve recruited some pretty awesome bloggers, like Leila and SB Sarah, so it’s quite a thrill to be included among such company. I’ll be blogging there about once a month, and this month I’m pondering the lack of YA fiction set in college.

During the past several months, I’ve seen several bloggers mention that they would love to see more YA novels set in college. As a fan of college-set YA myself, I tried to figure out why these books are relatively rare and, well, I still have no idea.

Read the rest at the Kirkus blog. Then feel free to come back here and let me know what you think, and/or to add to my list of recent YA novels (published as YA novels, that is) with a college setting.

  • Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn
  • The Alpha Bet by Stephanie Hale
  • Sorority 101 series by Kate Harmon
  • Twelve Long Months by Brian Malloy
  • Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald
  • The Ivy by Lauren Kunze with Rina Onur
  • Everything You Want by Barbara Shoup
  • Light Years by Tammar Stein
  • Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson
  • Greek series by Marsha Warner
  • Long May She Reign (The President’s Daughter #4) by Ellen Emerson White

An Off Year by Claire Zulkey is not actually set at a college, but begins with the protagonist deciding she’s not ready for college…right after arriving at college.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Leila permalink
    November 1, 2010 12:55 pm

    Enchanted Ivy!

  2. November 1, 2010 2:30 pm

    Throw me a heads-up every time you post there, will you? I signed up for Kirkus’ newsletter and it’s so far not actually come yet.

    Yay, though! So stoked for you!

  3. November 1, 2010 3:57 pm

    Daria Snadowsky’ Anatomy of a Boyfriend starts off in high school but then moves to college when the characters graduate.

  4. November 1, 2010 3:57 pm

    Yay, Trisha! Great first post, and you pose a very interesting question. I remember reading a YA book set at art college a few years ago (maybe too old for the list you’re compiling) and being intrigued by the fact that it WAS set in college:

  5. Jessica permalink
    November 1, 2010 4:52 pm

    Several of Megan Mccafferty’s Jessica Darling books take place in college/post-grad!

    • Rachel permalink
      November 2, 2010 4:49 pm

      I would call the Jessica Darling novels YA, but I’ve always seen them in the general (adult) fiction section at stores.

  6. November 1, 2010 6:52 pm

    I tried to think of some books set in college, but then all the ones I thought of were already on your list. I agree that it’d be great to see more of ’em, especially since so many kids are going on to college now.

  7. November 2, 2010 5:21 pm

    I did a post on this recently and our lists mostly overlap:

    I would personally love to read more books set in college, whether they’re published as YA or not!

  8. Alyisha permalink
    November 3, 2010 2:56 am

    The Morganville Vampires series is set in college 🙂

  9. November 3, 2010 1:53 pm

    Thanks, everyone!

    Leila and Alyisha – Enchanted Ivy is in my TBR, and I’m a big fan of the Morganville series. I know there are a couple more paranormals set in college (e.g., Maggie Quinn #2 and #3 by Rosemary Clement-Moore), but my focus was on contemporary fiction. Sorry! Forgot to specify this.

    Tanita – I will definitely link to my Kirkus posts, whenever I’m blogging there.

    Jessica and Rachel – Yeah, I also think the Jessica Darling books could be considered YA, but I’m pretty sure they were published as adult books.

  10. November 3, 2010 2:02 pm

    I remember a discussion of this on Verla Kay’s a while back. Maybe it’s because younger teens – like 12 and 13-year-olds – are reading YA. It’s already a stretch for some of them to be reading about high school if they’re only in middle school, and college might seem like another universe.

  11. Kari permalink
    November 4, 2010 5:01 am

    A book from the 90’s that was very dear to me when I was in high school (not in the 90’s)–despite the fact that I would constantly forget the author and title and have to scour the YA shelves at the library to reread–is Marie Lee’s “Saying Goodbye.” It’s the sequel to “Finding My Voice”, which is set in high school, but I read them out of order.

    A probably obvious one which is marketed as adult but could easily be YA is Diane Peterfreund’s Secret Society Girl (and its sequels).

  12. Jacqueline Seewald permalink
    November 8, 2010 1:50 am

    My novel THE INFERNO COLLECTION was reviewed by BOOKLIST as a YA novel. It’s a murder mystery set at a university. A great many colleges and some high schools ordered it.
    But I wrote the novel with adults in mind. So I guess there can be crossover depending on the book.

    My new novel STACY’S SONG is written for teenagers and the heroine is
    a high school student. So far, it too has very good reviews–although
    Kirkus has not as yet reviewed it. I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

  13. Peter permalink
    November 8, 2010 7:34 pm

    Not necessarily set in University, but they have 17-20 year-old characters with Uni friends. These are very good reads. 48 Shades of Brown by Nick Earls and About A Girl by Joanne Horniman, the latter has a GLBT theme too. Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude Get a Life by Maureen McCarthy is set in University. They are all Australian books, and may be out of the date range.

    • November 22, 2010 5:01 am

      I’ve heard of 48 Shades of Brown, but not the others. Thanks for mentioning them!

  14. December 3, 2010 1:37 pm

    I was going to suggest my book ‘About a Girl’ but someone already has. Some of it is set at uni, which we call ‘college’ here – some think it’s not ‘real’ YA as it’s set post-school.
    There’s a nice recent review of it at
    By the way, if a US publisher would like to take it up, it’s available … contact my Aus publisher Allen and Unwin.

  15. December 3, 2010 1:41 pm

    by the way, I just checked, and the above mentioned review is at

    (not friends)

  16. February 26, 2011 5:48 pm

    Work What You Got series by Stephanie Perry Moore (named after some soroity, I forgot the name)

    I like this list! Hopefully we will see more YA set in college soon

    • February 28, 2011 5:25 am

      Cool, I hadn’t heard of that series.

      And I just heard about another book, Upgrade U by Ni-Ni Simone. Have you read it?

  17. Kat permalink
    July 30, 2012 3:25 am

    There is also “Special Topics in Calamity Physics” by Marisha Pessl but I’m no quite sure if that is YA. Definitely a good book though!

    • Kat permalink
      July 30, 2012 3:27 am

      Sorry, I just noticed that that one is set in Highschool 🙂

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