9 Best Coming of Age Novels to Read Now (Underrated Books)

Honestly speaking, this is that genre, if done right, makes for a perfect read for literally anyone. It doesn’t matter whether you are a fantasy, thriller, or romance fan. You would love reading these novels either way. For anyone who isn’t sure how to classify the books under the Coming-of-Age genre – it’s any book that has its character grow physically or mentally/emotionally as its central plot throughout the whole duration of that book.

So here we bring you nine such novels that you would surely devour in one sitting (or at most 4, if you have a life).

Coming of Age books

P.S. You guessed it. The books are all arranged in alphabetical order.

#1 Aristotle and Dante Series by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

About the Book

Aristotle and Dante Series by Benjamin Alire Sáenz; coming of age books
Aristotle and Dante Series by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Title: Aristotle and Dante

Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Romance, Contemporary

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Type: Series

No. of Books: 2

Books in it: #1 Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of The Universe, #2 Aristotle and Dante Dive Into The Waters of The World

Goodreads rating: 4.3/5

Ari and Dante are as opposite as they come by. As a coming-of-age book, different personalities are brought into focus here. While Ari suffers from self-doubt and family problems, Dante enjoys life and poetry. Ari would have never thought that the one person to break down his walls would be the self-assured, gorgeous Dante. In this young-adult series, the two boys learn to love and live life from each other and realize who they want to be while supporting and encouraging each other, helping themselves and the people around them grow. Here the growth of the characters’ perspectives is an essential trait in the books of the coming-of-age genre.

Why do we recommend this book?

You all, I cried. This book is one of the most beautifully written, heart-wrenching stories that took my heart and, to date, hasn’t given it back. I did exaggerate a little, yes. But I’m not sorry. The characters are well created, and their story is seriously precious. So please give it a chance; you would surely not be disappointed if you loved Love Simon by Becky Albertalli and I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson.

To buy/gift Book 1 in Aristotle and Dante Series, click on the below link :

#2 Impossible to Forget by Imogen Clark

About the Book

Impossible To Forget by [Imogen Clark]
Impossible to Forget by Imogen Clark

Title: Impossible to Forget

Author: Imogen Clark

Genre: Women’s fiction, Adult

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Type: Standalone

Pages: 384

Goodreads rating: 4.3/5

Romany has just taken her first steps into adulthood when her mother’s death leaves her alone in the world. Angie was Romany’s only parent, and without her, she didn’t know how to move on. But as it turns out, her mother didn’t leave her completely alone. Instead, she left her four best friends in charge of guiding Romany through her last year of high school. Developing relations and understanding them is an essential part of coming-of-age books. Each of the four friends has a unique outlook on life that Angie wished her daughter to learn. As the five start spending time together, collectively and individually, dealing with the loss of Angie, they slowly take steps to understand their lives and pasts much better, as well as their best friend, whom they didn’t know they thought.

Why do we recommend this book?

Impossible to Forget is a heart-touching tale about grief and regrets, family and friends following the character development of the coming-of-Age books. The characters are enigmatic and wonderfully developed throughout the story. The bonds the four friends shared with Angie and the one they created with Romany were so interesting to read. The writing is sad and filled with hope, and I loved everything about this book.

P.S.: This book is available on Kindle Unlimited. If you have subscribed to it, then you can read this book for free.

To buy/gift Impossible to Forget, click on the link :

#3 Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Bouley

About the Book

Firekeeper's Daughter: Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for YA by [Angeline Boulley]; coming of age books
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Bouley

Title: Firekeeper’s Daughter

Author: Angeline Bouley

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary

Publisher: Henry, Holt, and Co.

Type: Standalone

Pages: 496

Goodreads rating: 4.4/5

Eighteen-year-old Daunis is a scandalous child of an underage white mother and Native American father. Despite her heritage, she isn’t a part of the tribal community. And a series of family tragedies force her to give up on her dreams. The only good thing in her life is Jamie, the new hot hockey player on her brother’s team. But the closer she gets to her, the more she realizes the many secrets Jamie is hiding. When Daunis witnesses a murder, she is pulled into the investigation, for which her knowledge of medicines and chemistry is an asset. Daunis would go to any length to protect her community, even at the risk of losing herself. Personality change is a common trait in coming-of-age books.

Why do we recommend this book?

Such a charming book with such an exciting culture as its background. Daunis was so bright, badass, and overall a good person and Bouley’s writing made me feel things. The whole setting is immaculate, and I learned so much about herbology and chemistry through this book (more than what my school taught me, without a doubt). So give it a try if the concept of tribal culture interests you.

To buy/gift Firekeeper’s Daughter, click on the below link :

#4 Lulu and Milagro’s Search for Clarity by Angela Velez

About the Book

Lulu and Milagro's Search for Clarity by [Angela Velez]
Lulu and Milagro’s Search for Clarity by Angela Velez

Title: Lulu and Milagro’s Search for Clarity

Author: Angela Velez

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Type: Standalone

Pages: 400

Goodreads rating: 4.1/5

Luz “Lulu” Zavala is a perfect student, and her ultimate dream is to earn an internship at Stanford. Unfortunately, her plan gets sidetracked when her oldest sister, Clara, picks a fight with their mother by going off to an out-of-state college. Zavala’s middle sister, Milagro, doesn’t care about college, but she cares about getting back at her ex. So when the two sisters end up on the same school field trip, they have no intention of getting involved in each other’s plans. At least they are away from their family dramas. But when situations force them to become reluctant partners, the two learn more about each other, their family, and Clara’s secret.

Why do we recommend this book?

The sibling dynamics! Self-discovery! The diversity! What’s there not to like? The loooooooooong stretched scenes. It’s okay; I am willing to forgive the drawbacks because the book is overall so good! I loved both the sisters and the plot’s predictability made the book more fun.

To buy/gift Lulu and Milagro’s Search for Clarity, click on the below link :

#5 Seven Perfect Things by Catherine Ryan Hyde

About the Book

Seven Perfect Things: A Novel by [Catherine Ryan Hyde]; coming of age books
Seven Perfect Things by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Title: Seven Perfect Things

Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing

Type: Standalone

Pages: 318

Goodreads rating: 4.3/5

Thirteen-year-old Abby finds herself in sudden possession of 7 puppies. After all, she is a responsible human with a heart, so she can’t just abandon them. Personal growth is a primary focus in the coming-of-age books. She doesn’t have a happy home life, as her father makes life for her and her mother miserable. As such, there’s no way Abby can bring the pups home. So she finds them an abandoned cabin. Unknown to her, the place isn’t as abandoned as she thought. Elliot Colvin is grieving his wife’s death, so when he retreats to his cabin, he is of the mindset that he has nothing to live for. Until he meets the puppies and the young girl, it’s now up to Abby and her mother to find that meaning for their future themselves.

Why do we recommend this book?

Puppies! Puppies on the cover and the plot! I already fell for this book the second I saw that cover and read the synopsis, and honestly, I would have still loved the book if it was just 300 pages of puppy shenanigans. No worries, though, because it did have a solid plot and unforgettable characters (still, the puppies are the heart and soul of the book and my life). Loved Abby and Elliot’s bond and growing friendship and the character development of Abby’s mother (a trait in books of coming-of-age). So, if nothing else, read it for the puppies!

P.S.: This book is available on Kindle Unlimited. If you have subscribed to it, then you can read this book for free.

To buy/gift Seven Perfect Things, click on the below link :

#6 Speechless by Hannah Harrington

About the Book

Speechless - Sprachlos (DARKISS) (German Edition) by [Hannah Harrington, Iris Homann]
Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Title: Speechless

Author: Hannah Harrington

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Publisher: HarlequinTeen

Type: Standalone

Pages: 288

Goodreads rating: 4/5

Coming-of-age books have an essential role in realizations, and Chelsea Knot, the protagonist here, finds it hard to keep a secret. But when her last secret ends up turning her into a social outcast and almost getting someone killed, Chelsea decides to go silent. She can’t afford to hurt someone else, but what she doesn’t get is that keeping quiet is hurting her the most. Luckily for her, new people are coming into her life, ones who were never on her radar. These kind people are willing to extend their hands, and though Chelsea is learning to grab a helping hand and to love, will she ever be able to learn to forgive herself?

Why do we recommend this book?

Harrington does such a great job with our central character that I don’t even have words to describe it. Chelsea is so imperfectly perfect, as in that she is super flawed, but she is also one of the most realistic characters I have ever had the pleasure to get acquainted with. I loved all the side characters too, and the emotional punch this book gave me didn’t leave me with much to feel. The character development here is massive, but it’s so subtle you won’t be able to realize when these people grew so much.

To buy/gift Speechless, click on the below link :

#7 The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

About the Book

The Dutch House: Longlisted for the Women's Prize 2020 by [Ann Patchett]; coming of age books
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Title: The Dutch House

Author: Ann Patchett

Genre: Historical, Contemporary, Adult

Publisher: Harper Books

Type: Standalone

Pages: 337

Goodreads rating: 4.1/5

A dark fairytale, The Dutch House follows the story of siblings Danny and Maeve as they dealt with the various challenges life threw at them together, trying hard to move on from their past but unable to cut ties with their house. It is a story about love, losses, trauma, resentment, loyalty, and togetherness. The Dutch House is a brilliantly written novel set over five decades as the readers see the characters grow older right in front of their eyes, aging both physically and emotionally but never quite getting over their lost childhood.

Why do we recommend this book?

Please read this! Danny and Maeve are such fantastic characters, and their bond is truly something to be envious of (I want a brother too, dammit! Don’t tell my sister I said that though). I liked how we never learn the villain’s objectives and story because that made for a realistic, relatable story. We only ever knew the other characters through the main narrator’s point of view, which made me connect with the account much better (vice versa works in many books, but I liked this plot device in The Dutch House).

To buy/gift The Dutch House, click on the below link :

#8 The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towels

About the Book

The Lincoln Highway: A New York Times Number One Bestseller by [Amor Towles]
The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towels

Title: The Lincoln Highway

Author: Amor Towels

Genre: Historical fiction, Adventure, Young Adult

Publisher: Viking Books

Type: Standalone

Pages: 576

Goodreads rating: 4.3/5

Emmett is ready to begin his life anew with his younger brother after getting released from a juvenile work farm. But his plans are completely derailed when he discovers his friends have run away from their sentence (in his own car’s trunk, mind you). The Lincoln Highway is a multi-pov novel, told from the perspectives of various characters who are all the protagonists of their own stories, and how hard these flawed characters try to fit in this world that doesn’t give them second chances.

Why do we recommend this book?

The constant jump from one character to another could be confusing, but the writer’s pattern is more predictable as you delve deeper into the story. The characters and their stories are so meaningful, and young Billy (Emmett’s younger brother) has my whole heart for the time being. I would do anything to protect this child. Oh! And you won’t see that ending coming at all.

To buy/gift The Lincoln Highway, click on the below link :

#9 We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker

About the Book

We Begin at the End: Crime Novel of the Year Award Winner 2021 by [Chris Whitaker]; coming of age books
We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker

Title: We Begin At The End

Author: Chris Whitaker

Genre: Mystery, Contemporary

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Type: Standalone

Pages: 384

Goodreads rating: 4.2/5

13-year-old Duchess has lost her childhood. Her mother is self-destructing, so she has no other way than to grow up faster than the kids her age if she wishes to keep her family together. In his forties, walk, sheriff of the coastal California town, has forever been plagued by his past, where his testimony landed his best friend, Vincent King, in prison. Now, thirty years later, he is being released. But unfortunately for the town, he is not coming out alone. Duchess and Walk have known just how difficult life could be and how the closest ones often make you suffer the most. And this weird, unlikely alliance might end up being the one thing that saves the town.

Why do we recommend this book?

The best book of 2021 in the coming-of-age books genre, hands down! I mean, are you seeing that title? It’s *a chef’s kiss*. I adore the Duchess, and literally, every character in this book was so amazingly written by the writer! I really won’t stop gushing about the pure awesomeness of Chris Whitaker and his brilliant mind that came up with this plot, so you all better hurry and read this book ASAP. And then we will sit and squeal over it together.

To buy/gift We Begin At The End, click on the below link :

That’s all for the recommendations from the coming-of-age book genre for now. Now read these books so that you can also cry, laugh, and get emotional over these brilliantly written characters just as we did.

That’s all for the recommendations now.

P.S: Some books recommended here are available on Kindle Unlimited. If you have subscribed to it, you can read these books. Check out this article: Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It?

That’s it. SO to conclude, here is the list of Best Coming-of-Age Novels For All ages:

1Aristotle and Dante Series by Benjamin Alire SáenzBuy Now
Full Kindle series
2Impossible to Forget by Imogen ClarkBuy Now
3Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline BouleyBuy Now
4Lulu and Milagro’s Search for Clarity by Angela VelezBuy Now
5Seven Perfect Things by Catherine Ryan HydeBuy Now
6Speechless by Hannah HarringtonBuy Now
7The Dutch House by Ann PatchettBuy Now
8The Lincoln Highway by Amor TowelsBuy Now
9We Begin At The End by Chris WhitakerBuy Now
Best Coming-of-Age Novels For All Age

Do read all the books on this list of Best Coming-of-Age Novels. You are going to enjoy reading them.

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