Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is invited to share their answers. If you’re interested, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish to take a peek at upcoming Top Ten Topics.
This Week’s Topic: Top Ten All Time Favorite Books in X Genre
Below is a list of my favorite coming-of-age novels — a mix of old favorites I’ve enjoyed many times and newer discoveries I can’t wait to read again.
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns — The town of Cold Sassy and the character of Rucker Blakeslee has stuck with me since I read it the first time (it was a summer reading option in high school). I’ve read it a couple of times since and I still love it. (My dad read it recently and laughed out loud…it was awesome and surreal to talk to my dad about a book other than the Bible.)
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides — It’s both a coming-of-age novel and a big family saga (two of my favorite kind of books).
A Separate Peace by John Knowles — Another one discovered in high school that actually stands the aging test (Catcher in the Rye doesn’t…)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith — If you haven’t read this book, go read it right now. It was on sale the other day, go buy it! I think it’s time for me to visit with Francie again.
Harry Potter (Series) by JK Rowling — Duh. How could I not include this series? It’s brilliant.
Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine — One of my favorite books of 2013 and one of my favorite covers. I loved it.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky — I discovered this one around the time the movie was filming in Pittsburgh. (The movie is also phenomenal.) I read it in an evening and loved every piece of it (it’s also on my list of books that will make you cry along with a couple of the other books on this list).
Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt – -This book recently pulled me out of a reading slump. I needed it.
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani — Another 2013 favorite. Thea Atwell is so independent and rebellious, she’s a fantastic character. I originally picked this one up because of the cover and the setting (North-Central Florida & North Carolina).
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker — An apocalyptic, coming-of-age story — again with the mixing of favorite genres!
With all of that said…I must rant a bit: I find it incredibly irritating when everyone assumes coming-of-age novels are all “Young Adult Novels”. Sure, the protagonists are young but that doesn’t mean all coming-of-age novels should be classified because of an age group instead of content. Plus I think sometimes categorizing a book as “YA” puts readers off and therefore they miss a lot of books due to marketing. Don’t get me wrong, I read YA, but I wish books could just be put in both “adult” and “young adult” automatically instead of just one. Coming-of-age novels are for everyone! Rant over.
What are your favorite coming-of-age novels?