I think it is time for another Top 5 book list. These are my Top 5 favorite "Coming of Age" books or series.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares:
I read this series back in early high school and I loved it. It is a great story of four friends who are all incredibly different but their differences help one another. The story spans over 4 summers, starting when they are high school sophomores and ending in college. I have seen that there is a 5th novel in the series that picks up with them years later as adults. I haven't read the 5th but I certainly want to. This series is one that will make you cry but is also incredibly heartwarming as you watch the girls grow up together.
Sarah Dessen Novels:
So I couldn't just pick one. Sarah Dessen has many novels that are all coming of age stories and I love them all. Her stories typically are about a young high school age girl who is dealing with a tough situation. All of those situations vary but are each very interesting. Many of the stories involve dating, family dynamics, friendship, abuse, and growing up. Two of my favorites are Lock and Key and Just Listen, both of these stories handle very tough situations that the characters grow through when dealing with. Two other stories that aren't as heavy (but just as good) are Keeping the Moon and Along for the Ride.
Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan:
Pearcy Jackson uses Greek Mythology to tell a new and exciting story. When the first book starts Percy is only 12 and by the last story he is 16. The whole story is a fun and exciting read, but it is a great coming of age story because you are able to watch as Percy is forced to make choices that not only affect his life, but the lives of all of his friends, family and even mankind.
Looking for Alaska by John Green:
I almost wanted to put all of John Green's books on this list, but I decided to just go with this one. This story starts with a young boy who goes to a boarding school where he learns so much about friends, bullies, girls and life. His relationships that he builds at boarding school change him and force him to grow. But just as a warning - it is a bit of a heart breaking story.
Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky:
I know, I've already mentioned this book on my Top 5 Young Adult book list, but I can't help it! It really is the perfect coming of age story. It follows a freshman in high school named Charlie. He is a bit of a shy kid. Well, a little more than a bit. I think all of the shy/quiet kids can relate to him and his high school experience. He comes in nervous and trying to fit in. He finds a group of friends that are seniors that help him to come out of his shell. Through his experiences as a freshman, he is able to deal with some harboring emotions and feelings that he has kept bottled up. By the end of the novel he is able to grow and come to terms with some tough events in his life. This story has lovable characters but if definitely for a more mature audience.
Those are my favorite coming of age stories, what are yours?