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Many of us look back on the “young adult” years of our life and remember both broad brush strokes of volatile feelings and now-inconsequential details of school politics and heartbreak.
The rush of hormones thrown in haphazardly didn’t do much for lending clarity, either.
It also happens to be the stage of life where you are most out of place, (not quite a kid, not really an adult), which can leave a lot of people feeling lost.
But since it’s a stage of life characterized by equal angst and vague boredom (remember when you couldn’t drive yet, but could still be grounded?), books held an added importance. They could create a new world, lend you a better understanding of the one you were in, or make you laugh out loud.
And while we might have all believed we were the only people in our awkward ninth grade class to feel like a square peg in a round hole, the wonderful thing is that the older you get, the more you realize every single person went through the same thing. And the same books that made you feel less alone, that you connected with so fully, are likewise the things that a complete stranger might have felt and been glad for during the same precarious time. It comes as a nice surprise as a full-fledged adult to connect with another person that way.
Keeping that in mind, I decided to ask the staff at Business Insider to share their favorite Young Adult books, plus their reasons why. It was fun to feel a delayed sense of communion over the things that made us laugh, think creatively, or gave us a place to belong in a vulnerable time.
Below you’ll find 37 of the best books we read as young adults: