16 February 2018

5 New Coming-of-Age Novels

I'm never sure what to say when someone asks me to name my favorite type of book because I like to read across the genres, I love literary fiction, and I don't hesitate to read middle grade books. Of course, I find often myself drawn to specific settings and themes, and one of those is the coming-of-age story. The five novels featured today all involve the loss of innocence, as the main characters contend with secrets, love, family, and a variety of pivotal life moments.

  • 5 coming-of-age books to read in FebruaryAll the Castles Burned by Michael Nye (Turner, Feb. 13): This novel is set in 1990s Cincinnati. Owen, 14 years old, has won a basketball scholarship to a local private day school, where he befriends an Uber-rich older teammate. Owen's freshman year includes more than book learning, as he realizes money doesn't make you a good person and one's parents are not infallible.
  • Things to Do When It's Raining Marissa Stapley (Graydon House, Feb. 6): I may be stretching the coming-of-age theme, but this is the story of a young woman, who returns to her home town after things go wrong in New York. While figuring out what to do next, she learns the true meaning of love, not only in romantic relationships but also in families and the strength it gives her to make difficult decisions on behalf of her grandparents.
  • Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson (Soho, Feb. 20): In 1980s Oklahoma, Sequoyah, a teenager, is put in foster care after his mother is arrested on drug charges. Dreams of freedom, a taste of young love, coming to terms with his Cherokee background, and the lure of easy money draw the boy--and his foster siblings--into a dark and dangerous place.
  • The Calculus of Change by Jessie Hilb (Clarion, Feb. 27): Despite being smart and talented, teenage Aden suffers from insecurities related to being overweight and unresolved issues stemming from her mother's death, a decade earlier. When she's tapped to tutor Tate, cute, cool, and Jewish, she is forced to make decisions that will ultimate determine the type of person she really wants to be.
  • Rosie Colored Glasses by Brianna Wolfson (Mira, Feb. 20): After her parents divorce, 11-year-old Willow has trouble adjusting to joint custody; she wants to live full-time with her fun-loving mother, Rosie. But without the buffer of her more-aloof father, Willow begins to question her mother's choices, finally realizing that love and parenting are more complex and difficult than she had ever imagined.


rhapsodyinbooks 2/16/18, 7:12 AM  

Calculus of Change sounds interesting to me. I agree it's hard to say name a favorite genre. If it's well-written, it could be almost anything!

Susie | Novel Visits 2/16/18, 8:58 AM  

I read Rosie Colored Glasses and thought it was good. I had read somewhere that the story is based on the author's own childhood and kept wondering how much and which parts. I sort of annoyed myself with doing that!

bermudaonion 2/16/18, 9:17 AM  

I love coming of age stories, too, and all of those titles are new to me. Thanks for bringing them to my attention.

Sherry Fundin 2/16/18, 11:04 AM  

Thanks for sharing all the goodies. Have a great weekend.
sherry @ fundinmental

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 2/16/18, 12:43 PM  

I love coming of age novels too and really liked All the Castles Burned. I've heard of Rosie Colored Glasses, but not the others...will have to check them out. Like the sound of the NYC girl coming home one...Sweet Home Alabama anyone?

Greg 2/17/18, 10:14 AM  

Things To Do When It's Raining sounds good to me, and so does Rosie Colored Glasses.

Daryl 2/19/18, 1:25 PM  

when asked i usually reply eclectic

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