Finding Some Fantastic YA Books Set in College

You know what I love to read? YA books set in college! Because A) I’m a college student B) College is MORE fun than high-school because you’re an official adult! and C) There’s so few college YA books. (WHY?)

Anyway, since there aren’t that many books set in college, this post is a tad bit different. This is a mixing bowl post – what makes a great YA book set in college, along with some of my personal favorite YA books set in college.

Choosing a college is HARD. You have to take prep tests, the ACT or SAT or AP exams, and then start applying to all these schools. Do you know how much of a mess it is to actually apply? Essays, and filling out forms, and more essays. All this energy just to get into one school. Bahhumbug.

And then waiting. And waiting to hear back. Have I been accepted? Am I really going? Who else is going with me? Will I know anyone?

Two books that dealt really well with these super stressful topics are Leah on the Offbeat & Always and Forever, Lara Jean.


I love all the chatter in both of these books about WHICH college to choose. And visiting college for the first time. And the HARD part of saying goodbye to friends when you head off to different schools.

You’re not in college until you’ve met your roommates. Sometimes YAY. Sometimes, let me run and hide. Roommates are the weirdest thing, because they can be amazing or just not so great.

And when you do love your roommates, it’s fantastic. And you might become best friends forever, even when the school year is done. Though it’s hard when you’re college best friend is graduated and lives FAR away and you’re both still poor and can’t ever see each other. :-/

A couple of books that dealt super great with college roommates are Fangirl and American Panda. I love Cath’s roommate in Fangirl! She’s just hilarious, and reminds me of my roommate my freshman year.


My roommates from freshman/sophomore year who’ve BOTH graduated but still come visit sometimes.

Along with roommates, there’s regular old dorm life. *sigh because dorms are the worst* Both Fangirl and American Panda definitely make dorm life an important part of the story. And it’s realistic.


Because dorm life either makes life alright or the absolute most terrible thing in the world. Like when some group of girls plays Dutch Blitz outside your door at 11:45 every night. Pure evil. 
Also, who had time and energy to play a hecka loud game of dutch blitz at midnight? I honestly did not even understand how these people were human.

BUT that year is done and now I currently live at the top floor of my dorm in the corner right next to the stairwell. SO QUIET. I LOVE IT. NO ONE is coming to the top of all of the flights of stairs to party at night. LIFE IS NOW GOOD.

So it’s kind of funny to put these two topics together because my life is all about the classes and 0.0000% romance.
But apparently some people sit in class and meet other cute people, and actually fall in love? Is this an actual collegiate miracle?

But sometimes I do get to be in the same class as my best friends. Then we get to harass the professor together and is there anything better than that?

Can we just have a book with some friendly classroom banter between friends and professors? OH! That reminds me of a book I just read that has awesome classroom banter. Now, it’s set in high school but features really, really great class discussions.

I loved the class discussion in Dear Martin! It was fast paced and felt authentic, and presented both sides of an emotional argument. I think the class discussions were some of my favorite parts of this book? They were just so good! And definitely reminded me of my college classroom discussions.

Also, the formatting? Just scripting the words instead of focusing on telling the words was super cool and made for easy reading.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I’m guilty of yelling at people during some very heated discussions. Ginger attitude.

I haven’t read these books yet, BUT they are also set in college. And I even put them both on my September TBR and have them checked out from the library, so hopefully I WILL get tor read them this month.


I also worked on writing a book set in college this summer. It’s about half way written, and I’m going to hopefully keep writing it. I’ve never worked on two writing projects at the same time? So we’ll see if my college story can be written at the same time as my Augustus Caesar gender swapped fantasy.

But for my college story, I’m going to start working on finding beta readers this fall, so if you’re interested, let me know!

lets chat

Do you enjoy reading YA books set in college? Do you have any favorites? Have you read any of my favorites? Any books you think I’m missing from my list? 

If you’re not in college, do you have any questions about college life? Before I came to college I kind of might have believed some crazy myths, so ask away! I’ll be super happy to give you the inside scoop on my college experience. 😂



  1. September 2, 2018 / 10:29 pm

    Nice Try, Jane Sinner! I didn’t realize until this post that it’s one of the few books I’ve read narrarated by a college student, but it is definitely one of the only books I’ve read about a game show contestant. It’s a crazy one. Agh agh agh I really need to read Always and Forever. I started American Panda, but I haven’t finished- there are a few things that are rubbing me the wrong way in it. I’m not in college and I would love to hear about your experience, but I don’t even know where to begin. Hm, what about- what are your favorite and least favorite things about being in college?

    • September 3, 2018 / 7:52 am

      Oh, I look forward to seeing more of what you think of American Panda! Favorite things – I love my classes & everything I can do on campus. Least favorite thing – Not being able to sleep as much as I’d like AND the limited budget.

  2. September 2, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    For the life of me the only book I can think of is Fangirl which is on your list! But I loved it 🙂 <3

  3. September 3, 2018 / 2:14 am

    Oh, I loved reading this post! 😊❤️ I’m currently in my senior year of high school, and ahh, the college application process is super stressful. 😩 (I can’t wait until it’s over.) I’m just curious, how did you adjust to being away from home and having so much independence? Was it hard?

    • September 3, 2018 / 7:50 am

      Oh, good luck with your college apps! Hmm, adjusting had it’s challenges. But you have to take it a little at a time. For example, I didn’t bring my own car until my junior year and having to pay for gasoline kind of helped curb me absolutely driving anywhere and everywhere 😂 Having independence is really fun BUT then you have to pay for so many things. And work harder – like, doing your own laundry, paying for a car oil change, and filing taxes. It’s definitely worth it, though!

  4. September 3, 2018 / 2:09 pm

    What a wonderful post – thank you so much for all of the recs! I love reading YA books set in college so much and I really want to read more of them. I loved American Panda, such a lovely read! And Fangirl has been on my TBR for AGES now, I can’t wait to read it 🙂 I also recently read We Regret To Inform You, dealing with the college application process and I really enjoyed it 😀

  5. September 3, 2018 / 10:34 pm

    I love how Leah on the Offbeat deals with college and the nerves that come with picking a school. I honestly wish that was more of the focus in the book than the romance part. I wish there were more YA books set in college because it is a whole new world that can be talked about in books.

  6. September 4, 2018 / 5:14 am

    Oh, this is such a lovely post! <3

    I see so many books I enjoyed (We Are Okay, LOTO), and I'm so excited to read American Panda, everyone's been gushing about it. 🙂

  7. September 4, 2018 / 10:00 am

    Nice Try, Jane Sinner was really good! I’d never read a book about someone in Jane’s college situation, so that was interesting as well. I really liked the journal format of that one.

    I would also add Claire Kann’s LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE. It’s set over the summer but the MC is trying to decide what to study, and I thought that was handled very nicely. Plus, it’s just super cute. Great post!

  8. September 4, 2018 / 8:54 pm

    We need more of these books! Yes, sometimes I amuse myself reading NA set in college what with the shirtless men in the covers, but we also need the books that focus more on that transitioning experience. More often than not we’re left hanging with the first part, high school graduation and making choices of where to go and what to study. But the actual going to to college is for the most part unexplored. Thanks for sharing these!

  9. September 9, 2018 / 9:18 pm

    I loved Fangirl so much and wish there were more books like it in YA or NA right now.

  10. September 19, 2018 / 10:14 am

    Oh this is great! I never realized it but now that I think about it, YA almost always set in school and then jump straight to NA when it comes to university. I add some of these on my goodreads, so thank you for the recommendations! 🙂

  11. October 1, 2018 / 8:57 am

    Great post! I also realised this, and every time I read a blurb of a YA novel set in high school, I’d just roll my eyes and not be interested in it, just because I’m not in high school anymore and I want to read about older people! Fangirl is probably the best YA set in college I’ve read, it really enraptures college life in a relatable way <3

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