Hey guys! So this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is somewhat open-ended. It was Books in X Setting, with us able to pick the particular setting that interested us. I originally wanted to do book set in the U.K. because that’s a place I badly want to visit, but that was too similar to a Top Ten a few weeks ago (Top Ten Books Set Outside the US), so I scrapped that. Instead, I decided to focus on high school, which was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I wanted to pick books that spent most of the story in school, not just a story involving high schoolers, and ones where the action very clearly revolved around how hard high school can be. Without further ado, here’s my list!
Top Ten Books Set in High School
1. The Year My Sister Got Lucky by Aimee Friedman
This book definitely makes you look at some staples of high school life (homecoming, prom) and how weird they can seem to outsiders. These sisters grew up in New York City and attended an arts school until they moved to the country where, suddenly, they go to a school with a mascot and school spirit (eww, am I right?). It’s cute and kind of funny while taking an almost cultural look at life as a high school student.
2. Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat
I adore this book so much. Focusing more on socioeconomic status and stereotypes, this looks at the perceptions we have about certain people and how wrong we can be. I loved that it was cute and serious at the same time.
3. Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
This is the only one on the list that starts to tip into the sci-fi realm, but I really wanted to include it for how ostracized some people can be in school and how challenging it is to overcome that. Of course, these kids are ostracized because they have a gene that labels them as potential murderers, but don’t we have kids in our own schools that get ostracized for similarly bizarre things?
4. Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Mental illness is the focus of this book, and it’s so lovingly done. You never quite know what’s going to happen next, but it’s beautiful. Our narrator suffers from schizophrenia and hallucinates quite often. If you thought high school was already rough, throw in some hallucinations.
5. Hate List by Jennifer Brown
It’s almost as though each book is trying to outdo the previous in terms of awfulness. If you’ve never heard of this one, it’s about the girlfriend of a school shooter who killed a number of his classmates. Now he’s gone, but she’s still in school, living with the guilt of how she didn’t stop him when she could have. It’s a very dark read, but also an important one.
6. Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti
And now a look at bullying. Truly, I promise they get a bit lighter from here.
7. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Ok, good, one that isn’t super dark! Jordan, as quarterback of the football team and a girl, feels threatened when a new boy moves to town and could potentially oust her from her beloved position. Throw in a love triangle and you’ve got high school.
8. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Another book that focuses on socioeconomic status and stereotypes! Well, and gangs. I have a copy of this on my shelves and occasionally pull this out to reread from time to time. Alex and Brittany are just phenomenal.
9. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Alright, this one’s a bit dark too. That’s kind of what happens when it focuses on foster families, abandonment, self-harm, and anxiety. Still, it’s another one that is cuter than you think it will be. There’s a lot of hope here.
10. A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
I saved the funniest for last! Remember that class in high school where people took home the robotic babies and had to pretend to be parents for a couple of days? This is based on that class, only it’s much longer than that. Seniors are partnered together (1 male, 1 female) and made into “families”. Hilarity ensues. You will giggle from beginning to end, I promise.