5 Coming-Of-Age Books Short Enough To Finish In A Single Weekend

by Sadie Trombetta

Let's face it: growing up isn't easy, but reading about someone else's journey through childhood and those trying young adult years sure is fun. If you're looking to escape your own life by getting lost in someone else's, pick up a short coming-of-age novel you can finish this weekend. In less than 300 pages (minus one book, which clocks in at 304 pages), you'll witness the miraculous transformation from childhood to adulthood, and maybe, just maybe, learn something about yourself along the way.

As adults, it's easy to look back on our younger years with rose colored glasses and wish we were still kids. Things were so much easier back then, when all you had to worry about was who to sit with at lunch and which sneakers were the coolest, wouldn't it be great to go back? The truth is, though, growing up is no walk in the park for anyone.

The transition from childhood to adulthood is long, bumpy, and full of unexpected twists and turns. It is in these years that we carve out space for ourselves in the world, and discover who we are and who we want to be. They're confusing and complex and emotional. They're filled with some of our greatest joys and most heartbreaking tragedies. They are what makes us who we are, which is why stories about them are so enthralling.

Featuring narratives about friendship, family, and growing up, here are five short coming-of-age novels you can read this weekend.

'The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore' by Kim Fu

Hardcover Page Count: 256

When five girls — Nita, Kayla, Isabel, Dina, and Siobhan — staying at Camp Forevermore set off on an overnight kayaking trip with one of their counselors, their lives are irreparably changed by what they experience under the stars. In stunning prose, Kim Fu recounts that unforgettable night and the many ways in which it shaped the years that came after. A haunting tale about friendship, trauma, and the people we become, The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore will stay with you long after you've turned the last page.

Click here to buy.

'Let's No One Get Hurt' by Jon Pineda

Hardcover Page Count: 256

In the swamps of the American South, 15-year-old Pearl survives by scavenging what she can and sharing it with her father and the two other men who share the abandoned boat house they call home. Despite her precarious existence, Pearl is happy with her makeshift family, so when the son of a rich man from a nearby town reveals everything she knows is in danger of going away, they embark on a dangerous relationship that changes both of their lives. A powerful and timely coming-of-age story about race, class, exploration, and community, Let's No One Get Hurt will leave you shaken.

Click here to buy.

'Indecent' by Corinne Sullivan

Hardcover Page Count: 304

Abney has been obsessed with prep schools ever since childhood when she was unable to attend one herself, so when she gets offered a teaching position at Vandenberg School for Boys after college graduation, she leaps at the opportunity to finally see the world elite world she's so longed to be a part of. Once there, Abney finds herself so swept up in a steamy romance with a handsome and popular student that she fails to realize just how much trouble she's really in, and what it could cost her. A unique and sexy coming-of-age story that turns the prep school novel on its head, Indecent is the kind of book you won't be able to stop thinking about.

Click here to buy.

'The Gunners' by Rebecca Kauffman

Hardcover Page Count: 244

They call themselves "The Gunners," a group of childhood friends who survived their run-down neighborhood and single-parent households by relying on each other. For years, they're inseparable, until they turn 16 and Sally mysteriously turns her back on the rest of the gang. It isn't until she dies by suicide 15 years later that they reunite, only to discover wounds left unhealed and secrets left unsaid. Heartfelt and moving, The Gunners is a beautiful story of friendship and growing up.

Click here to buy.

'The Parking Lot Attendant' by Nafkote Tamirat

Hardcover Page Count: 240

When we first meet our unnamed narrator, she and her father are new members to an island commune where they aren't very well liked. How did she come to live in this utopia gone wrong? The Parking Lot Attendant recounts her previous life in Boston, where she was tangled up with the unofficial king of Boston's Ethiopian community, Ayale, who slowly dismantled her world. A captivating tale about identity, choice, and consequence, this is one coming-of-age story you won't soon forget.

Click here to buy.