9 YA Books About The Summer Before College

The summer before college is a truly strange and magical one. As you say goodbye to your high school life and prepare for the rush of the new world ahead, you'll begin a transformation unlike any you've experienced before. In the months after graduation and before the first day of school, you never know what you can expect.

You've walked across the stage, taken off your cap and gown, turned in your textbooks — and now you have three months ahead of you before school kicks in. Maybe you've got a big graduation trip planned, or maybe you're just trying to soak up as many days as you can with your high school BFFs.

No matter what your plans are, it's certainly a summer filled with big life changes. Whether you think you know where your life is taking you or you have literally no idea what's next, the summer feels like a gigantic question mark. The season is brimming with last chances, new opportunities, and tons of feelings.

As terrifying and exhilarating as it is, that last summer makes for some excellent fiction. Whether this is in fact your own last summer before you head off to college, or you're perhaps thinking back to those days before your freshman year. let one of these fantastic reads transport you into the worlds of characters navigating that momentous summer.

'When Dimple Met Rishi' by Sandhya Menon

Dimple is passionate about web development... but her family is passionate about her finding the "Ideal Indian Husband." So when they agree to let her attend a summer coding program, she's thrilled... until she realizes they only sent her so she can meet Rishi, the boy they want her to marry.

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'Roomies' by Tara Altebrando and Sara Zarr

Future roommates Elizabeth and Lauren haven't met, but they couldn't be more excited to learn about each other via email during the summer before college. As they correspond more and more, they realize that they couldn't be more different. But each of them have complicated home lives, and they soon realize that the only people they can rely on are each other.

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'The Moon and More' by Sarah Dessen

Where would summer be without a Sarah Dessen novel? Emaline's boyfriend, Luke, seems to be the perfect guy. But Emaline is starting to have doubts. And when a cute boy from New York City rolls into town, she finds herself drawn to the idea of a world outside her small town.

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'Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between' by Jennifer E. Smith

This heart-wrenching book takes place on the last night before Clare and Aidan leave for separate colleges. They still haven't figured out if they want to break up, so they spend 12 bittersweet hours retracing their relationship as they try to decide what the next step should be.

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'Love, Lucy' by April Lindner

Lucy's spending her last summer before college backpacking through Italy. Her trip is filled with delicious food, fascinating culture, and a whirlwind romance with a dreamy street musician. Delish! But when she returns home, Lucy doesn't seem to be able to move on from her fling.

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'I'll Meet You There' by Heather Demetrios

In this stellar read, Skylar just has three months to go before she can finally ditch her hometown and jet off to art school. But when her mother loses her job, Skylar's options start to unravel. Meanwhile, Josh thought he had escaped his small town by joining the Marines, but when he loses his leg, he's forced to move back for the summer. The two both take jobs at a local motel — and soon discover that they could be exactly what the other needs.

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'The Disenchantments' by Nina LaCour

Colby and Bev have always planned to spend the year after high school graduation touring with Bev's band and then exploring Europe together. But when Bev announces that she's decided to go to college instead of Europe, Colby is shocked. The two head on tour together anyway — but will they be able to overcome this fight?

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'The Loose Ends List' by Carrie Firestone

Maddie plans to spend the summer crossing "loose ends" off her bucket list with her closest friends. But then her grandmother announces that she's dying, and she's taking the whole family out on one final hurrah: a cruise around the world.

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'The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls' by Jessica Spotswood

This summer is going to change everything for the Garrett sisters. Kat is leading the community play, which takes a major turn when her ex and his new girlfriend show up in the cast. Bea's heading off to college with her boyfriend like they always planned, but she's starting to have doubts about their relationship. Vi has a crush on the girl next door... who has a boyfriend. And the oldest sister, Des, is trying to manage the family's bookstore and keep everyone afloat.

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