Top Ten Books set in High School

I am currently working as an invigilator it is the worst job in the world, but it pays well and I am seeing a lot of students taking exams.

So in honour of these children (they’re children to me!) I thought I would do a post on books set in high school that’s secondary/grammar school for us Brits.

I am going to start off with some pretty obvious ones:

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

-      This series is practically set in high school, with the addition of all the other vamp-y bits, and yes: I enjoyed these books! I was one of those fangirls with the ceiling to wall-postersnot anymore, the movies really aren’t that good, but I still like the books. But of course girl meets boy, boy is a vampire, girl falls in love with said vampire, girl and boy go through a load of drama but end up happily ever after.

Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling

-      It feels weird to say that this is set in high school but technically at least for us Brits it is. High school in America is from the age of 14? Right? In Britain it’s from 11 so Harry Potter is a high school novel! Woop woop! I think Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince deals best with the high school tropes puberty, first kisses, rumour-spreading etc but this is still the ultimate high school!

Now for the YA

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

-      This is a new purchase for me, so one I have no read. This book revolves around a bit of loner/layabout (the ‘Me’ from the title) and how his mum forces him to befriend a girl who has been recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. He and his friend Earl make videos and out springs a coming-of-age/slightly romantic novel by the sound of it. It’s also a bit of tear-jerker, for obvious reasons, so a bit of a grittier high school novel.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

-      My favourite YA! Geeky girl, slightly larger than normal protagonists and a Korean-American lad meet on a bus and fall in love. It’s so wonderful I couldclap like a penguin. I love it. This to me is probably the best high school novel in competition with the following novel for realism and being relatable. It’s just so sweet.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

-      This is most definitely an ultimate choice for this Top Ten and it is a good one. I love how this book deals with mental-illnesses and repressed memories, particularly with humour, music and the letter-format. It’s really sweet I still prefer the movie but it is a really good story and one I would definitely recommend to High-Schoolers.

Love Lessons by Jacqueline Wilson

-      Another slightly ‘younger’ high school novel. This story revolves around a young girl who has been home-schooled for her entire life when suddenly circumstances change and she has to attend school. She is an odd one out, wearing odd-clothing, not understanding what the social norms are and is simply struggling. The only person she can relate to is her art teacher who befriends her and gives her a job as a baby-sitter to his children. Subtle, slightly reserved, antics ensue. It’s meant to be read by a younger audience but it is a more-adult novel to Wilson’s usual style.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

-      Another High School novel with themes of mental-health awareness and also the topic of suicide. This is a deep book very heavy and a tearjerker again. The cover is probably my favourite thing about it, but it does have a good story revolving around high school normalities and the people we pass in the corridors without thinking. Well worth a read, but not a re-read probably.

Paper Towns by John Green

-      John Green is synonymous now for writing YA fiction set in high schools, or around people that should be in high school, and falling in love with their peers. This story is about a boy who falls in love with his neighbour and has one night of merry-making revenge before she suddenly disappears and he goes looking for her. Again, I’ve never read it but I’ve seen enough reviews and watched the movie trailer enough times to know that this is a favourite of the high school novels.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Sparks

-      Just to add another British novel to the mix. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is actually about a teacher, Miss Brodie, who teaches at a Scottish Boarding school for young ladies. She reminds me a bit of Professor Slughorn in Harry Potter she has a lot of favouritism for a teacher, is very vain and self-aware and her actions have consequences she never foresaw. It is a novel set in high school, but it is from the teacher’s perspective, not the students.

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

-      My last top ten is the Art of Being Normal. I loved this book, it touched me. I’m not a member of the LGBT community but I am an avid supporter of them and Transgenderism is a part of the community which I think is not portrayed enough in literature or media of anywhere. This was the first book about a transgender boy I had ever read and I thought Williamson did a fabulous job. It captures attitudes and opinions on transgenderism in school from teachers to students to parents and peers and it is really inspiring and very well-written.

So there we have ten books set in high school. There is a recurring theme that most high school stories are Young Adult fiction, but that’s okay. You’re hardly going to find a lot of Historical fiction set in high schools at the moment although wouldn’t that be fun!

I hope you enjoyed, leave a comment below or fill me in on any other high-school novels you think I would enjoy.

Happy Reading!

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