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8 Coming of Age Romance Novels for All of Life's Big Transitions

We’re always growing, learning, and figuring out who the hell we are. 

Coming of Age Romances

We think of “coming of age stories” as the stuff of teenagers, but if we’re being honest, you never really stop coming of age. What about when we’re going to college and leaving home for the first time? Or hitting our 30s and feeling the urge to settle down? It all counts, or at least we think so, and these eight novels cover that spectrum with a romantic touch!

The Vacillations of Poppy Carew

The Vacillations of Poppy Carew

By Mary Wesley

Poppy’s thoroughly detestable lover, Edmund, leaves her for a much richer woman around the same time that her father dies. His last wish was for Poppy to organize a fun funeral, full of laughs and drama and glamorous women. Present at the funeral are three men who are determined to become her suitors, and then Edmund comes crawling back once he discovers that Poppy is now heiress to a fortune. Suddenly, he's whisked her off to Africa for adventure and maybe something more insidious. Her trio of would-be boyfriends are hot on their tail, eager to save her. Which one will save the day?

The Marriage Clock

The Marriage Clock

By Zara Raheem

To Leila Abid's traditional Indian parents, finding a husband in their South Asian-Muslim American community is as easy as making the match and then heading down the aisle. But for Leila, a marriage of arrangement clashes with her lifelong dreams of a dreamy Bollywood romance. 

After 26 years of single life, however, she's getting panicky, as are her gossiping family. It's time to start dating. She makes a deal with her parents: They'll give her three months, until their 30th wedding anniversary, to find a husband on her own terms. But if she fails, they'll take over and arrange her marriage for her. The clock is ticking and the stakes are high. Can Leila find the one?

Keeping Her

Keeping Her

By Cora Carmack

Bliss Edwards was sick of being the only virgin in her friends group, so she decided to get rid of her v-card as quickly as possible. A one-night stand did the job, but then things got really complicated when she went to class one day and saw said fling walk in and introduce himself as her new theater professor. After some shenanigans, the pair are finally together and ready for their happy-ever-after. The problem? Now, it's time to meet the parents. From the moment the pair land in London, new snags just keep cropping up, including a disapproving mother-in-law-to-be. Finding love is one thing. Keeping it? That's a whole other challenge.

As Long As You Love Me

As Long As You Love Me

By Ann Aguirre

Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. Life outside of her small town didn't quite go as planned. She misses her family and she just lost her college scholarship. Besides, Sharon has Rob Conrad, her best friend's older brother. He was the star football player in high school, but out in the real world, things aren't going so well for him. He's the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever—until Lauren comes back to town, bringing with her the promise of something more than friendship.

32 Candles

32 Candles

By Ernessa T. Carter

Davie Jones was long considered the ugly duckling of her small Mississippi town, and she's resigned to her fate until she sees a movie called Sixteen Candles. She relates hard to Molly Ringwald, the poor girl in unrequited love with the football player, but Davie's life doesn't seem like it'll go her way. When a cruel school prank goes too far, Davie leaves the life she knows and reinvents herself in the glittery world of Hollywood as a beautiful and successful lounge singer. Just as she's about to ride off into the L.A. sunset, the past comes back with a vengeance…

The Summer I Turned Pretty

The Summer I Turned Pretty

By Jenny Han

Jenny Han’s best-selling YA series helped to kickstart her writing career and spawned a beloved TV adaptation on Amazon Prime. Every Summer, Belly and her family spend the season with Susannah, her mother's oldest and dearest friend. Susannah's two sons, Jeremiah and Conrad, have been a part of Belly's life forever. But this Summer is different. They're teens now. Belly's mother is getting divorced. Susannah is ill. And her brother-figures-turned-crushes have started to notice her in a very new way…

The Deal Elle Kennedy

The Deal

By Elle Kennedy

Hannah Wells might be confident in every other area of her life, but when it comes to sex, she's got too much baggage and too many nerves to deal with. But now, she has a crush and she's determined to get her man. She needs help in mastering the art of seduction. Enter Garrett Graham, the campus hockey star. His grades are plummeting, which could end his career with the NHL before it's even begun. Hannah offers to tutor him in her field of expertise if he'll do the same for her. A fake romance seems guaranteed to make her crush jealous. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn't take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn't going to cut it. Now, if only he can convince Hannah…

Pride Ibi Zoboi


By Ibi Zoboi

Zuri Benitez is a proud Afro-Latino Brooklynite, but pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable. When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. Darius, the eldest, is arrogant, judgmental, and clearly thinks he's better than the neighborhood. Yet, as they're forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding. Zuri has a lot on her plate thanks to four wild sisters, college applications, and a fight to save Bushwick from becoming something it's not. Does she have the ability to get over her preconceptions of Darius and embrace that which she truly desires?