The Best Novels About College

List Rules
Fiction books that use a university as a setting or major theme

This list is about the best novels about college; it answers the question, “What are the best fictional books about college?” The college years are some of the best - or worst - years of our lives. The excitement of a new beginning and the anxiety of classes and homework make these four years a joyride. There are many popular films with a college setting, but there are many well-known novels written with a college setting as well.

Perhaps the most famous is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise, a definitive novel about the “Lost Generation” whose main character, Amory Blaine, is a wealthy, handsome Princeton student. The story exemplifies young men and women of the 1920s. This was Fitzgerald’s first book and was an instant success. A fiction book with a college setting can detail the everyday rituals and struggles during college life, but many also encompass a first romance plot of some kind, highlighting the ups-and-downs that follow. Voted as one of the most popular stories with a college theme, J. Lynn’s Wait for You details a young woman with a troubled past who attempts to escape her hometown by going to college. She falls in love with a young man; as her past tries to catch up with her, she is thrown between the desire to pursue her new relationship or shut him out in order to avoid dragging him into the middle of her nightmare.

These college novels take readers into the minds and hearts of students and faculty alike. Whether you’re in the mood for a lighthearted, humorous story or an intense college romance novel, choose from the best novels about college and enjoy the story!
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