Book List

10 Books About Discovering Who You Are

July 20, 2017
Rashika Bahl
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I’m of the belief that all YA novels are secretly coming of age novels, but there are definitely some that are extra helpful when you’re trying to figure out who you are. Feeling confused, angry, scared, sad, lost? There’s a book for that (and it’s way more helpful than an app, let me tell you). One book that really highlights the importance of discovering who you want to be is Laurent Linn’s Draw the Line, which is all about finding where you belong. It’s no surprise Draw the Line fits right into Riveted’s Summer of Self-Discovery! You can even read an extended excerpt until July 31st!  Incase we somehow haven’t convinced you to read this fantastic (illustration filled!) novel yet, here’s the summary:

After a hate crime occurs in his small Texas town, Adrian Piper must discover his own power, decide how to use it, and know where to draw the line in this stunning debut novel exquisitely illustrated by the author.

Adrian Piper is used to blending into the background at his Texas high school. He may be a talented artist, a sci-fi geek, and gay, but none of those social groups get him…at all.

In fact, the only place he feels free to be himself is at his drawing table while he’s creating his own world through the Renaissance-art-inspired superhero of his own design, Graphite.

But in real life, when a hate crime spurs Adrian into action, he must decide what kind of person he wants to be. Maybe it’s time to not be so invisible after all—no matter how dangerous the risk.

When you’re done reading Draw the Line and you’re urging for more books about discovering who you are, we conveniently have a list of our top 10! What’s your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

The Great American Whateverby Tim Federle

Quinn Roberts is a sixteen-year-old smart aleck and Hollywood hopeful whose only worry used to be writing convincing dialogue for the movies he made with his sister Annabeth. Of course, that was all before—before Quinn stopped going to school, before his mom started sleeping on the sofa…and before the car accident that changed everything.

Openly Straightby Bill Konigsberg

This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate feeling different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself.

American Born Chineseby Gene Luen Yang

All Jin Wang wants is to fit in. When his family moves to a new neighborhood, he suddenly finds that he’s the only Chinese American student at his school. Jocks and bullies pick on him constantly, and he has hardly any friends. Then, to make matters worse, he falls in love with an all-American girl…

The Summer of Chasing Mermaidsby Sarah Ockler

From the bestselling author of Twenty Boy Summer comes a “compelling and original” (Kirkus Reviews) novel about a talented singer that loses her ability to speak after a tragic accident, leading her to a postcard-perfect seaside town to find romance.

At The Edge of the Universeby Shaun David Hutchinson

From the author of We Are the Ants and The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley comes the heartbreaking story of a boy who believes the universe is slowly shrinking as things he remembers are being erased from others’ memories.

Up to This Pointeby Jennifer Longo

Harper is a dancer. She and her best friend, Kate, have one goal: becoming professional ballerinas. And Harper won’t let anything—or anyone—get in the way of The Plan, not even the boy she and Kate are both drawn to.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universeby Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

Tonight the Streets are Oursby Leila Sales

Recklessly loyal. That’s how seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley has always thought of herself. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But lately she’s grown resentful of everyone–including her needy best friend and her absent mom–taking her loyalty for granted. Then Arden stumbles upon a website called Tonight the Streets Are Ours, the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter, who gives voice to feelings that Arden has never known how to express. He seems to get her in a way that no one else does, and he hasn’t even met her.

We Are Okayby Nina LaCour

You go through life thinking there’s so much you need. . . . Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother. Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun.

This One Summerby Mariko Tamaki

In This One Summer two stellar creators redefine the teen graphic novel. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of her teen age — a story of renewal and revelation.

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