Let me surprise absolutely no one by informing you all I was a HUGE NERD in high school. I grew up in a very small town and went to a very small school. My graduating class (2005! I’M SO OLD) had 22 people, most of whom I had known since preschool. It was like being surrounded by cousins, all the time, who know every idiotic phase you’ve ever gone through as you try to figure yourself out. Now, I lucked out because it was so small. I was not teased, or bullied, or any of those other awful things high school can offer. I was quiet, well behaved, invisible, and ignored. A lot like a potted plant with excellent reading comprehension.
The best representation of my high school experience I can think of is this: when we watched the movie adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing there were a lot of funny parts and I was the only person in the entire classroom laughing. I’ve never felt so alone or geeky, ever. THAT was my nerd life, and honestly, fuck high school. It’s not a favorite time to remember, so I don’t read a lot of books set there. Not like, contemporary US setting schools.
So here’s my sorta-half-assed list of favorite books with a mostly high school setting? If you loosely define this as a school-ish place with young adult age people running around kind of learning things.
Harry Potter Series, JK Rowling
Peeves would have improved my high school experience roughly 200%, I swear. And anticipating Voldemort trying to murder Harry as the finale of every year would also have perked me right up for finals.
Vampire Academy, Richelle Mead
This absolutely counts, it even has the name academy in it. Yes, they are all vampires or half-vampire, I will grant you this. But there are classes and schedules and mean girls and prom and everything.
Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson
This may not perhaps be the most cheerful look at education but it makes a hard, painful subject real, it gives words to the voiceless, and Melinda helped me work through my own experience with the topic of this book. I’ll always be grateful Laurie Halse Anderson wrote it.
The Girl With All the Gifts
It’s a creepy class full of small zombie children who have to be restrained so they don’t eat their teacher, but dammit it still counts as school.
Nevernight, Jay Kristoff
Um. Everyone learning different, efficient ways to kill people, yay? Assassins have to be taught, just like anyone else.
The Wee Free Men/A Hat Full of Sky, Terry Pratchett
. . . Look I’m trying. Tiffany metaphorically goes to a school for witches, it makes sense in the books okay.
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