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Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 books set at school

Hello friends!! Welcome to Top 5 Tuesday!! This week’s topic is top 5 books set at school!!

Hilariously, I don’t actually think anyone is at school at the moment. I stand corrected that the northern hemisphere is still on summer break, and even in Australia most schools are on their two-week winter break this week. So… I guess I just totally f*cked up the timing of this topic. 😅

I do want to mention that I won’t be writing about any ‘magic schools’ in today’s post. Way back in August 2020 (almost two year ago?!) I actually wrote a post recommending a HEAP of books with magic school systems. Mostly if you were looking for something fun not written by a TERF, but also they’re just a bunch of great books. So, if you’d like to see my picks for those, check out my recommendations for books with magic schools post.

If you missed the July-September 2022 topics they are out now! Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm, and is now being hosted here @ Meeghan reads.

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top 5 books set at school

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda — Becky Albertalli

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Really I could have picked ANY Creekwood book by Becky Albertalli for this prompt (The Upside of Unrequited, Leah on the Offbeat, etc). But Simon will always have a special place in my heart. (And on Krause’s list apparently.)

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a classic YA set-in-high-school book that should really be a staple on everyone’s reading list.

Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight.

Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out ― without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Heartstopper — Alice Oseman

Again, this one really could have been any of the books set in the Heartstopper universe (Solitaire, Radio Silence, Nick and Charlie, etc.). But while Heartstopper wasn’t the first book written, it is the start of the timeline.

Blurb:

Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie ― the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months ― but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him.

Heartstopper Volume 1 by Alice Oseman

They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…

Emergency Contact — Mary H. K. Choi

Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi

Does university still count as ‘school’? It does this week if it means I get to scream a little bit about one of my fave debut contemporary novels.

Emergency Contact is about two late teens (maybe 20?) at uni who are struggling with life. Like, just all of life. Which is a whole mood if you ask me.

Blurb:

For Penny Lee high school was a total non-event. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch ― via text ― and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

Only Mostly Devastated — Sophie Gonzales

Just quietly, I’m not sure I could have lived with myself if I had a top 5 list of books set at school, and DIDN’T include a book that is literally a Grease retelling. Because, let’s face it, we all need a bit of Summer Lovin, no matter what season we’re in at the moment.

Only Mostly Devastated is *cough* ANOTHER Krause’s list book, and also another staple for any YA TBR.

Blurb:

Will Tavares is the dream summer fling ― he’s fun, affectionate, kind ― but just when Ollie thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After, summer vacation ends and Will stops texting Ollie back. Now Ollie is one prince short of his fairy tale ending, and to complicate the fairy tale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country. Which he minds a little less when he realizes it’s the same school Will goes to… 

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

Except Ollie finds that the sweet, comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted ― and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk.

Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn’t ready for a relationship, especially since this new, bro-y jock version of Will seems to go from hot to cold every other week. But then Will starts “coincidentally” popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, and Ollie finds his resolve weakening.

The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again.

Right? Right.

Date Me, Bryson Keller — Kevin van Whye

Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye

*screams in adorableness* I mean, just LOOK at this book. Date Me, Bryson Keller is a debut, gay, mixed race, own-voices, YA novel. And if it’s not on Krause’s list, then Matt Krause is missing a stunning title.*

Also, yes, I have read Seven Days, and I have THOUGHTS if anyone wants to fight me that this book is a rip off.

* Yes, I am fully aware that the books on Krause’s list have been banned, but I like to look at it as a promotional opportunity to encourage people to read banned books.

Blurb:

Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new ― the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he’s never really dated before.

Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes.

Kai Sheridan didn’t expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there’s more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing.

Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he’s awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this “relationship” will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight… right?

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DB’s Guide to the Galaxy

What are your top 5 books set at school?

until next time, happy reading! Meeghan xo

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