The 20-something experience is an exciting but complex period marked by personal growth, career development, and navigating the ups and downs of relationships.
For many in their 20s, books can serve as a source of comfort, inspiration, and guidance as they navigate this tumultuous decade. Within this list, we’ll explore some of the best books for the ’20-something’, from memoirs of incredible lives to novels that capture the joys and challenges of this unique stage of life.
So whether you’re looking for a new book to add to your reading list or simply seeking a moment of reflection, this post is for you.
- “Puzzle Girl is a fantastic debut. Sparklingly funny, original and brilliantly clever”, Perfect for fans of Beth O’Leary, Dolly Alderton and Lorraine Brown. – ‘Puzzle Girl‘ by Rachel Featherstone
- The ultimate book club read, exploring loneliness, self-worth, and disconnection with head-nodding accuracy, award-winning Phoebe Walker’s debut novel ´Temper´ is perfect for fans of Ottessa Moshfegh’s ´My Year of Rest and Relaxation´ and ‘Open Water’ by Caleb Azumah Nelson. – ‘Temper‘ by Phoebe Walker
- Nominated for the Writer’s Guild Best First Novel Award! Exploring themes of OCD and anxiety, Fans of ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ and ‘The Rosie Project’ will love this heartwarming tale. – ‘Braver‘ by Deborah Jenkins
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Twenty-six-year-old Cassy Brookes thinks she has everything under control until one fateful morning changes everything.
Stuck in a doctor’s office, Cassy scribbles a message in a puzzle book, and when she returns for a check-up, she sees someone has replied. She soon finds herself torn between searching for love and outwitting her work rival, Martin.
Will finding the mystery puzzle man be the cure to all her problems or will the truth turn out to be a bitter pill to swallow?
Following a move to the Netherlands, a young woman dissects the developments of her new life: awkward exchanges with the people she meets, days spent alone freelancing in her apartment, her confrontation with boredom and unease.
In her newfound isolation, she develops an unusual friendship with Colette, a woman she neither likes nor can keep away from. As her feelings of dislocation grow, larger anxieties about her purpose – or lack thereof – begin to encroach. And underneath it all, a burgeoning frustration bubbles.
Hazel has never felt normal. Struggling with OCD and anxiety, she isolates herself from others and sticks to rigid routines in order to cope with everyday life. But when she forms an unlikely friendship with Virginia, a church minister, Hazel begins to venture outside her comfort zone.
Having rebuilt her own life after a traumatic loss, Virginia has become the backbone of her community, caring for those in need and mentoring disadvantaged young people. Yet a shocking accusation threatens to unravel everything she has worked for.
At twenty-seven, Ellie Newton’s life revolves around telling other people’s stories. As a go-getting journalist for the Millrise Echo, she’s always tuned into the latest goings-on. Ellie loves her hometown, but with the serious lack of romantic prospects and a career that has stalled, she’s beginning to wonder if she should try her luck in the big city after all. Until she hears about a story that definitely has something special…
Soulful musician Ben was heartbroken when his girlfriend, the love of his life, Gemma, walked out on him without a word. But rather than mope around the house he’s decided this calls for a grand gesture, and a bunch of flowers just isn’t going to cut it. Ben has set up camp on Gemma’s street and is determined to stay there, in the freezing February weather, until she realises how much he loves her and that he will do anything to make her happy.
The story has everything Ellie loves – broken hearts, old-fashioned romance, a rather handsome man – and she decides to do everything she can to help Ben get Gemma back, including taking his story to the national news. But as Ellie and Ben join forces to reunite him with the girl of his dreams, could their story lead them somewhere more unexpected?
It’s autumn in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and twenty-something Kelsey Anderson has moved from her Scottish home to live in the beautiful town. Her Shakespeare tour guide days behind her, she’s now happily working as a photographer and totally loved up with American actor boyfriend Jonathan – even if long-distance relationships are hard.
When best friend Mirren moves down from Scotland, Kelsey is delighted to have her friend at her side – and as the nights turn colder, Mirren throws herself into dating the eligible bachelors of Stratford, until she finds herself growing closer to journalist Adrian.
But as Mirren uncovers a long-buried scandal while working at the local newspaper, it seems that her big scoop might throw Kelsey’s – and Jonathan’s – life upside down. Will she choose her career over her friends’ happiness?
When Jonathan returns from the US and discovers the secrets Mirren has uncovered about his family, it throws his relationship with Kelsey onto shaky ground. Can they find their way back to love, before it becomes the winter of their discontent?
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