Before elaborating this list, I spent a lot of time skimming through articles about what you should read in your twenties and most of them were filled with either classics, either self-help or financial books and I have nothing against them but this is not at all what vibe I wanted for this.

I put together all kinds of books, mostly fiction that are about people in their twenties navigating life and relationships, struggling and not having everything figured out ; or at least I tried, they sometimes don’t correspond exactly because it was honestly hard to find them. Hope you’ll like these recommendations.

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Normal people by Sally Rooney
Throughout their years in college, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. Then, as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

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This is the kind of book that the more I think about, the more I like and so I’m really excited to read her other works (I just bought Conversations with friends so hopefully I can read it soon).

Emergency contact by Mary H.K. Choi
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.

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I heard a lot about Yolk from the same author but I feel myself more drawn to this one so I think I will start there.

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman
Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding unnecessary human contact, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. Ultimately, it is Raymond’s big heart that will help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

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One of my favorite books, would never recommend it enough.

A little life by Hanya Yanagihara
When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man.

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As I said before, I don’t think I plan on reading this book ever but it fitted the theme so. Please check the extensive trigger warnings for this book before diving in.

Exciting times by Naoise Dolan
Ava moved to Hong Kong to find happiness, but so far, it isn’t working out. When Ava befriends Julian, a witty British banker, he offers a shortcut into a lavish life her meager salary could never allow. When Julian’s job takes him back to London, she stays put, unsure where their relationship stands. Enter Edith. A Hong Kong–born lawyer, striking and ambitious. Ava wants to be her—and wants her. When Julian announces that he’s returning to Hong Kong, she faces a fork in the road.

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This book is being sold as the next Normal people so I couldn’t not include it in this article.

Luster by Raven Leilani
Edie is stumbling her way through her twenties—sharing a subpar apartment in Bushwick, clocking in and out of her admin job, making a series of inappropriate sexual choices. She is also haltingly, fitfully giving heat and air to the art that simmers inside her. And then she meets Eric, a digital archivist with a family in New Jersey, including an autopsist wife who has agreed to an open marriage—with rules.

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Such a fun age by Kiley Reid
Alix Chamberlain is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains' toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store's security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right.

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I bought this book recently so I should be able to read it soon.

Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawagushi
In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time. We meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer.

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This was always the first result for all my internet searches (I don't really know why) so I had to include it, and I really want to read this book.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

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This book was always recommended in what to read after Normal people as it is also about a relationship over the span of years.

Everything I know about love by Dolly Alderton
When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming an adult, journalist and former Sunday Times columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, finding a job, getting drunk, getting dumped, realizing that Ivan from the corner shop might just be the only reliable man in her life, and that absolutely no one can ever compare to her best girlfriends. Everything I Know About Love is about bad dates, good friends and—above all else— realizing that you are enough.

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The exception of the article because this isn’t fiction but it seems to fit all the other criteria.

We are okay by Nina Lacour
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. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

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Let me cry in peace because I bought this book recently but my order has been canceled three weeks later so I don’t know when I will be able to read it.

Hope you enjoyed this article and added some of these books to your tbr.