For readers and book lovers, books set inside the beloved institutions that sell literature are catnip. We’re swept away in fantasy stories, in romances, and in mysteries with the bookstore as backdrop. Though adult books have showcased bookstores significantly more than young adult books have, YA books set in bookstores exist. Over the last couple of years, in fact, YA books set in bookstores have become popular, offering up a glimpse at what it’s like to work for and love all things literature.
Find below a handful of awesome YA books set in bookstores, as well as in comics stores.
Pick up one of these gems at your local indie and fall in love with being young and invested in books.
YA Books Set In Bookstores and Comics Stores
Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey (May 18, 2021)
Madeline loves the independent bookstore that her family has owned for generations and she can’t wait to take over the store once she finishes college. One hitch: a chain bookstore has opened across the street and threatens her family’s business.
Okay, two hitches: Jasper, the boy who works at the rival bookstore, is extremely cute, despite taking customers from Madeline’s store. She’s set on destroying the competition…if she can avoid falling for it.
The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood
It’s the last summer that the four Garrett sisters will spend together. When their parents died in a car crash, they were raised by their grandmother, the owner of an independent bookstore in their small coastal town. The summer helps each of the sisters develop into themselves as individuals, and the book is packed with awesome bookish references and a bookstore setting that’s hard to forget. A quiet YA book for readers who love character-driven reads.
The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey
Darcy finds tremendous comfort when she allows herself to get lost in a book. It’s between the pages of stories outside of her own where she can forget the reality of her mother’s hoarding. A new property manager for her apartment, though, threatens the ability for her and her mother to keep their family secret under wraps.
And then, when Darcy is at work at the local bookstore, she meets a boy who helps her open up and realize the power of owning her reality, rather than escaping from it.
Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu
Nova isn’t your average teen witch. She’s much more knowledgeable, and that’s in part thanks to her job working at her grandmothers’ bookstore. The bookstore loans books about the supernatural and investigates paranormal occurrences. When Nova is out on an investigation following a white wolf in the woods, she finds herself face to face with a childhood crush…and their feelings for each other might make her work on the investigation much more challenging. This delightful comic is for readers who want some magic and witchy vibes in their bookstore-set books.
No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and R. George Christie
A powerful story based on the real life of author Nelson’s great uncle Lewis Michaux, owner of the National Memorial African Bookstore. The bookstore was a crucial place of literary talent and growth during and beyond the Harlem Renaissance. It was a rallying point for the Black Nationalist movement and a place where some of the biggest names in Black literary and cultural history became well-known patrons.
Recommended For You by Laura Silverman
When Shoshanna’s bookstore Once Upon offers up a holiday incentive for whoever sells the most books, she’s eager for the chance to make some extra money to fix her ailing car. But there’s someone standing in her way: Jake, the new, cute hire who, despite not being a reader, is rivaling her ability to sell.
When the competition intensifies, the feelings they have toward each other do, too.
This Is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi
This book is not only set at a bookstore, but it takes place in under 24 hours.
Three teen girls, ready to clock in for their first shift of the summer at the Wild Nights Bookstore, learn that the store is going to be shutting down. Now Rinn, Daniella, and Imogen have to work together to save the bookstore—and it’s not going to be easy or without some questionable tactics.
The Summer of Everything by Julian Winters
Wesley is a comic book geek, and he’s pining hard for his best friend Nico, who he hasn’t told and can’t seem to find the exact insight he needs to go for it. When he learns that the beloved bookstore where he works—Once Upon A Page (no relation to Silverman’s bookstore!)—is threatened with closure and his brother seeks advice for an impending marriage, suddenly Wesley has to confront a lot more than he’d thought he would. It’s a story about crushes, bookstores, found family, and characters who are hard not to love.
Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan
A romcom with meat on its bones, Dugan’s sophomore novel follows two teens who love comics and fall in love in a comic book store. Ridley’s parents own the biggest comic book store chain in the country, while Jubilee’s stepmom owns a struggling independent shop, where she works. Though their parents might be rivals, the two find themselves falling for each other.
We Are Inevitable by Gayle Forman (June 2021)
Aaron’s friends have left home to pursue their college dreams, while he’s stuck in his mountain town helping run his father’s failing bookstore. And then he meets Hannah, who turns his world upside down. Could she be what helps break him of his malaise?
There’s no official cover as of the writing of this post.
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
Howling Books is a magical place where readers are able to write letters to strangers, loved ones, or anyone to whom they wish they could share their words. Rachel, who moved away and left behind her best friend Henry, is back in town and working at Howling Books. It’s here where she connects with those words, where she’s able to grieve the loss of her brother, and perhaps reconnect once again with Henry. Aussie author Crowley’s literary style will make you fall in love with books, reading, and words over and over.