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Dark Coming of Age Stories

Coming of age stories have a more specific focus than ordinary literary fiction. They highlight the struggles and triumphs of growing up in difficult, even dangerous circumstances. Every childhood has its rough patches, but the young people in these stories must face truly imposing odds to get what they need. They deal with family drama, death, abandonment, and desperation. Some of their tales even become crime stories, with the protagonists resorting to illegal means to survive–or just to pass the time. These dark books offer no guarantee of a happy ending, but with these narratives, the ending isn’t what counts: it is what the characters go through during their most formative years, and how that experience shapes the adults they will become.








Eileen Gonzalez is a freelance writer from Connecticut. She has a Master’s degree in communications and years of experience writing about pop culture. She contributes to Book Riot and Foreword Reviews, and she occasionally tweets at @eileen2thestars.