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Feeling Lonely? These 9 Books Might Help

The "Louder Than Words," "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," and "The Lonely City" book covers.
Electric Monkey/MTV Books/Picador

Things are looking up for 2021, but we still have a long way to go until things are completely back to normal. If you’re feeling lonely while social distancing and quarantining, turn to these books for some support.

Prep: A Novel

Author Curtis Sittenfeld perfectly captures the loneliness many people feel in high school, but this book will resonate with people of all ages. Prep is about a girl who’s sent to a prep school and struggles to fit in. If you’ve ever felt out of place in a new setting, this book will feel acutely personal.

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

This story about a girl struggling with loneliness after moving to New York City is part memoir and part fiction. The Lonely City by Olivia Laing is all about living alone and not feeling connected to anyone. Anyone who’s ever felt disconnected will totally “get” this book.

Louder Than Words

This novel by Laura Jarratt is about a girl with selective mutism who experiences intense loneliness because she can’t communicate. It’s a beautiful story about someone trying to break out of isolation. Although the main character’s situation is hard for most people to imagine, she’s still remarkably relatable.

Jane Eyre

This classic by Charlotte Brontë follows a lonely woman who finds her own strength. Orphaned as a child, Jane Eyre has been an outcast her entire life until she’s hired by a mysterious, wealthy man to be a governess to his young ward. Although it was published in the 19th century, the pain of rejection and the search for acceptance are timeless.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

This cult favorite by Stephen Chbosky is about a group of “outsiders” who become good friends. It deals with some very mature themes, but it’s still a touching coming-of-age story about the power of friendship. It’s definitely a worthwhile read for anyone who’s struggled with traumatic events.

The Martian

Andy Weir’s story about an astronaut stranded on Mars tackles the theme of the regular person who must overcome tremendous odds to survive. The story manages to combine tragedy and lightheartedness in a unique way. It’s filled with clever humor and also shows how a positive perspective can shift your mood.

Adulthood Is a Myth

If your loneliness stems from feeling like you just aren’t getting this “adult” thing right, this book by Sarah Andersen will remind you that everyone’s going through the same thing. Filled with on-point comics that perfectly highlight the fears and embarrassments everyone shares, you’ll feel much less alone after browsing through this.

Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date

Required reading for anyone who’s felt perpetually single, Katie Heaney’s story feels particularly relevant right now, given a pandemic has halted human interaction for nearly a year. It’s a great reminder that you’re perfect just the way you are and things will happen when they’re supposed to (or not).


This classic by Roald Dahl is about a lonely girl who finds the power within herself to get out of a negative situation. The story will resonate with everyone, but the reading level is perfect for older kids who feel like they don’t fit in.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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