Twenty-somethings have a lot to be excited about: getting their first job out of college, finding the career path that they’re passionate about, meeting new people, moving out into a new apartment and more. But all of those changes can be scary at times. One of the best ways to escape the real world is through books. They can inspire, motivate, encourage you and even make you laugh. Sometimes a few page turns can cause you to have a whole different perspective of the world around you. Here are some classic novels to open up in your free time:

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

Your 20s are often the time when you log onto Facebook and find that yet another one of your friends from high school or college is engaged. Even though you may not realize it, it can put pressure on you to do the same. This novel delves into what it’s like to know that everyone around you is getting married. Isabella, Mary and Lauren, the three main characters, know this feeling all too well. They attend bridal shower after bridal shower, eat tiny sandwiches, wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case. But amid the chaos of love and marriage, these women have their own lives to contend with. Author Jennifer Close brings readers through the thrilling and often confusing years of early adulthood.

Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney

This classic novel published in 1984 is still relevant to young adults today. The novel follows a young man who is living in Manhattan and loving it–visiting nightclub after nightclub, fashion shows, editorial offices and loft parties. But when he reaches his breaking point, he’s forced to acknowledge loss and rediscover more worthwhile interests. When you’re in your 20s, you think you know everything, and this book delves into what happens when you’re too smart for your own good.

The Rachel Papers by Martin Amis

This book is all about leaving adolescence behind and discovering that the world isn’t as crystal clear as you thought it would be. Things are still confusing and frustrating. The Rachel Papers follows main character Charles Highway, who is busy prepping for Oxford. Along the way, he tries to plot the seduction of a girl he knows, Rachel, and finds himself falling in love against all odds.

The Group by Mary McCarthy

When it comes to must-read classic novels, this one should be near the top of your list. Despite the fact that this book was written in 1963, the issues it covers are still extremely relevant to those in their 20s today. It details the struggles that occur at this age, like caring too much about the opinions of others and not really knowing what success is. The novel follows the lives of eight Vassar graduates, known simply to their classmates as “the group.” After college, the reader sees how they tackle careers, love, loss and heartbreak.

What are your must-read books for twenty-somethings?