Our favorite “Dark Academia” books are perfect for fall

One of the few times TikTok trends overlap, the “dark academy” trend is popular both as a fashion aesthetic and as a book genre on BookTok. The key traits of the “dark academia” subculture are, for BookRiot“books on privilege taken to extremes” and frequently address “the rot in the foundations of a [academic] institution.”

The article continues under the ad

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that anyone who occasionally enjoys Lord Byron’s poem or film Dead Poets Society might also enjoy dark college books. Here are some of our favorite dark college books — both for adults and YA — to read for the start of school or spooky season.

“Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: An Obscure History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution” by R. F. Kuang

Source: Barnes & Noble

babel takes place in 1829 when the orphan Robin Swift is brought to London, where he is training to enroll in the Royal Institute of Translation in Oxford. There, scholars manifest the meaning of texts lost in translation through enchanted silver ingots. However, when England goes to war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide if institutions can be changed from within or if revolution requires violence.

The article continues under the ad

“Catherine House” by Elisabeth Thomas

'Catherine House.'

Source: Barnes & Noble

Ines attends Catherine House, a highly selective and experimental liberal arts school in Pennsylvania. Students live at school for three years completely separated from the outside world, leaving behind all traces of their previous lives. Ines struggles to trade party manners for intellectual discipline, but when her roommate’s obsessive study of a mysterious curriculum ends in tragedy, she begins to wonder if the school has a bigger curriculum. sinister.

The article continues under the ad

“Ace of Spades” by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (young adult)

'Ace of Spades.'

Source: Barnes & Noble

At Niveus Private Academy, perfection is the expectation and money is not an option. Head Girl Chiamaka runs the school and shy Devon is a talented musician at the bottom of the popularity ladder. When Chiamaka and Devon, two of the few non-white students, are the target of harassment via anonymous text messages, the unlikely duo must team up against a greater evil before it’s too late.

The article continues under the ad

“The Secret History” by Donna Tartt

Source: Barnes & Noble

The book that essentially founded the black academic subculture, The secret story reportedly written as a loose reflection of author Donna Tartt’s time at Bennington College in Vermont. The book follows a group of exclusive classic students in pursuit of enlightenment who accidentally commit murder instead.

The article continues under the ad

“How We Fall Apart” door Katie Zhao (young adult)

Source: Barnes & Noble

When Nancy Luo’s former best friend and college rival Jamie Ruan is found dead, she and her friends Krystal, Akil, and Alexander are prime suspects. The group was mentored by an anonymous social media source known as “Proctor”. Nancy thought she knew her friends’ darkest secrets, but it turns out the overseer knows them too. The four friends must race against time to clear their names, but how well do they really know each other?

The article continues under the ad

Olivie Blake’s Atlas Six

Source: Barnes & Noble

TikTok feelings The Atlas Six follows six magical scholars from around the world who are invited to compete to enter a secret society known as the Society of Alexandria. However, initiation into society comes at a deadly price, and the mysterious guardian Atlas Blakely refuses to offer helpful advice. As the group spends a year together working on contributions to arcane knowledge, they also compete for survival.

The article continues under the ad

“The Whispering Dark” by Kelly Andrew (young adult)

Source: Barnes & Noble

When Delaney Meyers-Petrov is accepted into the prestigious Godbole University, which trains students to jump between parallel worlds, she’s thrilled to prove that being deaf doesn’t mean she’s fragile. However, when one of his classmates, Colton Price, is almost literally a ghost of his past, Delaney must form an uneasy alliance with him to investigate a series of student deaths.

The Whispering Darkness will be released on October 18, 2022.

The article continues under the ad

“If We Were Villains” by ML Rio

Source: Barnes & Noble

As one of seven young actors attending liberal arts college to study Shakespeare, Oliver Marks and his friends are desperate to break out of their typecast roles. But when on-stage drama begins to seep into their real life and someone dies, the actors take on their biggest role yet: convincing the police of their innocence.

The article continues under the ad

“As I Descended” by Robin Talley (young adult)

'As I descended.'

Source: Barnes & Noble

A new story of macbeth, As I descended follows Acheron Academy power couple Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten. When their academic rival, Delilah Dufrey, opposes a prestigious academic award, the duo plot to harness the dark power believed to be housed beneath their school to achieve their goals.

The article continues under the ad

“Ninth House” by Leigh Bardugo

'Ninth House.'

Source: Barnes & Noble

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is recovering from a near-fatal drug overdose when she is mysteriously accepted free at Yale University. As Alex begins to search for the reason for her acceptance, it becomes abundantly clear: she is in charge of monitoring the magical activity of New Haven’s secret societies. But when their occult activities start spiraling out of control, Alex wonders what else Yale is hiding and why she’s suddenly become a target.

The article continues under the ad

“A Lesson in Vengeance” by Victoria Lee (young adult)

Source: Barnes & Noble

When Felicity Morrow returns to Dalloway School after the tragic death of her girlfriend, no one knows how her recovery will unfold. To make matters worse, the dormitory she resides in is said to be home to the Dalloway Five, a group of witches who died mysteriously on school grounds. When novelist prodigy Ellis Haley moves into Felicity’s dorm, they bond over their love for the arcane…until it comes back to haunt them.

The article continues under the ad

“Plain Bad Heroines” by Emily M. Danforth

'Plain Bad Heroines.'

Source: Barnes & Noble

In 1902, boarders Flo and Clara became obsessed with a little-known book called The story of Mary McLane and form a secret society dedicated to the text. When they die under mysterious circumstances, Brookhants School for Girls closes – but not before three more murders take place. In the present, wunderkind writer Merritt Emmons’ debut novel about girls is transformed into a Hollywood sensation…but is the production doomed to repeat history?

The article continues under the ad

“Truly Devious” by Maureen Johnson (young adult)

Source: Barnes & Noble

Eccentric tycoon Albert Ellingham founded Ellingham Academy to meet the needs of students with unique interests. Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped, the only clue being a chilling letter signed “Truly, Devious”. In the present, Stevie Bell is obsessed with true crime, particularly the Ellingham case. But when Truly Devious makes a surprise return and the students start dying, can she solve a century-old cold case in time?

Comments are closed.