Most of us didn’t like going to school 5 days a week when we were younger. But what if we went to a school that dealt with witches, demons, treachery, deceit…and murder? Feel better about your school don’t you? In the spirit of Halloween only couple of days away, if you are looking for something spooky and haunting to read this weekend, here are some dark academia reads that will not only scare you, but glad that your school was just a boring place of learning:
Over My Dead Body by Sweeney Boo
One day, everything was exactly as it was supposed to be. And the next, the closest thing Abby ever had to a sister, Noreen, was just… gone.
Distracted by the annual preparations for the Samhain festival, Abby’s classmates are quick to put Noreen’s disappearance aside. The Coven will find her, Abby’s friends say. They have it under control.
But Abby can’t let it go. Soon a search for answers leads her down a rabbit hole that uncovers more secrets than Abby can handle. As mounting evidence steers her toward the off-limits woods that surround the academy, she begins to see that Noreen’s disappearance mysteriously has a lot in common with another girl who went missing all those years ago… (Credit: Harper Alley)
The Society For Soulless Girls by Laura Steven
Ten years ago, four students lost their lives in the infamous North Tower murders at the elite Carvell College of Arts, forcing Carvell to close its doors.
Now Carvell is reopening, and fearless student Lottie is determined to find out what really happened. But when her roommate, Alice, stumbles upon a sinister soul-splitting ritual hidden in Carvell’s haunted library, the North Tower claims another victim.
Can Lottie uncover the truth before the North Tower strikes again? Can Alice reverse the ritual before her monstrous alter ego consumes her? And can they stop flirting for literally fifteen seconds in order to do this? (Credit: HarperCollins UK)
The New Girl by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Draycott Academy on a track scholarship, she’s determined to make it work even though she’s never felt more out of place.
But on her first day there she witnesses a girl being forcefully carried away by campus security. Her new schoolmates and teachers seem unphased, but it leaves her unsure of what she’s gotten herself into.
And as she uncovers the secrets of Draycott, complete with a corrupt teacher, a golden boy who isn’t what he seems, and a blackmailer determined to get her thrown out, she’s not sure if she can trust anyone…especially when the threats against her take a deadly turn. (Credit: Sourcebooks Fire)
Madam by Phoebe Wynne
For 150 years, high above rocky Scottish cliffs, Caldonbrae Hall has sat untouched, a beacon of excellence in an old ancestral castle. A boarding school for girls, it promises that the young women lucky enough to be admitted will emerge resilient and ready to serve society.
Into its illustrious midst steps Rose Christie: a 26-year-old Classics teacher, Caldonbrae’s new head of the department, and the first hire for the school in over a decade. At first, Rose is overwhelmed to be invited into this institution, whose prestige is unrivaled. But she quickly discovers that behind the school’s elitist veneer lies an impenetrable, starkly traditional culture that she struggles to reconcile with her modernist beliefs–not to mention her commitment to educating girls for the future.
It also doesn’t take long for Rose to suspect that there’s more to the secret circumstances surrounding the abrupt departure of her predecessor–a woman whose ghost lingers everywhere–than anyone is willing to let on. In her search for this mysterious former teacher, Rose instead uncovers the darkness that beats at the heart of Caldonbrae, forcing her to confront the true extent of the school’s nefarious purpose, and her own role in perpetuating it. (Credit: St. Martin’s Giffin)
Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
All you need to know is . . . I’m here to divide and conquer. Like all great tyrants do. –Aces
When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, are selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too.
Shortly after the announcement is made, though, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threaten every aspect of their carefully planned futures.
As Aces shows no sign of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly? (Credit: Feiwel & Friends)
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Deborah Harkness’s sparkling debut, A Discovery of Witches, has brought her into the spotlight and galvanized fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont. (Credit: Penguin Books)
Confessions by Kanae Minato
Her pupils murdered her daughter. Now she will have her revenge.
After calling off her engagement in the wake of a tragic revelation, Yuko Moriguchi had nothing to live for except her only child, four-year-old child, Manami. Now, following an accident on the grounds of the middle school where she teaches, Yuko has given up and tendered her resignation.
But first she has one last lecture to deliver. She tells a story that upends everything her students ever thought they knew about two of their peers, and sets in motion a diabolical plot for revenge.
Narrated in alternating voices, with twists you’ll never see coming, Confessions probes the limits of punishment, despair, and tragic love, culminating in a harrowing confrontation between teacher and student that will place the occupants of an entire school in danger. You’ll never look at a classroom the same way again. (Credit: Mulholland Books)
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.
A flying demon feeding on human energies.
A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.
And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.
The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.
She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight. (Credit: Margaret K. McElderry Books)
S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett
One deadly weekend.
At St. Aidan the Great School, or STAGS, new things–and new people–are to be avoided. The grandeur of the boarding school and the prestige of the students’ bloodlines seem surreal to Greer MacDonald. A scholarship student who recently transferred to STAGS, Greer is ignored at best and mocked at worst by the school’s most admired circle of friends, the Medievals.
Greer is taken by surprise when the Medievals send her an invitation to an exclusive weekend retreat at the private family estate of their unofficial leader, Henry de Warlencourt. It’s billed as a weekend of “huntin’ shootin’ fishin’.”As the weekend begins to take shape, it becomes apparent that beyond the luxurious trappings, predators are lurking, and they’re out for blood. (Credit: Delacorte Press)
For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing
Teddy Crutcher has won Teacher of the Year at the prestigious Belmont Academy, home to the best and brightest.
He says his wife couldn’t be more proud–though no one has seen her in a while.
Teddy really can’t be bothered with a few mysterious deaths on campus that’re looking more and more like murder or with the student digging a little too deep into Teddy’s personal life. His main focus is pushing these kids to their full academic potential.
All he wants is for his colleagues–and the endlessly meddlesome parents–to stay out of his way. If not, well, they’ll get what they deserve.
It’s really too bad that sometimes excellence can come at such a high cost. (Credit: Berkley Books)
Bleeding Heart Yard by Elly Griffiths
Expected Publication Date: November 15
Is it possible to forget that you’ve committed a murder?
When Cassie Fitzgerald was at school in the late 90s, she and her friends killed a fellow student. Almost twenty years later, Cassie is a happily married mother who loves her job–as a police officer. She closely guards the secret she has all but erased from her memory.
One day her husband finally persuades her to go to a school reunion. Cassie catches up with her high-achieving old friends from the Manor Park School–among them two politicians, a rock star, and a famous actress. But then, shockingly, one of them, Garfield Rice, is found dead in the school bathroom, supposedly from a drug overdose. As Garfield was an eminent–and controversial–MP and the investigation is high profile, it’s headed by Cassie’s new boss, DI Harbinder Kaur, freshly promoted and newly arrived in London. The trouble is, Cassie can’t shake the feeling that one of them has killed again.
Is Cassie right, or was Garfield murdered by one of his political cronies? It’s in Cassie’s interest to skew the investigation so that it looks like it has nothing to do with Manor Park and she seems to be succeeding.
Until someone else from the reunion is found dead in Bleeding Heart Yard…(Credit: Mariner Books)
Breaker by Kat Ellis
Kyle Henry has a new name, a new school, and a new life. A year has passed since his serial killer father’s execution, and it finally looks like he has a chance to escape the stigma and fear that haunts him.
Until he recognizes the girl sitting in the back row in homeroom.
Naomi Steadman is immediately intrigued by Kyle, but she doesn’t know he is the son of the man who murdered her mother. What she does know is she and Kyle have a connection—and a spark that Kyle continues to back away from.
Pretty soon, the death count on campus starts to rise. Someone is set on finishing what the Bonebreaker started, and reliving the horrors of their past may be the only thing that can stop the spree. (Credit: Running Press Teen)
The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton
Eleven-year-old Ella Durand is the first Conjuror to attend the Arcanum Training Institute, a magic school in the clouds where Marvellers from around the world practice their cultural arts, like brewing Indian spice elixirs and bartering with pesky Irish pixies.
Despite her excitement, Ella discovers that being the first isn’t easy–some Marvellers mistrust her magic, which they deem “bad and unnatural.” But eventually, she finds friends in elixirs teacher, Masterji Thakur, and fellow misfits Brigit, a girl who hates magic, and Jason, a boy with a fondness for magical creatures.
When a dangerous criminal known as the Ace of Anarchy escapes prison, supposedly with a Conjuror’s aid, tensions grow in the Marvellian world and Ella becomes the target of suspicion. Worse, Masterji Thakur mysteriously disappears while away on a research trip. With the help of her friends and her own growing powers, Ella must find a way to clear her family’s name and track down her mentor before it’s too late. (Credit: Henry Holt & Company)
Mashle: Magic and Muscles by Hajime Komoto
In the magic realm, magic is everything—everyone can use it, and one’s skill determines their social status. Deep in the forest, oblivious to the ways of the world, lives Mash. Thanks to his daily training, he’s become a fitness god. When Mash is discovered, he has no choice but to enroll in magic school, where he must beat the competition without revealing his secret—he can’t use magic!
Mash just wants to live in peace with his father in the forest. But the only way he’ll ever be accepted in the magic realm is by attending magic school and becoming a Divine Visionary—an exceptional student revered as one the chosen. But without an ounce of magic to his name, Mash will have to punch his way to the top spot. (Credit: Viz Media)
Blue Is For Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz
I know your secret…
Stacey’s junior year at boarding school isn’t easy. She’s not the most popular girl at school, or the smartest, or the prettiest. She’s got a crush on her best friend’s boyfriend, and an even darker secret that threatens to ruin her friendships for good. And now she’s having nightmares again.
Not just any nightmares – these dreams are too real to ignore, like she did three years ago. The last time she ignored them, a little girl died. This time they’re about Drea, her best friend who’s become the target of one seriously psycho stalker. It started with weird e-mails and freaky phone calls.
Now someone’s leaving Drea white lilies – the same death lilies that have been showing up in Stacey’s dreams. Everybody thinks it’s just a twisted game . . . until another girl at school is brutally murdered. There are no witnesses. Worst of all, no one has a perfect alibi. With everyone as a potential suspect, Stacey turns to the one secret weapon she can trust – the folk magic taught to her by her grandmother.
Will Stacey’s magic be strong enough to expose the true killer, or will the killer make her darkest nightmares come true? (Credit: Flux)