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dark academia

 

Gear up for back-to-school with these stories from the dark side of academia.

deadly education

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

With flawless mastery, Naomi Novik creates a school bursting with magic like you’ve never seen before, and a heroine for the ages—a character so sharply realized and so richly nuanced that she will live on in hearts and minds for generations to come.

Never let me go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The students of Hailsham, an elite school in the English countryside, are so special that visitors shun them, and only by rumor and the occasional fleeting remark by a teacher do they discover their unconventional origins and strange destiny.

magic for liars

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister--without losing herself.

Wilder girls

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Friends Hetty, Byatt, and Reece go to extremes trying to uncover the dark truth about the mysterious disease that has had them quarantined at their boarding school on a Maine island.

a discovery of witches

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Witch and Yale historian Diana Bishop discovers an enchanted manuscript, attracting the attention of 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew Clairmont. The orphaned daughter of two powerful witches, Bishop prefers intellect, but relies on magic when her discovery of a palimpsest documenting the origin of supernatural species releases an assortment of undead who threaten, stalk, and harass her.

madam

Madam by Phoebe Wynne

A riveting, modern gothic debut with shades of The Secret History, The Stepford Wives, and a dash of Circe, set at a secretive all girls' boarding school perched on a craggy Scottish peninsula. 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. A darkly feminist tale pitched against a haunting backdrop, and populated by an electrifying cast of heroines, Madam will keep readers engrossed until the breathtaking conclusion

my dark vanessa

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher. 2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager--and who professed to worship only her--may be far different from what she has always believed? Alternating between Vanessa's present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood.

bunny

Bunny by Mona Awad

Samantha Heather Mackey couldn't be more of an outsider in her small, highly selective MFA program at New England's Warren University. A scholarship student who prefers the company of her dark imagination to that of most people, she is utterly repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort--a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other "Bunny," and are often found entangled in a group hug so tight they become one. But everything changes when Samantha receives an invitation to the Bunnies' fabled "Smut Salon," and finds herself inexplicably drawn to their front door--ditching her only friend, Ava, a caustic art school dropout, in the process. As Samantha plunges deeper and deeper into the sinister yet saccharine world of the Bunny cult and starts to take part in their ritualistic off-campus "Workshop" where they magically conjure their monstrous creations, the edges of reality begin to blur, and her friendships with Ava and the Bunnies are brought into deadly collision. A spellbinding, down-the-rabbit-hole tale of loneliness and belonging, creativity and agency, and friendship and desire, Bunny is the dazzlingly original second book from an author whose work has been described as "honest, searing and necessary"