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5 books for the best fall reading vibes

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Dalhousie chapter.

It’s been a long day. The air is both cold and fresh, and yet it’s warm enough to keep your sweater tucked in your bag. Orange and blood red leaves cover the trees and sidewalks. Campus looks picturesque and inviting, milling with students moving, depending on your stride of choice, too slow or too fast. After class, you start to wonder how you will treat yourself today. You realise you’re in the mood to curl up with a good book, and because of the weather, and general feeling of anticipation in the air during the fall season, you need a book that will match those vibes. Many people are mood readers, this is when you can only get into a book when you’re looking for a specific tone of writing. It is with this concept in mind that the following five books were chosen. 

Pick #1: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. 

Genre: YA, Mystery 

A teenage girl, one Stevie Bell, is obsessed with true crime podcasts, so much so that she behaves like a character in the tv show “Only Murders in the Building.” The story involves fancy school in the Vermont mountains, one hundred year old mystery and disrupting right-wing political movements! This novel has the makings of the perfect mystery with great autumnal vibes. This cast of characters will capture your heart, and the representation surrounding mental health as well as Johnson’s portrayal of anxiety felt fresh and realistic. This series will have you turning pages!

Pick #2: The Deal by Elle Kennedy. 

Genre: College/Sports Romance 

This college romance follows freshman overachiever Hannah Wells forming a tutor agreement with Garrett Graham, resident ‘bad-boy’ and captain of the university hockey team. Packed with humour, strength and heart this novel will have you swooning. As well, Kennedy deals with sensitive subject matter in a sympathetic and progressive way. I’m placing a trigger warning here as there are mentions of sexual violence in this book, though nothing is depicted on-page. 

Pick #3: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix.

Genre: Horror 

This novel follows a group of housewives set in the 1990s, as their lives go from normal to… not so normal. When children in their neighbourhood start to go missing, and a strange, mysterious man moves in down the street, the men in the neighbourhood do not take the concerns of their wives seriously. Realising they must take matters into their own hands, the book club comes together to save the neighbourhood children. They have to protect their homes and lives from the threat of evil lurking under the surface in their town. This novel has excellent pacing, and the author formats scenes in a way that is totally unique to his style of writing. The majority of this novel takes place in the fall, and the atmosphere created by that setting, as well as Hendrix’s style will give you *all* the fall vibes. 

Pick #4: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. 

Genre: ‘Dark’ Fantasy, Thriller/Mystery 

This pick is by far the most gritty novel on the list. The vibes are definitely going to spook readers and keep them on the edge of their seats. This novel is similar to a horror film in the sense that there is a distinct impression of something being ‘off.’ The novel opens with the protagonist, Alex Stern, holed up in an apartment, injured and hiding from the outside world. As the story unfolds the reader learns exactly what horrors led Alex to that point, and what she will have to do to save herself. Set against the dark academia back drop of Yale university, this novel will have you in the trenches, loving every second of it. 

Pick #5: Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. 

Genre: Classic, Children’s literature 

This timeless story about an imaginative young orphan with big dreams and a ton of spirit captures readers with, at its core, a story about family, and finding where you belong. This first novel in the series follows Anne in her first year in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. She makes friends, (and an enemy), starts her schooling and adjusts to life on a farm. This novel contains elements of hope, fear, coming-of-age and love that make it a perfect fall read. As you go back into another school year, Anne is a great reminder to keep focus on what is important. 

It can be said that one of the best parts of being a reader is sharing the love of stories with others. For some, stories are what carry you through one big life moment to the next. The one true constant. School is hard, university is overwhelming and there is pressure to achieve. During those hard moments, I hope that you may find comfort in escaping into another world, one that feels like fall.

Angèle Hatton

Dalhousie '24

Angèle is a second year Sociology and Social Anthropology student at the University of King's College. In her spare time, you'll find her listening to audiobooks on her hot girl daily walks, watching Gilmore Girls (again), or reading a romance novel, hot tea in hand.