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Here’s What You Should be Reading This Spooky Season

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

If you’re like me, you might’ve been reading all summer, and your daily page count has probably declined since the start of the fall semester. Reading multiple chapters and hundreds of pages of textbooks a week probably doesn’t entice even more reading, but the right book can feel like an escape from all the studying. Who knows? You might even choose staying in reading, cuddled up with throw blankets and plush pillows over a night out with friends. (No, it’s not weird…) Whether you prefer cozy fantasy, dark academia or on the edge of your seat thrillers, this list has it all. 

*You can check trigger warnings on these books by searching them up on Storygraph. These have been submitted by users as a part of their reviews. 

  1. Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson 

This fantasy romance duology follows street thief-turned soldier Kazi on a mission. Jase is the new leader of the Ballenger Clan, an outlaw family ruling on their own turns. With a fast paced beginning and the twists and turns of enemies to lovers and everything in between, this world will keep you captivated. This duology takes place after Pearson’s Remnant Chronicles, but can be read on its own. 

  1. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Most know Bardugo from her Grishaverse books (Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows). Her first adult novel features secret societies and mysterious benefactors in the dark academia genre while still offering the same Bardugo world building and character development we all know and love.

  1. Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Daunis Fontaine witnesses a murder that launches her into a criminal investigation. Deception and death begin to pile up as the threat strikes closer and closer to home. With powerful characterization, a vivid world and in-depth dynamics revolving around the Native community, reviews say the novel reads equal parts YA thriller and a “love letter” to indigenous tribes. 

  1. Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

If you’re not a fan of epic fantasy, this “slice-of-life” novel might be more your speed. Viv the orc barbarian decides to depart the warrior life to open the first coffee shop in her new city. This novel is described as “high fantasy with a double-shot of self-reinvention,” and a “dollop of romantic froth.” 

5. Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: an Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang

In 1828, orphan and Chinese native Robin Smith is brought to London to enroll in Babel, a prestigious translation institute and center of the magical art of silver-working. Robin becomes caught between Babel and a dark society and must decide whether revolutions always require violence. Babel explores the cost of knowledge, and acts as a thematic response to “The Secret History” by offering a diverse narrative within the genre that is dominated by white European stories. 

6. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Alicia Berenson seems to have the perfect life. One night, though, she decides to shoot her husband five times in the face and never speaks again. Theo Faber is the criminal psychotherapist with the opportunity to work with her and search for the truth. This psychological thriller akin to Colleen Hoover’s popular mystery Verity offers a suspenseful unraveling that will leave you on the edge of your seat, ending with a mind blowing twist. 

7. The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

When Vivienne Jones’ boyfriend broke up with her nine years ago, she mended her broken heart like any young witch would: a curse on the guy. Is it a responsible decision? No. But it won’t cause him that much trouble, right? When Rhys Penhallow returns to town, they must work together to reverse the ex hex before it’s too late. The author described this as “Hocus Pocus but they f**k.” If that’s not a reason to read I don’t know what is.

8. The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

This debut novel reimagines Norse mythology with heroine Angrboda, a witch who has been left powerless by Odin for refusing to speak of the future. She falls in love with Loki and as her powers return, she learns that her life – and possibly the entire world – is in danger. Gornichec weaves an epic narrative of love, loss and destiny, and characterizes Angrboda as a complex individual worthy of her own tale. 

9. The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

In a world inspired by Indian history, a captive princess, Malini, and maidservant, Priya, are in possession of forbidden magic. They become unlikely allies on a journey to save the empire from the princess’s traitor brother. Within the vast world building and rich politics, reviews write of the shining themes of femininity, empirical dominance, dying culture and warped religion. This nuanced novel showcases developed and mature themes, and is a must read for fantasy lovers. 

10. Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

This book is described as “Gossip Girl” meets “Get Out”, and if you don’t believe me, the author quite literally includes excerpts from both works on the first page. Head girl Chiamaka and musician Devon are targeted by anonymous texter “Aces.” This compelling thriller explores the heart of institutionalized racism in academia, from a debut author. The shocking twist will leave you reflecting upon this novel long beyond its final pages. 

11. In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

This memoir details Machado’s struggles in an abusive same-sex relationship. She tackles the dark subject by introducing fairy tale motifs as they parallel her narrative, and breaks narration to address a younger self. Machado pushes the boundaries of traditional memories with a splash of grim fantasy amidst a radically inventive book.

12. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by She Who Must Not Be Named

You know it, you love it. Harry Potter is the quintessential fall read. It’s the start of school, has witches and wizards and seven books to get through! Why not reintroduce yourself to Harry, Ron and Hermione as they begin Hogwarts their first year? Ugh, I can already smell the butterbeer. 

13. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Everyone knows who did it. Sal Singh murdered fellow student Andie Bell five years ago. The case is closed. Pippa Fitz-Amobi, however, isn’t so sure when she chooses to cover the topic for her final year project. As she investigates, murder board, red string and all, Pippa begins to uncover slips in evidence and secrets buried deep. Ok Nancy Drew! The twists and turns propel this fast paced book, and the story continues as a completed trilogy.

14. Neverwhere by Neil Gaimen

Rather than picturesque London, this novel is set under its streets, filled with people who have fallen between the cracks. It’s called “Neverwhere.” Strange destinies lie here, with unearthly characters and an eerie atmosphere. Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is new to Neverwhere and he is about to find out more than he ever wanted to know. Gaiman truly captures the essence of fantasy while simultaneously weaving in and out of reality to forge a cryptic narrative. 

15. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Yadriel set out to summon a ghost and prove himself a real brujo when his family had problems accepting his gender. Summoning the wrong ghost wasn’t in the plan. Mystery and magic forge together to create this unique story with a spooky, Halloween aura.

16. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Was anyone else transported back to their childhood selves when they watched that Percy Jackson and the Olympians Disney Plus trailer? I grinned, laughed, frantically texted anyone and everyone, and then whipped open my copy of “The Lightning Thief.” It’s another iconic YA series that is a must read all year round. What better time to revisit it than now?

17. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Noemí Taboado is off to the High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find, only that she has received a letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for safety from a “mysterious doom.” This work of post-colonial gothic features the familiar motifs of the genre with sleuthing, frightening dreams, and a dark history.

Emily Niedermeyer

Northeastern '25

Emily is the Senior Editor at Her Campus Northeastern. In the role she is responsible for second round edits of all articles, sets expectations for editors regarding responsibilities and is the point of contact for editorial troubleshooting. She also hosts occasional pitch sessions with members during general meetings and writing workshops. Emily joined Her Campus in Sept. 2022 and enjoys writing personal essays and articles about media and culture. She was an Associate Editor from Jan. 2023 to Dec. 2023 and took up her most recent role in Jan. 2024. Emily is a third year journalism major at Northeastern University with a minor in political science. She has experience writing for a number of publications. She also recently completed a six month, full-time internship at Boston City Hall within the Community Engagement Cabinet. Emily enjoys reading and journaling in her free time. She has also played ultimate frisbee on the club team at school for two years. Connect with Emily on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/emily-niedermeyer