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Autumn Reads to Match Every Aesthetic

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Whether you prefer a vintage look for autumn, or layers upon layers of sweaters paired with witchy shoes, this comprehensive list of book recommendations features the perfect novel for everyone’s favorite autumn aesthetic.

This new novel is a gorgeous, atmospheric gothic adventure with a daring female protagonist. I’m already looking forward to reading the sequel! Lakesedge is an ideal read for anyone who wants more mystery and horror instead of heavy romance. The dark academia vibes are superior between the spooky mansion, mysterious curse, and clever female characters.

This is, in my humble opinion, one of the best gothic horror novels of all time. The author, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, masterfully creates a mysterious world centered around a strange, wealthy family living in the middle of nowhere. The main character, Noemí, experiences impressive character development, and her strong, independent personality are unforgettable. The novel takes place sometime in the 1930s, so the language and atmosphere are reminiscent of that era. So if you enjoy historical fiction stories with empowered female characters, you’ll likely love this book! Also, if you’re interested in discussing this novel, I’m featuring it in the VIP Center’s feminist book circle this month. Click here to sign up.

  • Naturecore/Cottagecore Aesthetic – Uprooted

Naomi Novik is one of the most ethereal and imaginative fantasy writers out there, and this novel is no exception. Agnieszka is a clumsy, yet lovable young woman living in a remote village. Every fall harvest, the local wizard visits her town to select a bride. This book has a little bit of everything: the enemies-to-lovers trope, witty banter between the main characters, impressive world-building, and an immersive storyline. The main evil of the story is an enchanted forest that feels like its own character, which fits perfectly if you enjoy the cottagecore aesthetic. If you’re looking for a fun, comforting fantasy book with autumn vibes, this is the ideal book for you.

This fanciful and charming adventure story features faeries, a cute love story, and a snarky female heroine. I love rereading this novel every year during fall midterms week because it’s a short, standalone novel with just enough magic to keep you entertained for a few hours of reading time. The plot reads like a warm hug, but there are enough plot twists to keep you involved in the story. I associate this book so much with an artsy aesthetic because the main character, Isabel, is a painter, and the author does a phenomenal job detailing her work and Isabel’s artistic process. If fall is your favorite season, this book reads like a love letter to the season.

After a few years of everyone telling me to read this novel, I finally broke down and read it. All the praise is richly deserved! While the book tackles some dark subject matters, it does so maturely and gracefully. I still find myself thinking about this book even though it’s been months since I last read it. The story really kicks off when Alice’s mother goes missing, and Alice has to dive deep into her family’s history to find answers. The plot revolving around solving the mystery of a revered book of fairytales gives The Hazel Wood major cozy autumn vibes. I see this novel recommended to kids and young adults a lot, but honestly, I’d recommend it to individuals fifteen years and older for some of the darker subject matters.

Yes, this is the second novel by Margaret Rogerson on this list, but Rogerson truly excels at writing books with lush autumn atmospheres. Rogerson self describes Vespertine as a medieval version of the Venom comic book story, and while I agree with this self-critique, I think it doesn’t do justice to the unique and compelling story Rogerson manages to weave. A young woman named Artemisia does end up working together with a rogue demon called the revenant, and the relationship between these two main characters does remind me of Venom and Eddie. However, Rogerson’s worldbuilding is detailed and atmospheric enough that the reader becomes consumed by the storyline. The world of Vespertine felt so real and magical to me that I almost read the 400-page novel in one sitting. Thank goodness this magical book is getting a sequel!

I'm a part time librarian, part time yoga teacher and a full time reader. I never miss an opportunity to listen to audiobooks on a car ride, or to read ebooks during breaks in my classes. I currently attend Susquehanna University where my major is creative writing. You can find more of my writing on www.MuggleNet.com
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