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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Vic chapter.

Rainy season has fallen upon Victoria and you know what that means! No, not the return of the Starbucks fall drink menu…it’s time to get cozy and curl up with a good book. Sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to read for fun when you have 200+ pages of academic readings to do a week, and I hear you! That said, I’ve compiled a list of books with perfect spooky autumnal vibes. I promise you these books are so good, you’ll be guaranteed to be glad to be taking a break from your textbooks.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

This book has been all over booktok, and rightfully so. A contemporary literary classic, this beautifully written dark academia novel follows a group of classics (GRS) students studying in New England. In their selective program, led by their charismatic professor, the group tumbles into obsession over their academic pursuits, and in this, their search for the transcenden, leads them down a dangerous path, beyond human constructs of morality and into evil. 

This book is mysterious, academic, and poetic. It is in many ways a modern Greek tragedy, and a psychological study on the darkness of humanity.

Tags:  dark-academia, i-never-grew-out-of-my-percy-jackson-phase, so-well-written

4.18 stars on Goodreads  $20 on  Amazon & Indigo

Bunny by Mona Awad

This magical realism novel is about a group of highly selective MFA programs at New England’s Warren University. A scholarship student, who prefers the company of her dark imagination to that of most people is completely repelled by the rest of her fiction-writing cohort––a clique of kitsch rich girls who call each other Bunny––and seem to move and speak as a unit.

The spellbinding novel explores themes of the female experience: loneliness and belonging; friendship and desire; and the fantastic and terrible power of the imagination. Written incredibly, this genre defying, unique novel is a must-read. 

Tags: magical-realism, horror, wtf-did-i-just-read

3.54 stars on Goodreads (not for everyone, but if you can handle scary and weird, it’s definitely worth your time!) 

$21 on Indigo & Amazon

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

You may know Gillian Flynn from her infamous novel Gone Girl and, hot take, but I found this book better. It’s a truly terrifying and dark story that follows reporter Camille Preaker who is put on the investigative journalism case to return to her tiny hometown and uncover the unsolved murder of a preteen girl. To solve this puzzle, Camille must confront her own past and untie the threads of her complex relationship with her mother to discover the truth—and survive this homecoming.

Tags: mystery, horror-like-actually-very-scary, nightmare-inducing, un-put-downable

4.01 stars on Goodreads
$22.42 on Indigo and Amazon

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This book is magical and cozy. It follows a mysterious and magical circus called Le Cirque des Rêves which arrives without warning and leaves equally illusively. It simultaneously follows a competition between two magicians within the circus. This is a unique and rich novel filled with incredible prose, and it will leave you spell-bound and captivated.

Tags: fantasy, romance, magical-realism, no-plot-just-vibes,descriptions-that-make-tolkein-jealous, not-romance-but-has-a-love-story, feel-good

4.02 stars on Goodreads 

$21 on Indigo & Amazon

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers. The first novel of a duology, Vicious follows two brilliant college roommates, Victor and Eli. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. This novel is the most realistic superhero novel ever, and magical all at once. 

Tags: fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, marvel-fan-coded, realistic-superheroes?

4.22 stars on Goodreads 
$24.29 on Indigo &  $23.50 on Amazon

Anyways, wishing you all luck this spooky midterm season. I hope that these dark academia reads written by women help make it more bearable. Good luck!

Bella is a fourth year political science major and applied ethics minor at UVic. Last year she spent the year studying abroad in Paris, at Sciences Po. Now that she’s no longer travelling around Europe (sigh), you can find her behind her laptop screen writing papers a with an overpriced soy latte in hand. When she gets away from the computer she is most often, hiking up a mountain, running, at the gym, journalling at the beach, experimenting in the kitchen, reading, or planning out her next travels.