The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
What’s better than curling up with a book on a cold autumn evening? Here are some of my top reads that I would recommend to cozy up with this fall.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
This mystery follows the story of six students at the prestigious Hampden Collegeexhibiting themes of manipulation, envy, jealousy, dark academia and betrayal. It begins with the main character, Richard Papen in his journey of leaving behind his hometown to go study at a prestigious college. He meets eccentric characters that introduce him to a whole new world of ancient Greek and Latin linguistics. Eventually, drama stirs between the group and the students devise a plan to murder one of their fellow classmates. This creates tension as well as anxiety between the group and begins to disrupt their close relationships as they come to multiple disagreements about their wrongdoings. Richard finds himself both questioning his morals and also rediscovering his passion for the thrill, as his life prior to meeting them was seemingly dull. Eventually, he even begins to justify their actions either due to his desire to fit in or as he says his “morbid longing for the picturesque.” Towards the end of the book, the group begins to split apart and the consequences of their actions start to unravel dramatically. Without spoiling the ending, the biggest plot twists take place on the last page of this lengthy book, which makes it open to multiple interpretations. Arguably, this is what makes this book my absolute favourite. Tartt’s beautiful choice of words and twists make it possible to come up with your own conclusion.
If We Were Villains by M.L Rio
This novel follows an almost similar plotline as The Secret History, taking place in a gloomy college setting with a large group of friends. This time, however, they are all theatre students who specialize in Shakespearean studies and plays. The group flows seemingly well together until one member (also named Richard) begins to act out of character and spew chaos in their well-tied group. He exhibits envy and projects his feelings toward the main character Oliver, who he thinks is flirting with his girlfriend. Richard takes an aggressive approach to this. He begins physical fights with other students even going as far as beating them up during their play rehearsals. Then, mysteriously one night he winds up dead and the group finds him in the morning with no clue how it happened or who did it. The rest of the story follows Detective Colborne and his dedication to shaking down what really happened that night. Towards the end of the book, one character takes the fall for the other out of a secret romantic longing that is discovered later on (again not going to spoil this just in case). The major plot twist coincidentally also happens at the end of the book which drops subtle hints that someone may not be dead.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
In my opinion, this is a Halloween classic that everybody should read at least once in their life. Jonathan Harker is a London man who visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula with purchasing a house in London. He soon learns that everything he once believed in is wrong and that there may actually be some truth behind his nightmares when he visits Dracula’s ominous lair. He quickly falls into Dracula’s trap when he is seduced by three female vampires and barely escapes the situation alive. Once he learns Dracula’s secret and assumes he is next, he makes an attempt at Dracula’s life. Jonathan fails miraculously, leaving him trapped in Dracula’s castle. This is just a brief summary of the first part of the book as I personally don’t think I can give away much more without spoiling the plot completely. The best thing to say is that this book encapsulates its reader in a classic telling of gothic horror and demonstrates how everything is not how it seems at first glance.
I hope my list gave you a bit of inspiration to start your fall reading list!