Rad Reads

The perfect dark academia reading guide

Tbh, nothing compares to curling up under your blanket and living vicariously though fictional characters in a chilling plot. 

An aesthetic characterized by gothic architecture, literature and the occasional murder mystery, dark academia books are perfect for this cold time of year. And guess what? We've rounded up our top picks for your thrilling binge.

1. Everyone's Thinking It by Aleema Omotoni

Amazon, $17

If you're the type of girl who's revisiting Gossip Girl every year when the temperature drops, it's time to pick up Everyone's Thinking It. Just starting out in this genre? This rec is the one for you (it's dark academia perfection).

The story starts at Wodebury Hall, a prestigous English boarding school, where estranged cousins Iyanu and Kitan are both faced with a twisty, juicy mystery. When someone spills nearly *everyone's* biggest secrets, the pair has to uncover who's to blame—before things get totally out of control. 

2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Amazon, $15

As a prime example of romantic gothic literature, Jane Eyre has *all* the vibes for a dark academia winter. A mixture of a horror story, a romance and a coming-of-age journey, this book has a little bit of something for everyone.

Beginning her new role as a governess, Jane moves into a grand mansion and finds love while braving its mysterious dark halls. We love a good gothic classic! 

3. Beastly by Alex Flinn

Amazon, $14

Beauty and the Beast but make it ~modern~ (and spookier!). If you're looking to inhale a captivating romance in one sitting, this is the one to read. 

PSA to all the suckers for a will-they-or-won't-they story: you're in for a ride. Popular, rich & gorgeous Kyle Kingsbury had everything before he was cursed by an evil witch. But when kind and gentle Linda comes to live in his lonely townhouse, he wonders if she might be the the one to finally break the spell...

4. If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

Amazon, $11

BookTok lovers, you might recognize this one! In If We Were Villains, we follow a group of elite college students studying at a Shakespeare conservatory. But with new casting changes comes a new dynamic, and then the group is struck by a murder of one of their own. Prep school mysteries? Count us in. 

5. A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Amazon, $8

You can never go wrong with the classic small-town murder mystery. Get comfortable, because you will not be able to get up once you crack open that spine. 

When the popular girl gets murdered by her boyfriend, it unveils a case that will continue to haunt Pippa's life five years later. Major shivers. Spoiler alert: it's so good you'll want to read the rest of the series ASAP. 

What's your current read? Let us know on Instagram @glbestiebookclub!

Looking for more reading recs? Check out this bookish content:
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🕯️ How to read like Rory Gilmore this year

Top and slider image: @maevaeatsbooks


by Anne Chen | 1/4/2024