It’s that time of year again! Even if you’re years past your first day of school, it’s hard to not be nostalgic for the days of shiny new notebooks, a killer outfit, and the feeling that this year anything could happen. Find those back-to-school vibes with these books.
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
In the late 1980s, for reasons even she has difficulty pinpointing, fourteen-year-old Lee Fiora leaves her middle-class, close-knit, ribald family in Indiana and enrolls at Ault, an elite co-ed boarding school in Massachusetts. Lee’s experiences are both a psychologically astute portrait of one girl’s coming-of-age and an embodiment of the painful and thrilling adolescence universal to us all.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She struggles to survive on her own in her first year of college while avoiding a surly roommate, bonding with a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words, and worrying about her fragile father.
My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
Offered a fantastic job in a rising star’s political campaign on condition that she will work abroad and return to Washington after spending a dream year at Oxford, Ella clashes with and then falls for an outspoken literature professor with a life-changing secret that forces her to rethink her ambitions
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Sophomore Frankie starts dating senior Matthew Livingston, but when he refuses to talk about the all-male secret society that he and his friends belong to, Frankie infiltrates the society in order to enliven their mediocre pranks.
The Swallows by Lisa Lutz
One of new teacher Alexandra Witt’s creative writing assignments generates some disturbing responses from students. Before long, Alex is immersed in an investigation of the students atop the school’s social hierarchy–and their connection to something called the Darkroom.
I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe|
Dupont University–the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America’s youth. Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina. But Charlotte soon learns that for the uppercrust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time.
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
When Stevie Bell, an amateur detective, begins her first year at a famous private school in Vermont, she sets a plan to solve the cold case involving the kidnapping of the founder’s wife and daughter shortly after the school opened.
Moo by Jane Smiley
Everyone at the large agricultural college dubbed Moo U. has an agenda. Whether it’s massaging data, running secret experiments, or seducing the powerful, each person is dedicated to a plan.
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
Enter a school of magic unlike any you have ever encountered: There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate . . . or die.
Good Girls Lie by J. T. Ellison
The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond. But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.
The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz
Nestled in the shadow of the Appalachians is where Gwen Ashby stumbles upon the William Marshall Academy, and she’s given a trial position as a literature teacher. She’s charmed by the lovely buildings, bewitched by the eager students…and utterly seduced by the headmaster. But a ghostly blight on Gwen’s new dream life is the key to the Marshall Academy’s mysterious allure.