Dark Academia

Wikipedia defines Dark Academia as "a social media aesthetic and subculture concerned with higher education, writing/poetry, the arts, and classic Greek and Gothic architecture." Here are the books that fit its bill.
Updated September 19, 2022
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The Secret History
Donna Tartt
Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her most recent novel, The Goldfinch, established herself as a major talent with The Secret History, which has become a contemporary classic. Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of...
If We Were Villains
M.L. Rio
"Much like Donna Tartt's The Secret History, M. L. Rio's sparkling debut is a richly layered story of love, friendship, and obsession...will keep you riveted through its final, electrifying moments." --Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author of The...
Plain Bad Heroines
Emily M. Danforth
NATIONAL BESTSELLER "A delectable brew of gothic horror and Hollywood satire . . . [and] what makes all this so much fun is Danforth's deliciously ghoulish voice . . . exquisite." --Ron Charles, THE WASHINGTON POST "A multi-faceted novel, equal parts gothic, sharply...
Ninth House
Leigh Bardugo
"The best fantasy novel I've read in years, because it's about real people... Impossible to put down." --Stephen King The smash New York Times bestseller from Leigh Bardugo, a mesmerizing tale of power, privilege, and dark magic set among the Ivy League elite.
Ace of Spades
Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
Gossip Girl meets Get Out in Ace of Spades, a YA contemporary thriller by debut author Faridah Ãebíké-Ãyímídé about two students, Devon & Chiamaka, and their struggles against an anonymous bully. All you need to know is . . . I'm here to...
The Atlas Six
Olivie Blake
An Instant New York Times Bestseller A Vulture Best Fantasy Novel of 2022 A Goodreads Best Fantasy Choice Award Nominee The much-acclaimed viral sensation from Olivie Blake, The Atlas Six--now newly revised and edited...
Catherine House
Elisabeth Thomas
"[A] delicious literary Gothic debut." -THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, EDITORS' CHOICE "Moody and evocative as a fever dream, Catherine House is the sort of book that wraps itself around your brain, drawing you closer with each hypnotic step." - THE WASHINGTON POST A Most...
Mona Awad
"Jon Swift + Witches of Eastwick + Kelly 'Get In Trouble' Link + Mean Girls + Creative Writing Degree Hell! No punches pulled, no hilarities dodged, no meme unmangled! O Bunny you are sooo genius!" --Margaret Atwood, via Twitter "A wild, audacious and ultimately unforgettable novel."...
The Raven Boys
Maggie Stiefvater
An all-new series from the masterful, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.His name is Gansey,...
The Maidens
Alex Michaelides
**THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER** "Alex Michaelides's long-awaited next novel, 'The Maidens,' is finally here...the premise is enticing and the elements irresistible." --The New York Times "A deliciously dark, elegant, utterly...
The Plot
Jean Hanff Korelitz
** NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! ** The Tonight Show Summer Reads Winner ** A New York Times Notable Book of 2021 ** "Insanely readable." --Stephen King Hailed as "breathtakingly suspenseful," Jean Hanff Korelitz's...
A Lesson in Vengeance
Victoria Lee
A dark, twisty thriller about a centuries-old, ivy-covered boarding school haunted by its history of witchcraft and two girls dangerously close to digging up the past. The dangerous romance and atmospheric setting makes it a perfect read for fans of dark academia. Felicity Morrow...
Never Let Me Go
Kazuo Ishiguro
From the acclaimed author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, a moving new novel that subtly reimagines our world and time in a haunting story of friendship and love. As a child, Kathy–now thirty-one years old–lived at Hailsham, a private...
How We Fall Apart
Katie Zhao
In a YA thriller that is Crazy Rich Asians meets One of Us is Lying, students at an elite prep school are forced to confront their secrets when their ex-best friend turns up dead. Nancy Luo is shocked when her former best friend, Jamie Ruan, top-ranked junior at...
These Violent Delights: A Novel
Micah Nemerever
A Literary Hub Best Book of Year * A Crime Reads Best Debut of the Year * A Newsweek 25 Best Fall Books * A Philadelphia Inquirer 10 Big Books for the Fall * An O Magazine.com LGBTQ Books That Are Changing the Literary Landscape * An Electric Lit Most Anticipated Debut * A Paperback...
かなえ 湊
In this international bestselling thriller, a former teacher delivers her final lesson to her students--including the two children that murdered her daughter. After calling off her engagement in the wake of a tragic revelation, Yuko Moriguchi had nothing to...
The Grimrose Girls
Laura Pohl
A New York Times Bestseller Four troubled friends, One murdered girl... and a dark fate that may leave them all doomed. Once Upon a Time meets Pretty Little Liars in this queer, dark academia story about four reimagined fairy tale heroines who must uncover their...
Tracy Deonn
An Instant New York Times Bestseller! Winner of the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe for New Talent Author Award Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn's YA contemporary fantasy Legendborn offers the dark allure of...
Ghosts of Harvard
Francesca Serritella
TEEN VOGUE BOOK CLUB PICK .A Harvard freshman becomes obsessed with her schizophrenic brother's suicide. Thenshestarts hearing voices. "A rich, intricately plotted thriller . . . Serritella, who is a Harvard grad herself, writes about the campus with an insider's...
Rebecca Dinerstein Knight
One of Vanity Fair's 21 Best Books of 2020 (So Far) A Vulture, LitHub, and PureWow Most Anticipated Book of 2020 "As precise as any scientific observation and far more tantalizing." --Vogue "A sophisticated, surprising take...
The Starless Sea
Erin Morgenstern
NATIONAL BESTSELLER * From the bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world--a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea. Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont...
We Wish You Luck: A Novel
Caroline Zancan
It doesn't take long for the students on Fielding campus to become obsessed with Hannah, Leslie and Jimmy. The three graduate students are mysterious, inaccessible, and brilliant. After Simone - young, bestselling author and erstwhile model - shows up as a visiting professor, and after everything...
Special Topics in Calamity Physics
Marisha Pessl
This mesmerizing debut, uncannily uniting the trials of a postmodern upbringing with a murder mystery, heralds the arrival of a vibrant new voice in literary fiction. Special Topics in Calamity Physics is a darkly hilarious coming-of-age novel and a richly plotted suspense tale told through the...
Dead Poets Society
N.H. Kleinbaum
Todd Anderson and his friends at Welton Academy can hardly believe how different life is since their new English professor, the flamboyant John Keating, has challenged them to "make your lives extraordinary! Inspired by Keating, the boys resurrect the Dead Poets Society--a secret club where, free...

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