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Features | Back to School Books

For a lot of people September is either pretty great or pretty terrible, depending on how you feel about school. Whether you're someone who wants to celebrate going back to class, someone who longs to experience a more exciting school life, or someone like me who isn't going back to school at all but is still feeling those September vibes, there are plenty of campus based novels to channel that back to school spirit. Here are five of them. 

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

A tense read about a group of Classics students at a prestigious New England college, The Secret History is not quite a murder mystery, as the murderer's identity is never in question, but a literary story that will probably make you glad your educational experience hasn't been quite like this one.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is often described as a great feminist YA novel. When Frankie discovers that her new boyfriend is part of an all-male secret society at their boarding school, she is not impressed. And since she can't be part of the society, she hatches a plan to teach the boys a lesson instead.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

The title of Anna and the French Kiss probably tells you everything you need to know. This is a love story set in an American boarding school in Paris. If YA romance is your thing then you'll probably love it, but be warned it may make you wish you were attending a French boarding school too.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I know pretty much everyone has read Rainbow Rowell's novel about an introverted fangirl starting college for the first time, but for me personally Cath's reaction to her new situation is the most relatable thing I've ever read. I wish I had had this to read when I first started university.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

And finally, I won't tell you what this one is about because I'm pretty sure you already know, but I just couldn't talk about books set in school without mentioning Harry Potter. 'Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.'

Good luck for this year if you're starting or have started a new school year! And hey, good luck to the rest of us who aren't too!

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