Rad Reads

5 campus novels to read this fall

Fall is in the air! It's time to ring in the season of PSLs, Gilmore Girls rewatches and all the dark academia fashion. But maybe your bookshelf just hasn't gotten the memo yet. Enter the campus novel. This unique literary genre is made up of titles whose main action is set in and around a campus, ofc. From boarding schools to colleges, this specific environment is sure to deliver tons of excitement and drama. Look no further for 5 campus-themed novels you *so* need to read this fall.

If We Were Us by K.L. Walther

Amazon, $11

Take a trip to an esteemed East Coast boarding school in this contemporary rom-com. Longtime besties Sage and Charlie are super excited to start their senior year back at the fictional Bexley School. There's only one problem: Practically everyone else on campus thinks that they're secretly in love. When Sage begins spending more time with Charlie's twin brother Nick and Charlie finds himself drawn to new student Luke, they have to figure out what—and who—they really want. Can Sage and Charlie stay true to themselves and follow their hearts? This story has *tons* of great romantic, platonic and familial relationships to root for. Plus, it'll totally have you wishing for your own Bexley acceptance letter!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Amazon, $12

Sisters Cather and Wren Avery eat, sleep and breathe fandom. Their years-long love for the Simon Snow series (think: Harry Potter vibes) has helped them escape into a different world when they need it most. Except now, they're starting college, and everything is changing. Wren wants to go out and meet new people, deciding that she's "outgrown" being a fangirl, while Cath, overwhelmed by her social anxiety, prefers to stay in her dorm and write Simon Snow fanfiction. With the help of her roommate, friend and creative writing professor, Cath just might discover that sometimes, the real world can be just as magical as a fantasy one.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Amazon, $14

Connell is popular, outgoing and a sports superstar. Marianne is quiet, intellectual and a total wallflower. No one would expect them to have anything in common, but when their paths cross unexpectedly, they develop a strong connection (which they decide to keep a secret from everyone around them). Normal People follows both characters throughout high school and college as they keep finding their way back to each other while also navigating their own separate dreams and insecurities. You'll *so* be drawn in to their lives and relationship (plus the gorgeous Ireland setting).  

Going Geek by Charlotte Huang

Amazon, $4

Skylar Hoffman knows that her senior year is going to be the best one yet. With the perfect boyfriend, coolest friend, and most amazing dorm, she's ready to make *all* her dreams come true this school year. But when everything starts to go wrong, Skylar is left living in a totally remote dorm with no friends or boyfriend. Can she turn things around and find happiness in the places where she least expects it? Find out in this coming-of-age story all about finding yourself and growing up.

Loveless by Alice Oseman

Amazon, $9

Georgia is a hopeless romantic who *loves* love. She's never had a crush or been in a relationship, but she knows that the perfect person is out there for her. As she starts university with her besties Pip and Jason miles away from home, she decides it's time to start writing her own love story. With a social butterfly roommate and their shared goals to totally revamp the school's Shakespeare society, could everything Georgia dreams about be just around the corner? Or is she meant to stay loveless forever? From identity to the pressure to have the perfect college experience, this book covers so many important themes.

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Read any of these titles?
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by Samara Smukler | 9/22/2022