Quiz: Build A Back-to-School Wardrobe and Get a Campus Novel Recommendation

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Emily Martin

Contributing Editor

Emily has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, MS, and she has an MFA in Creative Writing from GCSU in Milledgeville, GA, home of Flannery O’Connor. She spends her free time reading, watching horror movies and musicals, cuddling cats, Instagramming pictures of cats, and blogging/podcasting about books with the ladies over at #BookSquadGoals (www.booksquadgoals.com). She can be reached at emily.ecm@gmail.com.

As the summer draws to a close, the time for beach reads is coming to an end. Now it’s time to don your cute sweaters, go apple picking, drink a pumpkin spice latte if the mood strikes you, and get ready for those fall vibes with a campus novel.

Yes, that also means for many of us it’s time to leave our days of leisure behind, hit the books, and get back to school. Maybe that sounds like a bummer for you, but for those of us who live for the fall, we are so ready! It’s back-to-school time. It’s time to put away your fun, easy, summer romances and dive into some atmospheric campus reads. What could be better?

But which campus novel should you read first? Since you’re likely updating your wardrobe for the new school year, why not let your clothing choices choose your next read for you? It’s time to build your back-to-school wardrobe, from your shirt to your socks to your new favorite accessories, and find out what your tastes say about what you should read next.

Go ahead and give the quiz a shot, and if you want even more recommendations after you’re done, read on to see what other results you could have gotten. Have fun!

Need even more campus novel recommendations? Here’s the full list of books you could have gotten!

cover of the incendiaries

The Incendiaries by R. O. Kwan

Set on the campus of Edwards University, this debut novel follows the story of Will, a transfer student from a Bible college who is dealing with complicated questions of faith. Meanwhile, he’s falling for a fellow student named Phoebe, who is involved in a violent cult.

Real Life cover

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

This book takes place over the course of a single weekend at a Midwestern university. Wallace is a Black, gay biochemistry PhD candidate. He feels out of place and uneasy around his mostly white cohort, and that sense of uneasiness only grows with every passing day.

bunny book cover

Bunny by Mona Awad

You like a good, weird book, so that’s why Mona Awad’s Bunny is the campus novel for you. Samantha Heather Mackey feels like an outsider in her highly selective MFA program at Warren University. The rest of her cohort are all incredibly close and call one another “Bunny” for some odd reason. But when Samantha gets invited to the Bunnies’ “Smut Salon,” everything changes.

the secret place book cover

The Secret Place by Tana French

A murder investigation set at a boarding school? Yes, this is totally up your alley. When a boy was found murdered at a girlsʼ boarding school, the case goes unsolved. But a year later, 16-year-old Holly Mackey arrives in the Dublin Murder Squad’s office with a photo of the boy and the note: “I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM.” The girls of St. Kilda’s know something. But how much? And what other secrets are they hiding?

My Education by Susan Choi cover

My Education by Susan Choi

Nicholas Brodeur is a professor infamous for his questionable relationships with his students, and graduate student Regina Gottlieb is warned to stay away from him. But no one warned her about his charismatic wife Martha. This is a story about Regina’s mistakes and the lasting repercussions that still affect everyone involved 15 years later.

If you’re looking for even more books to get you in the back-to-school spirit, we got you! Here are the best dark academia books, according to Goodreads. Also, make sure you check out our list of new YA dark academia coming out this year. And this list of 10 queer dark academia novels to obsess over. Hopefully you have time to read all of these books in between all your school work!