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Young Adult Literature

6 of the Best New Dark Academia YA Books

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Dark academia is a sub-genre of books that features boarding schools, colleges, and other academic settings with a dark twist. Sometimes that twist leans more towards murder and mystery and thriller, and sometimes it’s more like supernatural and horror. Either way, readers can’t get enough dark academia and the good news is that there are some amazing new dark academia YA books hitting hitting shelves this year and early next year! Here are five you won’t want to miss, plus a bonus 2022 release to put on your TBR.

The Obsession by Jesse Q. Sutanto

A swanky California boarding school is the backdrop to this thriller about Logan, who loves Delilah, a day student. She just doesn’t know it yet. But he cares so much for her that he installs a camera trained on her house. That’s when he catches a shocking act on video: Delilah causing the death of her mom’s abusive boyfriend, which looks like an accident. Delilah is relieved when she’s able to rid her mom of her horrible boyfriend, and she just hopes she can move on without the police suspecting there was more to the accident. But when the cute new guy flirting with her lets slip something he shouldn’t know, Delilah realizes that she’s simply traded one abusive jerk in for another…and getting rid of Logan won’t be quite as easy.

cover image of Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Devon and Chiamaka are students at the elite Niveus Private Academy, and they’ve just both become prefects. This is an important step in their academic careers and the future looks bright…until someone going by Aces begins texting them things that no one else is supposed to know. Is this just a prank, or something much more sinister? Devon and Chiamaka must team up to stop Aces before someone gets hurt.

How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao

Nancy’s best friend was the perfect Jamie Ruan, an all-star student who went missing…and then turned up dead. As if that weren’t bad enough, someone named The Proctor starts spreading the rumor that Nancy and her friends Krystal, Akil, and Alexander are all responsible for Jamie’s murder. They were all close, it’s true, and each of them knew a secret that Jamie wanted to keep hidden, but that doesn’t necessarily mean any of them wanted her dead…right? The pursuit for the truth will jeopardize more than Nancy’s full scholarship.

Don’t Breathe a Word by Jordyn Taylor

This novel spans from 1962 to present day, and is centered around the secrets that Hardwick Preparatory Academy harbors. Eva doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere, so when she’s invited to join Hardwick’s secret society the Fives, she’s thrilled to find a sense of belonging. But the Fives are harboring some explosive secrets that stretch back 60 years, to a time when Connie was a student who volunteered to help test out the school’s nuclear fallout shelter and found herself in way over her head.

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

Felicity’s girlfriend died last year at Dalloway School, and now she just wants to forget all about it and move forward. She’s back for senior year, living in her dorm room in Godwin House, which is rumored to be haunted by five girls who were witches. When a new student asks Felicity for help researching these students and their deaths, Felicity want to refuse. She knows that nothing good can come from digging into the school’s occult history. But she finds herself unable to refuse, even as history repeats itself.

Why Would I Lie? by Adi Rule

Viveca has worked relentlessly for the top spot in her school, and now that she’s in senior year she’s on the cusp of cinching valedictorian. Then new student Jamison arrives, and he seems to breeze through school and life. As he gets closer to stealing valedictorian, Viveca becomes deeply suspicious of him and his charm and his uncanny ability to be the best at everything he tries his hand at. But in investigating him, is she uncovering a dark conspiracy, or just digging herself into a hole she has no hopes of crawling out of? This book will release in February 2022, but sounds amazing and is definitely worth putting on your radar!


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