Dark academia novels have long been popular and today the genre still holds true as one of the most engaging picks for young readers. Teens across BookTok are eager for books exploring the secrets and mysteries hidden in what should be one of the safest places—their own schools. The hashtag #DarkAcademia has amassed more than 28 million views on TikTok, and the reception for such books as Holly Jackson’s A Good Guide to Murder series, Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious series, and Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé’s Ace of Spades highlight readers’ craving for sinister but alluring prestigious campuses.
Hoping to gain entrance to a secret society, find the killer on campus, or discover the sinister ways of the wealthy elite in-crowd? We’ve rounded up 2023 titles for your dark academia craving.
Forever Twelve by Stacy McAnulty. Random House, Oct. 3 $17.99 ISBN 978-0-593-42962-4
A group of boarding school kids who have been alive for hundreds of years investigate the cause to their immortality.
A Hundred Vicious Turns by Lee Paige O’Brien. Amulet, Sept. 12 ISBN 978-1-4197-6515-5
In this story set at a magic university, the nonbinary heir to a powerful magical bloodline discovers secret portals no one else can see, and is pulled into a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse that leads them through the passages.
Kill Joy: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder Novella by Holly Jackson. Delacorte, Feb. 28 $12.99; ISBN 978-0-593-42621-0
Pip attends her friend’s murder mystery party but must play detective when the murders are no longer fictional.
Lying in the Deep by Diana Urban. Razorbill, May 2 $18.99; ISBN 978-0-593-52760-3
Heading abroad on a school at sea, Jade is disappointed to learn that her cheating ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend are also coming along. But when students start turning up dead, Jade must unmask the killer they’re all now trapped at sea with.
The Narrow by Kate Alice Marshall. Viking, Aug. 1 $18.99;
When a classmate mysteriously survives falling into a river behind their boarding school, student Eden White becomes her live-in aide and finds she cannot escape a malevolent spirit haunting them.
Promise Boys by Nick Brooks. Holt, Jan. 31, $19.99 ISBN 978-1-250-86697-4
J.B, Ramón, and Trey, all students of color at Urban Promise Prep, are accused of the murder of their prep school’s principal, and the boys come together to uncover the truth before it destroys their futures.
The Revenge Game by Jordyn Taylor. Delacorte, Nov. 7 $18.99 ISBN 978-0-593-56364-9
A secret competition among students at a private school goes terribly wrong when the lacrosse team captain disappears.
The Society for Soulless Girls by Laura Steven. Delacorte, Sept. 19 $12.99 ISBN 978-0-593-70391-5
After the deaths of four students at the prestigious Carvelle College of Arts 10 years ago, students are finally returning to campus, and Lottie and her roommate Alice uncover sinister rituals tied to the tragedy.
They’re Watching You by Chelsea Ichaso. Sourcebooks Fire, Jan. 3 $10.99 ISBN 978-1-72825-106-6
At an elite boarding school, scholarship student Maren investigates the disappearance of her best friend, which leads her to an invitation to a school’s secret society with a deadly membership process.
Win Lose Kill Die by Cynthia Murphy. Delacorte, Dec. 5 $12.99 ISBN 978-0-593-70547-6
The brilliant students at Morton Academy are always prepared for cutthroat academic competition, but a spree of murders targeting their school’s most talented students brings their rivalries to a new high.