Dark Academia Books Set in Boarding Schools

If you’ve been craving some dark academia YA set at a boarding school, look no further than these twisty, unputdownable reads! Check out this list of boarding school books for dark academia fans.

Win Lose Kill Die by Cynthia Murphy

At the historic Morton Academy, a school for high-achievers, everyone wants to be Head Girl and gain all the prestige and success that comes with the title. But when bodies start piling up, the students begin to worry that someone is too determined to take that crown.

Liz, Taylor, Kat, Marcus and Cole all set out to discover what exactly is going on. Is it the secret society that they have sworn allegiance to? The history of a cult that plagues Morton Academy? Or even a greedy teacher? They need to find the truth…and quickly.

Win Lose Kill Die

Win Lose Kill Die

A high-school slasher with a lethal twist, perfect for fans of Holly Jackson! The students at Morton Academy are high-achievers, selected based on academic excellence. So when a series of murders target the school’s best and brightest, the pressure is on.

Failure is fatal…

The Revenge Game by Jordyn Taylor

Alyson is a romantic, and sometimes it gets her into trouble. Like last summer, she thought her co-worker was into her, when in reality he found her flirting pathetic.

Then she meets Brenton Riggs Jr., and right away she knows that their connection isn’t just in her head. When he swoops in to save her one night from a less than savory party encounter, she falls head-over-heels. Finally, someone Alyson likes who likes her back!

But when she finds out about the King’s Cup—a competition the guys at their boarding school started to see who has the most sexual prowess—she’s put on edge. Does Brenton really want to be with her, or is he just trying to win? Then Alyson and the other girls at the school start a competition of their own: The Queen’s Cup. It’s all about reclaiming their power. But as the competition heats up, Alyson’s relationship begins to fall apart—and it isn’t long before the cracks in her perfect love story start to show through.

The Revenge Game

The Revenge Game

A wickedly comic feminist mystery about the dark side of a hopeless romantic’s seemingly perfect love story—for readers of Jessica Goodman and Kara Thomas.

The Society for Soulless Girls by Laura Steven

Ten years ago, four students lost their lives in the infamous unsolved North Tower murders at the elite Carvell Academy of the Arts, forcing the school to close its doors.

Now Carvell is reopening, and fearless freshman Lottie Fitzwilliam is determined to find out what really happened. But when her beautiful but standoffish roommate, Alice Wolfe, stumbles upon a sinister soul-splitting ritual in a book hidden in Carvell’s library, the North Tower claims another victim. Is there a killer among them . . . or worse, within them?

Exploring possession and ambition, lust and bloodlust, femininity and violence, The Society for Soulless Girls is perfect for fans of The Secret HistoryA Lesson in Vengeance, and The Grimrose Girls.

The Society for Soulless Girls

The Society for Soulless Girls

A sapphic enemies-to-lovers retelling of Jekyll & Hyde, this dark academia thriller follows two roommates who must solve an infamous cold case of serial murders on their campus after an arcane ritual gone wrong prompts another death.

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

If you’ve been wanting a book about a haunted, centuries-old boarding school set deep in the Catskills mountains, you’ll devour this book about the Dalloway School and its history of witchcraft. A year after the tragic death of her girlfriend, Felicity Morrow is back in her old dorm, which is rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five girls known as the Dalloway Five. They died on campus under mysterious circumstances, and some even say they were witches. Meanwhile, it’s aspiring novelist Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway, and Felicity can’t deny the pull she feels toward the new girl. When the two team up to research the Dalloway Five for Ellis’s book, Felicity finds herself facing down the darkness lurking in the school’s halls . . . and within herself.

A Lesson in Vengeance

A Lesson in Vengeance

A dark, twisty thriller about a centuries-old, ivy-covered boarding school haunted by its history of witchcraft and two girls dangerously close to digging up the past. The dangerous romance and atmospheric setting makes it a perfect read for fans of dark academia.

The Ivies by Alexa Donne

Set at the elite boarding school of Claflin Academy, Alexa Donne’s page-turning new murder-mystery thriller is all about Ivy League schools—America’s most coveted universities—and five Claflin girls, known as the Ivies, who would do anything to gain admission to them, even if things get deadly. All five girls run in the same friend group, and while they have different careers (and coveted Ivies) in mind, each is ruthless and cruel about getting what they want in their own way. Full of clues, secrets, and twists galore, Donne’s take on the hypercompetitive world of academia boasts standout characters, a strong setting, and a super eerie atmosphere that makes for one heck of a read.

The Ivies

The Ivies

Enroll in this boarding school thriller about a group of prep school elites who would kill to get into the college of their dreams…literally.

“The Plastics meet the Heathers in this murder mystery about ruthless Ivy League ambition.” -Kirkus Reviews

S.T.A.G.S. by M. A. Bennett

Greer MacDonald has just received a scholarship to the prestigious Aidan the Great School, better known as S.T.A.G.S. While most of the students mock or ignore her, she’s shocked when the school’s most coveted circles of friends, the Medievals, invite her to join them at an exclusive weekend retreat at the private estate of their unofficial leader. Rumor has it that whoever impresses the group most will join their ranks, though the luxurious weekend full of hunting, shooting, and fishing will be much darker and more dangerous than Greer ever could’ve imagined. Let the games begin.



Gossip Girl meets The Hunger Games.” –Bustle

“Like Mean Girls, but British and deadly. . . . This book is great, from start to finish.” –Hypable

Get ready for one deadly weekend in this twisting thriller for fans of Pretty Little Liars and One of Us is Lying that explores just how far the elite at an English boarding school will go.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Eighteen months ago, the Raxter School for Girls was quarantined after a mysterious illness known as the Tox began infecting and killing teachers and students one by one. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and stranded on their island home, the students who remain must fend for themselves. They’ve been told never to venture past the school’s fence, where danger lurks around every corner. But when her friend Byatt goes missing, Hetty pledges to do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and journeying into whatever horrors lie beyond the fence. What she discovers will change everything she thought she knew about Raxter and the lives of the girls who attend. There’s more to the story than meets the eye.

Wilder Girls

Wilder Girls

“The perfect kind of story for our current era.”—Hypable

From the author of Burn Our Bodies Down, a feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school, and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears. This fresh debut is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you’ve read before.

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