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Back to School Reads

A collection of relatively new adult books where most of the action takes place in a high school or college campus setting, just in time for back-to-school reading.

Either/or by Elif Batuman

"From the acclaimed and bestselling author of The Idiot, the continuation of beloved protagonist Selin's quest for self-knowledge, as she travels abroad and tests the limits of her newfound adulthood Selin is the luckiest person in her family: the only one who was born in America and got to go to Harvard. Now it's sophomore year, 1996, and Selin knows she has to make it count. The first order of business: to figure out the meaning of everything that happened over the summer. Why did Selin's elusive crush,Ivan, find her that job in the Hungarian countryside? What was up with all those other people in the Hungarian countryside? Why is Ivan's weird ex-girlfriend now trying to get in touch with Selin? On the plus side, it feels like the plot of an exciting novel. On the other hand, why do so many novels have crazy abandoned women in them? How does one live a life as interesting as a novel-a life worthy of becoming a novel-without becoming a crazy abandoned woman oneself? Guided by her literature syllabus andby her more worldly and confident peers, Selin reaches certain conclusions about the universal importance of parties, alcohol, and sex, and resolves to execute them in practice-no matter what the cost. Next on the list: international travel. Unfolding with the propulsive logic and intensity of youth, Either/Or is a landmark novel by one of our most brilliant writers. Hilarious, revelatory, and unforgettable, its gripping narrative will confront you with searching questions that persist long after the last page"--

Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou

"A struggling PhD student makes a shocking discovery about a famous Chinese American poet that sets into motion a series of escalating events, both humorous and fraught, that culminates in an incendiary reckoning of her relationships, beliefs, and identity"--

Identitti : a novel by Mithu M Sanyal

"A satirical debut about a German Indian student whose world is upended when she discovers that her beloved professor who passed for Indian is, in fact, white"--

The Latinist by Mark Prins

"In this wickedly sharp, propulsive debut, a classicist must outmaneuver her manipulative mentor. Tessa Templeton has thrived at Oxford University, under the tutelage and praise of esteemed classics professor Christopher Eccles. Yet shortly before her thesis defense, Tessa learns that Chris has sabotaged her career-and realizes their relationship is not at all what she believed. Driven by what he mistakes as love for Tessa, Chris has ensured that no other institution will offer her a position, keeping herat Oxford with him. His tactics grow more invasive as he determines to prove he has her best interests at heart. Meanwhile, Tessa scrambles to undo the damage, and makes a startling discovery about an obscure 2nd century Latin poet that could launch herinto academic stardom, finally freeing her from his influence. A contemporary reimagining of the Daphne and Apollo myth, The Latinist is a page-turning exploration of power, ambition, and the intertwining of love and obsession"--

The world cannot give by Tara Isabella Burton

"When shy, sensitive Laura Stearns arrives at St. Dunstan’s Academy in Maine, she dreams that life there will echo her favorite novel, All Before Them, the sole surviving piece of writing by Byronic 'prep school prophet' (and St. Dunstan’s alum) Sebastian Webster, who died at nineteen, fighting in the Spanish Civil War. She soon finds the intensity she is looking for among the insular, Webster-worshipping members of the school’s chapel choir, which is presided over by the charismatic, neurotic, overachiever Virginia Strauss. Virginia is as fanatical about her newfound Christian faith as she is about the miles she runs every morning before dawn. She expects nothing short of perfection from herself—and from the members of the choir. Virginia inducts the besotted Laura into a world of transcendent music and arcane ritual, illicit cliff-diving and midnight crypt visits: a world that, like Webster’s novels, finally seems to Laura to be full of meaning. But when a new school chaplain challenges Virginia’s hold on the 'family' she has created, and Virginia’s efforts to wield her power become increasingly dangerous, Laura must decide how far she will let her devotion to Virginia go." --book jacket

Vladimir : a novel by Julia May Jonas

With her husband Vladimir under investigation for inappropriate relationships with his former students, a popular English professor finds their extra-marital pursuits taking a toll on their relationship, while a married young novelist becomes dangerously obsessed with Vladimir, threatening to blow their life wide open

We do what we do in the dark by Michelle Hart

"A novel about a young woman's life-altering affair with a much older, married woman"--

The life of the mind : a novel by Christine Smallwood

"As an adjunct professor of English with a draining and tedious courseload, Dorothy feels "like a janitor in the temple who continued to sweep because she had no idea what else to do but who had lost her belief in the essential sanctity of the enterprise." No one but her partner knows that she's just had a miscarriage, not even her therapists--Dorothy being the kind of person who begins seeing a second because she's too conflict-averse to break things off with the first. It's not so much that Dorothy is ashamed of the miscarriage itself as she is of the sense of purpose the prospect of motherhood had provided, of how much she'd wanted it. The freedom not to be a mother is one of the victories of feminism. So why does she feel like a failure? (That's another thing she's ashamed of.) The Life of the Mind is a novel about endings: of youth, of aspirations, of possibility, of the illusion that our minds can ever free us from the tyranny of our bodies. And yet our minds are all we have to make sense of a worldlargely out of our control--which is to say our world; a world where things happen, but there is no plot. And so Dorothy must make do with what she has, as the weeks pass and the bleeding subsides. Often witty and consistently alive to how stories end and begin again, The Life of the Mind is a moving, darkly funny, and starkly original examination of how life, as they say, goes on"--

Sirens & muses : a novel by Antonia Angress

"The lives of four artists are forever altered by the desires, protests, and ambitions that lure and unsettle them in this magnetic novel. It's 2011: America is in a deep recession and Occupy Wall Street is escalating. But at the elite Wrynn College of Art, students paint and sculpt in a rarified bubble, dreaming only of disproving the notion that in art, everything has already been done. Louisa Arceneaux is a thoughtful, observant nineteen-year-old when she transfers to Wrynn as a scholarship student, but she soon finds herself adrift in an environment that prizes novelty over beauty. Complicating matters is Louisa's unexpected attraction to her charismatic roommate, Karina Piontek, the preternaturally gifted but mercurial daughter of wealthy art collectors. Gradually, Louisa and Karina are drawn into an intense sensual and artistic relationship, one that forces them to confront their deepest desires and fears. But Karina also can't shake her fascination with Preston Utley, a senior and anti-capitalist Internet provocateur publicly feuding with visiting professor and political painter Robert Belfer-a once-controversial figurehead seeking to regain cultural relevance, and perhaps a spotlight. When Preston concocts an explosive hoax, the fates of all four artists are upended as each is unexpectedly thrust into the cutthroat New York art world. Now, all must struggle to find new identities in art, in society, and amongst each other. In the process, they must find either their most authentic terms of life-of success, failure, and joy-or risk losing themselves altogether. With mesmerizing grace and earnest beauty, Sirens & Muses wrestles with questions of selfhood and ambition, art and protest, and new love. At the same time, with a canny, critical eye, the novel upends notions of class, money, art, youth, and a generation's fight to own their future"--

Groundskeeping by Lee Cole

"A love story set in the foothills of Appalachia about two very different people--Owen, from Kentucky, and Alma, the daughter of Bosnian immigrants--navigating the entanglements of class and identify in an America coming apart at the seams"--

Tracy Flick can't win : a novel by Tom Perrotta

"Tracy Flick is back and, once again, the iconic protagonist of Tom Perrotta's Election-and Reese Witherspoon's character from the classic movie adaptation-is determined to take high school politics by storm.Tracy Flick is a hardworking assistant principal at a public high school in suburban New Jersey. Still ambitious but feeling a little stuck and underappreciated in midlife, Tracy gets a jolt of good news when the longtime principal, Jack Weede, abruptly announces his retirement, creating a rare opportunity for Tracy to ascend to the top job. Energized by the prospect of her long-overdue promotion, Tracy throws herself into her work with renewed zeal, determined to prove her worth to the students, faculty, and School Board, while also managing her personal life-a ten-year-old daughter, a needy doctor boyfriend, and a burgeoning meditation practice. But nothing ever comes easily to Tracy Flick, no matter how diligent or qualified she happens to be. Among her many other responsibilities, Tracy is enlisted to serve on the Selection Committee for the brand-new Green Meadow High School Hall of Fame. Her male colleagues' determination to honor Vito Falcone-a star quarterback of dubious character who had a brief, undistinguished career in the NFL-triggers badmemories for Tracy, and leads her to troubling reflections about the trajectory of her own life and the forces that have left her feeling thwarted and disappointed, unable to fulfill her true potential. As she broods on the past, Tracy becomes aware of storm clouds brewing in the present. Is she really a shoo-in for the Principal job? Is the Superintendent plotting against her? Why is the School Board President's wife trying so hard to be her friend? And why can't she ever get what she deserves? In classic Perrotta style, Tracy Flick Can't Win is a sharp, darkly comic page-turner, and a pitch-perfect reflection on our current moment. Flick fans and newcomers alike will love this compulsively readable novel chronicling the second act of one of the most memorable characters of our time"--

True biz : a novel by Sara Novic

"True biz? The students at the River Valley School for the Deaf just want to hook up, pass their history final, and have doctors, politicians, and their parents stop telling them what to do with their bodies. This revelatory novel plunges readers into the halls of a residential school for the deaf, where they'll meet Charlie, a rebellious transfer student who's never met another deaf person before; Austin, the school's golden boy, whose world is rocked when his baby sister is born hearing; and February, the headmistress, who is fighting to keep her school open and her marriage intact, but might not be able to do both at the same time. As a series of crises both personal and political threaten to unravel each of them, Charlie, Austin, and February find their lives inextricable from one another-and changed forever. This is a story of sign language and lip-reading, cochlear implants and civil rights, isolation and injustice, first love and loss, and, above all, great persistence, daring, and joy. Absorbing and assured, idiosyncratic and relatable, this is an unforgettable journey into the Deaf community and a universal celebration of human connection"--

Delphi by Clare Pollard

Hawk Mountain : a novel by Conner Habib

"An English teacher is gaslit by his charismatic high school bully in this tense story of deception, manipulation, and murder. Single father Todd is relaxing at the beach with his son, Anthony, when he catches sight of a man approaching from the water's edge. As the man draws closer, Todd recognizes him as Jack, who bullied Todd relentlessly in their teenage years, but now seems overjoyed to have "run into" his old friend. Jack suggests a meal to catch up. And can he spend the night? What follows is a fast-paced story of obsession and cunning. As Jack invades Todd's life, pain and intimidation from the past unearth knife-edge suspense in the present. Set in a small town on the New England coast, Conner Habib's debut introduces characters trapped in isolation by the expansive woods and the encroaching ocean, their violence an expression of repressed desire and the damage it can inflict. Both gruesome and tender, Hawk Mountain offers a compelling look at how love and hate are indissoluble, intertwined untilthe last breath"--

The great man theory : a novel by Teddy Wayne

"Paul is a recently demoted adjunct instructor of freshman comp, a divorced but doting Brooklyn father, and a self-desc­ribed 'curmudgeonly crank' cataloging his resentment of the priorities of modern life in a book called The Luddite Manifesto. Outraged by the authoritarian creeps ruining the country, he is determined to better the future for his young daughter, one aggrieved lecture at a time. Shockingly, others aren't very receptive to Paul's scoldings. His child grows distant, preferring superficial entertainment to her father's terrarium and anti-technological tutelage. His careerist students are less interested than ever in what he has to say, and his last remaining friends appear ready to ditch him. To make up for lost income, he moonlights as a ride-share driver and moves in with his elderly mother, whose third-act changes confound and upset him. As one indignity follows the next, and Paul's disaffection with his circumstances and society mounts, he concocts a dramatic plan to right the world's wrongs and give himself a more significant place in it." --publisher's website

The finalists by David Bell

"The competitive selection process for a prized college scholarship turns deadly in the latest thriller from USA Today bestselling author David Bell. On a beautiful spring day, six college students with nothing in common besides a desperate inability to pay for school gather to compete for the prestigious Hyde Fellowship. Milo-The front-runner Natalia-The brain James-The rule follower Sydney-The athlete Duffy-The cowboy Emily-The social justice warrior The six of them must surrender their devices when they enter Hyde House, an aging Victorian structure that sits in a secluded part of campus. Once inside, the doors lock behind them. The students are not allowed to leave until they spend eight hours with a college administrator who will do almost anything to keep the school afloat, and Nicholas Hyde, the privileged and notoriously irresponsible heir to the Hyde family fortune. If the students leave before time is up, they'll be immediately disqualified. But when one of the six finalists drops dead, the other students fear they're being picked off one by one. With a violent protest raging outside, and no way to escape, the survivors viciously turn on each other. The Finalists is a chilling and profound look at the lengths both students and colleges will go to survive in a resource-starved academic world"--

The it girl : a novel by Ruth author Ware

"April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford. Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the year, April was dead. Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder."--publisher's website

Babel : or the necessity of violence : an arcane history of the Oxford Translators' Revolution by R Kuang

"1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation—also known as Babel. Babel is the world's center for translation and, more importantly, magic. Silver working—the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation using enchanted silver bars—has made the British unparalleled in power, as its knowledge serves the Empire’s quest for colonization. For Robin, Oxford is a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge obeys power, and as a Chinese boy raised in Britain, Robin realizes serving Babel means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress, Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to stopping imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide . . . Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence?" --publisher's website

Ordinary monsters by J Miro

"England, 1882. In Victorian London, two children with mysterious powers are hunted by a figure of darkness-a man made of smoke. Sixteen-year-old Charlie Ovid, despite a brutal childhood in Mississippi, doesn't have a scar on him. His body heals itself, whether he wants it to or not. Marlowe, a foundling from a railway freight car, shines with a strange bluish light. He can melt or mend flesh. When a jaded female detective is recruited to escort them to safety, all three begin a journey into the nature of difference, and belonging, and the shadowy edges of the monstrous. What follows is a story of wonder and betrayal, from the gaslit streets of London, and the wooden theatres of Meiji-era Tokyo, to an eerie estate outside Edinburgh where other children with gifts - the Talents - have been gathered. There, the world of the dead and the world of the living threaten to collide. And as secrets within the Institute unfurl, Marlowe, Charlie and the rest of the Talents will discover the truth about their abilities, and the nature of what is stalking them: that the worst monsters sometimes come bearing the sweetest gifts. Riveting in its scope, exquisitely written, Ordinary Monsters presents a catastrophic vision of the Victorian world-and of the gifted, broken children who must save it"--

The atlas six by Olivie Blake

"The first in an explosive trilogy The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation. Enter the latest round of six: Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, unwilling halves of an unfathomable whole, who exert uncanny control over every element of physicality. Reina Mori, a naturalist, who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali, a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious, navigating worlds inside the human mind. Callum Nova, an empath easily mistaken for a manipulative illusionist, who can influence the intimate workings of a person's inner self. Finally, there is Tristan Caine, who can see through illusions to a new structure of reality-an ability so rare that neither he nor his peers can fully grasp its implications. When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation, during which time they will be permitted preliminary access to the Society's archives and judged based on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility: time and space, luck and thought, life and death. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. The six potential initiates will fight to survive the next year of their lives, and if they can prove themselves to be the best among their rivals, most of them will. Most of them."--

The Netanyahus : an account of a minor and ultimately even negligible episode in the history of a very famous family by Joshua Cohen

"Corbin College, not-quite-upstate New York, winter 1959-1960: Ruben Blum, a Jewish historian-but not an historian of the Jews-is co-opted onto a hiring committee to review the application of an exiled Israeli scholar specializing in the Spanish Inquisition. When Benzion Netanyahu shows up for an interview, family unexpectedly in tow, Blum plays the reluctant host, to guests who proceed to lay waste to his American complacencies. Mixing fiction with non-fiction, the campus novel with the lecture, The Netanyahus is a wildly inventive, genre-bending comedy of blending, identity, and politics-"An Account of A Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family" that finds Joshua Cohen at the height of his powers"--

Lightseekers : a novel by M Kayode

When Dr. Philip Taiwo is called on by a powerful Nigerian politician to investigate the public torture and murder of three university students in remote Port Harcourt, he has no idea that he's about to be enveloped by a perilous case that is far from cold. Philip is not a detective. He's an investigative psychologist, an academic more interested in figuring out the why of a crime than actually solving it. But when he steps off the plane and into the dizzying frenzy of the provincial airport, he soon realizes that the murder of the Okriki Three isn't as straightforward as he thought. With the help of his loyal and streetwise personal driver, Chika, Philip must work against those actively conspiring against him to parse together the truth of what happened to these students

The fortunate ones by Ed Tarkington

"When young Charlie Boykin gains entry into the wealthy society of the most exclusive part of Nashville, he falls under its spell. But he soon learns what he'd have to give up in return in this novel that asks why we envy and worship a class of people that so often exhibits the worst excesses"--

Girls with bright futures : a novel by Tracy Dobmeier

"Alicia is a tech giant, wealthy beyond compare. Kelly is a stay-at-home mother and Stanford legacy. Maren makes three: single, broke, and out of place among the rich and elite. All their daughters are natural choices for Stanford: except the school can only recommend one student. As the competition heats up, an attempt is made on one of the girl's lives and the community spirals into panic. Now the mothers have to decide if one of them is capable of murder, or even worse, one of their own children The Admissions meets Big Little Lies in DO NOT ADMIT, a book club black comedy of three prep school families locked in competition for a single spot at Stanford when an attempted murder reveals the dark underbelly of their privileged community"--

The Divines : a novel by Ellie Eaton

"The girls of St John the Divine, an elite English boarding school, were notorious for flipping their hair, harassing teachers, chasing boys, and chain-smoking cigarettes. They were fiercely loyal, sharp-tongued, and cuttingly humorous in the way that only teenage girls can be. For Josephine, now in her thirties, the years at St John were a lifetime ago. She hasn’t spoken to another Divine in fifteen years, not since the day the school shuttered its doors in disgrace. Yet now Josephine inexplicably finds herself returning to her old stomping grounds. The visit provokes blurry recollections of those doomed final weeks that rocked the community. Ruminating on the past, Josephine becomes obsessed with her teenage identity and the forgotten girls of her one-time orbit. With each memory that resurfaces, she circles closer to the violent secret at the heart of the school’s scandal. But the more Josephine recalls, the further her life unravels, derailing not just her marriage and career, but her entire sense of self. "--book jacket

In my dreams I hold a knife : a novel by Ashley Winstead

"Jessica Miller plans to triumphantly return to Duquette University for her ten year reunion festivities. She's the most successful out of her entire group of friends, and she's ready to flaunt her achievements...even though her "friend group," known on campus as the East House Seven, doesn't really exist anymore. Ten years ago, Heather, one of their own, was murdered, fracturing the once close knit group. And then another friend was accused of committing the vile act, shattering whatever friendly feelings remained. Jessica thinks she's coming back to campus to bask in a wave of glory. She and her friends have no idea that someone has set an elaborate trap to catch the real killer and close the cold case for good."--

All's well : a novel by Mona Awad

"All's Well is about Miranda Fitch whose life is a waking nightmare after an accident ruins her acting career, and leaves her with chronic back pain, a failed marriage, and a deepening dependence on painkillers and alcohol. On the verge of losing her job as a college theater director, Miranda lives out her broken dreams through an upcoming production of Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well, when the unimaginable happens. She suddenly recovers, but at what cost?"--

The maidens by Alex Michaelides

A handsome and charismatic Greek tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike-particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens. Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana's niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge. Mariana, who was once herself astudent at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. Butwhy would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld? When another body is found, Mariana's obsession with proving Fosca's guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything-including her own life"--

Never saw me coming by Vera Kurian

"It would be easy to underestimate Chloe Sevre… She’s a freshman honor student, a legging-wearing hot girl next door, who also happens to be a psychopath. She spends her time on yogalates, frat parties and plotting to kill Will Bachman, a childhood friend who grievously wronged her. Chloe is one of seven students at her DC-based college who are part of an unusual clinical study of psychopaths—students like herself who lack empathy and can’t comprehend emotions like fear or guilt. The study, led by a renowned psychologist, requires them to wear smart watches that track their moods and movements. When one of the students in the study is found murdered in the psychology building, a dangerous game of cat and mouse begins, and Chloe goes from hunter to prey. As she races to identify the killer and put her own plan for revenge into action, she’ll be forced to decide if she can trust any of her fellow psychopaths—and everybody knows you should never trust a psychopath." --book jacket

For your own good by Samantha Downing

"USA Today bestselling author Samantha Downing teaches all the wrong lessons in her latest sneaky thriller about a calculating teacher in a privileged private school who knows he has the power to make or break your kid's future...and he uses it.... Teddy Crutcher has just won Teacher of the Year at the prestigious Belmont Academy, home to the best and brightest. He says his wife couldn't be more proud--though no one has seen her in a while. But Teddy can't be bothered with any of the rumors and the recent string of murders on campus. His main focus is on these kids. Sure, his methods can be a little unorthodox and maybe just a few of them don't actually deserve a bright a future. But someone's got push these kids to their full potential. It's really too bad that sometimes excellence can come at such a high cost"--

Kill all your darlings by David Bell

"When a professor's student disappears and is presumed dead, he passes off her manuscript as his own-only to find out it implicates him in an unsolved murder in this new thriller from the USA Today bestselling author of The Request. After years of struggling to write after the deaths of his wife and son, English professor Connor Nye publishes his first novel, a thriller about the murder of a young woman. There's just one problem: Connor didn't write the book. His missing student did. And then she appearson his doorstep, alive and well, threatening to expose him. Connor's problems escalate when the police insist details in the novel implicate him in an unsolved murder from two years ago. Soon Connor discovers the crime is part of a disturbing scandal on campus and faces an impossible dilemma-admit he didn't write the book and lose his job or keep up the lie and risk everything. As the murders pile up, Connor must clear his name by unraveling the horrifying secrets buried in his student's manuscript. Thisis a suspenseful, provocative novel about the sexual harassment that still runs rampant in academia-and the lengths those in power will go to cover it up"--

Oligarchy : a novel by Scarlett Thomas

"It's already the second week of term when Natasha, the daughter of a Russian oligarch, arrives at a vast English country house for her first day of boarding school. She soon discovers that the headmaster gives special treatment to the skinniest girls, and Tash finds herself thrown into the school's unfamiliar, moneyed world of fierce pecking orders, eating disorders, and Instagram angst. The halls echo with the story of Princess Augusta, the White Lady whose portraits--featuring a hypnotizing black diamond--hang everywhere and whose ghost is said to haunt the dorms. It's said that she fell in love with a commoner and drowned herself in the lake. But the girls don't really know anything about the woman she was, much less anything about one another. When Tash's friend Bianca mysteriously vanishes, the routines of the school seem darker and more alien than ever before. Tash must try to stay alive--and sane--while she uncovers what's really going on. Hilariously dark, Oligarchy is The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie for the digital age, exploring youth, power, and privilege. Scarlett Thomas captures the lives of privileged teenage girls, in all their triviality and magnitude, seeking acceptance and control in a manipulative world."--Provided by publisher

The scapegoat : a novel by Sara Davis

"A literary mystery, following a man who works at a Northern Californian university as he investigates the death of his father"--

The girls are all so nice here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

"A lot has changed in the years since Ambrosia Wellington graduated from college, and she's worked hard to create a new life for herself. But then an invitation to her ten-year reunion arrives in the mail, along with an anonymous note that reads, "We needto talk about what we did that night." It seems that the secrets of Ambrosia's past-and the people she thought she'd left there-aren't as buried as she'd believed. Amb can't stop fixating on what she did or who she did it with: larger-than-life Sloane "Sully" Sullivan, Amb's former best friend, who could make anyone do anything. At the reunion, Amb and Sully receive increasingly menacing messages, and it becomes clear that they're being pursued by someone who wants more than just the truth of what happened that first semester. This person wants revenge for what they did and the damage they caused--the extent of which Amb is only now fully understanding. And it was all because of the game they played to get a boy who belonged to someone else, and the girlwho paid the price. Alternating between the reunion and Amb's freshman year, The Girls Are All So Nice Here is a shocking novel about the brutal lengths girls can go to get what they think they're owed, and what happens when the games we play in collegebecome matters of life and death"--

The plot : a novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz

"Jacob Finch Bonner was once a promising young novelist with a respectably published first book. Today, he's teaching in a third-rate MFA program and struggling to maintain what's left of his self-respect; he hasn't written-let alone published-anything decent in years. When Evan Parker, his most arrogant student, announces he doesn't need Jake's help because the plot of his book in progress is a sure thing, Jake is prepared to dismiss the boast as typical amateur narcissism. But then . . . he hears the plot. Jake returns to the downward trajectory of his own career and braces himself for the supernova publication of Evan Parker's first novel: but it never comes. When he discovers that his former student has died, presumably without ever completing his book, Jake does what any self-respecting writer would do with a story like that-a story that absolutely needs to be told. In a few short years, all of Evan Parker's predictions have come true, but Jake is the author enjoying the wave. He is wealthy, famous, praised and read all over the world. But at the height of his glorious new life, an e-mail arrives, the first salvo in a terrifying, anonymous campaign: You are a thief, it says. As Jake struggles to understand his antagonist and hide the truth from his readers and his publishers, he begins to learn more about his late student, and what he discovers both amazes and terrifies him. Who was Evan Parker, and how did he get the idea for his "sure thing" of a novel? What is the real story behind the plot, and who stole it from whom?"--

The last graduate : a novel by Naomi Novik

"A budding dark sorceress determined not to use her formidable powers uncovers yet more secrets about the workings of her world in the stunning sequel to A Deadly Education, the start of Naomi Novik's groundbreaking crossover series. At the Scholomance, El, Orion, and the other students are faced with their final year--and the looming specter of matriculation, a deadly ritual that leaves few students alive after. El is determined that her group will make it out alive, but it is a prospect that is looking harder by the day as the savagery of the school ramps up. Until El realizes that sometimes winning the game means throwing out all the rules . . "--

The betrayals : a novel by Bridget Collins

"At Montverre, an ancient and elite academy hidden high in the mountains, society’s best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu—the great game—an arcane and mysterious competition that combines music, art, math, poetry, and philosophy. Léo Martin once excelled at Montverre but lost his passion for scholarly pursuits after a violent tragedy. He turned to politics instead and became a rising star in the ruling party, until a small act of conscience cost him his career. Now he has been exiled back to Montverre, his fate uncertain. But this rarified world of learning Léo once loved is not the same place he remembers. Once the exclusive bastion of men, Montverre’s most prestigious post is now held by a woman: Claire Dryden, also known as the Magister Ludi, the head of the great game. At first, Léo feels an odd attraction to the magister—a mysterious, eerily familiar connection—though he’s sure they’ve never met before. As the legendary Midsummer Game approaches—the climax of the academy’s year—long-buried secrets rise to the surface and centuries-old traditions are shockingly overturned."--book jacket

Summer sons by Lee Mandelo

"Lee Mandelo's debut Summer Sons is a sweltering, queer Southern Gothic that crosses Appalachian street racing with academic intrigue, all haunted by a hungry ghost. Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn't know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom that hungers for him. As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie's death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie's nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble. And there is something awful lurking, waiting for those walls to fall"--

Transcendent kingdom : a novel by Yaa Gyasi

"A novel about faith, science, religion, and family that tells the deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief, narrated by a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford school of medicine studying the neural circuits of reward seeking behavior in mice"--

Age of consent by Amanda Brainerd

Over the course of one year at a Connecticut boarding school and a transformative summer in New York City in the 1980s, three young women negotiate friendship, crushes, parties, privilege, and the sexual interest of older men on the journey from innocenceto independence.

Real life by Brandon (Brandon L Taylor

"A novel of rare emotional power that excavates the social intricacies of a late-summer weekend -- and a lifetime of buried pain. Almost everything about Wallace, an introverted African-American transplant from Alabama, is at odds with the lakeside Midwestern university town where he is working toward a biochem degree. For reasons of self-preservation, Wallace has enforced a wary distance even within his own circle of friends -- some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness. But aseries of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with a young straight man, conspire to fracture his defenses, while revealing hidden currents of resentment and desire that threaten the equilibrium of their community"--

Catherine House : a novel by Elisabeth (Novelist) Thomas

Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, this crucible of reformist liberal arts study with its experimental curriculum, wildly selective admissions policy, and formidable endowment, has produced some of the world's best minds: prize-winning authors, artists, inventors, Supreme Court justices, presidents. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free. But acceptance comes with a price. Students are required to give the House three years--summers included--completely removed from the outside world. Family, friends, television, music, even their clothing must be left behind. In return, the school promises a future of sublime power and prestige, and that its graduates can become anything or anyone they desire

Privilege : a novel by Mary Adkins

"Carter University: “The Harvard of the South.” Annie Stoddard was the smartest girl in her small public high school in Georgia, but now that she’s at Carter, it feels like she’s got “Scholarship Student” written on her forehead. Bea Powers put aside misgivings about attending college in the South as a biracial student to take part in Carter’s Justice Scholars program. But even within that rarefied circle of people trying to change the world, it seems everyone has a different idea of what justice is. Stayja York goes to Carter every day, too, but she isn’t a student. She works at the Coffee Bean, doling out almond milk lattes to entitled co-eds, while trying to put out fires on the home front and save for her own education. Their three lives intersect unexpectedly when Annie accuses fourth-year student Tyler Brand of sexual assault. Once Bea is assigned as Tyler’s student advocate, the girls find themselves on opposite sides as battle lines are drawn across the picture-perfect campus—and Stayja finds herself invested in the case’s outcome, too. Told through the viewpoints of Annie, Bea, and Stayja, Privilege is a bracingly clear-eyed look at today’s campus politics, and a riveting story of three young women making their way in a world not built for them." --book jacket

We wish you luck : a novel by Caroline Zancan

"A coming-of-age campus novel about a group of students who take revenge on a professor after she destroys one of their own" --

They never learn by Layne Fargo

"From the author of the "raw, ingenious, and utterly fearless" (Wendy Walker, USA Today bestselling author) TEMPER comes a dynamic psychological thriller about two women who give bad men exactly what they deserve--one an English professor/serial killer who murders the most evil man she knows each year, and the other a lost college freshman seeking vengeance after her best friend is sexually assaulted at a party"--

The orchard : a novel by David Hopen

"Ari Eden's life has always been governed by strict rules. In ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn, his days are dedicated to intense study and religious rituals, and adolescence feels profoundly lonely. So when his family announces that they are moving to a glitzy Miami suburb, Ari seizes his unexpected chance for reinvention. Enrolling in an opulent Jewish academy, Ari is stunned by his peers' dizzying wealth, ambition, and shameless pursuit of life's pleasures. When the academy's golden boy, Noah, takes Ari under his wing, Ari finds himself entangled in the school's most exclusive and wayward group. These friends are magnetic and defiant-especially Evan, the brooding genius of the bunch, still living in the shadow of his mother's death. Influenced by their charismatic rabbi, the group begins testing their religion in unconventional ways. Soon Ari and his friends are pushing moral boundaries and careening toward a perilous future-one in which the traditions of their faith are repurposed to mysterious, tragic ends. Mesmerizing and playful, heartrending and darkly romantic, The Orchardprobes the conflicting forces that determine who we become: the heady relationships of youth, the allure of greatness, the doctrines we inherit, and our concealed desires"--Jacket flap

Ghosts of Harvard : a novel by Francesca Scottoline Serritella

"Cadence "Cady" Archer arrives on Harvard's campus searching for answers about her brother, a schizophrenic genius who leapt from his dorm room window the year before. Eric's brilliance overshadowed Cady growing up, but she worshipped and adored him--evenas he became more unstable, retreating deeper into his secretive work on multidimensional spacetime and isolating himself from everyone around him. Losing Eric has left a black hole in Cady's life, and while her choice to walk the same path threatens tobreak her family apart, she is driven to know why Eric killed himself. As Cady struggles under the enormous pressure that comes with being at Harvard, she begins to investigate her brother's life on campus. What was it that caused Eric to spiral into an irretrievable madness--the paranoia, the delusions, the illusory enemies--after he had been doing so well? Soon, her prying turns up clues that grow increasingly sinister. And then, as her suspicions mount, Cady begins to hear voices herself: three ghoststhat walked the hallowed halls of Harvard, each from a different era of American history. That's when the panic sets in. Does she share Eric's illness, or are these voices real? And if she listens to these ghosts, will they lead to her brother--and the truth--or will they lead her down a path of her own destruction?"--

My dark Vanessa : a novel by Kate Elizabeth Russell

"2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher. 2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager--and who professed to worship only her--may be far different from what she has always believed? Alternating between Vanessa's present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself."--Amazon

These violent delights : a novel by Micah Nemerever

A painfully insecure artist falls in love with a charming, intellectual fellow university student in 1970s Pittsburgh before their relationship spirals into an all-consuming obsession that culminates in a shattering truth

White ivy : a novel by Susie Yang

"From prizewinning and first generation Chinese American author Susie Yang comes a delicious debut novel about a young immigrant woman's obsession with her privileged male classmate - and the lengths she'll go to win his love"--

We ride upon sticks : a novel by Quan Barry

"From the author of the widely acclaimed She Weeps Each Time You're Born--a new novel, at once comic and moving, set in 1989 Danvers, Massachusetts, where a high school field hockey team discovers that the witchcraft of their Salem forebears may be the key to a winning season. In this tour de female force, the Danvers High School Falcons Varsity is on an unaccountable streak. In chapters dense with '80s iconography--from Heathers to Big Hair--Quan Barry expertly weaves the individual and collective journeys of this enchanted team: the quiet, husky goalie Mel Boucher, who signs her name to a pledge of darkness in a notebook with heartthrob Emilio Estevez on the cover; the top bitch forward, Jen Fiorenza, whose bleached blond "Claw" sees and knows all; the good-girl captain Abby Putnam (a descendant of the famous Salem witness Ann Putnam), who is hesitant to sign her name to the Emilio pact; AJ Johnson, the team's one black player, for whom enchantment brings racial awakening; the untouchably beautiful Girl Cory and her name-twin Boy Cory, who plays this female sport for his own reasons. These "witches" and their teammates are as wily and original as their North of Boston ancestors, flouting society's stale notions of femininity to find their true selves in a celebration of teen girldom in all its glory"--

Plain bad heroines : a novel by Emily M Danforth

"Our story begins in 1902, at the Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane, the author of a scandalous bestselling memoir. To show their devotion to Mary, the girls establish their own private club and call it the Plain Bad Heroine Society. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths. This is where their bodies are later discovered with a copy of Mary’s book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Less than five years later, the Brookhants School for Girls closes its doors forever—but not before three more people mysteriously die on the property, each in a most troubling way. Over a century later, the now abandoned and crumbling Brookhants is back in the news when wunderkind writer Merritt Emmons publishes a breakout book celebrating the queer, feminist history surrounding the “haunted and cursed” Gilded Age institution. Her bestselling book inspires a controversial horror film adaptation starring celebrity actor and lesbian it girl Harper Harper playing the ill-fated heroine Flo, oppo­site B-list actress and former child star Audrey Wells as Clara. But as Brookhants opens its gates once again, and our three modern her­oines arrive on set to begin filming, past and present become grimly entangled—or perhaps just grimly exploited—and soon it’s impossible to tell where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins

A deadly education : a novel by Naomi Novik

Enter a school of magic unlike any you have ever encountered: There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won't allow its students to leave until they graduate . . . or die. The rules are deceptively simple: Don't walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school's dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out untold millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students. So El is trying her hardest not to use her power . . . at least not until she has no other option. Meanwhile, her fellow student, the insufferable Orion Lake, is making heroism look like a breeze. He's saved hundreds of lives--including El's--with his flashy combat magic. But in the spring of their junior year, after Orion rescues El for the second time and makes her look like more of an outcast than she already is, she reaches an impulsive conclusion: Orion Lake must die. But El is about to learn some lessons she never could in the classroom: About the school. About Orion Lake. And about who she really is.

Magic for liars by Sarah Gailey

When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister--without losing herself

Bunny by Mona Awad

"Samantha Heather Mackey couldn't be more of an outsider in her small, highly selective MFA program at New England's Warren University. A scholarship student who prefers the company of her dark imagination to that of most people, she is utterly repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort--a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other "Bunny," and are often found entangled in a group hug so tight they become one. But everything changes when Samantha receives an invitation to the Bunnies' fabled "Smut Salon," and finds herself inexplicably drawn to their front door--ditching her only friend, Ava, a caustic art school dropout, in the process. As Samantha plunges deeper and deeper into the sinister yet saccharine world of the Bunny cult and starts to take part in their ritualistic off-campus "Workshop" where they magically conjure their monstrous creations, the edges of reality begin to blur, and her friendships with Ava and the Bunnies are brought into deadly collision. A spellbinding, down-the-rabbit-hole tale of loneliness and belonging, creativity and agency, and friendship and desire, Bunny is the dazzlingly original second book from an author whose work has been described as "honest, searing and necessary" (Elle)" --
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