All the first day of school excitement is making me a little nostalgic. Not that I would want to go back to school (never again), but at the same time, the start of the school year is a great fresh start, the eve of a new adventure or at least a great excuse to blow all your money on new planners, pens and other stationary goods. To still get the experience second hand, we made a list of the best back to school novels! Leave your own favorites in the comments and if this doesn’t get you excited, then you have our permission to spend all your money on all the notebooks you want.

Curtis Sittenfeld

If you don’t feel like reading this, you can wait a little while for the adaptation, but Prep is what landed Sittenfeld a table at the Austen Project. Prep is about Lee Fiora, who at age 14 gets dropped at a prestigious prep school. The novels follows her awkward start and continues until graduation, which then takes a turn for the worse.


Anna & the French Kiss
Stephanie Perkins

Although this one is not my favorite of Perkins’ series, Anna & the French Kiss is a great gateway to believing you are attending an international boarding school in Paris. It’s filled with special French landmarks, the pitfalls of being in a country where you don’t speak the language and hot guys with British accents. Starting a new year of high school has never been this stressful or this dreamy.


29044The Secret History
Donna Tart

From elite high schools, we move to elite colleges. In The Secret History, a group of young college students get enamored by their classics professor. He teaches them to think and live beyond the boundaries of normalcy, which unfortunately leads to loose morals, obsession, corruption, betrayal and ultimately to evil.

Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl is the ultimate read for any college nerd, obsessed with a fictional universe. Cath and Wren are twins, who are obsessed with the book series of Simon Snow. They go off to the same college, but while Wren tries to let go of Simon, Cath just clings on for dear life. Of course there are boys in the mix and with Rainbow Rowell, you can bet there’s a lot of swooning.

Michael Chabon

School are not just for students. Teachers can also miss their vocation during the summer. Grady Tripp is an aging, struggling writer, working as a creative writing teacher at a college. He’s working on his magnum opus – the 2000 pages long Wonder Boys. Then a visit from his editor turns into a bizarre and chaotic weekend, involving one of his students, his pregnant mistress and a boa constrictor.

19288259Dear Committee Members
Julie Schumacher

This one is for the teacher who doesn’t want to go back to school. Dear Committee Members is a series of recommendation letters written by Jason Fitger who isn’t very fond of his students. Throughout the year, his letters get more and more irratic, involving much about his personal life and not nearly as much about the students he is recommending.


Bored to Death book club is set up by two sisters who love to read and have nothing better to do than to start a book club.

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