5 Boarding School YA Must Reads!

I consider myself to be a simple person. I see the words “boarding school” and I add it to my TBR. Seriously, I am a sucker for any and all boarding school/ preppy books. I now present my top 10 boarding school recommendations!

Number One: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

If you are a mystery lover, like myself, you have no doubt heard of this fantastic trilogy by now. Truly Devious follows the new student Stevie Bell at the elite Ellingham Academy in the mountains of Vermont. The school was founded by Albert Ellingham, whose wife and daughter were kidnapped and murdered shortly after the founding of the school, back in the 1930s. Now present day, Stevie decides to investigate the unsolved case for a school project, but murder might just strike at Ellingham again…

Number Two: Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter

This classic 6 book series is a must for anyone who loves spies, girl bosses, and boarding schools. It follows Cammie “The Chameleon” Morgan as she navigates the ups and down of ancient terrorist groups, boys, and more at the secretive spy training school the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women.

Number Three: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The only thing I love more than mystery books is if ghosts are involved. Especially if mysteries involving ghosts are taking place at a boarding school. Hence, my love of The Name of the Star. Rory is a new student at a posh boarding school in England. What she didn’t expect from the school year was a copycat of Jack the Ripper terrorizing London. She also didn’t expect to be one of the only people able to see the killer…

Number Four: Killing November by Adriana Mather

Killing November is about a girl named November Adley who was sent to a boarding school she knew nothing about. But it doesn’t take long for November to realize the schools trains members of a secret society covertly ruling the world. It also does not take her long to realize that someone at the school wants her dead for reasons she can’t understand.

Number Five: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Okay, okay. So this book isn’t technically about a boarding school, but it is about a small home where five teenagers live together with three adults. This home isn’t ordinary, though. Cassie, Dean, Michael, Lia, and Sloane are being trained in a special program by the FBI to help solve cold cases with their unique skills. Cassie and Dean are profilers, Michael an emotion reader, Lia a human lie detector, and Sloane a walking encyclopedia. But when Cassie joins the program, murders start striking a little too close to home…

My Top 5 Reads of 2020

I’m sure all of you are tired of hearing about what a weird and hard year 2020 was. While there were so many negatives that happened, there were a also a few positives. For example, because of all of the down time I had during quarantine, I was able to read quite a few books. And by “quite a few” I mean roughly 130. I read so many good ones, but I also read a lot of bad ones. Out of the 130 books, I managed to narrow my favorite reads down to my top 5!

Number 1: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

This science fiction novel is set many years in a future where a massive computer called the Thunderhead runs the government and humans have overcome death. The novel follows the protagonists Citra and Rowan as they train to become scythes– those chosen to “glean” citizens as a form of population control. The book focuses on heavy themes of death and politics.

This is easily the best book I read the entire year– no question. The deceptively simple writing style, brilliant characters, and incredibly clever plot has no rival. A must read for any and everyone!

Number 2: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

This almost 500 page novel covers the epic heist 6 misfits from the fictional city Ketterdam attempt to pull off. The entire world has the potential to fall pray to a dangerous drug. The solution? Kidnap the scientist who made it in order to prevent the recreation of the drug. Thus, breaking into an impenetrable ice prison. Naturally.

I admit, I was a little late to the Six of Crows hype– but am totally here for it now. Such an entertaining read! The characters, the plot, the heist– 10/10. It was incredible!

Number 3: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

This murder mystery novel is– dare I say– the best mystery I have ever read. Five years ago popular girl Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend Sal Singh. But Pippa Fitz-Amobi is not so sure he’s guilty. Determined to solve the case for real, she investigates it for her school project (with the help of Ravi Singh, Sal’s younger brother) in order to figure out what exactly happened five years ago.

This book was such a clever mystery (although I totally did call who the killer was hehe). The plot was fast paced and intriguing. And how could you not fall in love with Ravi Singh!? 10/10, yet another book every mystery lover needs to add to their TBR ASAP!

Number 4: Horrid by Katrina Leno

This spooky tale was just as good as it was promised to be. The novel follows a high school senior named Jane, who just moved across the country with her mother after her father passed away. She moved back into her mother’s childhood home, but it doesn’t take long for strange happenings to begin…

This book left me speechless. Like jaw dropped, I want to hurl my book across the room and then stare at the cover for an hour in silence speechless. I will never look at rose bushes again. Or creepy little girls, for that matter. Especially when you pair those two things together.

Number 5: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Before I even start talking about the book, let’s take a moment to admire how absolutely gorgeous the cover is. Seriously. I don’t think I will ever love a cover more than I love this one. The Inheritance Games tells the story of Avery Grambs, a teenager suffering from the loss of her mother who suddenly inherits a billionaire’s entire fortune for reasons she doesn’t understand. And neither does anyone else.

I have been a long time fan of Jennifer Lynn Barnes– the Naturals series being my all time favorite book series– so it was no surprise when I picked up her newest (and most successful) book back in September and immediately fell in love with. While I doubt I will ever be able to love another book as much as I love the Naturals, this book was a pretty close second. Everyone deserves to experience the cleverness and beauty that is The Inheritance Games.