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Campus Novels

Embrace the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of college with these novels about the college experience.

August 4, 2022

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl

Rainbow Rowell

Feeling cast off when her best friend outgrows their shared love for a favorite celebrity, Cath, a dedicated fan-fiction writer, struggles to survive on her own in her first year of college while avoiding a surly roommate, bonding with a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words and worrying about her fragile father.

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Prep

Curtis Sittenfeld

During the late 1980s, fourteen-year-old Lee Fiora leaves behind her close-knit, middle-class Indiana family to enroll in an elite co-ed boarding school in Massachusetts, becoming a shrewd observer of, and eventually a participant in, their rituals and customs.

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

My Oxford Year

Julia Whelan

Offered a fantastic job in a rising star’s political campaign on condition that she will work abroad and return to Washington after spending a dream year at Oxford, Ella clashes with, and then falls for, an outspoken literature professor with a life-changing secret that forces her to rethink her ambitions.

Chemistry by Weike Wang

Chemistry

Weike Wang

Losing her love for her major when her graduate studies become subject to research failures and high pressure, a Boston University student contemplates a marriage proposal from a more successful fellow scientist while she pursues an entirely different kind of chemistry.

Admission by Julie Buxbaum

Admission

Julie Buxbaum

It’s good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer–she has it all–money, privilege, and a ticket to the college of her dreams. Or at least she did until the FBI came knocking on her front door, guns at the ready, and her future went up in smoke. Now her B list celebrity mother is under arrest in a massive college admissions bribery scandal, and Chloe might be the next one facing charges. The public is furious, the headlines are brutal, and the US attorney is out for blood.

The Orchard by David Hopen

The Orchard

David Hopen

einventing himself upon moving to a glitzy Miami suburb, a student at an Orthodox Jewish academy is welcomed into a circle of popular students whose faith is unconventionally tested by their charismatic rabbi.

Ghosts Of Harvard by Francesca Serritella

Ghosts Of Harvard

Francesca Serritella

Defying her family to investigate the suspicious suicide of her schizophrenic genius brother, a Harvard freshman begins to hear the voices of three paranoia-inducing ghosts from different eras in American history.

Loner by Teddy Wayne

Loner

Teddy Wayne

A painfully overlooked, academically gifted Harvard freshman resigns himself to anonymity before falling head-over-heels for a beautiful Manhattan glamour girl who compels him to compromise his moral standards and get in touch with his true identity.

Rush by Lisa Patton

Rush

Lisa Patton

A wealthy Southern mom’s ambition to secure her daughter’s sorority membership compromises the prospects of a maternal housekeeper and a sweet, unpedigreed pledge harboring a dark secret.

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Real Life

Brandon Taylor

Keeping his head down at a lakeside Midwestern university where the culture is in sharp contrast to his Alabama upbringing, an introverted African-American biochem student endures unexpected encounters that bring his orientation and defenses into question.

Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

Catherine House

Elisabeth Thomas

A dangerously curious, rebellious undergraduate uncovers a shocking secret about an exclusive circle of students and the dark truths beneath their school’s promises of prestige.

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

The Idiot

Elif Batuman

Embarking on her freshman year at Harvard in 1995, Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, begins a correspondence with an older mathematics student from Hungary while struggling with her changing sense of self, first love, and a daunting career prospect.

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Marriage Plot

Jeffrey Eugenides

Madeleine Hanna breaks out of her straight-and-narrow mold when she falls in love with charismatic loner Leonard Bankhead, while at the same time an old friend of hers resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is his destiny.

The Truants by Kate Weinberg

The Truants

Kate Weinberg

Jess Walker has come to a concrete campus under the flat grey skies of East Anglia for one reason: To be taught by the mesmerizing and rebellious Dr Lorna Clay, whose seminars soon transform Jess’ thinking on life, love and Agatha Christie.

Bunny by Mona Awad

Bunny

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 seem to move and speak as one.

Talent by Juliet Lapidos

Talent

Juliet Lapidos

An English grad student struggling with her dissertation about the intellectual history of inspiration desperately searches for a perfect case study to anchor her thesis, only to find it in the unlikeliest of places.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Ninth House

Leigh Bardugo

Surviving a horrific multiple homicide, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks is unexpectedly offered a full scholarship to Yale, where her mysterious benefactors task her with monitoring the university’s secret societies.

The Incendiaries by Kwon. R.O.

The Incendiaries

R. O. Kwon

A dark tale of violence, faith and loss follows the experiences of a young Korean-American woman at an elite university who is drawn into acts of domestic terrorism by a cult with ties to North Korea.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Normal People

Sally Rooney

The unconventional secret childhood bond between popular Connell and lonely, intensely private Marianne is tested by character reversals in their first year at a Dublin college that render Connell introspective and Marianne social, but self-destructive.

The Shakespeare Requirement by Julie Schumacher

The Shakespeare Requirement

Julie Schumacher

A sequel to “Dear Committee Members” finds newly-appointed English Department chair Jason Fitger navigating his ex-wife’s affair with his boss, budget cuts, a formidable department secretary, and a Shakespeare scholar who refuses to retire.

The Secret Place by Tana French

The Secret Place

Tana French

Investigating a photograph of a boy whose murder was never solved, aspiring Murder Squad member Stephen Moran partners with detective Antoinette Conway to search for answers in the cliques and rivalries at a Dublin boarding school.

My Education by Susan Choi

My Education

Susan Choi

Warned about the womanizing activities of Professor Nicholas Brodeur before her arrival at his prestigious university, graduate student Regina Gottlieb is nevertheless captured by his charisma and good looks before falling prey to his volatile wife.

Black Chalk by Christopher Yates

Black Chalk

Christopher Yates

A psychological thriller set in New York and at Oxford University follows a group of six students as they play an elaborate game of dares and consequences with tragic results.

The Art Of Fielding by Chad Harbach

The Art Of Fielding

Chad Harbach

A baseball star at a small college near Lake Michigan launches a routine throw that goes disastrously off course and inadvertently changes the lives of five people, including the college president, a gay teammate, and the president’s daughter.

Notes On A Silencing by Lacy Crawford

Notes On A Silencing

Lacy Crawford

Traces the author’s healing journey after a traumatizing sexual assault at infamous St. Paul’s boarding school, describing how she helped police uncover proof of the school’s institutionalized mandate of silence.

The Divines by Ellie Eaton

The Divines

Ellie Eaton

Piecing together memories from her teen years at an elite English boarding school, Josephine gradually exposes a violent secret explaining why the once-prestigious institution abruptly closed in disgrace.

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

The Female Persuasion

Meg Wolitzer

A college student finds her perspectives transformed by a mentor activist at the center of the women’s movement who challenges her to discover herself in ways that take her far from the traditional life she envisioned.

Required Reading For The Disenfranchised Freshman by Kristen Lee

Required Reading For The Disenfranchised Freshman

Kristen Lee

Accepted into the ivy-covered walls of Wooddale University on a full ride, Savannah Howard comes face-to-face with racism and elitism and begins digging into Wooddale’s racist history to find the courage to stand up for what is right.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

The Secret History

Donna Tartt

A transfer student from a small town in California, Richard Papen is determined to affect the ways of his Hampden College peers, and he begins his intense studies under the tutelage of eccentric Julian Morrow.

The River King by Alice Hoffman

The River King

Alice Hoffman

A town divided by class lines is thrown into turmoil by a mysterious death, which begins to unravel the lives of a fifteen-year-old girl, a young boy, and a woman running from her own destiny.