Nothing says “fall” like back-to-school, pumpkin everything, sweater weather, and of course– cozying up with a good book. These are my favorite teen books that just feel like autumn:
Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
The first in the Jessica Darling series, Sloppy Firsts is the perfect back-to-school book. Jessica is one of the funniest, smartest characters I’ve ever read, and she manages to be flawed yet sympathetic, too. In this book, you can commiserate with her as she navigates a new school year after her best friend moves away. Then you can read the rest of the series, too… And then the prequels. I have them all listed here.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This is another great back-to-school book, especially for those contemplating or starting college. Fangirl lays out the complicated realities of tiny dorm rooms, difficult new classes, and growing apart from old friends– and old selves. AND it comes complete with pumpkin lattes and leg warmers. Nothing could be more fall-ish.
The Young Unicorns by Madeleine L’Engle
This is the third in L’Engle’s Austin Family series, and it’s definitely an odd one out. Creepier and more spiritual than the others in the series, this one lays down some serious autumn vibes, especially since it takes place between Halloween and Thanksgiving. You can definitely read it as a stand-alone.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
“It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.” Cold beaches on a small fictional island somewhere in the UK. Difficult-to-like characters. The fight for a poor family’s future. Murderous water horses. What could be more autumnal? Also, November cakes. Read and enjoy.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
If you need more creepiness in your life this fall, read this classic gothic romance/mystery. And don’t let the word “classic” throw you off– this book was universally loved by my high school English class. It’s completely unique in my memory; for example, the name of the main character and narrator is NOT Rebecca… in fact, we never learn her name at all. What other book has that literary device? (Probably lots. But this one uses it so well.)
If, when the leaves start turning yellow, your heart starts longing for Lothlórien, then you are a fantasy-lover at heart. This is one of my favorites, a dark Arthurian fantasy with a very autumnal mood. It’s technically the second in the series, but the first is more of a prequel– so feel free to start with this one. Or you can check out the whole collection here.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Happy reading, happy pumpkin-everything, happy fall to you. Feel free to use the word “autumnal” every chance you get!