10 Awesome Books Set at Boarding School

Boarding School Recs

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (and all other books in this series) — Obviously, we really can’t have a list about awesome boarding school books without talking about Harry Potter, right? Hogwarts was probably the first boarding school-set book I ever read, and I remember absolutely loving that setting. I really want to go back and re-read them all someday 🙂
  2. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld — I read this book back in high school, way before I started blogging, but I remember really, really liking this one and strongly identifying with the main character.
  3. Poor Little Dead Girls by Lizzie Friend — This is a book that I read just last month and is honestly what inspired me to write this post! I love boarding school settings, and this book made everything about it intriguing and mysterious.
  4. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (and most other books in this series) — I demolished this whole series last year and absolutely loved most of the books. Almost all of them take place at the vampire boarding school St. Vladimir’s Academy — I liked the idea that the students only took classes at night and the awesome curriculum that included stuff like combat training.
  5. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins — Both this book and the first book in the series, Anna and the French Kiss take place at the School of America in Paris. Not only is the Parisian setting in general really cool, but I really liked the boarding school aspect in and of itself. I liked Isla better than Anna, so that’s why Isla’s on the list, but I also think that the school is more important in Isla because of all the sneaking around her and Josh have to do in their dorm rooms.
  6. Looking for Alaska by John Green — This is probably my most anticipated read on this list. I read The Fault in Our Stars in 2013 and loved it, but haven’t read another John Green since! I think that this one will be my second. And now I’m even more excited for it knowing that it’s partially set at a boarding school, which I didn’t even realize until I was making this list!
  7. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins — I’m not looking forward to this one as much as the other ones, because I’m not really sure if I’ll like it, but it’s been recommended to me by a lot of people and I have to admit that the boarding school aspect does make me want to read it that much more! 
  8. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray — Ever since I read The Diviners last year, I’ve really been wanting to read more of Bray’s work. Her writing is incredibly special and captivating, and I just know that I’m going to adore this series. I bought all three of them recently and can’t wait to get started!
  9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë — I can’t even believe that I haven’t read this book. I have no defense for myself! But clearly it’s a classic that so many people adore, and I love her sister’s work Wuthering Heights, so I need to get to this one soon!
  10. Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer — I actually haven’t read anything by this author yet, but I’ve heard she’s amazing. And I know that a lot of people scored an ARC of it at BEA and loved it! So I’m really excited about this one, too. 


What’s YOUR favorite book set at a boarding school? Have you read and loved any of the ones on my list? Any recommendations for other books like these that I need to check out?


16 responses to “10 Awesome Books Set at Boarding School

  1. I loved Vampire Academy as well and it’s one of my favourite boarding school series. And Harry Potter as well. I haven’t read any of the other books you mentioned. I know I have read quite some boarding school books, but can’t think of any now. I do like the boarding school trope, there is just something fun about having a boarding school as setting.

  2. Boarding school settings is one of my auto buys, I just love them. I agree with most of your choices except A Great and Terrible Beauty for some reason I never got into that one.

    I’m reading one at the moment as well (well it’s a dystopia but it’s a boarding school type set up) Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill, it’s fab.

    I hadn’t realised Belhzar had this setting, yet another reason to read it. And of course Harry Potter makes most lists, no matter what the heading! But it’s a great example of a boarding school that everyone wants to go to. I love Isla and Anna as well. And Prep and Looking for Alaska! Great list 🙂

  3. Vampire Academy and Harry Potter, heck yes. Love them to death. I also read Prep a very long time ago and remember liking it a lot, although I don’t remember many details about it at all. I fell in love with the Gemma Doyle trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty) They are pretty large books but I remember flying through them, I still really like them to this day. Hope you enjoy them!

  4. YES. HARRY POTTER. BEST BOARDING SCHOOL BOOK OF ALL TIME. Vampire Academy was sooo good as well. Still have yet to read the second but I loved the first like crazy! And A Great and Terrible Beauty is so good. Very very creepy which is exactly why I enjoyed it so much!

    I loved seeing this post because I love the idea of boarding schools. I’m sure they aren’t as great as what I picture them to be but there’s something so fun about them. I think I got hooked on the idea since I was younger and watched Zoey 101 on the Disney Channel 24/7. That show is what really sparked my interest in boarding schools.

    • Haha oh my gosh I remember that show — loved it so much! I was so sad when it got cancelled. I’ve always had like this weird curiosity about it, too. I have a feeling that it would’ve been something I’d have liked, except I probably would’ve been super homesick, so I don’t know. But I spent one year living in the dorms at college and really liked that aspect of it, so that makes me think I would’ve liked boarding school, since it’s sort of similar, but I guess just with less freedom.

  5. Hi!!! I know I have been missing for a while now but I decided it might be time to re-emerge soon but I just wanted to get back into the swing of things by starting to read and comment on other people’s blogs again. And then I saw this post and I was like, hahahaha. Because when I was little and growing up in Hong Kong, I read Harry Potter and then also a bunch of Enid Blyton boarding school books (plus pretty much all of her other books as well) and that was pretty much the whole reason I ended up going to England to study at a boarding school at the age of 11. I read all these books and I was like OH MY GOD BOARDING SCHOOL SOUNDS AMAZING. Boarding school in reality was totally nowhere near as awesome though, sadly.

    Apart from HP, I’ve only read Jane Eyre and Looking for Alaska on your list. Both of which I enjoyed. But I don’t really think much of the boarding school setting much anymore, ever since I actually went to one for seven years. It’s lost its glamour for me, I think. But ahhh, as someone else mentioned above, Only Ever Yours! SO GREAT. SO PERFECT. AWFULLY GRIM DYSTOPIAN BUT ALSO TERRIBLY AND DEPRESSINGLY ENOUGH TOTALLY RELATABLE IN TERMS OF WHAT BEING AT AN ALL GIRLS BOARDING SCHOOL CAN BE LIKE SOMETIMES. Loved it. (I didn’t really enjoy boarding school very much, can you tellll.)

    I’ve always been curious about A Great and Terrible Beauty though. I just really like that cover, haha. And Belzhar looks really interesting, but its mixed reviews are making me hesitant…

    • I’m so glad you’re coming back! I was wondering where you’d gotten to.

      Oh my gosh, you went to boarding school?? That’s so cool! But I’m so sad to find out that it’s not actually as awesome as all of these books make it sound :/ DISAPPOINTING!

      Ooh now I really want to read Only Ever Yours. It’s on my “must read ASAP” list! So hopefully I’ll get to it relatively soon 😀 The way you’re describing it reminds me of how I felt about Poor Little Dead Girls. That book was so intriguing and creepy!

      Yeah I’m hesitant about Belzhar as well. I’m waiting to see what more people have to say about it before I decide whether I’m definitely going to read it or not.

  6. I remember hearing about Prep when I was in high school. I never read it, but it sounded really good!

    Belzhar was very good! It wasn’t quite what I expected, but I really enjoyed it.

  7. I loved Vampire Academy and Looking for Alaska! I haven’t finished the whole Harry Potter series because I already saw the movies way before I knew they were books (Shame on me! haha).

    Btw, If you like reading mystery books, try Prep School Confidential, it is also set in a boarding school. 😀

  8. Pingback: Book Blogger News - The Bloggerista News Sept 15, 2014·

  9. I love books set in boarding schools as well. They make sometimes wish that went to one.

    You’re going to love the Gemma Doyle trilogy.

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