Dark/Gothic Book Recommendations

Book recommendations with those weird, dark, gothic vibes.

I’ve been trying to avoid putting this books on other recommendation lists this season, so I can recommend them all together.

Because they’re weird.

And dark.

And gothic.

A lot of these books have a similar(ish) vibe. So if you enjoyed a book on this list, definitely check out some of the others!

1. Bunny by Mona Awad

I read this book a few months back I literally still think about it all the time. This follows a woman in a MFA program at Warren University as she becomes involved with a group of women who call themselves The Bunnies. It’s a dark, twisted, unexplained fever dream of a book. If you’re looking for something really out there but not outright horror for the season, definitely check this out!

2. Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

If you liked Bunny, read this! This is another really strange, hazy read. This one also takes places at a prestigious college and follows a young woman throughout her 3 years on campus. It has odd characters, seance-like dinners, and loads of unexplained, creepy scenes!

3. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

This is one of the darkest books I’ve ever read so make sure you proceed with caution on this one and check out this extensive content warning list from Mel.

This is another dark academia book following a woman at Yale who is tasked with monitoring the magic of the 8 secret societies.

4. House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

This is gothic fantasy retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses. It takes place at an eerie seaside castle and follows one of 12 sisters. After 4 of her sisters have died, the main character believes her family is cursed – especially once she starts seeing ghosts in the castle.

5. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

The vibe of this adult thriller is captured so perfectly by this cover! It follows a woman who a professional liar and desperate for money when she receives a letter about an inheritance. But the woman she’s set to receive money from isn’t actually her grandmother. But she goes to the terrifying, gothic mansion to try and receive the money anyways.

6. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdeih

This is a gothic paranormal YA set in 1800’s New Orleans. You follow a young woman who is moving from Pairs, France to convent in New Orleans. Once there, she is pulled in the dark, paranormal underbelly of the city.

7. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This is another book that is not for the faint of heart… I had heard that this book gets dark and disturbing but nothing prepared me for what was in store. If you’re in any way squeamish – don’t touch this with a 10 foot pole.

This is an adult horror that follows a young woman who travels to a remote town to check on her cousin who sent a series of unsettling letters. There she discovers the terrifying, gothic manor of her cousin’s family. Both the family and home are said to be cursed. And the main character quickly discovers why.

8. The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden

This is actually another paranormal YA set in New Orleans! If you liked The Beautiful, definitely check this series out. It’s set in modern day after a horrific hurricane decimates the city. A young girl returns home with her father only accidentally unlock dark creatures from a boarded up convent. She slowly discovers magical abilities, her families dark past, and the cities paranormal secrets.

9. The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz

This is a slow burn, gothic romance that completely shook me. It’s only about 150 pages long so I won’t go into much detail because this book is best read without much insight.

This follows a woman who is down on her luck and on the hunt for a new teaching job when she hears about a prestigious boarding school in the Appalachians looking for a new lit teacher. There she meets the handsome, brooding headmaster, a group of boys desperate to learn, and a gothic boarding school straight out of a story book. But can anything this perfect last forever?


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