10 Books That Will Turn You Into a Bookish Girlie Just in Time for Fall

written by ALYSSA DAVIS

For people who live in all-season climates, the end of summer brings about feelings of dread because the colder months are already making a reappearance. Chillier temperatures mean more time spent indoors and fewer options for hobbies and activities—but reading is one of the most magical choices, and it comes without seasonal regulations.

Now you may not be a reader yet, but hear me out. I firmly believe you just haven’t yet found a book that changed your life and spoke to your soul, and I promise there are many out there waiting to be discovered by you! In fact, I’m willing to bet any one of these 10 fall-esque books to read will turn you into a bookish girlie as you turn the pages ahead of autumn.

From books with cozy vibes and stories set in fall to spooky tales and Halloween-themed novels that will have you ready to stream Hocus Pocus on October 1, each of these incredible books to read will convert you to a bona fide reader just as the leaves begin to change.

Kate Alice Marshall
What Lies in the Woods

Over two decades ago, Naomi and her best friends Cassidy and Olivia spent their days wandering and romping through the woods until one day, Naomi was stabbed 17 times and their games came to a screeching halt. Though Naomi’s recollection of the attack was foggy at best, together the girls led law enforcement to convict a serial killer who murdered six other young women in the area. The community thought them heroes and survivors, but it turns out they were liars.

Still ravaged by the events that summer, Olivia desperately wants to come clean with what really happened, and Naomi is equally desperate to finally understand that horrible, life-changing day. Naomi heads back to her hometown to untangle the web of events that led to her attack, but what she finds out is much more shocking and serpentine than she ever could have imagined.

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Liz Michalski
Darling Girl: A Novel of Peter Pan

Disney girlies, this one’s for you. Liz Michalski’s Darling Girl is a Peter Pan retelling with a dark twist. Holly Darling, Wendy’s granddaughter, is not anywhere near as enamored by The Boy Who Never Grows Up as the Darling women before her were. She has a booming cosmetics company, a teenage son she desperately loves though he’s pulling away from her, and a daughter she never speaks of who has been in a coma for a decade due to an unexplainable medical phenomenon.

So, when her daughter Eden mysteriously disappears from the safe house she’s lived in for the past 10 years, Holly is forced to confront her family’s fantastical legacy with Peter Pan to prevent tragedy from striking the Darling family once again.

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Kennedy Ryan
The Kingmaker

In the first installment of her All the Kings Men duet, Kennedy Ryan introduces Lennix Moon Hunter, a Yavapai-Apache activist whose mother is one of the many Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and Maxim Cade, an oil pipeline heir who wants nothing to do with his father’s business so long as Warren Cade is unwilling to hear his ideas about clean energy alternatives. Lennix and Maxim’s lives collide when they meet at a pipeline protest against Cade Energy—where Lennix delivers a passionate speech aimed at Maxim’s father—and while their chemistry is immediate and off-the-charts, their age gap fizzles any possibility of a romance before it can begin. Ten years later, the two are brought back together again and must decide if their connection is worth fighting for.

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Rachel Hawkins
The Ex Hex

Nearly a decade ago, Rhys broke Vivienne’s heart. She licked her wounds like any witch would—by casting a petty but perfectly harmless hex on her former boyfriend. Well, Vivi at least thought it would be harmless. Nine years after casting the curse, Rhys returns to Graves Glen only to be met with an unending barrage of unfortunate incidents, and Vivi realizes there was more power to her magic than she realized.

Vivi and Rhys are forced to set aside the hurts of their past—and ignore their ever-crackling connection—to save the town from the effects of their ill-fated end many moons ago. The Ex Hex by Rachel Hawkins is a delightful, witchy rom-com that will have you laughing and swooning with every page.

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Rachel Hawkins
The Kiss Curse

If The Ex Hex sounds like all the grown-up Halloweentown vibes that are right up your totally-not-spooky alley, you won’t want to miss Rachel Hawkins’ follow-up novel, The Kiss Curse. Following Vivienne’s cousin Gwyn and Rhys’ brother Wells, the two start off on the wrong foot when Wells moves back to Graves Glen and opens a shop across the street from the successful store owned by Gwyn. Their relationship as business competitors quickly heats up when all that angst leads to a magical kiss—one they both want to ignore despite the spectacular sparks that flew.

Soon the two have the distraction they’re both looking for, but it isn’t a welcome one—or one that keeps them apart. After a new witch coven settles in their town, Gwyn’s powers start to fade. Desperate for answers and a way to bring her magic back, she and Wells team up to save Gwyn—and the entire town of Graves Glen.

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Lauren Owen
Small Angels

Chloe has been on a mission to book the perfect venue for her wedding to Sam, and she’s found it in Small Angels—a quaint church at the edge of Mockbeggar Woods that the locals in Sam’s hometown avoid at all costs, though Chloe can’t figure out why. Sam and his family deflect her questioning, even though his sister Kate grew up playing in the mysterious woods.

As a teenager, Kate was the one person able—and willing—to get close to the Gonne family. After forging a friendship with the four sisters, bonding most closely with wild child Lucia, the Gonne girls introduce Kate to Mockbeggar Woods and all of its secrets. But after an unspeakable tragedy strikes, Kate’s friendship with the Gonnes—and her deeper connection with Lucia—comes to a swift end. That is until Kate returns to Small Angels and the woods begin to stir again.

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Christina Lauren
The True Love Experiment

Celebrated romance author Fizzy Chen has hit a roadblock. Though she writes about life-altering, all-encompassing love in her bestselling novels, she’s never once felt that sort of romantic chemistry in her 37 years—and the epiphany is keeping her from being able to pen her next book.

Connor Prince has just been handed the worst assignment he could ever think of from his money-driven boss—he must produce a reality dating show, and if he can’t, he’ll be out of a job. When he and Fizzy wind up in the same place, inspiration strikes. What if he could convince one of the foremost romance authors to find her one true love while the world watches? Just as the show finally gets underway, a major problem emerges: Connor and Fizzy’s friendship turns into something they can’t pursue despite how right it feels.

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Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Mexican Gothic

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic is a horror novel set in 1950s Mexico. Glamorous socialite Noemí Taboada travels to the mysterious High House after receiving a troubling letter from her cousin Catalina begging Noemí to rescue her from imminent peril at the hands of her new husband. Upon arrival, she finds Catalina’s spouse, who is as charming as he is suspicious, as well as other strange members of his family, all of whom keep Noemí from Catalina with claims that she’s suffering from consumption.

As Noemí spends more time in the odd house with its even shiftier inhabitants, she uncovers disturbing secrets about the family’s legacy—and how the hidden history of High House has taken Catalina captive, and may be staking claim to Noemí as well.

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Carissa Broadbent
The Serpent and the Wings of Night

Hunger Games and Twilight girlies rejoice: The Serpent and the Wings of Night is a dark fantasy about vampires and a deadly competition. Oraya, a human found as a child and taken in by the vampire king of the House of Night, has learned to live in a world surrounded by brutal vampires. To prove herself to her undead father, she desperately wants to enter and win the Kejari, a tournament held by the goddess of death once every century. To become the victor of the competition and have her wish granted, Oraya must defeat her vicious rivals from the three vampire houses—and she can’t succeed, or survive, alone.

Raihn is a ruthless vampire killer from a rival house, but he becomes Oraya’s unlikely ally in the Kejari. As the competition unfolds, Raihn becomes Oraya’s source of solace—and her biggest downfall.

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Abby Jimenez
Yours Truly

If you simply need a book to make you feel cozy on the inside, Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez will do the trick. Dr. Briana Otriz is going through it—her divorce from her cheating husband is being finalized, her brother’s kidneys are failing, her best friend just moved away to live her happily ever after, and now she has to deal with Dr. Jacob Maddox, the insufferable new doctor who’s become her only competition for the chief position she wants.

Except, Bri finds out Jacob actually isn’t all that bad. In fact, Jacob decides to donate one of his kidneys to Bri’s brother upon secretly finding out he’s a match. So when Jacob needs a fake girlfriend to get his family off his back, Bri enthusiastically steps into the role. There’s just one little problem: the closer they get, Bri and Jacob both have a hard time discerning what’s real and what’s fake in their relationship built on a charade.

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