Back to Schools: Books set in a School ~ Sunday Stack #18

Happy Sunday Lovelies! As we approach September, it seemed only appropriate for this week’s stack to be all about school. For today’s post I have picked four books set in schools, all with some sort of fantastical element. I will condess that I have only read one of these books in this stack, and even had to do a little money spending to complete the stack, but I have to say I’m very excited to read them all.

Zombies Don’t Cry by Rusty Fischer

Maddy Swift is just a normal girl—a high school junior surviving class with her best friend and hoping the yummy new kid, Stamp, will ask her out. When he finally does, her whole life changes.

Sneaking out to meet Stamp at a party one rainy night, Maddy is struck by lightning. After awakening, she feels lucky to be alive. Over time, however, Maddy realizes that she’s become the thing she and everyone else fear most: the living dead.

With no heartbeat and no breath in her lungs, Maddy must learn how to survive as a zombie. Turns out there’s a lot more to it than shuffling around 24/7 growling, “Brains.” Needing an afterlife makeover is only the beginning of her problems. As Barracuda Bay High faces zombie Armageddon, Maddy must summon all of her strength to protect what matters most—just as soon as she figures out exactly what that is.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Trigger Warnings: Abuse; Bullying; Character death; Murder; Paranormal creatures; Racism; Violence

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

Now this is one that I haven’t read but am desperate to. I have heard nothing but good things about this and, with the series coming into full swing, I want to dive straight in.

Trigger Warnings: Ableism; Abuse (emotional and physical); Addiction; Assault; Character death; Drugs; Fatphobia (unchallenged); Genocide; Gore; Human experimentation; Massacres; Murder; Racism; Rape; Self-harm; Torture; Violence (including against children); War.

When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio

Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail – for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago.

As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingenue, extra. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless

And there we have it. I’m desperate to get started reading these, and am already planning on putting quite a few on my September TBR. What school set read is your favourite?

4 thoughts on “Back to Schools: Books set in a School ~ Sunday Stack #18

  1. I’m really excited for A Deadly Education to come out next month! That will be set in a school. I really like The Magician’s Guild by Trudi Canavan. You’ve picked some good ones. Love The Poppy War and If We Were Villains.


  2. Zombies Don’t Cry sounds hilarious, to be honest! I don’t think I’ve read a single zombie book in my life (because I usually think “ew”) but this one sounds really fun and unique – and less terrifying haha. I have been wanting to read If We Were Villains since I’ve heard so many positive remarks on bookstagram. I’ll have to give it a go!


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