Catching the Hogwarts Express: Harpie’s list of boarding school books


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Back To School Freebie. Sooooo, after much consideration I decided to go with boarding school books. Either read, reading or to be read by yours truly.

Vampire Academy and Bloodline by Richelle Mead – No surprise there. This one has to be my favorite Young Adult series where MCs were already at high school. Rose’s sass and kick-ass skills are forever branded on my heart. Good thing too since lately, Richelle is letting me a bit down.I guess after the 20+ books written mark all with great quality, an author can experiment new things and fail… it doesn’t take away the sting and sadness though.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – Yeah, yeah, expected. I don’t care. I love this series. It was this one that introduced me to the amazing world of urban fantasy… and it was a hell of a first trip. Rowling’s world captivated both children and adults (and anything in between) and nothing was the same again. It was also the book that made reading and searching English written books popular in Portugal. We can even say books have a Before  and After Harry Potter, because things changed, A LOT, and in a very good way.

Day 1

And then, the search for the next boarding school favorites begun. Of course, nothing compares to VA or HP in the slightest, but one can always hope, and keep searching.

House of Night by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast – Humans that are marked and become vampire fledglings, elemental magic & affinities, prophecies, saving the world.. oh and cats. The promises were plenty. The execution not so much. Some things annoyed me till no end: teen speech and angst, so many love interests that I started having a very hard time picturing the geometric figure – I have a math degree, so this bothered me a LOT – and the fact that Zoe was so powerful and whatnot grated a little. Then there was book #6, and the ending and the road the series was taken and I just gave up. There are plenty of people that love the books, me? I’m spoiled by greatness, and for me, those are not even close.

The Dark Elite by Chloe Neill – After trying the Chicagoland Vampires series, and grumbling over the shinning beacon of vampire powers that is Merit, so, instead of trying to fall in love with that series, I tried her YA series instead. Yes, it could be more solid and wordbuilding or plot wise is not worthy of a Pulitzer. But in all honestly, if it were, I wouldn’t be reading it, since I tend to prefer less brain food and more brain candy. And truth is, the book does its part. It has secret passages and secrets and powers to be discovered. Also students sneaking out to fight evil. It also has food, and dances and mean girls, the usual. Curious enough, is a light series, and since is not that dark, the publisher didn’t continued it. I guess no pain & suffering & angst = no sales.

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins – Sophie has magic powers. She really tries to use them for good, but the consequences are a bit over the top. So, her magical father decides no more human world for her, time to be shipped for a reform school… with witches and werewolves and fairies – true fairies, not fae, with wings and whatnots. And also ghosts and murders and mysterious happenings that nobody can see or explain, except for her. It’s fluffy and a quick read and with enough twists to keep us reading. Is it VA material? No. But it’s a fun read and I will eventually finish the trilogy.

Mythos Academy by Jennifer Estep – I really enjoy Jennifer Estep’s writing style. And this one has myths! And Spartans! And Valkyries, and Loki *dreamy eyes* well… maybe not Loki, Loki… but Loki’s myths and followers, and murder and mayhem, and blood, and gypsy gifts.

Covenant by Jennifer L. Armentrout – Considered by many as a VA rip-off, the covenant series is shunned and underrated. I only read book one and let me tell you, I can see why people could think is VA based, but I disagree. For starters, the mythology is different. And it has a prophecy involved. And some cool powers. And lots of power plays, and politics. If you ask me, then it has Percy Jackson elements, and VA elements and Harry Potter elements, and I’m pretty sure I can think of a few more. It’s YA and UF and elitists. You know how hard is to make something completely new and original? Pretty much impossible.

The Alexa Montgomery Saga by H.D. Gordon – Contrarily to the previous one, with this book, I struggled. It reminded me so freaking much of the VA series and issues that I couldn’t let go and enjoyed. Which is ridiculous because some elements were new, and I stayed till 3 AM reading it. BUT, I couldn’t help it. The action, although different, it was too similar to some VA events for me to let it go. Maybe second book improves. No idea. I’m stalling. Maybe if enough time passes since I last read Rose’s journey, I can focus on Alexa and give her the attention she deserves.

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani – So, this one is part of my want-it-to-wait-for-a-reading-spot list for so long that is starting to get old. First, the book is beautiful – I only had the Portuguese version on my hands – hence the reason why I don’t have it yet – and I’m totally in love with the hardcover. Second, it has evil lessons. Third, it has good vs evil. And fourth, it has a shallow girl that is convinced she’ll be learning to be a good girl but she’s in truth evil. Like most cheerleader cliches around there. So yeah, I want to read it. Why am I stalling? Because I have so many hopes for this one and I’m terrified that is just an assortment of cliches one after the other. Maybe after I brave the last book buy spree I try a sample.

The Harpie Wants To Know

Do you have any boarding book favorites that I missed?
Tell me your TTT!


8 thoughts on “Catching the Hogwarts Express: Harpie’s list of boarding school books

  1. We share a similar theme and a couple of the same suggestions. I totally forgot about Hex Hall and now I think about it I could also have had the Ally Carter Spy School books.
    Lynn 😀


  2. A few on our lists are the same – VA, Covenant and HP – SO freaking good, all of them. I also loved Mythos Academy and The Dark Elite (big Merit fan here). But, let me save you the trouble with Hex Hall. The first two are great. But, the finale left something to be desired. 😦

    Great list!

    TTT @ Krista’s Dust Jacket


  3. What fictional school list would be complete without Hogwarts, right??!😂 IT’S JUST THE #1 FICTIONAL SCHOOL OF THE WORLD!! And I sooo want to read the School for Good and Evil series! Sometimes…soon…I hope. Eep. My TBR is ridiculous atm but I’m working on it. *nods* And oh oh I love Camp Half Blood! I mean, is that a school?! Kind of?! But it’s awesome whatever it is.


  4. Oh wow I’ve read one of these and it’s Harry Potter :’) I love boarding school books, though. But usually I end up reading the contemporary YA ones – like Anna and the French Kiss, Looking for Alaska, that kind of thing. Both of which are excellent 🙂


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