10 fictional schools we’d rather be returning to this September

Beat the back-to-school blues by pretending you're returning to some place far more far-flung or magical


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It’s almost that time to of year again. The seemingly endless summer nights are drawing to a close, and the school uniform is returning from its temporary retirement. Asides from purchasing all the cute new stationery the shops are peddling in abundance, there aren’t many positives to this time of the year!

To help escape from this bleak back-to-school reality, we have a list of some of our favourite fictional schools we’d rather be returning to instead. So forget your local comprehensive and spend your next semester training as an assassin, sipping butterbeer with red-headed wizards, and achieving your Shadowhunter status.

1. The Not-So-Fictional Uni in ‘Freshers’

Nothing fictional about the university life recorded in ‘Freshers’, but that makes it none the less fun! If you fancy reminiscing about something decidedly less magical or prepping for an up-and-coming educational overhaul, this book will do you well. Full of drunken mishaps, hilariously awkward anecdotes about making friends, and a fair amount of quidditch, this is a refreshing insight into the heady life of a university student.

Available in the UK and the US

2. The Great Library in ‘Ink and Bone’

In a world where books are heavily guarded commodities, the only way to access the knowledge they contain is to be chosen as one of the elite few who get tutoring and training inside The Great Library’s walls. You’ll forever appreciate your local library, tomes, and textbooks after reading this series!

Available in the UK and the US

3. The University in ‘The Name of the Wind’

This slightly intimidating fantasy series begins by chronicling the childhood and teen adventures of Kvothe. Daring feats saw him installed at the prestigious school of magic, imaginatively entitled, The University. Here studies were less computer coding and cookery classes and more artificery, alchemy, and allurement. Can we switch majors, please?

Available in the UK and the US

4. The Red Church in ‘Nevernight’

"You've got the look of a girl who's no stranger to the page. I can tell. You've got words in your soul." ~ Jay Kristoff. ******************************** Constant position: I perch like this everywhere, desk chair, floor, bus, cafe… always with a book. And Nevernight is definitely one of my favorite books read last year, so now I'm just perching around, DYING to get my shaking hands on Godsgrave (all you cool kids with the ARCs I envy you so hard on this one)! . . . Q: Have any fun Friday plans? . . . . . . . . . ********************************* #nevernight #jaykristoff #godsgrave #friyay #bibliophile #booklover #librarian #redhead #library #bookworm #book #yalovin #nerd #reader #read #instareads #igreads #bookstagrammer #bookstagram

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Mia Corvere is prey to many in a city carved from death. That is until she receives the position as an apprentice assassin for the Red Church. Less textbook learning and more practise in the wielding of blades and the introduction to the sorcery of blood spills.

Available in the UK and the US

5. Hogwarts in ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’

Probably the most infamous of fictional schools there is and already a home to many of us – Hogwarts. My acceptance letter may be fifteen years late but I’m there is always this September, right?

Available in the UK and the US

6. Dellecher Classical Conservatory in ‘If We Were Villains’

☾ "Enter the players. There were seven of us then, seven bright young things with wide precious futures ahead of us. Until that year, we saw no further than the books in front of our faces." — 'If We Were Villains' by M. L. Rio ☾ Next up on my TBR list (a book I'm super excited to read) is 'We We're Villains' by M. L. Rio, mainly because it reminds me so much of 'The Secret History', which is a major fav of mine. Summary below: . 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 Colbourne 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, ingénue, 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. ☾ • • • • • ☾ #book #books #bookstagram #quotes #read #reading #reader #tbr #write #writing #writer #writersofinstagram #poetsofinstagram #poet #poetry #poem #poems #shakespeare #ifwewerevillains #leaves #nature

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A penchant for Shakespeare and a fair, few diva moments in my past makes me sure I would fit in well with the cast of trainee actors of Dellecher Classical Conservatory. Set during the 90’s, this book followings the final, fourth year of seven students and the murder and mayhem that isn’t just confined to the stage… Delectably haunting!

Available in the UK and the US

7. Oxford in ‘Northern Lights’

My August #tbr comprises of only Philip Pullman reads, at the moment. I have wanted to reread this trilogy for many years but was hesitant to ruin the awe my younger self held for them, during my first reading. But with The Book of Dust soon to be released, now seems a good time to reacquiant myself with this world. I also recently purchased these beautiful cloth-bound short stories, whilst book shopping with @bookishsteph1 and @alavisher.author, which are in wonderful condition considering they were second-hand. . . #fanaticalbirdaugust #watermelanerdsaugust #bibliophile #bookstagram #igbooks #igreads #instabook #instareads #bookdragon #booknerd #booknerdigan #bookworm #bookgeek #bookgram #booklove #booklover #booklion #booklife #bookish #amreading #bookpic #bookporn #bookphoto #booksbooksbooks #philippullman #thebookofdust #thenorthernlights #theamberspyglass #thesubtleknife

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Before Lyra finds herself traversing the world searching for her missing friends and the elusive ‘dust’, her childhood is spent roaming the rooftops of the university and re-enacting battle scenes in the streets of Oxford. Lyra’s Oxford differs from our own and her upbringing, inside the university walls, means she is privy to all sorts of information she shouldn’t be. Learning of ‘dust’ from scholars sounds far more entertaining than maths with Mr. Jones! With the imminent release of ‘La Belle Sauvage’, the first book in The Book of Dust series set in the same world, what better time to revisit this childhood favourite?

Available in the UK and the US

8. One of the Three War Schools in ‘First Year’

Each book in Rachel Carter’s series chronicles one year of prestigious training at one of the realm’s three war schools where chosen individuals get to study as a soldier, knight, or mage. As the years creep by, so, too, does the forces of evil grow. Possibly the closest thing to Harry Potter there is.

Available in the UK and the US

9. The Shadowhunter’s Academy in ‘City of Bones’


With a multitude of spin-off series, there is enough Cassandra Clare to keep you occupied throughout all your school years. We’d rather be spending them in shadowhunter training and riding the world of demons than memorising Pythagoras’ theorem, anyway. And the shadowhunter’s academy is one of the most bad-ass fictional schools there is!

Available in the UK and the US

10. ‘The School for Good and Evil’


All the lost children either go to the school for good or the school for evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. We’re honestly not too picky which we end up in as either is sure to be a step-up from the local community college.

Available in the UK and the US


With enough magical wanderlust to accompany at least your next semester, what other fictional facilities would you wish yourself into, given the choice? Let us know your favourite fictional schools in the comment section, down below.

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