I live in New England, so autumn is definitely my favorite season. There’s a very large divide between seasons, too, so you definitely know when one is ending and the next is arriving, and this year has been particularly noticeable. There seemed to be no shift between high 80s and sweating to death to low 60s and maybe needing an extra layer. The nights are getting down to the 40s, I’m in socks while I’m in the house, and my cats look fluffier as they try to stay extra warm. Thus, I’m all about those fall vibes, and this week’s That Artsy Reader Girl topic is just going to be a fiery red, orange, and yellow celebration!
I mean, we’re literally starting with flames. Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly has such fall vibes, not just on the outside, but on the inside, too. There’s so much tea-drinking, bundling up into coats, and generally being grumpy with the world. It does take place in a city, so there aren’t a whole lot of actual leaves falling and such, but there’s still a very chilly feel to it, and I just love the dark tones to this cover that hint at later autumn, creeping toward winter.
Diamond & Dawn by Lyra Selene was actually the first book I thought of for this list because I mean, come on, look at it. It’s literally got a balayage of autumn colors, and though the inside is 100% not fall AT ALL (not only does half of it take place in a city perpetually drenched in summer, the other half is dead winter), it definitely leans hard on those fall colors. The amount of times that amber is described is just out of control, and while it does make me laugh a lot, it also makes me crazy something fiery and cozy.
I MEAN DUH. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas takes place around Día de los Muertos, so it’s already perfect for some spooky, autumn vibes, but pair that with a chilly cover that’s got maroon and a full moon and hoodies? Heck to the yes! Gosh, everything about this book is already perfect, and I’m a little mad it came out in September and not October so that it would be prime time for reading it, but this got me immediately in the mood for autumn and spooky season, so it actually turned out to be exactly the perfect time?
The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume One: At the Edge of Empire by Daniel Kraus definitely fits the darker mood of late autumn on the inside, and that outside is all the fiery colors that we need to visualize the changing of the leaves. This book is chaotic, strange, and perfect for spooky season, too, and not just because it’s about a living dead boy. I truly never know how to describe Zebulon? He’s kind of a zombie, but still has all his sense, it’s just that his body is decaying, but he’s alive?? I don’t know, this book is great, it definitely needs an actual laundry list of trigger warnings because it’s awful, but also, it’s one of my favorites.
Though Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender takes place in the summer, and though Felix is literally in a tank top on the cover, this cover just screams fall at me. Even the flower crown feels very late summer, one last celebration before we finally slip into fall, and just, like, gosh, what I wouldn’t give to get three more books in Felix’s life so I can see an entire year of him and all the cute af clothes he probably wears in the winter and spring, UGH. Give it to meeeeeeee.
I’m struggling to remember what kind of season Nocturna by Maya Motayne takes place in, but I want to say it’s maybe not summery? I have no idea, it’s been a while since I read it, but it’s absolutely gorgeous, and there’s elemental magic in it, so no matter what, you’re getting some legit fiery vibes on the outside and inside. This is like the perfect mash-up of autumn colors, too, and, well, now I want to read it again.
I just read A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano recently, and it was absolutely adorable! It also takes place around Día de los Muertos, so it’s perfect for spooky season, and it’s got all the chilly vibes that you could want out of this gorgeous autumn cover. And sim, those a flying pig cookies, but I keep thinking they look like leaves, so, like? Win/win? There’s baking and mischief and so much goodness in this book that you’ll want to read it all in one day, YOU’RE WELCOME.
Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys takes place in the dead middle of summer, and in Spain, so there’s not a whole lot of actual autumn vibes going on anywhere, particularly because the MC is in a dress on the cover, but it’s yellow, and I love the mixture of red, orange, and yellow leaves as I’m driving up to Maine every year, so I had to include it. New England, despite the fact that winter is an absolute clusterfuck, is just gorgeous in the fall, and driving from Mass to Maine is such an adventure of beauty.
And because, you know, I literally just picked books for their covers, Late to the Party by Kelly Quindlen also takes place in the summer, but it’s heading toward a school year, so it feels a bit like we’re approaching fall? Yeah, that’s a stretch, this is definitely a summer book, and I’m going to need Netflix to adapt it now so that we have it for next summer. I love the shade of yellow on this cover, though, because it’s pretty dead on for what our leaves look like when they turn yellow, this kind of mustard, darker yellow that looks so lovely next to the burnt orange and bright red.
By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery is probably technically also a summer book, but it takes place during the MC’s first semester of college, so despite the fact that many of the seasons have a very summery vibe (I mean, it’s literally about bees), it’s still September, damn it, and that’s technically autumn! (At the very end, I know, but hush.) Anyway, this is the perfect last shade of yellow after the vibrancy of Late to the Party and the duller shade of The Fountains of Silence, and I just love the way these three round out into the cooler, softer shade here.