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Books as dark as the bags under my eyes // Recommendations

Howdy 🤠 I’m tired and it’s entirely my own fault but I still want to complain about it.

The other night I stayed up till 5am to watch the wrestling. Last night I finished work at 1am, stayed for an extra drink with everyone till 1:30am and then went out to eat ice-cream on a bench with my friend and his dog until 3am (and then was texting till 4am). This paired with the 40*C weather going on right now has turned me into a walking, barely talking zombie with bags under my eyes that make me look like Stiles Stilinski from Season 3 of Teen Wolf.

me rn (but replace the demons with my dogs)

I have taken inspiration from the bags under my eyes though so today I’m going to be talking about some books that are a bit more gruesome, gory, broody and “dark” then your average read 😊.


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I’m starting off with probably the darkest, most gruesome book I’ve ever read, to the point where I read entire scenes through my fingers.

Ninth House follows a girl called Alex Stern who is the sole survivor of a horrific multiple homicide. After years of being involved with bad boyfriends, drug-dealers and worst, she’s recruited to attend Yale University in exchange for keeping an eye on the schools secrete societies and their occult activities.

As if this doesn’t already sound dark and intriguing, if I remember correctly (which I might not because it’s been a while since I read this) there’s also a series of murders around campus that Alex must work to solve.

I personally really enjoyed this one. It was completely unlike anything I’d read before and mixed dark academia with more paranormal elements. I will say though that this book is an acquired taste as it does go into detail on a lot of possibly triggering things.

TW:  child sexual assault, gore, drug abuse, use of date rape drugs, violence, murder


All For the Game by Nova Sakovic

I am a huge fan of this series, so much so that I’ve made a point to re-read the series every year since I first came across it and even when I’m not reading the actual books, I’m seeing some sort of AFTG related content on Tumblr.

I forget though, just how brutal these books are.

You go into the series thinking you’re reading a book about a rag-tag group of college students who play a made-up sport called exy only to then realise this book features the mafia, assassins, and characters who all have heatbreaking backstories.

TW: violence, murder, mentions of drug use, sexual assault, mentions of suicide, torture.


These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

These Violent Delights is my most recent read from this list and, along with the dark circles living full time under my eyes, this was also part of the inspiration for today’s post.

I didn’t read too much of the synopsis going into this but I thought I knew the basics: a Romeo & Juliet inspired re-telling where the two waring families are actually two mafia families with a blood feud. Right of the bat from that brief description I knew this book wouldn’t be sunshine’s and unicorns but I wasn’t expecting the gore that I got.

Another element of this book is the madness that’s sweeping the city, causing people to literally claw out their own throats. When reaction to this first happening was essentially: WTF!! (but in a”that’s so gross and this book is so good!” kind of way).

TW: descriptions of violence and blood, murder.


Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer

Possibly the most dark and horrific thing about this series is that I haven’t even read the second book yet, despite this being one of my favourites from the year I read it.

Another horrific thing about this book is that it follows a teenage girl whose mother kills supernatural creatures and she dissects them so they can sell their body parts on the black market, only for the girl to find out that she is also a supernatural creature when her own mother sells her to a black market island where she is imprisoned and her body parts auctioned to the highest bidder.

TW: descriptions of blood, murder.

So there we have a couple of books for people who are in the mood for something a little more gross, gory and mature. More HBO then the CW I suppose you could say.

Tonight is my last late night shift for the week so hopefully over the next couple of days I can go to bed early and get rid of the raccoon style I’ve got going on right now. 🦝🦝 I say this knowing full well that’s not going to happen but it’s the thought that counts I guess.

I’d love to know your thoughts and feelings on any of these books, as well as if you have any more recommendations of similar books!

Elli xx

6 thoughts on “Books as dark as the bags under my eyes // Recommendations”

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