Feature: Our Favorite Halloween YA Reads
What do aliens, ghosts, zombies and an iconic creepy clown have in common? They all feature prominently in this years list of our favorite Halloween reads. So check out the picks we scared up for you this year and maybe read one today, preferably with the lights on….
Some of these are not new, but then again when you read a scary book it will stay with you forever! I don’t read a lot of spooky books but what better way to spend Halloween then with some creepsters and spooks!
1) Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake
I read this book back in October of 2011 – before we even had a blog! – and I still to this day recommend this spooky YA ghost story around this time to everyone that will listen! It was so unique and fun.
Category: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal
Publication: August 30th, 2011; Tor Teen
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
Yet she spares Cas’s life.
2) A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
This book is more mystery than spooky, but it also solidifies what really is the difference between the sane & insane. Also, the scariest part was reading and acknowledging just how awful woman were treated in the early part of the century.
Category: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publication: October 6th, 2015; Katherine Tegen Books
Grace Mae knows madness.
She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.
When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.
In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.
3) The Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant
This is one of my favorite YA zombie series, ever, hands down! With intriguing story lines where curing cancer ultimately leads to a zombie outbreak, and outstanding characters as well as themes of blogging and the new world order, it is absolutely a must read!
Category: Young Adult, Horror, Sci-Fi,
Publication: May 1st, 2010 (Feed pub date)
“Alive or dead, the truth won’t rest. My name is Georgia Mason, and I am begging you. Rise up while you can.”
The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.
NOW, twenty years after the Rising, Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives-the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them.
The Newsflesh trilogy boxed set includes Feed, Deadline, and Blackout.
4) The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin
This series is crazy. Like after I read each book, my feelings were like wow that was awesome but what did I just read?! It is brilliantly written and I am still scratching my head. So unique, twisted and addicting!
Category: Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal
Publication: September 27th, 2011; Simon & Schuster
Experience the spine-tingling, bone-chilling, New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer trilogy, now available in one collectible boxed set.
Mara cannot remember anything about the night her friends did. All she knows is what she’s been told: they went to an abandoned asylum, the building collapsed, and only Mara survived.
Two months later, Mara is eager to move forward with her life in a new town, but that’s easier said than done. A boy at school named Noah Shaw seems to know more about Mara’s tragic past than she does. And to make matters worse, Mara is beginning to see people and things that can’t possibly be there. Or can they?
When Mara goes searching for answers, she discovers a secret about herself that is most unbecoming. A secret that promises a future full of destruction, pain, love, evolution, and ultimately, retribution.
This paperback boxed set includes The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, and The Retribution of Mara Dyer.
5) Relentless Trilogy by Karen Lynch
So I just started this series like, no lie, last week and I have become instantly obsessed! I am kicking myself for waiting on these when I have heard nothing but awesomeness, however reading them after the 3rd & final book was released kind of worked to my favor! No waiting on cliffhangers. Now if only I can overcome this bookhangover to read something else. It makes the Halloween Reads list because it literally has every paranormal creature represented so it is the perfect book to read about supes while swooning heavily between action-packed pages! Oh & P.S. Relentless, Book 1, the ebook is FREE! Like really!
Category: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Publication: December 26th, 2013
Sara Grey’s world shattered ten years ago when her father was brutally murdered. Now at seventeen, she is still haunted by memories of that day and driven by the need to understand why it happened. She lives a life full of secrets and her family and friends have no idea of the supernatural world she is immersed in or of Sara’s own very powerful gift.
In her quest for answers about her father’s death, Sara takes risks that expose her and her friends to danger and puts herself into the sights of a sadistic vampire. On the same fateful night she meets Nikolas, a warrior who turns Sara’s world upside down and is determined to protect her even if it’s the last thing she wants.
Sara’s life starts to spin out of control as she is hunted by an obsessed vampire, learns that her friends have secrets of their own and reels from the truth about her own ancestry. Sara has always been fiercely independent but in order to survive now she must open herself to others, to reveal her deepest secrets. And she must learn to trust the one person capable of breaking down the walls around her.
Like Kelly, I tend to stay away from spooky books (big fat scaredy cat over here) but my top 5 Halloween Reads are ones that cross genres and includes one of the scariest (non-YA) books I’ve ever read as well as a duplicate pick for Anna Dressed in Blood, a book so good it couldn’t not be on my list too.
1) Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake
2) AngelFall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee
Category: Young Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Fantasy
Publication: May 21st, 2011
It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.
Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.
Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.
Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.
3) The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancey
Category: Young Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Sci-Fi
Publication: May 7th, 2013; Penguin Books
The Passage meets The Hunger Games in a gripping new series from Carnegie-shortlisted Rick Yancey. After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave. On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, until Cassie meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope for rescuing her brother and even saving herself. Now she must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. Cassie Sullivan gets up.
4) Hollowland (Hollows #1) by Amanda Hocking
Category: Young Adult, Horror, Dystopian
Publication: October 5th, 2010
Hollowland – the first book in the young adult dystopian series The Hollows…
“This is the way the world ends – not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.”
Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way – not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.
5) Phantoms by Dean Koontz
Category: Adult, Horror, Suspense
Publication: October 15th, 1983; Berkley
They found the town silent, apparently abandoned. Then they found the first body strangely swollen and still warm. One hundred fifty were dead, 350 missing. But the terror had only begun in the tiny mountain town of Snowfield, California.
At first they thought it was the work of a maniac. Or terrorists. Or toxic contamination. Or a bizarre new disease.
But then they found the truth. And they saw it in the flesh. And it was worse than anything any of them had ever imagined…
1) Casquette Girls by Alys Arden
It’s an incredible book, richly detailed, layered with humor, and creepy as hell. It’s rare that a book scares me, but this one definitely did!
Category: Young Adult, Gothic, Paranormal
Publication: October 31st, 2013; re-releasing on Nov. 17th, 2015
Seven girls tied by time.
Five powers that bind.
One curse to lock the horror away.
One attic to keep the monsters at bay.
After the storm of the century rips apart New Orleans, sixteen-year-old Adele Le Moyne wants nothing more than her now silent city to return to normal. But with home resembling a war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normalneeds a new definition.
As the city murder rate soars, Adele finds herself tangled in a web of magic that weaves back to her own ancestors. Caught in a hurricane of myths and monsters, who can she trust when everyone has a secret and keeping them can mean life or death? Unless . . . you’re immortal.
1) American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
Hands down scariest book I’ve ever read. Not only because of the fact that the main character is a sociopath, who may or may not have a personality disorder…but because these types of people actually exist! This psycho thriller will have you double checking the locks on your house doors and windows, and not grocery shopping alone at night.
Category: Adult, Horror, Thriller
Publication: first published in 1991
Patrick Bateman is handsome, well educated, intelligent. He works by day on Wall Street earning a fortune to complement the one he was born with. His nights he spends in ways we cannot begin to fathom. He is twenty-six years old and living his own American Dream.
2) It by Stephen King
This book was one of those books that was so creepy it left you feeling like you needed a shower. The obvious King of written horror (see what I did there? 🙂 ) has not failed us in this book. It was a little daunting to read with all of the flashbacks, but it was a book I gave away after I read it…because it freaked me out so much I felt like the cover was following me. And thanks to this book and subsequent movie, I always check my shower before getting in, and I absolutely HATE clowns.
Category: Adult, Horror
Publication: first published January 1st, 1986
The story follows the exploits of seven children as they are terrorized by an eponymous being, which exploits the fears and phobias of its victims in order to disguise itself while hunting its prey. “It” primarily appears in the form of a clown in order to attract its preferred prey of young children. The novel is told through narratives alternating between two time periods, and is largely told in the third-person omniscient mode. It deals with themes which would eventually become King staples: the power of memory, childhood trauma, and the ugliness lurking behind a façade of traditional small-town values.