It’s that time of year again. There’s a chill in the air, foggy mornings abound, the trees are brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow, and there’s an eeriness in the air that is only found during October. Halloween may not be until the end of the month, but October has always had a haunting feel. It’s the prime time to pull on your favorite oversized sweater, grab those cozy wool socks, your favorite pumpkin-shaped mug filled with hot chocolate, and a spooky thriller to read by the warmth of the fire while the rain softly patters against the window. Unless of course you live in Texas, and you’re just praying for the temperature to drop below 90 degrees because dammit, it’s October and the shorts and flip flops are getting old.
There are hundreds of scary movies, and spooky TV shows that are played on repeat during the month of October. If you ask me, though, there is nothing creepier than reading a dark thriller at night with only the light of the fire warming you. I’ve spent several sleepless nights thanks to books. Most people assume they need to visit the thriller and suspense section of the bookstore to accomplish this, however the Young Adult genre has plenty to offer if you’re not quite ready for Stephen King (It left me scarred for life y’all). Here are my top picks for spooky YA books.
“Brit Pheiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants; but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage. Britt is forced to guide the men off the mountain, and knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target. But nothing is as it seems, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?”
Becca Fitpatrick is best known for her Hush Hush Saga about fallen angels and nephilim, but recently she has begun exploring the YA mystery genre, and we should thank our lucky stars (and black cats) that she has. Black Ice kept me up late in the night, eagerly flipping through pages (you can read my review here). One thing is for sure, I will never consider remote backpacking a good idea after reading this book. Not that I was planning on doing this today. If you do end up giving Black Ice a read (I highly suggest doing that) and end up loving it, get excited because Becca Fitpatrick is releasing her second YA mystery book, Dangerous Lies, on November 10.
“When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.”
I received an ARC of Made For You last fall, and it got put on the backburner for awhile since I was overwhelmed with schoolwork at the time (college is hard y’all). When I did get around to reading it, I wanted to smack myself for not reading it soon (see my review here). I had never heard of Melissa Marr before, and her writing completely hooked me and blew me away. I got chills more than once while reading this book. It’s a murder mystery with a paranormal twist, and it is absolutely brilliant.
“Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
The Mara Dyer trilogy remains my all time favorite trilogy. I saw someone had re-blogged a photo of the breathtakingly gorgeous cover on Tumblr, and was immediately intrigued after reading the description. Y’all, I had chills covering my body after just the prologue. This book is incredible. I stayed up reading it until midnight…and then immediately bought the second book on the Kindle store and stayed up until 2 am devouring that one. The bad news is that I then had to wait two incredibly painful years for the final book, but the good news for you is that it was released last November! This is mainly a psychological thriller; both the reader and Mara have a hard time and deciphering what’s real and what she’s hallucinating. Be warned though, if you read the first book, you’ll need to have the other two books on hand, because the cliffhangers at the end of each book are killer.
“For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.”
Blue comes from a long line of clairvoyant seers, yet for some reason her powers are not as strong. She does know one thing for sure though—she will be the reason her true love dies. This book is creepy from the get go. It starts in a chilly church graveyard, waiting with her mother for the spirits of the dead to arrive. Believe it or not, it goes on to get even spookier. There are currently three published books in the series, with a fourth set to be released in February of 2016.
“One year ago, Callie was found in an abandoned apartment, scrawling words on the wall: “I KILLED HIM. His blood is on my hands. His heart is in my soul. I KILLED HIM.” But she remembers nothing of that night or of the previous thirty-six hours. All she knows is that her father, the reverend at the Church of the Holy Promise, is missing, as is Hannah, a young girl from the parish. Their disappearances have to be connected and Callie knows that her father was not a righteous man.”
The first time I read Oblivion, I was sitting on a sunny beach, listening to the waves crash against the shore and a symphony seagulls circling over head. That was a stark contrast to the dense, foggy marsh where Callie was desperately fighting for her life. The warmth of the Texas sun slowly vanished, and the waves on the beach sounded much more ominous. That is the power of this book—the writing is so striking it draws you into Callie’s twisted world.
“Anna’s house is haunted. It doesn’t take long before ghostly inhabitant and original resident of the house, 19-year-old Wyatt — dead 100 years — makes himself known to Anna, who is fascinated by him. She can do much more than see and hear him; she’s able to take him away from the house for short jaunts into town. And then she falls in love with him. Who wouldn’t? He’s gorgeous! And charming. Who cares if he’s dead? Anna and Wyatt knew their romance might not survive the differences between life and death, but they couldn’t get enough of each other. Anna’s relationship with Wyatt results in danger, however, when an evil spirit from Wyatt’s realm threatens them. Wyatt, worried about Anna’s safety, makes a difficult choice and disappears.”
I received Between as one of my first ARCs, so I was pretty psyched about it. As far as indie/self-published books go, it was pretty good. There were some flaws in the plot line, and it’s not the best debut novel ever (probably why it never really ever garnered major attention), however there aren’t many YA ghost stories out there, so this book fills a pretty large gap. I only gave it a 3 star rating, but I would still definitely recommend it for the Halloween season.
“Seven girls tied by time.
Five powers that bind.
One curse to lock the horror away.
One attic to keep the monsters at bay.”
I received this book as an ARC on NetGalley, and I was completely unprepared for how amazing the plotline and characters would be! It absolutely blew me away. And I read it just in time for Halloween! There are vampires, haunting tales, and curses, oh my! Seriously though, check this book out. Note though, it doesn’t go on sale until November 17, but that doesn’t mean you can’t buy it and keep the feeling of Halloween alive in November (it is still fall after all).