This is one of my favorite times of year – days are shorter and cooler, the leaves are turning, and there’s no shortage of spooky books. Yes, I love scary stories! And there’s no shortage of YA thrillers and horror books to satisfy those of us who have fond memories of meeting one of our best friends because he saw us reading a Chrisopher Pike book back in middle school. So if horror is your jam, grab the blanket and leave a light on as you check out these awesomely terrifying tales!
White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson
Marigold isn’t thrilled with the move from California to a small Midwestern city with her mom, stepdad, and younger (very annoying) stepsister Piper. But she gets that maybe a fresh start is what everyone needs. The new house, though, is weird – while it’s been recently renovated, the houses around it haven’t. And the neighbors aren’t very welcoming. Those things, however, might be the least of Mari’s worries. Things are going missing around the house, there are voices in the walls and shadows in empty rooms, and doors are opening on their own. Oh, and there’s Piper’s new friend, who only she can see and is making it clear she wants Mari gone. But running from ghosts...that’s just a metaphor. Isn’t it?
Howl by Shaun David Hutchinson
Virgil was attacked by a monster. No one believes him, of course, even after he shows up at the town center beaten, bruised, and bloodied. It was probably a bear, or a gator, but definitely not a monster. But Virgil knows the truth. And he knows that this was not a good way to start the school year, especially as the new kid in town. So he decides to keep his head down, try his hardest at a long-distance relationship, and count the days till he can move back to the Pacific Northwest. But Virgil can’t stop thinking about that monster. What if it comes back for him? What if it wants to finish the job? Or, worse yet, what if he’s becoming a monster himself?
The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky
Rachel is ready for a new beginning at a new school. As a scholarship student among a sea of rich kids, though, she knows fitting in is going to be rough. What she doesn’t count on is getting caught in a prank gone wrong, which puts her in the sights of the school’s queen be. It also brings out the Mary Shelley Club, a secret group of students who love horror movies...and have an annual competition. The member who comes up with the scariest prank to bring on real fear wins. Rachel joins the club and is soon planning a prank of her own. But the pranks are escalating, and someone is taking them too far...and Rachel may not live to see who wins.
House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland
Iris has never been normal. She has a half-moon scar at the bottom of her throat – one that matches her two older sisters. Something happened to them as children, but none of them can remember what exactly happened for the month they were gone. And now her oldest sister Grey is missing, and the whole situation is weird. While Iris usually tries to avoid weird, she knows she needs to find her sister. The search, though, is creating new mysteries. Why is there a horned man following Iris? And why is there a dead body in the ceiling? But as Iris gets closer to finding Grey, she also gets closer to finding the truth about what happened during that missing month.
Whether you’re in the mood for ghosts, witches, monsters, or just general creepiness, make sure you leave one light on while you read!