With Halloween around the corner, get ready for a spine-tingling ride with some spooky stories about necromancers, monsters and ghosts. Whether you're a fan of YA, paranormal, fantasy or horror, these books will keep you up at night to see what happens.
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1. A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee (2021)
A twisty dark academia thriller about a centuries-old, ivy-covered boarding school haunted by its history of witchcraft and two girls dangerously close to digging up the past.
Why you should read it: A Lesson in Vengeance is the kind of YA thriller with the perfect spooky, slightly mind-bendy atmosphere that will keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next.
2. Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo (2021)
Lee Mandelo's debut Summer Sons is a sweltering, queer Southern Gothic that crosses Appalachian street racing with academic intrigue, all haunted by a hungry ghost.
Why you should read it: Summer Sons is fast paced, full of emotion and beautifully written— this new adult book is not one you want to miss out on.
Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers.
Why you should read it: Gideon the Ninth is home to some of the most unique characters and takes on storytelling you'll ever come across. This book is funny, scary and full of heart. Perfect for older YA fans or new adult readers!
4. The Honeys by Ryan La Sala (2022)
Mars has always been the lesser twin, the shadow to his sister Caroline's radiance. But when Caroline dies under horrific circumstances, Mars is propelled to learn all he can about his once-inseparable sister who'd grown tragically distant.
Why you should read it: The Honeys is a YA thriller that will grab you from the very first page. The writing is lyrical, the main character is lovely and the plot is intriguing. The main character is also genderfluid, which we often don't see in this genre.
5. Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (2021)
Buried secrets come to light when two students are targeted by an anonymous bully with an explosive agenda.
Why you should read it: This hard hitting dark academia book is an on the edge of your seat kind of read. The author keeps you guessing (and gasping) all the way through. Ace of Spades has a lot of important things to say, and it says them amazingly well.
Miri thinks she has got her wife back when Leah finally returns after a deep sea mission that ended in catastrophe. It soon becomes clear, though, that Leah may have come back wrong. Whatever happened in that vessel, whatever it was they were supposed to be studying before they were stranded on the ocean floor, Leah has carried part of it with her, onto dry land and into their home.
Why you should read it: This book will get into your brain. It’s one part body horror, one part underwater horror and one part love story. If that combination sounds like it’s up your alley give this one a try because the tension build is amazing, especially for a novella.
7. Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado (2022)
Mysterious disappearances. An urban legend rumoured to be responsible. And one group of friends determined to save their city at any cost.
Why you should read it: If you’re a fan of Stranger Things you should give this one a shot for sure— Burn Down, Rise Up is a mix of urban and horror storytelling perfect for YA fans.
8. All the Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle (2019)
The stunning new novel about silenced female voices, family secrets and dangerous truths from the author of The Accident Season.
Why you should read it: This YA ghost story is so beautiful and so well written it will likely haunt you long after you finish reading it. If you’re not a fan of super spooky halloween reads but you still want to read something to get you in the mood this is the perfect read.
9. Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand (2018)
A breathtaking and spine-tingling novel about three teenage girls who face off against an insidious monster that preys upon young women.
Why you should read it: We would read anything that Claire Legrand wrote at this point, but this one especially has a soft spot in our minds because it’s a story of monsters, of girls coming together, and of sapphic love.
This blog post was written by Lauren S. You can follow her reviews on Instagram account @hobbitsbooksandbeyond