I know that I said I was going to have two blog posts up last week, but…Hurricane Matthew happened, and slight chaos ensued. I’m back, though, and ready to hop right into the October spirit with the first blog post of the Halloween season: book recommendations, straight from my shelf!
1. The Asylum Series by Madeleine Roux
Starting off the list with a really good series to dive into. This series follows Dan, Abby, and Jordan as they progressively fall deeper and deeper into the creepy history (and current repercussions) of Brookline Asylum. This book also features a lot of pictures, much like “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” does, which adds a nice visual companion to the creepiness of the text.
There are 3 main books in this series, as well as a set of novellas and a recently released prequel, so it’s perfect for a book marathon!
2. “The Girl From the Well” by Rin Chupeco
This novel follows Tark, a young boy who’s bound to the paranormal, and his journey to try and cleanse himself of a malicious spirit. This story, however, is told from the perspective of Okiku, a ghost who has come back to Earth in order to help children’s spirits pass on peacefully. While this is certainly not my favorite book, I did get genuinely creeped out while reading it. The imagery in this novel is very vivid, and because it is told from Okiku, we get to see a bit of her personality (such as her fixation with numbers) through her narration.
While this is certainly not my favorite book, I did get genuinely creeped out while reading it. This is partly due to Okiku’s narration. There’s just something about her number-obsessed, gruesome ghost mind that really adds an extra layer of horror to the text.
This novel also delves into Japanese folk-lore and ghost stories, which I found very interesting.
I believe that this book has a sequel, but I have only read the first one, so it is the only one I can really recommend.
3. “Acceleration” and “Bonechiller” by Graham McNamee
“Acceleration” is a fast-paced thriller, and perfect for a quick read. It follows Duncan as he works in a Toronto subway station’s lost and found, where he finds a little journal filled with horrible secrets and desires. He becomes so interested in finding this sick man that he eventually dives in way too deep.
I wouldn’t recommend “Acceleration” for middle school audiences, as it features some graphic and sexual depictions and some mild language, but young adults and adults alike will likely fly through this novel.
“Bonechiller” is the second novel I have read by Graham McNamee, and I enjoyed this one just as much as the first. “Bonechiller” follows Danny, a boy who’s been drifting from town to town with his father and ends up living in a small ghost town named Harvest Cove. He meets some new friends…and also a horrifying, impossible creature.
This book was another really fast-paced, quick read. I devoured it all in a single sitting on a flight and quickly re-read it within the next couple of days.
3. “Dawn of the Dreadfuls” by Steve Hockensmith
I’m sure by now everybody has heard of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” I heard that the movie was awful, and I’ve never read the book, but I have read the prequel “Dawn of the Dreadfuls” and loved it!
For those of you who don’t know, these books are a humorous and zombie-fied spin on Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” They are wonderfully funny, and a great read if you’re looking for something not-too-scary this Halloween season or if you’re a fan of Jane Austen’s original novel.
4. “Alice in Zombieland” by Gena Showalter
The second zombie-related suggestion on this list is also a humorous one, however, unlike “Dawn of the Dreadfuls,” this one isn’t satirical.
“Alice in Zombieland” is a perfect mix between a zombie novel and a high school contemporary novel. It has the romance, the tragedy and the teenage attitude of a contemporary, with the zombie themes added in. This novel also commonly alludes to “Alice in Wonderland,” which is always fun.
Gena Showalter’s writing style is very entertaining while still being easy to read, something that I find works really well with high school centered books.
This series has quite a few books in it, and I’ve sadly not finished them. I would love to get around to it, though, and I suggest that others pick up these books to read as well.
5. “Project 17” by Laurie Faria Stolarz
This is another ghost story, but unlike “The Girl From the Well”, “Project 17” isn’t told from the perspective of one. This is more of your typical ghost novel, where a group of 6 teens break into the abandoned Danvers State Hospital in Massachusets, the night before it’s scheduled to be demolished. It’s told from multiple different perspectives and really allows you to get to know each of the main characters. You also get to see how they each react to the crazy things that happen to them in the Hospital…and craziness certainly does abound.
One of the novel’s strong suits is that it’s told from multiple perspectives, giving you plenty of time to get to know characters, and also giving you insight on each person’s unique reaction to the crazy things that happen in the hospital, and trust me, there is plenty of paranormal activity to go around.
6. The “Supernatural” books
If you didn’t already know, I’m a HUGE fan of the show. I binge watch every season that comes out on Netflix, and because I don’t have a television in my room, I’m constantly a season or two behind. However, I can satisfy my Supernatural cravings by reading the books! There are a ton of these books (15, I think) but you don’t really have to read them in any particular order. They also give you a timeline of when they fall into the storyline of the show, meaning that if a book takes place during season 5, you’ll know what to relate it to with the show.
There are a ton of these books (15, I think) but you don’t really have to read them in any particular order. Each book gives you a timeline on the back, so that you can know where they fall in with the show’s storyline. It’s not necessary that you’ve seen the show to be able to read these books, but it certainly does help quite a lot.
7. The Forest of Hands and Teeth Trilogy by Carrie Ryan
These are my favorite Halloween reads, and my all-time favorite zombie related books. This is one of my favorite book series, as well as the novels that really got me into zombies.
This series is a trilogy, and it’s dark and emotional and depressing in all the right ways.
They follow a lineage of three different women (one for each book) that live in a zombie-infested world. Each novel takes place in a new area of this apocalyptic Earth, and while getting to know the new characters and getting to see more of the old ones, you also get to learn the rules of each new setting (as well as the new term for “zombie”, because they always call them something different.)
You will get attached to the characters, you will constantly worry about who might die next, and you will always be wary of the constant threats around them all while rooting for them to stay safe and complete each of their individual goals.
I love them all, honestly. I can’t even pick a favorite book out of the trilogy. I would highly recommend each of these books for any time of the year, not just Halloween time.