Hello everybody! Today, I’m going to be recommending some books with spooky vibes, in honour of it being October and therefore almost Halloween. I’ll try not to just repeat books that I’ve used for similar lists, but no doubt some of my faves will still pop up!
Mina and the Undead– of course this book is on this list! It’s a YA vampire murder mystery set in New Orleans, in the 1990s, AND it’s a bit of a love letter to horror films as an added bonus. I read it in the summer and really enjoyed it then, but Halloween would be the PERFECT time of year to read this.
Rules for Vampires– this is another debut that was released recently, and it has everything you could want from a Halloween book. Vampires, ghosts, malicious spirits, a hilarious talking spider named Rodri, and the list goes on! It’s a wonderful supernatural fantasy and I can’t wait to see more of Leo and Minna in book 2.
The Ghost of Gosswater– I love Lucy Strange’s writing and I’m very excited for her upcoming release but her 2020 novel is definitely my favourite of her books to date. It’s got a really complicated plot that’s quite hard to explain, so all I’ll say to justify its place on this list is that there was a moment that made me literally jump and scream. I am admittedly a wuss but it’s such a great Gothic mystery/adventure.
Frost Hollow Hall- this is just a few years away from being 10 years old now, I believe (which is madness to think about since I read it when I was like 11!!), but it’s still one of my most recommended middle grades. Emma Carroll writes exceptionally well, and her debut ghost story was no exception to that rule. I love Tilly and Will and the setting so much and I desperately want to reread it soonish.
The Haunting of Aveline Jones– I read this last September or October and it is SUPER creepy for a middle grade, so if you want something that’ll make you jumpy when it gets dark outside, this is the book for you. I’m so looking forward to reading the sequel this spooky season!
The Crater Lake series– I would read the phone book cover to cover if Jennifer Killick wrote it, and the fact I read horror because I loved her previous books so much definitely exemplifies that, I think (and it’s even made me brave enough to pick up some other horror books!!). The Crater Lake series do a brilliant job of combining horror and comedy, while also navigating contemporary plotlines dealing with disability/the transition from primary school to secondary and showcasing some fabulous friendships. Like, seriously, I love these characters SO MUCH.
The Love Sugar Magic trilogy– this isn’t really spooky, but they are about witches, and witches most definitely fall into the Halloween theme category, so I’m telling you about it anyway. It’s a trilogy following a young with named Leo, who gets into lots of magical mishaps, and I love love love the big, bustling, bursting with love Hispanic family at the heart of all three books.
Hexed– another one that isn’t inherently spooky, but has deliciously fun witchy vibes! This debut came out this year, and I instantly fell in love with it. It’s a hilarious, feminist book about misogyny within schools, with the added bonus of witches and spells. Think Holly Bourne’s What’s a Girl Gotta Do? if Lottie could hex people (would 10/10 read that fanfic, just for the record).
The House on the Edge– this might seem like a little bit of a left field choice, since a lot of people have described it as summery, but it gave me all the autumnal vibes. It follows a girl called Faith who lives in a house on a crumbling cliff, whose father went missing at sea and whose brother is convinced that ghosts live in their cellar. It’s got a lot of atmosphere and intrigue, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Turn of the Key– it wouldn’t be a Halloween recs post without a good old thriller, would it? This is probably my favourite I’ve ever read, it’s got so much atmosphere and suspense, a brilliant setting and a really excellent plot/plot twists. And Rowan is an AMAZING character.
Thank you so much for reading! Which slightly scary/spooky books would you recommend? Are you a fan of any on my list? I’d love to hear in the comments!