Last week The Savvy Reader posted a list of the Top 10 Adult Halloween Reads. But for some, even the covers were a bit too scary! So since it’s Tuesday, we have added a second Halloween list – the Top 10 YA Halloween Reads, complied from a collection of staff and reader recommendations (via @HCCFrenzy). Below are some of the spookiest, most frightening, or most intriguing books that are perfect for readers of any age this Halloween.
1. Ten by Gretchen McNeil
It’s the long weekend and to celebrate, Meg and nine of her friends venture to an island for a weekend-long house party. Sadly, the weather turns grey and the teens are stuck on the island without electricity, phone service or a way home. But after the discovery of a DVD with a threatening message, the storm is the least of their worries. As a killer stalks the island, Meg has to solve the puzzle before she and her closest friends are murdered. A favourite amongst the office (that even kept our bravest of staff at the edge of their seat) Ten is a thrilling read and highly reccomended this October.
This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel, and it’s follow up novel Such Wicked Intent, tell the story of Victor Frankenstein before he grows into his well known role of Dr. Frankenstein. It is in these stories that Victor becomes familiar with dangerous alchemy and dark magic as he toys with the boundaries of life and death to save his brother Konrad.
3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book celebrates its fifth year in publication and continues to enchant readers of all ages. From acclaimed writer Neil Gaiman comes the story of a young boy, Bod, who is the only living resident of a local graveyard. Raised by the non-living residents, including ghosts and werewolves, Bod is more accustom to being with the dead than the living, which begs the question: can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the living world?
4. The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs
From new author Abigail Gibbs comes the story of Violet Lee, a young girl who is abducted by a cult of vampires after she witnesses a mass murder in Trafalgar Square. The vampires’ existence is a secret that only those high up in the government are aware of – and attempt to contain – including Violet’s father, Britain’s Minister of Defense. Although dangerous, their world is not all bad and Violet is drawn to the luxury and aristocratic lifestyle the vampires hide. Though this book is more intrigue and romance than suspense and gore, it welcomes classic frightening creatures that make it a perfect Halloween read. It’s on shelves in November!
5. ZOM-B by Darren Shan
Of ZOM-B, Darren Shan says, “it’s a big, sprawling, vicious tale…a grisly piece of escapism, and a barbed look at the world in which we live. Each book in the series is short, fast-paced and bloody. A high body-count is guaranteed!” If a zombie apocalypse isn’t perfect for the Halloween season, I don’t know what is!
6. The Diviners by Libba Bray
It is the roaring twenties and Evie O’Neill is enthused about her new life in New York City. But Evie harnesses a dark power – one that she is adamant to keep a secret; that is, until she realizes her powers can be used to catch a killer. Though I haven’t personally read The Diviners, it has been called one of “the best ghosts stories to come along in ages.” (Thanks for the recommendation, Angela!)
7. Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Masque of the Red Death tells the hauntingly beautiful story of a young girl, Araby Worth, who uses the Debauchery Club as an escape from the outside world where a plague has decimated the population and left the world in ruins. Inside the club, Araby attempts to mask her despair, but it seems that not all of the attendees are running from the same set of fears…
8. The Vampire Diaries (The Hunters: Destiny Rising) by L.J. Smith
The Vampire Diaries series is an ideal read for Halloween, and in case you haven’t read any (or haven’t watched the TV show) I will try not to give away too many spoilers! In The Hunters: Destiny Rising, Elena has finally uncovered her role in the grand scheme of good versus evil, but her plight does not get any easier. Sworn to protect earth, she must sacrifice a loved one. This is not an easy feat, especially since Elena loves not one, but two men: brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore. Whether you’re all caught up or just beginning the series, Elena’s adventure as she uncovers the mystery behind the small town of Fells Church is an ideal Halloween read.
When siblings Katherine and John are forced to go on a family vacation with their step-siblings Catorina and Roley, they uncover an abandoned house by the lake. What they find, among eyeless dolls and ruined children’s books, is a game that begun years ago… and never reached a conclusion. Although they don’t know the rules, the siblings immediately become part of the game and must work together to keep what’s left of their disheveled family alive. Bad Blood is an incredibly spooky book, read with caution!
10. Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
In Kathleen Peacock’s first novel in the thrilling Hemlock trilogy, an epidemic is on the rise. Lupine syndrome (or more commonly known as “the werewolf virus”) causes an appetite for blood, and though those infected try to hide the virus, their cravings are uncontrollable. When Mackenzie’s best friend is murdered, Trackers come to hunt the presumed killer – a werewolf. But when their hunt produces little results, Mackenzie decides to take the investigation into her own hands, risking her friendships and her life to uncover the truth behind Amy’s death and the Lupine virus. Kathleen Peacock’s Hemlock is a thrilling paranormal debut and perfect for the Halloween season!
Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!