October is upon us and that means not only is it officially fall, even down south, but that Halloween is almost here. We all have our Halloween traditions. Whether it’s watching every scary movie or just watching Hocus Pocus we all have our plans. Since I don’t watch scary movies (I feel like I’m about to die TBH) I’ve decided to read books to get my scares in this year.
Here’s our list of favorite scary/thriller books to read to get ready for All Hallow’s Eve.
The Burning World is the sequel to Marion’s unconventional zombie novel, Warm Bodies. After Warm Bodies was turned into a movie in 2013 I knew this would be my gateway into zombie things. I was half right at least. I loved both the book and the movie but I still didn’t wanna watch The Walking Dead, and I’m totally okay with it. The Burning World tells R’s story after the end of the events in Warm Bodies. Since this is a sequel I won’t spoil but not everything is as it seems in the post apocalyptic world. R and Julie have a compelling dynamic while they try to remake the world and continue surviving. Marion expands this world dramatically, both in the story’s settings during their on the road trek and the themes without rehashing the plots of Warm Bodies. The Burning World fleshes out many of the characters from the first book, but the plot goes in a new direction that takes them away from the stadium Julie and the humans have known as home. I definitely recommend reading Warm Bodies first and if these two don’t fill the hole check out the prequel novella, The New Hunger.
The first time I picked this book up, it was in July. I had a feeling I should have saved it for October, and by the end of the book I knew I was right. Anne Rice’s somber on vampires reveals the dark and lonely (undead) lives they lead. No glitter in this novel, nor none of the impersonal feel of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The reader gets to hear the story of vampire Louis, who sits down to tell his story. While a vampire, his journey is remarkably human, and is full of sad drama, romance, and lust. The movie takes on the tone of the book well, but the paper and ink rendition has a hint of dark magic about it. Snuggle on up for a dark read, darlings.
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
I’ve read this book several times and I love it. It’s a collection of very short retellings of classic fairy tales such as Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, and so on, with a feminist and horrific twist. As a fair warning, most of these stories have the women either claiming lives and reclaiming their sexuality, so not for younger audiences. My favorite is the Red Riding Hood story.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
This is one creepy book. It doesn’t have the usual monster or ghouls or ghosts, but you almost wish it does. This is a psychological thriller to it’s core. It starts with two sisters and their ailing uncle, and slowly devolves from there. You soon find out that the rest of the family is murdered, but you don’t know who or how at first. Then an estranged cousin enters the picture, bringing with him a false charm and wedge between the remaining family members. As the novel progresses, the sisters and their home become weirder and weirder, and somewhere among all of that is a murderer.
Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke
This book is a collection of young adult authors who created some scary stories and physiological thrillers. Curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke. Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes it’s pure horror genre, sometimes it’s suspense, and even when you think you know where it’s going it’s turned on its head. These stories will make you think critically about the why and how even as they keep you hiding under the covers. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for you to cozy up to tonight.