Good morning and Happy Friday readers! Halloween is just around the corner and so Amanda Pavlov, author of the frightfully excellent Mind Like a Diamond is taking over the blog today with some spooky recommendations to dig into this Halloween weekend!
7 Spooky Reads to Celebrate Halloween
Autumn is my favorite season for several reasons, chief among them the excuse to burrow
beneath a cozy blanket and break out a book that makes my pulse race. If you’re looking for a
story that will send chills down your spine, here are seven I highly recommend:
1.) The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
Though this story is centered around summer solstice, the story of the Swan sisters will
absolutely scratch that itch for something spooky.
Legend has it, two centuries ago in the small seaside town of Sparrow, three sisters were
sentenced to death for being witches. Now, they return every year, possessing the bodies of local
girls who dare enter the water in order to lure unsuspecting young men to their deaths.
I recommend The Wicked Deep for anyone who loves atmospheric reads with lyrical language.
Some of the plot does require you to suspend your disbelief a bit, but just go with it. Magic isn’t as fun if you resist.
2.) Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
If you’re searching for a true spooky season gem featuring the Day of the Dead, you gotta grab a copy of Cemetery Boys.
Yadriel summoned a ghost to prove himself a true bruja, but now he’s stuck with a spirit who
refuses to cross. Poor Yadriel’s dilemma just keeps getting more and more complex, as his feelings for this ghostly boy morph from frustrated to flirtatious.
Definitely add Cemetery Boys to the top of your TBR if you’re looking for a heartwarming story
with wonderful trans representation. Prior to reading the book, I didn’t know much about trans
boys and I appreciated learning more through such a well-fleshed out character.
3.) The Undead Truth of Us by Britney S. Lewis
Full disclosure, Britney is a dear friend and one of my critique partners. That said, I have read
this book *so many* times now and must say, the poetic writing makes it a pleasure to reread.
Zharie Young has a uniquely horrible problem—everywhere she goes, she sees zombies. But no
one else can see them. Not only is this twist terrifying, it’ll keep you turning pages, desperate to find out how it ends. And that final twist? *Chef’s kiss*
If you like your spooky reads with a delicious dash of surrealism and swoon-worthy romance,
you’ll give all the stars to The Undead Truth of Us. Oh, and did I mention this one has a fantastic
supporting cast? Definitely a must for those of us who can’t get enough of the found family trope.
4.) House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland
I know this book has been popular for a hot minute, but I read it forever ago and still can’t stop thinking about it.
The three Hollow sisters—Iris, Grey, and Vivi—range from intriguingly mysterious to downright
spooky. As children, the trio vanished for a month, then turned back up in the exact same spot
with no memory of what happened while they were gone. The youngest, Iris, would like nothing
better than to put the whole mess behind her, but when her oldest sister Grey goes missing, she
realizes she must solve the mystery of their childhood to save Grey in the present.
Not only will the desire to solve all the mysteries in this book keep you riveted, but you’ll
experience everything from heart-pounding fear to jaw-dropping shock with this one. Do not
blame me, you’ve been warned, this book is the stuff nightmares are made of.
5.) The Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu
If you like your ghost stories centered around an anti-hero with a heart of gold, you’re gonna love getting lost in Ropa’s otherworldly Edinburgh.
Ropa can communicate with the dead, a service their surviving loved ones pay her to perform.
It’s a difficult job but Ropa makes it work, until something much more sinister comes onto her
radar: children who are going missing, until to turn up again later as husks, the life sucked right
out of them. Can Ropa solve the mystery without falling behind on the rent? This adventure is somehow both fantastical and relatable.
This one is for my fellow readers who love a feisty animal sidekick. Ropa has a somewhat feral
pet fox and you are going to love her almost as much as you love the underground library in this spooky season must-read.
6.) Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain
My home state of Louisiana is known for our love of all things haunted and while this book is set during summer, it’s sure to give you chills.
Grey visits the tiny bayou town of La Cachette every summer and always looks forward to
seeing her twin flame, Elora. Until Elora vanishes into thin air. Was it a horrible accident? Or is
someone in tight-knit town full of psychics about to be revealed as a murderer?
Guessing whodunit (and done what!) alongside Grey will be half the fun of this eerie,
atmospheric read. But the reason it’s one of my most recommended is how well-researched the
setting is! Speaking as someone who loves swamps, this book really nails the eerie sensation of
looking into murky water without knowing what might be staring back at you.
7.) The Scholomance Series by Naomi Novik
Is it cheating to lump a trilogy into one recommendation? Who cares, I’m doing it.
In A Deadly Education we meet El Higgins, a snarky witch whose grandmother prophesied she
would be dangerous, dark wizard who would basically topple civilization. If you love her
already, your fondness will only increase exponentially through the following books The Last
Scholar and The Golden Enclaves throughout which El grapples with both the identity she wants and the one the world sees when they look at her.
I read these books as they came out and it was absolute agony waiting for a new one after each
ended. Lucky you, they’re all out now, so what are you waiting for? Place an order with your favorite independent bookstore, you know you wanna.