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Guest Post: Amanda Pavlov- 7 Spooky Reads to Celebrate Halloween

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.

Looking for more spooky reads? Check out Amanda Pavlov's Mind Like a Diamond for some spine tingling chills.

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