This is Halloween, everybody scream! We’ve mentioned before that we absolutely love this time of year. It’s perfect for picking up a spooky read while drinking apple cider. Christy enjoys everything about Halloween, especially reading books and watching movies to get into the spirit.
What are your favorite books to get ready for Halloween? Let us know in the comments. Also, feel free to let us know your plans for Halloweekend in the comments.
1. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series by Holly Jackson
In A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi wants to solve the murder of Andie Bell. While the cops already “solved it”, Pip doesn’t believe they came to the correct conclusion. It was too easy. Jackson’s debut was one of our favorite books of 2020. The mystery had everything from strong characters to excellent pacing and the perfect plot. If you’re interested in cold cases, don’t forget Good Girl, Bad Blood and As Good As Dead, the other two books on the series.
2. The Naturals series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Cassie Hobbes never thought she was special. So she could read people without much effort, who cares? Well, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) does. Cassie moves across the country to join the Naturals program for gifted teens. Their task: to solve infamous cold cases. Unfortunately for Cassie, as soon as she arrives, she’s put in the middle of an active case and it feels personal. The Naturals series gets pretty dark, so be warned!
3. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The conclusion: life is inviolable until the age of 13, then you can have your children unwound. The organs of unwound children are transplanted to patients so life will “never” end. Connor’s parents can’t handle him. Rita is a ward of the state and not deemed talented enough to stay alive. Lev is a tithe, meaning his purpose in life was to be unwound. Will the three of them be able to work together to change the system for good? Neal Shusterman is the master of world building and YA dystopian novels. Unwind was our first read from Shusterman and we were hooked to this dark and eerie plot.
4. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
In Beautiful Creatures, Ethan Wate wants nothing more than to leave the boring town of Gatlin, South Carolina. Then, a new girl named Lena Duchannes shows up in the small town and everything turns to chaos. Ethan can’t help but get pulled into Lena’s world. She’s a caster and he’s mortal. When the two of them come together to discover the secrets of their families, nothing in this Gothic Southern town will ever be the same. This YA urban fantasy is perfect for Halloween. It has a town full of secrets, witches and light vs dark magic.
5. Killing November by Adriana Mather
November Adley’s life changes instantly when she arrives at Academy Absconditi. 1) She has no idea where the school is located. 2) Instead of math and history, she’s enrolled in knife throwing, body language reading and accents. 3) The students are ruthless and competitive to the point where November fears for her life. Keep your head down and don’t make enemies, but that’s easier said than done. Especially when a group of students hate you and you have no idea why. Killing November is one of our favorite underrated YA thrillers. The action is nonstop and we’d love to spend a night in the creepy Academy Absconditi.
6. The Culling Trials by K.F. Breene and Shannon Mayer
You don’t choose the Academy, the Academy choose you. Wild lost her oldest brother three years ago to the Academy and now they’ve come to claim another brother. Except, Wild pretends to be him in order to learn the secrets of this dark school and to save her family. Think of The Shadowspell Academy series as a mix between The Testing and Mulan.
7. The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
We’re currently reading The Darkest Corners, the last of Thomas’s books for us to read. We were excited to save it for Halloween season because her mysteries never fail to disappoint us. Tessa and Callie witnessed something dark in Fayette, Pennsylvania, never to be spoken of again. Shortly after, Tessa moved away. Now that Tessa is back, they can’t leave the past in the past any longer. A killer is still out there and it’s up to Tessa to solve the mysteries of Fayette.
8. There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
We have to admit, we haven’t read There’s Someone Inside Your House yet. However, we recently watched the Netflix movie adaption and really enjoyed it. We know it’s not exactly the same as the book, but we still can’t wait to compare. Makani Young thought Nebraska would be the fresh start she craved. Then the students of Osborne High start to die and Makani knows she and her friends aren’t safe in this small town. The book is advertised as perfect for fans of 90s teen slashers.
9. Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
Emilia and her twin sister, Vittoria, are streghe— witches who are forced to live secretly among humans in fear of persecution. Together with their family they run a famous restaurant nestled in Sicily. One night, Vittoria does not arrive for her shift at the restaurant, so Emilia sets off to look for her. She is led to the underbelly of the monastery by a strange sensation and sounds, where she finds the body of her twin, desecrated with her heart carved out. Vittoria and Emilia’s nonna has forbade them from using dark magic or seeking out the Wicked— the princes of Hell. But Emilia is out for blood and vengeance. Halloween is the perfect time to start Kingdom of the Wicked since the sequel, Kingdom of the Cursed, released October 26, 2021.
10. The Woods Are Always Watching by Stephanie Perkins
Perkins’s latest YA horror book released in August 2021 and the plot sounds perfect for fans of a good mystery. Neena and Josie have one last chance spend time together before being separated by colleges 2k miles apart . Three days spent in Pisgah National Forest should be exciting, but quickly problems between the friends lead to getting off the trail. Perkins promises that Neena and Josie enter a walking nightmare. We don’t know all the details of the story because we want to keep it as a surprise.
11. Privilege by Kate Brian
Ariana Osgood was the Queen of Easton Academy until she was arrested for murder. Now at Brenda T. Trumbull Correctional Facility, Ariana is plotting her escape and how to get her life back…no matter the cost. Privilege is about the dark world of the rich and the secrets they keep. This series is a spinoff the Brian’s popular Private series.
12. Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Hemlock is a favorite of ours that we haven’t read in years. Possible then and now candidate? Maybe in 2022! Amy and Mackenzie were best friends until Amy was murdered by a werewolf. Mac’s life has turned crazy since what happened and a group of extremists of come to town to get rid of all werewolves. Lupin syndrome is on the rise around the country, causing backlash. Mac has to do what she can find out who killed her best friend and to learn the truth about werewolves living amongst her.
13. Hexed by Michelle Krys
Hexed is another book we haven’t read in forever. Indigo Blackwood is a popular cheerleader, has the perfect football player boyfriend and a close (mean) group of friends. So what if her quirky mom owns an occult shop. When a book is stolen from her mom, Indie doesn’t think much of it. Not until a guy named Bishop shows up and says Indie needs to get it back, or all witches will die…including Indie. Forced into a war between witches and sorcerers, Indies life can never go back to normal. Not only is this book full of magic, it’s also pretty hilarious. This is one of the less dark books on our list if you want something with witches, but without much of a scare.