10 Scary Young Adult Books to Read This Halloween
Halloween is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate All Hallows' Eve than with a book that'll have you gripping each and every page with anticipation? Here's a list of the 10 creepiest, scariest, fright-inducing YA stories we could find. And here's a promise: no vampire love scenes (if you're into that kind of thing, sorry).
This 2009 New York Times best seller is the first in its trilogy, followed by 'The Dead-Tossed Waves' (2010) and 'The Dark and Hollow Places' (2011).
'The Forest of Hands and Teeth' falls into one of YA's biggest nets, being a dystopian book -- while giving it a slight twist by taking place generations after a zombie apocalypse destroyed the world. The main character, Mary, struggles with living the life she's always known with the Sisterhood and the Guardians, safe inside her village's fence, and stuck within her village's secrets. But she is quickly given a way out when there is a breach in the village. However, as we know from 'The Walking Dead' and every other zombie-related form of entertainment, wandering the woods isn't the safest place if you're trying not to be infected.
A thriller-dystopian-zombie-YA book sounds perfect to get through the week between 'Dead' episodes!
The followup to Roux's 'Asylum' (2013) has only been out since August, but the new read keeps up with three of the previous book's characters: Dan, Abby and Jordan.
Instead of the haunting asylum pictures that Roux lovingly provided in 'Asylum,' this book has carnival pictures haunting its pages, on pointe with the big top theme this season ('American Horror Story: Freak Show,' anyone?).
It probably isn't even necessary to mention how creepy this book is if you've read Roux before, or even if you've just glanced at the book's cover.
Yovanoff's 'The Replacement' is dark, dark, dark. Just look at that cradle with all those sharp objects! Yovanoff means business, and 'The Replacement' shows just that. The story's main character, Mackie, was raised as a human -- but is most definitely not. He finds himself dragged below his hometown of Gentry into the underworld, aptly called Mayhem, where dead girls are commonalities and a tattooed princess rules. This tale will definitely get you in the Halloween spirit.
If not, there's always Yovanoff's most recent creepy creation, 'Fiendish,' a story about a girl trapped in a cellar by tree roots for a decade, which came out earlier this year.
Baer's 2011 story takes readers to a much colder place than expected, as Leena Thomas' senior year brings her and her friends to Frost House, with a new mysterious roommate. Frost House, the supposedly cozy Victorian dorm within Leena's boarding school, isn't so cozy as it turns out.
This haunting tale delivers straight from the realm of pre-20th century haunted houses, and places it in the lap of YA, serving a combination enjoyable enough to make you jump.
The first in its series, 'Anna Dressed in Blood' combines a 'Supernatural'-like dead hunter named Cas Lowood and a ghost who was brutally murdered decades earlier who kills anyone entering her home (Victorian style, of course), except Cas.
The follow-up to this 2012 book is titled 'Girl of Nightmares.'
'TEN,' a YA redo of Agatha Christie's 'And Then There Were None,' brings the same amount of horror as Christie, with the addition of a teen perspective.
All 10 of these teens are brought for the same reason: an exclusive house party. This immediately deviates from the conflicting and various reasons each of the 10 in Christie's masterpiece appear, though it does stay mostly close to Christie's work. What do they use instead of a gramophone to announce their crimes, you ask? A DVD. It sounds silly, but this new-age spin on a classic horror story is gripping until the very end.
If you're already thinking, 'This sounds like one of those Japenese horror flicks,' you're already halfway there to understanding Chupeco's 'The Girl From the Well.'
Pitched as 'Dexter' meets 'The Grudge,' this 2014 novel follows Okiku, a girl who was murdered and now uses her afterlife to seek vengeance on child killers --that is, until she meets the tattooed Tark, and they find themselves wrapped up in a sinister adventure that takes them from American suburbia to Japanese shrines.
'The Grudge,' to me, is one of the funniest horror movies produced this past decade. But in the spirit of horror and the Japanese folk tales that have inspired so much of American film, this book deserves to be mentioned -- whether those things are particularly "scary" or not.
This year's reply to 2011 best seller 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' managed to muster up an even creepier child on the cover than its predecessor.
Complete with even more vintage photographs to send chills down your spine, 'Hollow City' picks up in 1940, directly following the events of the first book. So if you're planning on adding this new read to your list this month, make sure you've already read the first one.
This young adult book is a reimagining of 'The Fall of the House of Usher,' by Halloween's master of fright, Edgar Allen Poe.
Filled with a living house, a family curse and all the Gothic tropes one would hope for, all wrapped up in non-chronological chapters, 'The Fall' is a must-read this month if you're looking for an unconventional, but classic fright.
The newest (released in October 2014) and the final book in our hair-raising list takes place in 1918 with a main character named almost entirely after literature's brilliant 'Frankenstein' author: Mary Shelley Black.
Mary's beliefs are shaken when her love returns to her in spirit form after dying in battle. Ghosts, influenza, spirit guides -- this one takes readers into a world that is just fantastical enough to be real.
Plus, it has its own collection of creepy vintage photographs, an item that seems to be so vogue in YA this season.