TTT: 10 Halloween Reads for People Who Dislike Horror!

It’s Halloween and you want a Halloween-y read. But every year you are forced to remember then when it comes to horror you can’t handle anything scarier then watching Stranger Things in broad daylight with three other people. Sigh.

But fear not! I, too, have this affliction, and after writing last week’s Top Ten Tuesday list of Scary YA books that I will probably never go near for fear of nightmares, I have decided to write a list of some not-totally-scary YA thrillers and light horrors.

Disclaimer: We all have different tolerance levels when it comes to these things, so I’m going to try my best to explain how scary I believe they are, but in the end I can’t be 100% sure how scary they will be to you.

1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

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TTT: Books to Read Over the Halloween Period!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly tag hosted by Broke and Bookish! (though I’ve taken some liberties with it, I don’t seem to follow the weekly themes at all.)

I’ve discovered I like listing things a lot. There is something so calming about being able to categorise books, lay them all out and present them together in a numbered format that makes my soul happy. I also like being seasonal. So in honour of both of those things, lets make a list of something I don’t tend to like; spooky books.

I probably should give this genre a go, but I’m literally terrified by everything so I’ve avoided it until now- and I have a gruelling TBR to be gotten through this October- but if I was thinking of reading horror/thrillers this would be what I’d be picking up this month;

So sit back and watch a girl who doesn’t read horror write a list of horror books she knows next to nothing about but would like to read (maybe, one day, if I can stop being scared about literally everything.)

I could not manage to find 10 books that I was legitimately interested in, so instead here is 5;

Enjoy!

1. The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude

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Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it.

The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks.

When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.

This book has always intrigued me because of its beautiful cover (look at that madness) and it’s open ended synopsis. Oh the mystery of it all…

[Goodreads]

2. Slasher Girls and Monster Boys edited by April Genevieve Tucholke

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A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological 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 of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

Fans of TV’s The Walking Dead, True Blood, and American Horror Story will tear through tales by these talented authors:

Stefan Bachmann
Leigh Bardugo
Kendare Blake
A. G. Howard
Jay Kristoff
Marie Lu
Jonathan Maberry
Danielle Paige
Carrie Ryan
Megan Shepherd
Nova Ren Suma
McCormick Templeman
April Genevieve Tucholke
Cat Winters

Could there be a more perfect halloween read? A mix of horror and thriller short stories all written by acclaimed YA authors, and banded together into one book for your purusing pleasure.

This book got a lot of hype this time last year, and I’ve already seen it making the rounds again this year, which does, I admit make me curious. But obviously not curious enough to give up my vendetta against all things scary.

[Goodreads]

3. Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender

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Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents’ marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude. When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.

Alexis wants to think that it’s all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening–to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she’s the only person who can stop Kasey — but what if that green-eyed girl isn’t even Kasey anymore?

So this book has a suitably scary cover- actually the more that I look at it, the funnier it gets. Can you imagine being the model for this cover shoot and them asking you to pose with the curtain over your head? Why is this mental image so funny to me?

[Goodreads]

4. The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco

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You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.

The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge”, based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.

I love vigilante stories, so this one may just convince me. Also with a suitably scary cover. I really don’t like crows, ok?

[Goodreads]

5. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

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Coraline’s often wondered what’s behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her “other” parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures.

Gaiman has delivered a wonderfully chilling novel, subtle yet intense on many levels. The line between pleasant and horrible is often blurred until what’s what becomes suddenly clear, and like Coraline, we resist leaving this strange world until we’re hooked. Unnerving drawings also cast a dark shadow over the book’s eerie atmosphere, which is only heightened by simple, hair-raising text. Coraline is otherworldly storytelling at its best.

Sure, maybe you’ve seen the movie, but have you read the book? Coraline creeps me the hell out, I have a thing about eyes and the button thing is not one I got over lightly.

Neil Gaiman recently talked about how Coraline can be classified as a children’s book when it’s so damn scary, and said that it was pretty much just adults that find it scary- in fact there seems to be a direct correlation to your age and how much it affects you, which is very strange…


 

And thats it! I don’t think any of these have actually convinced me to pick up a horror/thriller book this October- but I do really want to take some aesthetic-y photos of pumpkins now, so thats a win! This list has inspired another list of not so scary books that I may actually read over October, stay tuned for that one next Tuesday!


Image disclaimer: I don’t own the above image used for the banner. The image was taken from here.