In this latest installment of Top Five Wednesday (check it out here… Top Five Wednesday), bloggers and Booktubers have been challenged with the task of dolling out their favorite horror books into the ultimate list sure to keep you up at night. While by nature I’m not the biggest reader of the guts and gore genre I did manage to squeak out five books I think will hold appeal to a lot of diverse readers. Drum roll please…
Both a middle grade staple and a pioneer in horror for young readers, I still maintain that this book is by far Gaiman’s strongest book to date (though The Graveyard Book is another great worth for fourth-seventh graders that gives it a good run for it’s the money). I mean how could a story about a girl who discovers a parallel “perfect” world, where coincidentally everyone has buttons for eyes, not give a little kid the heeby-jeebies? Relying on vivid storytelling, fantastic imagery, and the sheer creep factor of the premise, Coraline both delights and petrifies readers young and old. I’ve always imagined this would be a great read a loud for a fifth grde teacher around this time of year, as I can just see kids of that age being enthralled by the very quality, yet accessible, writing and also claiming to all their friends at recess that no, that one part did not scare them at all.
2. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
Not exactly scary, or at least not in the way the cover and premise lead you to believe, this book is essentially just a more quality written and slightly creepier Twilight. Sure, there’s some fantastical elements that make it fantasy low, but at it’s core the “devil” is really just an excuse for the author to wax poetic on the woes of being ion love with a bad boy. Nevertheless it was still a really enjoyable read made all the more fun by the timing of when I read it. Tucholke is very much a talented writer and her gothic language evoked thoughts of a modern Dracula and the likes, which is always a plus for a Halloween read. There’s also some pretty dark, haunting undertones going on in the background and even though they weren’t necessarily scary they did make me jump in anticipation. Certainly not the work of Stephen King, but a quick, relaxing read nonetheless.
While I’ve mentioned on many occasions previously how me and Holly Black just don’t mesh well as a reader/author duo I can definitely see how she’s earned her title as one of the queens of creep. Her painstakingly developed future involves a world where dangerous vampires have been quarantined away from humans in “Coldtowns” where their lives are just one endless party documented by cult followings of normal people who have decided that this glamorous charade is one they want to experience (think reality TV with a deadly twist). I could just imagine exactly how this version of America looked through her vivid detailing, and eerily enough I can actually draw similarities between our world and the one Black describes. While I was never genuinely afraid of the suspense, it definitely made my skin crawl at times and was a much more original stroll on a beaten down path.
Pitched to me as a genre bending dreamscape of everything good and well in the world of horror and psychological thrillers, I knew I had to pick this up immediately. This is actually one of the very first works Shusterman published in the ’90’s before he launched the highly successful Unwind dystology. While the two books are on totally different wavelengths, and in fact you would never know they were by the same author, they both captivated me from page one and left me with more questions than answers when I closed the final pages. It’s hard to describe Full Tilt without giving away major plot points but just no if you’re a fan of the movie Inception, which totally messes with your brain, there’s a good chance this book will be up your alley. Not exactly a slasher horror (though there’s certainly some of that going on), but hardly with the mind twists of a psychological thriller it meets somewhere in the middle creating a book full of mystery and suspense.
With the haunting title and genuinely spooky photos curated throughout I can hardly imagine a more creepy book to read this time of year. In fact, there’s no time like the present and as we count down to the final days until Halloween 2015 I highly encourage you to get on it for two main reasons. Firstly, the third and final book Library of Souls recently came out wrapping up all loose ends and allowing you to marathon through the trilogy in it’s entirety. Secondly, Tim Burton is set to release what promises to be a deliciously creepy flick sometime in 2016 and I know you want to be that one member of your friend group who read the book before it was cool. While the writing in this series can be a bit slow and tends to drag from one chapter to the next with lots of buildup, it really focus on establishing a firm sense of setting and it perfectly encapsulates what exactly Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is like. Please, please, please get out from your rock and read this!
Going through all the horror books I’ve read as the years have gone by I realized I really need to step up my game and read some new releases in the genre. so as always I’m relying on you guys to give me a few recs from that dusty book pile of yours!