April and I had so much fun planning out our summer reading and recommending great summer reads to all of you a few months ago that we thought we'd incorporate our spooky reads into a similar post...just in time for October and all of the scary, Halloween-type books that will be popping up soon. I thought it might be a tad too early for this type of post, but several of my neighbors already have their houses completely decked out for Halloween, so apparently not. Guess it's time to head to the attic to dig out the fall wreaths, at least. :)
We've separated all of our scary recommended reads by theme or the creatures they feature and have gone on to explain why we picked these particular novels. At least one of us has read the novels depicted below, so you know our recommendations are heartfelt. We'd never intentionally steer you wrong...or would we? ;0) At any rate, we tried to recommend some titles that maybe aren't super popular but that are beloved to us, that would make great recs for those who maybe don't read as much as we do.
Jen: Salt & Storm was a recent read for me and it really stuck with me, maybe because of the bittersweet effect it had on me. I've had Born Wicked on my shelf forever -- with the old cover -- and my library finally got the audio...so good. Just wish they had the other two books on audio. :( The Hex Hall series was fun, magical, and included a lot more than just witches. I've never even attempted to read Blood Magic, though I do own a copy...loved her short stories on Merry Sisters of Fate with Maggie Stiefvater and Brenna Yovanoff. Beautiful Creatures is the only witch story on which (ha) April and I differ...I've tried reading and listening to the book so many times and can't get past the first quarter, let alone move on to the next book. I did like the movie okay, though. o_O
April: I have yet to read Salt & Storm and Born Wicked. Born Wicked is one I'm hoping to get to this fall though! Hex Hall was just okay for me, but Blood Magic and Beautiful Creatures rocked my world. I've only read up to book two from the Caster Chronicles so far, but I'd like to continue them someday.
Jen: I discovered the 13 to Life series completely by chance, but it really grabbed me, especially the werewolf brothers. Hemlock reminded me a lot of Veronica Mars, which is why I need to make every effort to finish the series. Rachel Vincent's Shifters is an adult series and was so much fun from start to finish, and I wasn't ready for it to end when it finally did after the 5th or 6th book. The Others series by Anne Bishop is absolutely phenomenal. It also includes other paranormal creatures, but one of the main (and one of my favorite) characters is a werewolf, so I stuck it in this category. I love Jennifer Lynn Barnes, but I couldn't make myself read past the first book in the Raised by Wolves series...I just didn't find it as compelling as some others.
April: Stray and Raised by Wolves are the only two I can vouch for. I really loved them both, and I need to get to their sequels!
Jen: I think the Blood of Eden series is one of the best vampire series I've ever read. From start to finish, it was one of those edge of your seat reads. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, though, my be my favorite vampire read ever...I've read and listened to it several times and I still swoon for Gavriel every single time. I listened to the entire Vampire Academy series in one fell swoop over summer vacation a couple of years ago and fell hard for Rose and Dimitri...and poor Adrian. And I fell harder still for Adrian and Sydney in the Bloodlines spin-off series. The only one I haven't read of these is The Hallowed Ones, but I believe I have this first book on my Kindle. I have to admit, the promise of the Amish and vampires in such a story has intrigued me since it was first rec'd to me.
April: The only vampire book in this group that I haven't read is The Coldest Girl in Cold Town. I cannot freaking wait to get to that, and it's on my spooky read list, so soon! I have to agree with Jen on the Blood of Eden books. They were awesome. Vampire Academy and Bloodlines are amazing too. The Hallowed Ones though, is one of the scariest vampire novels I've read to date. It's seriously fucking creepy. Vampires + Amish = instant win.
Jen: I adore Kendare Blake and everything she writes, but it all started with Anna Dressed in Blood. I also thought that the Shade series by Jeri Smith-Ready was fantastic, but for me, it was even better on audio because the narrator is fabulous at Zachary's Scottish brogue. ;0) I started reading Velveteen before it was released but had to put it aside...but what I did read of it was so unique and completely awesome...I need to make time to finish it. I've heard great things about Karina Halle and Dark House, enough that I purchased a copy, but I haven't gotten to it yet.
April: Ahhh, Anna Dressed in Blood! Best ghost book I've ever read. Hands down. Shade, was kind of meh for me. I just couldn't get into those as much as others have. Velveteen, I honestly have not heard of that one, but I may have to add it to my goodreads. I really enjoyed Dark House, but I think it's an acquired taste. I've had a couple of friends say they couldn't get into it, and others that blew through the series. I stopped at about book 5, and I really need to pick them back up. Her writing gets better as the stories go on. And they are pretty scary. Great for this time of year.
Jen: I think gothic horror stories might just be my favorite reads because they are so atmospheric and all-encompassing. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was beyond phenomenal for me, as was its sequel...full of red-headed devils and crooked-smiling liars. And I don't know a single person I haven't told to read Sarah Rees Brennan's Unspoken...I'm dying for the third and final book to release next week! Each of the stories in Megan Shepherd's The Madman's Daughter series is based on a gothic classic and each has a beautiful cover to match. Blythewood is set at a boarding school, where magic and the fey linger, and the story within is just as gorgeous as the cover on the outside. (I had some other recs for this category, but I'm not trying to rec my whole library. :P)
April: I have never read a gothic horror. This disappoints me, so even though my spooky reads list is big, I added Unspoken to the pile.
Jen: Those first two series are two of my very most favorites ever! They deserve so much more recognition than they get. Sanctum is the book that made me jump on the Sarah Fine bandwagon, and I can't wait to read the final book very, very soon. MALACHI!!!! I just helped out on the blog tour for the second book in the Rephaim series by Paula Weston, but Shadows was outstanding...angels, angel/human offspring, demons, hellhounds, the search for the fallen angels. Probably the best angel-themed series I've read next to Angelfall by Susan Ee....which could also probably be placed on this list, what with those evil angels and their "locust" creations. I'm obviously a Sarah Rees Brennan fangirl, as she's made it into two different categories now. But the snark, oh, the snark, in The Demon's Lexicon series...it's sooo good. Haven't read Exiled, but that cover has definitely piqued my interest, April.
April: I think I own Sactum. I'm not entirely sure though, I think I may have grabbed it on sale. I thought about adding Angel Fall to this group, so it's funny seeing Jens commentary now as I'm filling out mine. I tend to stay away from angel or demon books. They just don't call to me, but Angel Fall was recommended to me by Jen, and it was amazing. Exiled was pretty good. I bought it because I loved the cover. It's self published, so I was wary, but the writing was great.
Jen: Zombies used to be my favorite paranormal/supernatural creature to read about. Now, I love them all equally, but I still have some mad favorites in this genre, tops being The Forest of Hands and Teeth, though the second book in this series is actually my favorite. The Ashes trilogy is about zombies that aren't zombies and human nature; in other words, it's heart-stopping and jaw-dropping and just so, so good. Enclave was my first experience with an Ann Aguirre book, and I've been a fan ever since. Feed by Mira Grant is about bloggers and zombies and more human nature and it's pretty effing good on audio. I still need to catch the rest of the series. I've never read a zombie book that felt so contemporary before, but leave it to Courtney Summers to write a book like This is Not a Test. Warm Bodies was different and humorous, but I actually kind of think I liked the movie better. (The soundtrack was killer, too.) I haven't read the other two.
April: The Forest of Hands and Teeth is one of my favorite zombie series. Loved those books hardcore. I love zombie stories, but there are a ton out there that I still haven't read. This Is Not A Test was great. Graveminder was pretty cool, a different take on the whole living dead phenomenon. Warm Bodies, that one I felt the movie was better than the book. Might be a first ever. Red Hill, is also really good!
Jen: I blame my dad for my love of sci-fi. Also, good stories like these. The 5th Wave is probably my favorite novel featuring aliens because they are evil aliens hellbent on destroying the humans. The Host has a similar premise, but more like the aliens want to use the humans. In These Broken Stars, I kind of feel like everyone's an alien, but there are some beings that are more so than others. Super-psyched for the companion novel! What I like best about all of these, though, is the exploration of human nature and the human instinct to survive at all costs.
April: I loved all three of these books for different reasons. The Host is one of my favorite books of all time. If I had to choose a spooky read with aliens, The 5th Wave fits that bill the best. While it's not really spooky, it scared the living crap out of me. Those aliens are no joke.
We're also including our projected spooky TBR piles for now through the end of October. These include review copies, as well as scary books from our shelves, though with the time constraints of finishing by Halloween, we may be a little overzealous once again. Okay, okay, April, I know you finished your piles this summer. I mean me...I'm the one who didn't finish my stacks of books for my proposed summer reading. But I gave it my best, and that's what we'll do again with these books.
April's Spooky TBR
So these are my spooky picks. Jen loved the Coldest Girl in Coldtown, and to be honest, it wasn't even really on my radar before I knew that. Girl of Nightmares has been on my tbr list for ages. Rot & Ruin seems like it will be a solid zombie choice. It was a toss up between that one and Enclave. The Raven Boys, I'm not really sure what its' about, but it came up as a spooky Halloween-ish book under the Goodreads Listopia, and I've been curious to try this series. Those are my solid 4.
As some of you may know, I just started a new job and it's double the amount of hours I've been working, so reading will be somewhat sparse for a while until I can get acclimated to a full time schedule again. I would like to try and get to Born Wicked, Unspoken, Beware the Wild and The Bargaining. Beware the Wild and The Fall are both review books for this fall, so I really want to get those read. Here's to hoping! :)
The one thing going for me is that fall brings colder temps, and that means more time on the couch on the blanket and not outside in the cold. Plus the view from my new office will put me in the mood to head home and read those scary books!
|As you can see the leaves are changing already!|
Jen's Spooky TBR
As per usual, my spooky TBR is very ambitious, but as I have most of these for review, they need to be read anyway, so I'm killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. I just wish I had access to more of them on audio...that would help me knock a few out quickly AND make for a very atmospheric listening experience. And I'm really, really looking forward to each and every one of these, so it should be easy to read all 15 in a month's time, right? Now, reviewing them, that's a whole different story. :P
I did have The Infinite Sea on this list, but I read it earlier this week. I thought about leaving it so that I could have one marked off already, but that seems like cheating, lol. If I haven't reviewed it by the time this post goes live, soon. But it was a PHENOMENAL sequel.
What books are on your spooky TBR list? Plan on reading any of the ones we have listed here? Have any recs for us? :D