Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the crispness of the air, the changing colors, everything pumpkin—and Halloween. There’s something about being able to dress up and pretend to be something else that brings magic back to the real world in the same way that reading a good book does. And the wide array of all things scary is just plain fun.
I’ll confess—I’m a recent horror convert. I never used to like being scared. It comes with having an over-active imagination. The very same thing that allows me to create made-up worlds in my head as a job is the one that keeps me up to all hours of the night, sure that that sound I just heard is a vengeful ghost coming to murder me in my bed (thanks The Grudge).
I devour horror novels now, and I lean heavily toward YA horror. When people ask me for my favorite reads in general, many of the following books make the list, even without the horror caveat.
Without further ado, and in no particular order:
- The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco. This book scared the shizz out of me. Seriously. I found it through chance (a FB add of all things) and sat down to read it one night. I got 3 pages in before I realized that it was most definitely a daytime book, and even then, it stayed with me for months and months afterward. Usually horror stories are told from the Survivor Girl (or Boy)’s point of view. This one is told from the vengeful ghost’s. It’s compelling and lyrical and you will not be able to put it down. I loved it, and I thrust copies into people’s hands on a regular basis. Have you read it? You should!
- Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn. This book is so twisty. It came out right around the same time of a few others with similar premise’s and so I thought I had its number down. I didn’t, and that surprise was worth its weight in gold. Dark and twisty and creepy, this book is just downright amazing.
- Horns by Joe Hill. I read this book after seeing the trailer for the movie and I’m so glad I did. There is so much dread that you feel while reading, knowing that the people around the main character are going to confess things he desperately doesn’t want to hear. The fantastical elements are woven in so expertly, you take it with as little surprise as the characters, and it’s just the perfect balance. I got shivers, I cried, I walked away from the book feeling that amazing emotional satisfaction of knowing you read something truly excellent.
- The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepard. I found this one because of the amazing cover, and I was so very glad I did. The story is desperate and creepy and a little grisly, and the heroine quickly became a favorite of mine. She’s capable and determined and doesn’t shy away from doing what it takes to survive. The whole series is exceptional, but the first book is hand’s down my favorite.
- Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson. This book. Good lord, this book. It’s creepy and atmospheric and there are scenes that I read while holding my breath. You feel for the heroine, and as her desperation mounts, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. And that ending! Highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend!
So those are my top creepy and fantastical horror reads. I’m always looking to add to the list! What are some of your favorite horror novels?
Katee Robert learned to tell stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her favorites then were the rather epic adventures of The Three Bears, but at age twelve she discovered romance novels and never looked back.
Though she dabbled in writing, life got in the way—as it often does—and she spent a few years traveling, living in both Philadelphia and Germany. In between traveling and raising her two wee ones, she had the crazy idea that she’d like to write a book and try to get published.
Her first novel was an epic fantasy that, God willing, will never see the light of day. From there, she dabbled in YA and horror, before finally finding speculative romance. Because, really, who wouldn’t want to write entire books about the smoking-hot relationships between two people?
She now spends her time—when not lost in Far Reach worlds—playing imaginary games with her wee ones, writing, ogling men, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.