Halloween Reads: Our Picks … Your Picks!

halloween reads
If you’re like us, you love curling up with a good spooky book this time of year. So today, we’re going to share some of OUR favorite YA and middle grade Halloween reads … then we want to hear YOUR picks. What are your favorite Halloween reads? Check out just a few of our recommendations below, then add yours in the comments. If you do, you can enter to win some books and some candy! (Details below.)

YA = Young Adult

MG = Middle Grade

The Dark Between by Sonia Gensler (YA)

Dark Between, The officialWhy we like it for Halloween: Spooky AF. Historical fiction with a paranormal twist. Swoony romantical stuff. (Honestly, all of Sonia’s books are perfect for Halloween. This one just happens to be my favorite.)

What it’s about: A supernatural romance about the powers that lie in the shadows of the mind, perfect for fans of Sarah Rees Brennan, Alyxandra Harvey, and Libba Bray.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Spiritualism and séances are all the rage—even in the scholarly town of Cambridge, England. While mediums dupe the grief-stricken, a group of local fringe scientists seeks to bridge the gap to the spirit world by investigating the dark corners of the human mind.

Each running from a shadowed past, Kate, Asher, and Elsie take refuge within the walls of Summerfield College. But their peace is soon shattered by the discovery of a dead body nearby. Is this the work of a flesh-and-blood villain, or is something otherworldly at play? This unlikely trio must illuminate what the scientists have not, and open a window to secrets taken to the grave—or risk joining the spirit world themselves.

See our review here.

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier (MG)

Night Gardener, TheWhy we like it for Halloween: A haunted house, a creepy dude who shows up at night, and inspiration from classic Gothic writing.

What it’s about: The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. With Auxier’s exquisite command of language, The Night Gardener is a mesmerizing read and a classic in the making.

See our review here.

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia (YA)

Kami Garcia/UnbreakableWhy we like it for Halloween: If Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural had a baby, it would be this book series from Kami Garcia. Ghost hunters and evil spirits abound, plus hot guys and kissing stuff.

What it’s about: When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

Suspense, romance, and the paranormal meet in this chilling urban fantasy, the first book in a new series from Kami Garcia, bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures novels.

See our review here.

A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano (MG)

a curious tale of the in-betweenWhy we like it for Halloween: A girl who speaks to ghosts. An evil magical villain. The truest bonds of friendship.

What it’s about: Pram Bellamy is special—she can talk to ghosts. She doesn’t have too many friends amongst the living, but that’s all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.

Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram’s power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.

See our review here.

Jackaby by William Ritter (YA)

jackabyWhy we like it for Halloween: Doctor Who meets Sherlock. Evil paranormal baddie. Funny, witty narrative. Delightful characters. Humor + horror = the best things ever.

What it’s about: “Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion–and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

See our review here. (Also don’t miss the sequel, Beastly Bones.)

Doll Bones by Holly Black (MG)

doll bonesWhy we like it for Halloween: A Creepy. Freaking. Porcelain. Doll.

What it’s about: A doll that may be haunted leads three friends on a thrilling adventure in this delightfully creepy novel from the New York Times bestselling cocreator of the Spiderwick Chronicles.

Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her.

But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up make-believe, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the Queen—and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave.

Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the Queen’s ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan, and as their adventure turns into an epic journey, creepy things begin to happen. Is the doll just a doll or something more sinister? And if there really is a ghost, will it let them go now that it has them in its clutches?

See our review here.

The Fall by Bethany Griffin (YA)

fall, theWhy we like it for Halloween:  An endlessly spooky, make-you-jump-at-noises-in-the-house haunted house story inspired by the Edgar Allan Poe classic “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

What it’s about: Madeline Usher is doomed.

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.

See our review here.

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd (YA)

madman's daughterWhy we like it for Halloween: A trilogy based on classic Gothic horror novels The Island of Dr. Moreau, Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde, and Frankenstein.
Monsters. Madness. Romance.

What it’s about: In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.

See our review here.

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel (YA)

this dark endeavor_paperbackWhy we like it for Halloween: A YA prequel of sorts to the Mary Shelley classic Frankenstein, without all the social commentary of Shelley’s original novel and all the horror you’d hoped for.

What it’s about: The purest intentions can stir up the darkest obsessions.

In this prequel to Mary Shelley’s gothic classic, Frankenstein, 16-year-old Victor Frankenstein begins a dark journey that will change his life forever. Victor’s twin, Konrad, has fallen ill, and no doctor is able to cure him. Unwilling to give up on his brother, Victor enlists his beautiful cousin Elizabeth and best friend Henry on a treacherous search for the ingredients to create the forbidden Elixir of Life. Impossible odds, dangerous alchemy and a bitter love triangle threaten their quest at every turn.

Victor knows he must not fail. But his success depends on how far he is willing to push the boundaries of nature, science, and love—and how much he is willing to sacrifice.

See our review here.


Tell us your favorite Halloween reads in the comments below, and you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of Unbreakable by Kami Garcia, The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow, plus some Halloween treats (no tricks) and other goodies.

Fill out the Rafflecopter form HERE to complete your entry & earn more chances to win.

U.S. only. Contest runs through midnight (PT) on Thursday, October 29th.

For the comments: What are your favorite Halloween reads?



14 thoughts on “Halloween Reads: Our Picks … Your Picks!

Add yours

  1. I also really enjoyed The Fall by Bethany Griffin, would be fun to read after reading Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, which is truly creepy. Recently I read Ghostlight by Sonia Gensler and needed to put all the lights on at home! Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough is another scary, scary book–definitely leave the lights on for that one!

  2. Either 172 Hours on the Moon (not very Halloween-y, but super duper scary) or Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender. It’s a super quick read, scary, has ghosts, and a love interest!

  3. Doll Bones has recently become a favorite Halloween read for me and my students! I’m a first year teacher teaching 7th grade ELA. Have to say, though, I’m a big fan of Frankenstein.

  4. My favorite of Stephen King’s books are THE SHINING and MISERY. I first read the former when I was about 11 years old. I’m also a huge fan of Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches series.

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