Whether you’re a year-round spook, or just partial to this time of year mixed up in the Autumnal colours, Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, and the perfect excuses to buy a new scarf: you’re probably ready for a new reason to scream. I’m guessing. Because you clicked on this blog. I’m not psychic or anything. We’ve been steadily growing our amazing collection of Modern Gothics, Classic Horrors and Spooky Retellings, and now I’m (just about) ready to share with you the newest releases we’re championing. This list is a mix of Middle Grades, YA and Adult novels, so even if you’re only looking for SpookyLite, we’ve got you covered!
Rules for Vampires by Alex Foulkes
This book is described as Nevermoor meets Hotel Transylvania – and whilst I don’t think you need any more description than that, I will continue. This charming middle grade is about haunted castles, vampire girls and evil ghosts and if that’s STILL not enough to tempt you, it’s a debut novel with disability rep. We love to see it. As with most middle grades, Rules for Vampires has a great balance of ‘the power of friendship’ mixed with a little tension, a little drama, and a lot of fun. Readers have described it as ‘delightful’, and it really is.
The Shadows of Rookhaven by Padraig Kenny
The Shadows of Rookhaven is the brilliant sequel to The Monsters of Rookhaven, a cheeky middle grade about friendship, monsters, and not judging a book by it’s cover. Both books are filled with spooky whimsy, genuine tension and classic Gothic tropes. As well as a few nods to some horror-fan-favourites. It reads like a traditional fairytale, and has the potential to break your heart. It’s magical and magnificent, and currently available in a really beautiful hardback.
All These Bodies by Kendare Blake
From the author of Three Dark Crowns comes this Paranormal YA Horror, which promises dark twists and a sharp bite. ‘Sixteen bloodless bodies. Two teenagers. One impossible explanation.’ All These Bodies has been a highly anticipated read for us over at Waypoint, and those who enjoyed Mina and the Undead, A Dark and Hollow Star and Sawkill Girls should start getting excited.
October, October by Katya Balen
For those who enjoy the Autumnal season, but prefer the more ‘natural’ side of Gothic Fiction, this Middle-Grade novel is the one for you. October, October is a contemporary novel set in the wild. October lives with her father in the woods; but the year she turns eleven, her father falls out of a tree, October rescues a baby owl, and her mother returns. It’s a powerful and poignant read which looks at family, the environment and the chaos that both can bring to your door when you least expect it.
Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain
You may have already seen this making the rounds on Twitter or Instagram. It’s a stunning book and we’re so excited for people to get their hands on it, we’ve put it in a few of the Full Moon Subscription boxes. Another paranormal YA thriller, this novel evokes the same drama as Karen McManus and Stephanie Perkins, with small-town politics and mysterious strangers coming from the bayou. Dark and Shallow… is the Vampire Diaries for the next generation.
The Bewitching of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes
We’ve got another great sequel for you next; The Bewitching of Aveline Jones follows our daring heroine from The Haunting of Aveline Jones as she discovers witch stories perfect to put you under a spell. In book one, Aveline Jones was exploring ghost stories. It was a really fun and spooky Middle Grade which excited and had us on the edge of our seats. Bewitching promises to be as exciting, with more mysterious to be solved and spirits to be laid to rest.
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
You should expect to see this author pop up more and more in these recommendation and new releases blogs. I’m obsessed. Moreno-Garcia has such a flexible writing style, that each story evokes a different vibe which is perfect for the intended aesthetic without compromising the incredible storytelling. Certain Dark Things follows several characters as the audience is dragged by the hair through the sordid Vampiric underbelly of Mexico City. It’s exciting and fun, and with just a dash of Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Lost Boys about it. 80’s Vampires is just such a mood, you know?
The Woods are Always Watching by Stephanie Perkins
This book had me hooked by the first page. I was lucky enough to get a sneaky peek at it as an ARC, and openly wondered to myself “why haven’t I heard about this author before?!” And then I discovered; I had. Stephanie Perkins wrote Anna and the French Kiss, a YA romance I kind of enjoyed but wasn’t totally enamoured by. Apparently, Perkin’s forte is in the thriller genre, and I’m so excited to have rediscovered this author. The Woods are Always Watching is a companion novel to There’s Someone Inside Your House, though it stands on its own very well. A story of survival, Neena and Josie decide to spend their last days together (before college) on a three-day hike into the woods. Perkins builds exquisite tension as Neena and Josie stumble across a walking nightmare. Just what we need for the spooky season.
The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglas
The Taking of Jake Livingston has been such a hit in the US it was painful to wait for it over here in the UK. But I did. And it was worth it. An LGBTQ YA Horror, Jake Livingston is an outsider as one of the only Black kids at his prep school. And to make matters worse, he can see the dead. Usually not a problem, until he meets Sawyer, a deeply troubled teen who shot and killed six students and then himself. And he has plans for his afterlife which run similar to how his life ended. Thrilling, fully of paranormal wonder, this is definitely one to add to your owned TBR.
The Final Girls Support Group by Grady Hendrix
Did I leave this book to be the final one on the list on purpose? Probably. Grady Hendrix has been hit and miss for me. Southern Book Club… had some really problematic elements to it, and My Best Friends Exorcism was a bit slow. But Horrorstor was so much fun, and I love the ‘Final Girl’ trope too much not to include this fully hyped new release. As suggested by the title, The Final Girl Support Group follows a group of girls who fought to survive, and now they’re dealing with the aftermath. Each week they meet for a support group to talk about an experience only their comrades can understand. However, when the girls start getting picked off one by one, it looks like the nightmare never ends.
Are we screaming about the wrong books? Think we’ve missed one? Let us know!