Halloween is right around the corner, and what better way to celebrate then curling up with a slightly spooky YA book! I’ve read and loved every book on this list. So grab some hot cider and a fun-size candy bar or two and snuggle up with one of these reads that are perfect for the Halloween season. Happy reading!
*Words in italics were taken from Amazon.com. Opinions are my own.
Scythe, Thunderhead, The Toll by Neal Shusterman
I couldn’t get through this series fast enough. This series is definitely in my all-time Top 5 YA Series. I loved it.
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.
Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.
Gilded by Marissa Meyer
I am such a huge fan of Marissa Meyer, so I was thrilled when she released Gilded – and it did not disappoint!
Long ago cursed by the god of lies, a poor miller’s daughter has developed a talent for spinning stories that are fantastical and spellbinding and entirely untrue. Or so everyone believes.
When one of Serilda’s outlandish tales draws the attention of the sinister Erlking and his undead hunters, she finds herself swept away into a grim world where ghouls and phantoms prowl the earth and hollow-eyed ravens track her every move. The king orders Serilda to complete the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, or be killed for telling falsehoods. In her desperation, Serilda unwittingly summons a mysterious boy to her aid. He agrees to help her… for a price. Love isn’t meant to be part of the bargain.
Soon Serilda realizes that there is more than one secret hidden in the castle walls, including an ancient curse that must be broken if she hopes to end the tyranny of the king and his wild hunt forever.
Gallant by V.E. Schwab
Gallant is perhaps the “creepiest” book on the list full of ghosts, secrets, and a grim parallel universe of sorts. If you’re looking for a great seasonal read – this is it.
Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for Girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home; it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile, or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.
Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.
Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Okay, so I love stories about the goblin king. Yes, Gilded features the Erkling as well – but in a very different way. This book just sucked me in and actually made my 10 2021 Reads I’m Still Thinking About list.
The last night of the year. Now the days of winter begin and the Goblin King rides abroad, searching for his bride…
All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her mind, her spirit, and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesl can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.
But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds―and the mysterious man who rules it―she soon faces an impossible decision. And with time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.
Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz
This one is so not your average love story. Not even a little bit. I loved Hazel and her fierce determination to study, learn, and be who she knew she was created to be. She wanted more and would do literally – just about anything to get what she wanted.
Hazel Sinnett is a lady who wants to be a surgeon more than she wants to marry. Jack Currer is a resurrection man who’s just trying to survive in a city where it’s too easy to die.
When the two of them have a chance encounter outside the Edinburgh Anatomist’s Society, Hazel thinks nothing of it at first. But after she gets kicked out of renowned surgeon Dr. Beecham’s lectures for being the wrong gender, she realizes that her new acquaintance might be more helpful than she first thought. Because Hazel has made a deal with Dr. Beecham: if she can pass the medical examination on her own, Beecham will allow her to continue her medical career. Without official lessons, though, Hazel will need more than just her books―she’ll need corpses to study. Lucky that she’s made the acquaintance of someone who digs them up for a living.
But Jack has his own problems: strange men have been seen skulking around cemeteries, his friends are disappearing off the streets, and the dreaded Roman Fever, which wiped out thousands a few years ago, is back with a vengeance. Nobody important cares―until Hazel.
Now, Hazel and Jack must work together to uncover the secrets buried not just in unmarked graves, but in the very heart of Edinburgh society.
The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
I had first read the Six of Crows books by the same author (and loved them), so I couldn’t wait to dive into this trilogy. It was captivating (and yes – far far better than the Netflix series!) This is the perfect slightly-spooky series to dive into – magic, the Grisha, the Darkling, hidden powers, a mysterious darkness called the Fold teeming with violent creatures, with adventure, romance, and the classic battle between good and evil.
Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems. Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold―a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.
Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite―and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.
As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.
Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly
I love a good back-story – especially a villain’s back-story. I love discovering WHY someone is the way they are and WHY they do the things they do. And Jennifer Donnelly tells a villain’s tale so masterfully that you end up fully sympathetic, going, “Ohhhhhhh. That’s why.”
Once upon a time, a girl named Sophie rode into the forest with the queen’s huntsman. Her lips were the color of ripe cherries, her skin as soft as new-fallen snow, her hair as dark as midnight. When they stopped to rest, the huntsman pulled out his knife . . . and took Sophie’s heart.It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Sophie had heard the rumors, the whispers. They said she was too kind and foolish to rule — a waste of a princess. A disaster of a future queen. And Sophie believed them. She believed everything she’d heard about herself, the poisonous words people use to keep girls like Sophie from becoming too powerful, too strong . . .With the help of seven mysterious strangers, Sophie manages to survive. But when she realizes that the jealous queen might not be to blame, Sophie must find the courage to face an even more terrifying enemy, proving that even the darkest magic can’t extinguish the fire burning inside every girl, and that kindness is the ultimate form of strength.