As a kid, I never liked going outside and playing on the playground. I would much rather have stayed inside reading. Not much has really changed since then. I still would rather read than do just about anything else.
While I loved to read anything I could get my hands on, I especially loved reading things that were a bit more suspenseful. I’m not talking full on scary, just exciting. Witches, monsters and malignant faeries make for great, thrilling, but not scary, books. Here is a list of my favorite creepy and fantastical Halloween books.
“A Great and Terrible Beauty” by Libba Bray
All about witches and magical powers, “A Great and Terrible Beauty” is one of those books that rocked my world when I first read it, and it is definitely my favorite book on the list. Gemma Doyle and her family grew up in India. After her mother’s mysterious death, Gemma and her family move to England to be close to family. Once there, Gemma begins having psychic visions about herself and her mother, eventually learning she is heir to a magical cult.
Darker than most, “A Great and Terrible Beauty” was equal parts discomforting and intriguing. Danger and death lurk around Gemma in the most common of ways, making even the most mundane things, like a walk in the garden or sitting in church, seem treacherous.
“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley
I know exactly what you’re thinking and trust me, you’re wrong. “Frankenstein” is one of the best almost-horror stories out there. And just so we’re clear, Frankenstein is the doctor, not the monster. By the way, neither of them are bad, they’re just trying to do what they think is right even if they’ve made some mistakes in the past.
I love the story of Dr. Frankenstein and his misadventures with his patchwork person. More than anything, I love the emotional turmoil that Dr. Frankenstein goes through. Driven by scientific genius, Frankenstein defies the laws of nature and creates a humanoid creature from stolen body parts. Torn by his desire to pursue scientific research and his moral apprehension with his experiments, Frankenstein is an emotionally-driven story that will have the reader hooked within sentences.
“Wings” by Aprilynne Pike
As I first started writing this list I realized almost every book I put on the list was a faerie story. Of all the fae stories I’ve read, “Wings” is by far my favorite. Full of boy drama, faery danger and the angst of growing-up, “Wings” is very distinctly young adult fiction, but in all the right ways. This book definitely lets the reader sit back and enjoy the story.
Homeschooled Laurel and her hippie parents move into town after buying a bookstore. High school is going well, and Laurel even makes friends. Everything changes when she finds her shoulder blades have sprouted wings. Mayhem ensues as she discovers her faery identity and her mission as the protector of her nation. Sounds cliché and pretty standard YA, but trust me, you won’t be sorry for reading this story!