If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably know I am a big fan of Halloween reading. I rarely read scary books during the rest of the year, but, come October, I am all over it. That said, I am not the biggest fan of horror. I do occasionally enjoy horror novels (though horror movies are not my thing at all), but they’re not something I gravitate towards. They have to be something really special. But I’ve found that Halloween does not necessarily mean horror. There are plenty of dark and creepy books out there that don’t fall into the category of horror, but are definitely Halloween appropriate. Here are some I think would be perfect for this time of the year:
Vicious by V. E. Schwab. I just read Vicious for the second time, and loved it just as much as I did the first time around. It is dark and violent and exciting, but is definitely not horror. It’s kind of contemporary, kind of sci-fi, and kind of superhero (or supervillain) origin story. And it’s absolutely brilliant. I’m currently reading the sequel, and I am kind of obsessed.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara. I guess this is kind of along the lines of horror, except that it’s true crime. Yes, this book discusses some truly horrible things, but they are all real. If you want to read something Halloween-appropriate (it’s pretty creepy) and also nonfiction, I highly recommend this one! (Other true crime novels perfect for Halloween: The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman and Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi.)
The Darkling Bride by Laura Anderson. This is a great mix of contemporary and historical fiction, with a great, dark mystery. I loved this book, and kind of wish I’d saved it for fall because it would make the perfect fall read. Its you like darker historical fiction (with a dash of romance), I think you should definitely pick this one up at some point. Now is good.
The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang. If you want historical fiction that is both dark and a little strange, The Impossible Girl is for you. It’s about a girl born with two hearts who, in an effort to keep her dangerous trait hidden, becomes a resurrectionist – she digs up dead bodies for use as cadavers in medical schools… or for slightly less academic purposes. It’s mysterious and weird, and I loved it.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. If you ask me what my favorite book is, I will have a small existential crisis, but I will probably eventually answer with Neverwhere. It is scary and creepy and wonderful. It might you up at night (probably because you won’t be able to put it down), but it is oh so worth it. Even if Vandemar and Croup give you nightmares.
Do you like to read any specific kind of books for Halloween? Do you have any to add to this list? Let me know in the comments!
Also check out my Unconventional Halloween Reads recommendations from last year – all of them could easily fit this list, too!