What YA’ Reading: Horror

Tis the season for pumpkin patches, cozy sweaters and scarring yourself so badly with great horror books that you can’t sleep at night. Happy fall y’all!

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Wilder GirlsFor 18 months, the girls at Raxter School have been quarantined. First the Tox slowly infected the teachers, then it began infecting the students. Now the remaining students are isolated and fending for themselves on the island their school calls home, while the quarantined woods outside the school’s fence lingers menacingly. Friends Hetty, Byatt and Reece are among those waiting for a cure while the Tox encroaches on everything around them. That is, until Byatt goes missing. Now Hetty leaves the safety of the fence, for the woods, to find out what happened to her friend. Along the way, she learns more about the Tox and her time at Raxter School than she ever could have imagined. 

Wilder Girls is a great makes-your-skin-crawl kind of horror read. There is plenty of gore and creepiness’ to go around, which is added to by the stylistic writing. There is also a sort of Lord of the Flies feeling to the whole thing because these girls are isolated, scared and trying to survive when they have no clue what’s going on. If you love angsty, gory, shocking horror then this is the book for you.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in BloodCas’s family kills the dead. They travel the country, following legends and lore to destroy ghosts who murder people. At least they did until Cas’s father was murdered. Now it’s just Cas, his spirit-sniffing cat and his kitchen-witch mother. Things like the future and friends are just going to have to wait.

Cas’s next assignment is a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood. Anna kills every person who attempts to enter her former home, while wearing the blood soaked dress she wore on the day she died in 1958. Cas expects it to be the usual track, hunt, kill scenario but this ghost is more than they’ve ever encountered. Anna’s haunting comes with curses, rage and maybe even redemption if the victim chooses it.

This is a much beloved YA horror book. It’s full of vivid imagery and action, with very little gore. The writing is elegant and the scenes are unreal in their vividness. If you like horror at all, you should absolutely read this book, which will make you shudder like only a well polished horror read can.

Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare

Clown in a CornfieldKettle Springs is a boring town with some very relatable small town problems. Ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has been divided. On one side there are the older generations – folks determined to tap into Kettle Springs and make is as good, if not better, than it was before. On the other side are the younger generations – kids who start making prank videos, having fun and find a way out of Kettle Springs as fast as possible.

This is the situation Quinn and her father walk into after her dad accepts a position within the town. Quinn doesn’t mind as it’s her senior year and she just wants her dad to be happy. They are now living in a dilapidated farmhouse surrounded by a cornfield and an abandoned factory with a creepy clown face painted on it.

Unfortunately, the high tensions of the town finally lead to a break in the community, resulting in an absolutely terrifying, gory experience. If you love or love to hate creepy clowns and cornfields then this brand new 2020 horror book is for you.

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Rachael is always listening to an audiobook or a podcast, usually while doing a mountain of housework that comes with having a young kid. Her favorite genres include historical fiction, young adult fantasy and historical romances. In her off time she enjoys hand lettering, using power tools and watching heavy metal rock concerts with her husband. She purchases the young adult and juvenile fiction for the library.