Monday, 20 October 2014

Tis the season to get SPOOKED!

It's October! I love October, mostly because I love Halloween, a holiday which I feel is sorely unappreciated her in the UK, I spent one Halloween in the US and it totally ruined it for me because no-one in England really cares about Halloween. No-one decorates, no-one dresses up and I haven't had trick or treaters in YEARS. It always disappoints me that no-one gets in to it over here, but I figured if anyone would appreciate a Halloween theme, my fellow book lovers would!

Not only do I usually spend Halloween watching....well...Halloween films, you know the sort, Hocus Pocus....Ghost Busters.....Beetlejuice....Sleepy Hollow and so on, wearing my tacky Halloween jumper and leggings and eating my body weight in Candy Corn (Bless you Bentall Centre and your American candy section!), but I also love nothing more than a Halloween read. Not always spooky ones, but some that are just ya know....magical!

SO for you guys I have compiled a list of some of the best books to read this month for Halloween, some are spooky, some are creepy, some are well and truly Halloween reads, and some, while not being scary, have that magical element that Halloween is all about. Not everyone dresses up as scary things ya know!

So here we gooooo!

1. The Fall

"She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down?The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher."

This is a Halloween read through and through, eerily creepy, it'll really get you in the spirit! 

2. Born At Midnight

"One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart. 

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…"

Born At Midnight is the first in the Shadow Falls series, and it's one of my favourite series! Really you should read them all, and the Shadow Falls: After Dark series, which is just starting out. Shadow Falls has everything you could want for a Halloween read, vampires, fae, werewolves, shifters and ghosts, and they're all chilling in the woods! There's even romance for all you romance fans! And trust me, certain parts involving the ghosts are reaaaaally creepy.

3. Soul Screamers

"She doesn't see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next."

My Soul To Take is the first in the Soul Screamers series, again, another of my favourites, and another that I feel fits the Halloween vibe for those who don't want to be totally terrified. There's reapers and banshee type things going on, and again, romance, and it's another perfect, lighter Halloween read! 

4. Harry Potter And The Philosophers Stone

"Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy - until he is rescued by an owl, taken to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and does battle in a deadly duel. The Reason: HARRY POTTER IS A WIZARD!"

I wasn't really going to do a synopsis for this, but I thought I'd better on the off chance, and GoodReads is suspiciously short! 

How can I do a Halloween reads list WITHOUT Harry Potter? I couldn't not include him! All the magic and the creatures and ya know...Halloween in the book...."TROOOOOLLL....IN THE DUNGEON" and all that. Just do it. You know you feel a re-read coming on so why not start it now? 

5. Dracula

"Acting on behalf of his firm of solicitors, Jonathan Harker travels to the Carpathian Mountains to finalize the sale of England's Carfax Abbey to Transylvanian noble Count Dracula. Little does he realize that, in doing so, he endangers all that he loves. For Dracula is one of the Un-Dead--a centuries-old vampire who sleeps by day and stalks by night, feasting on the blood of his helpless victims. Once on English soil, the count sets his sights on Jonathan's circle of associates, among them his beloved wife Mina. To thwart Dracula's evil designs, Jonathan and his friends will have to accept as truth the most preposterous superstitions concerning vampires, and in the company of legendary vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing, embark on an unholy adventure for which even their worst nightmares have not prepared them."

We're gonna get classical now for the next couple, how can you not read Dracula in honour of Halloween in October? It's a must really. It's just so....Halloween ;) 

6. Frankenstein 

"A summer evening's ghost stories, lonely insomnia in a moonlit Alpine's room & a runaway imagination--fired by philosophical discussions with Lord Byron & Percy Bysshe Shelley about science, galvanism & the origins of life--conspired to produce for Mary Shelley this haunting night specter. By morning, it had become the germ of her Romantic masterpiece,Frankenstein
Written in 1816 when she was only 19, Shelley's novel of "The Modern Prometheus" chillingly dramatized the dangerous potential of life begotten upon a laboratory table. A frightening creation myth for our own time, Frankenstein remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written & is an undisputed classic of its kind."

Again, another classic that is so totally Halloween, when everyone thinks of Halloween they usually picture Dracula, Frankenstein and a Werewolf, they're like....the Mean Girls of Halloween! 

7. The Strange Case Of Doctor Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

"Published as a shilling shocker, Robert Louis Stevenson's dark psychological fantasy gave birth to the idea of the split personality. The story of respectable Dr Jekyll's strange association with damnable young man Edward Hyde; the hunt through fog-bound London for a killer; and the final revelation of Hyde's true identity is a chilling exploration of humanity's basest capacity for evil."

I um'd and ah'd about including this, but ultimately decided that it fits the bill! Again it's another Classic, and one that I have very vague recollections of seeing the musical version of, back in the day, I'm fairly certain I still have the soundtrack floating about, and I think a re-read is in order! 

8. The Picture Of Dorian Grey

"Dorian is a good-natured young man until he falls in with the cunning and quick-tongued Lord Henry, who unveils  to Dorian the power of his own exceptional beauty. As he gradually sinks deeper into a glamorous and decadent world of selfish luxury, he seems to remain physically unchanged in spite of age and the stresses of his corrupt lifestyle. But in his attic, hidden behind a curtain, his portrait tells a different story."

Again, not one of the Mean Girls of Halloween, but a good classic that is suitably Halloween-y. I do actually watch the film version of this every Halloween/October, but to be honest, I think the film version is just a bit crap, I only really watch it for Ben Barnes *winkwink* 

9. Edgar Allan Poe: The Complete Tales and Poems

"In a career that spanned slightly more than two decades, Edgar Allan Poe pioneered the short story as a literary form, perfected the tale of psychological horror, launched the detective fiction genre, and helped to revolutionize modern poetics. The full body of Poe's imaginative work encompasses mystery tales, horror stories, satires, fables, fantasies, science fiction, dramas, and verse." can you not? This collection is kind of a must read for Halloween, and if you're gonna read The Fall, this has The Fall Of The House Of Usher in it, and seeing as The Fall i based on it, you should really give it a go! It's also got Murders In The Rue Morgue, The Raven and well...everything! 
Aaaannnd this is the last classic, I promise! 

10. Alice In Zombieland

"Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies…."

Zombies....classic Halloween monster right?! Alice In Zombieland has a totally unique take on zombies, has romance for all the romance fans, and is suitably creepy at points as well as badass. You can probably guess it's another of my favourite series, and ya know...the third and final in the trilogy just came out so why not give it a go to get in the Halloween spirit!? 

11. A Breath Of Frost 

"In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their family lineage of witchcraft when a binding spell is broken, allowing their individual magical powers to manifest. Now, beyond the manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, an alluring underworld available only to those with power is revealed to the cousins. By claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the underworld. 

Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies. 

Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed…or even worse, before their new gifts are stripped away?"

Witches....magic....this is the first in a new series by one of my favourite authors and the second installment is out very soon...perfect timing right!? For me, this is suitably Halloween-y what with the witches element, it's also a slightly lighter one, there's some creepy bits but it's all cute and romancey too. You should also check out The Drake Chronicles, Stolen Away and Haunting Violet as each is suitable Halloween reading material! Vampires....fae....ghosts....all are perfect! 

12. Poison Princess

Sixteen-year-old Evangeline "Evie" Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they're still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can't do either alone.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can't totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it's not always clear who is on which side."

This one is another of my favourites, that I actually read the first two of at around October last year, while they're not especially creepy, well I mean...I guess they can be at points, they're more apocalypse-y, but I don't know...this series just fits the Halloween vibe with the arcana cards and the horrible visions and everything! And actual Death....on a horse. 

13. White Hot Kiss 

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses. 

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever. 

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul. 

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne… it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world."

OKAY, don't judge the cover and the title...hear me out first! This has made my list because yes, it has demons who are suitably creepy/Halloween-y, and unique...but it also has Gargoyles. Come ooonn ya know you haven't read one about Gargoyles before, you're gonna love this, I promise you, and it's great for Halloween, I think since the Gargoyles TV show/cartoon stopped, gargoyles have been severely under-rated. 

14. Unspoken 

Kami Glass loves someone she's never met . . . a boy she's talked to in her head ever since she was born. She didn't spend her childhood silent about her imaginary friend, and is thus a bit of an outsider in the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, she has a best friend, runs the popular school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head. 

But all that changes when the Lynburns return. .

Yes, I know y'all know I love this series, and obviously it has made the list. Why is it a Halloween read? Creepy Lynburn house with strange goings on/secretive stuff going on and ya know...magical type things going on. Not to mention in the second book a load of scarecrows come alive and attack them. I've not read the third yet, but I'm sure it's just as fantastic. 

15. The Name Of The Star 

Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school just as a series of brutal murders mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper killing spree of more than a century ago has broken out across the city. The police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man believed to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him - the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target...unless she can tap her previously unknown abilities to turn the tables."

Shades Of London. A must read. Particularly at Halloween, I read this at night and just...never again. I'm going to be getting in to the Halloween spirit this week by reading a proof copy of the third book, but you guys can and should read the first two. Ghosts. Jack The Ripper wannabe. What more do you need on the creepy front? 

16. Vampire Academy

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever"

So, Vampires are one of the big Halloween baddies. I wanted to include a book solely about Vampires (Shadow Falls is a mix of everything) that wasn't a classic and thus more easy to get in to for people who don't care for Classics or their wording. I already mentioned The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey, but I didn't wanna do two from the same author on different slots. So we have, I think, one of the first Vampire books I read, along with Morganville Vampires (there's another Halloween one!), this one is quite a light Halloween's funny, there's romance, there's also a suitable level of badass-ery, and ya know...Vampirey things. It's a good series, it's now completed, and if you're in the mood you could check out the spin off series Bloodlines!

17. Unbreakable 

When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way." 

Reviewed recently by me, I've included this because it's a 100% Halloween read. The best way to describe it, is a YA version of Supernatural. There's even brothers, although they're twins. It's got humour, it's got REALLY creepy ghosts and vividly creepy haunted and abandoned locations, including a prison. This is one of the creepier offerings I have for you guys on this list! But seriously, it's a really good series! 

18. City Of Bones

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know... "

It's a well known fact I love this series. Why is it a Halloween read? Demons. Demons EVERYWHERE. And ya know...werewolves, warlocks and so on are also present. So this one makes the cut as well, check out the rest of the series and check out the prequel trilogy The Infernal Devices! 

So there you have it! Halloween reads. 18 of them. Some classics in there, a couple of fully creepy ones, but most of them are light ones, there's some romance, there's the usual Halloween monsters and everything, this is purely because occasionally I do get freaked out quite easily, there was an incident where I binge watched season 1 of Criminal Minds in a day and couldn't sleep properly for days for example, so while I like the odd creepy book, I don't have a million of them in my possession nor have a read a lot of them, so there's a mix of both, but as I said, most of them are fairly light, but have Halloween "monsters".


  1. I think the only celebration that we do get into is Christmas - but I'm sure the Americans can beat us with that too! do they go all out for Halloween?

    I don't usually read horror/mystery books - I get creeped out so easily, so thank you for adding some lighter reads too. I have recently bought the first two books in the Mortal Instruments series, so I'm really looking forward to starting those (I'm really late, I know!). I also have the first and the last books in the Vampire Academy series (I picked up the last book first, not knowing it was a series haha). I haven't read Dracula in years, so I would love to reread that soon. A Breath of Frost, White Hot Kiss and Poison Princess sound fantastic - I've added them to my tbr!

    Thanks so much for the recommendations :-)
    Sarah @ Bookish Retreat

  2. They really, really do! Everyone decorates their houses inside and out, there where trick or treaters everywhere for hours, so many costumes, their costume shops where amazing! Candy corn, you can buy loads of awesome decorations everywhere, they do haunted houses and haunted hay rides, garage shows, people's decorations are amazing like dry ice and graveyards for front lawns fantastic! Spooky things EVERYWHERE! My cousin's elementary school had a Halloween night thing, it was like a load of Halloween games, can't remember the specifics though! It's amazing over there for halloween though!

    They really do, I think most Americans get an actual real tree! They did have some incredible christmas biscuits when I was there!

    I do too, don't worry, I'll read one, then as soon as it gets dark I'm like "shit"! So you're so welcome! I just read YA more! To be honest, at least you don't have the wait in between books because it's brutal! You're just in time for the TV series they're shooting in 2015! It's honestly such a good series! And the prequels! I'm too excited for the new series! Hahaa I've done that before, read it, then been like.....oh. You should check out the spin off from that one when you get a chance!

    Me either, I used to have a copy that was from one of the newspapers back when they did classics and I read it loads but it's been forever, and I keep meaning to re-read! Yaaayy! Those are three of my favourites! You should also (I am terrible for recommendations, sorry!) check out the rest of Alyxandra Harvey's and Jennifer Armentrouts books! So much awesome!


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