It’s that time of the year again! Halloween is almost upon us, which of course means we get to gush about all our favourite creepy books! And dress up as witches and drink too many pumpkin spice lattes… but we all do that on a daily basis anyway.
So today we’re going to share our ultimate spooky picks with you! If you’re looking for a last-minute addition to your Halloween TBR or if you just need more creepy content in your life, you need to get your hands on these ones ASAP!
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspectres, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.
When The Inspectres head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead.
But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.
“Every time I get nervous or scared, I remind myself that every good story needs twists and turns. Every heroine needs an adventure.” – Cassidy Blake, City of Ghosts
Just like every other Schwab book I’ve feasted my eyes upon, City of Ghosts was a book that had me feeling all the feels, crying over untimely character deaths, and it left me wanting a second instalment immediately. If you’re looking for another book to read this Halloween, look no further than City of Ghosts. This novel was everything I had hoped for and more: it talks about paranormal investigators, it’s set in Edinburgh, and the protagonist’s best friend is a ghost! MAJOR HEART-EYES OVER HERE.
As a lover of everything spooky and paranormal, I expected to have a much higher tolerance towards scary stuff than I actually do. And considering City of Ghosts is a middle grade novel, this one definitely gave me the creeps when I was reading it late at night. But not only was it a deliciously spooky novel, it was also one that was incredibly heart-warming. City of Ghosts is a book about friendship and family and learning to embrace the weird side of you, and it will remain one of my top Halloween recommendations for quite some time to come.
Toil and Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft edited by Jessica Spotswood & Tess Sharpe
A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.
Are you a good witch or a bad witch?
History tells us women accused of witchcraft were often outsiders: educated, independent, unmarried, unwilling to fall in line with traditional societal expectations.
Bold. Powerful. Rebellious.
A bruja’s traditional love spell has unexpected results. A witch’s healing hands begin to take life instead of giving it when she ignores her attraction to a fellow witch. In a terrifying future, women are captured by a cabal of men crying witchcraft and the one true witch among them must fight to free them all. In a desolate past, three orphaned sisters prophesize for a murderous king. Somewhere in the present, a teen girl just wants to kiss a boy without causing a hurricane.
From good witches to bad witches, to witches who are a bit of both, this is an anthology of diverse witchy tales from a collection of diverse, feminist authors. The collective strength of women working together—magically or mundanely–has long frightened society, to the point that women’s rights are challenged, legislated against, and denied all over the world. Toil & Trouble delves deep into the truly diverse mythology of witchcraft from many cultures and feminist points of view, to create modern and unique tales of witchery that have yet to be explored.
Anthologies are fast becoming my new favourite thing, and Toil and Trouble is one of the best. What’s not to love? There are stories of good witches, bad witches, LGBT witches, funny witches, sad witches. The diversity within this anthology makes for a rich and unique read, and I devoured every single story. I loved having no idea what came next because every story was fresh and without the repetition of witchy tropes (but have no fear, there’s still a black cat or two). Some are set in modern day, some in the seventeenth century, but all of the stories feature strong and powerful women, and I am so here for it.
Toil and Trouble is so enchanting and spooky, and it should definitely be on your Halloween TBR (but read it any time of the year when you need a witchy fix). There’s a story for everyone.
Give The Dark My Love by Beth Revis
When seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island’s wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn’t quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her.
All, except for Greggori “Grey” Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that’s for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the North, and it’s making its way toward the cities. With her family’s life–and the lives of all of Lunar Island’s citizens–on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.
Grey and Nedra continue to grow closer, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy’s most dangerous corners–and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.
I had to be an alchemist. An alchemist sees the skin that must be sliced apart. The arteries that must be tied off. The bone that must be sawed through.
Dark and ambition, this book is not for the faint hearted. On the surface this book looks like your typical romance fantasy novel, but it is so much more. With this first instalment, Beth Revis invites you into a world that is far more gritty than your typical YA book. Nedra is from the poor northern countryside of Lunar Island, where The Wasting Death (a vicious plague) is spreading like wildfire. Leaving her family behind, Nedra travels to the capital to study alchemy in hopes of finding a cure. She is determined to do whatever it takes to save the people she loves, even if that means a painful descent into darkness.
I love merciless and unforgiving books. Stories that don’t pander over the harsher aspects of their characters’ lives. Stories that hold nothing back, trusting that their readers can handle it. Stories, that when you think the plot could not possibly get worse it does (in all the best ways, if like me you consider hacking someones arm off exciting!).
So be brave, throw caution to the wind, and slink into the dark pages of this book. Because Give The Dark My Love is the perfect read for a stormy Halloween night.
P.S. The last hundred pages will leave you speechless.
Twitter • Facebook • Instagram • YouTube • Eventbrite