I’m here with some book recs for our favorite spooky holiday (at least… in America?). I don’t know about any of you, but I’m actually a big scaredy cat, so I think there are good books here that aren’t entirely scary; there’ll be good suggestions for every audience! Here are some books that’ll be spooooooky, witchy, scary, or just give off a really nice Halloween vibe. The best part? I’ve also paired them up with good movies/tv that give off a similar vibe perfect for this time of the year.
Here are my recs:
- Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-García + Underworld -> Certain Dark Things is crime noir set in Mexico City, where vampires are in mafia-like gangs, in a story infused with rich folklore and mythology. Pair that up with the movie Underworld, about vampires & werewolves and their feuds for a totally action-packed vampire experience!
- Love, Sugar, Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano + Sabrina the Teenage Witch -> A Dash of Trouble and Sabrina the Teenage Witch both feature young witches trying to control their newfound powers, with a lot of hilarious moments and magical mishaps that’ll entertain anyone! A Dash of Trouble has a tight-knit Mexican family who channel their magic through baking; a perfect middle grade read.
- Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal + Casper the Friendly Ghost -> Ghost Talkers is Historical fiction + supernatural thriller set during WWI, in which our protagonist speaks to the ghosts of fallen soldiers to uncover intelligence during the war. Meanwhile Casper is just a fun movie for all ages about a friendly ghost that just wants to make friends. Admittedly, what Ghost Talkers and Casper have in common is mostly the… ghost aspect, but they’re still a great pair if you’re a person afraid of ghosts or spirits but still want to enjoy something ghost related this Halloween.
- The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco + Hocus Pocus -> Nothing says Halloween quite like Necromancy, and that’s exactly what The Bone Witch brings. Our protagonist is Tea, a newly discovered dark asha who controls death. The book is lush with description and fantasy, and if you loved this one, the second one is even better! Pair this up with Hocus Pocus, the ultimate witchy movie for this Halloween season!
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor trilogy + Corpse Bride -> I reread the DoSaB trilogy YEARLY right around this time. This is a trilogy about a girl who was raised by monsters and discovers there’s an otherworldly war she’s strangely a part of. It’s beautifully descriptive and so SO atmospheric. If you pair this with Corpse Bride, in which a man finds himself thrust into a completely different world? *kisses fingers*
- Angelfall series by Susan Ee + Supernatural TV series -> Angelfall is the series of my heart. I think it was one of the very first series I ever fell in love with. This is a supernatural/dystopia about what happens when angels descend from heaven… but are not Angelic in the slightest. Our protagonist is Penryn, a human girl, who is just trying to save her sister who got kidnapped by evil angels, and Raffe, an angel who needs a helping hand. This trilogy paired up with Supernatural seems like a natural choice, since Supernatural deals with evil angels too. (Admittedly, I haven’t seen any other Supernatural seasons after the 10th one)
- You by Caroline Kepnes + You Lifetime series -> I feel like I’m always talking about this book, so it’ll be no surprise for anyone who’s been following this blog for a long time that I’m recommending You once again. This is definitely a book that’ll give you the chills which is great because then you can watch the adaptation on Lifetime which is SO accurate to the book it’s even scarier.
- Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova + Halloweentown -> Think: Charmed, but Latina and bad ASS. In Labyrinth Lost we meet Alex, a bruja who lives with her family in Brooklyn and really really really does not want anything to do with magic. She screws up… and now has to save her entire family + ancestors from evil forces. In my review of the book I said it was the perfect book for Halloweentown fans and I stand by it! Halloweentown is a Halloween season classic!
- A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo + Heathers -> What makes A Line in the Dark a great halloween read? This is a whodunit murder mystery. It explores what happens in elite rich kid circles, what one does for friendship, and has an almost all-queer main cast of female characters. Heathers is murderously fun and twisted and fits the mood for A Line in the Dark as well!
Honestly, this post could go on and on, because there are SO many good books for Halloween season! Think of this list as… books you wouldn’t think would work for spooky season but totally do! I added some extra ones, like for example the brilliant Beasts Made of Night, about a world in which people have to literally face animalistic representations of sin, or the dark and luscious Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, which gives us the Evil Queen’s origin story and infuses asian culture. There are also tons of movies for this season, one of my personal favorites being Twitches, included above! I don’t know what is it about that movie that I like so much, but I remember I used to watch that movie on repeat when I was younger.
- Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi
- Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda
- This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
- Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
Anyway, that’s it for today! Have you read any of these? Or do you have some suggestions for spoooooky reads or m?