Spooky season is here, and it is the perfect time to start crafting a reading list that will deliver all of the Halloween thrills and chills you’re craving. Here are six 2020 books that are guaranteed to put you in the Halloween spirit—whether you’re looking for a haunted boarding school, vampiric tales, or a spellbinding romance.
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
Alexis Henderson’s debut novel is perfect for readers looking for a witchy read this season. Immanuelle Moore follows Holy Protocol and attempts not to draw unnecessary attention to herself. But when she’s given her late mother’s journey, she discovers startling truths about the Church, her puritanical community, and herself. Immanuelle possesses more power than she knows, and if she dares to use it she could change everything.
Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang
Prepare to be sucked into this historical mystery where strange deaths in New York City are thought to be the work of a vampire. The year is 1899 and Bram Stoker’s recently published Dracula continues to captivate readers around the world. The obsession with the fictional monster bleeds into reality when bodies begin appearing drained of blood and bearing two puncture wounds on the neck. After Tillie Pembroke’s sister is killed, she’s hesitant to believe the wild rumors of a vampire on the loose and sets out to uncover the truth.
Vampires Never Get Old edited by Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker
What was the vampire doing at the library? Looking for his necks read! All jokes aside, this young adult anthology is a book with some bite! The eleven stories within explore vampires experiencing everything from social media to their first hunts. No tricks here; this collection is packed with treats from Samira Ahmed, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker, Tessa Gratton, Heidi Heilig, Julie Murphy, Mark Oshiro, Rebecca Roanhorse, Laura Ruby, Victoria “V. E.” Schwab, and Kayla Whaley.
Don’t Hex and Drive by Juliette Cross
If you want your Halloween read to be more enchanting than eerie, consider diving into the Stay a Spell series by Juliette Cross. Don’t Hex and Drive is the second installment in this paranormal romance series, and can be read as a standalone. It follows Devraj Kumar, a centuries-old vampire warrior, and Isadora Savoie, the shy witch tasked with helping him find a group of human girls who have gone missing in New Orleans. Action, romance, and humor make this a spooky season read as sweet as candy.
Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth
Emily M. Danforth’s adult debut transports readers to a cursed boarding school in New England. Merritt Emmons uses the Brookhants School for Girls as inspiration for her latest book, chronicling the mysterious deaths that led to the school’s closure and the rumored-to-be-cursed memoir that two of the dead students had been obsessed with. The book draws the attention of Hollywood, and soon Merritt is on her way to the crumbling building to oversee the adaptation of her book. Danforth spins a haunting tale, weaving together the past along with the harrowing experiences Merritt and the film’s stars face when they arrive on set.
Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis
Horror movie fans, this young adult thriller is for you! Lola Nox’s filmmaker father is widely admired for his horror films, but when the scares hit close to home and he’s attacked in their New York apartment, Lola is sent to stay with her grandmother while he recovers. Her new home of Harrow Lake happens to be the location of her father’s most famous film, and Lola discovers it’s equally creepy in real life. Between strange disappearances and the feeling of her every move being watched, Lola begins to feel as though she’s starring in one of her father’s creepy flicks. The only question is: Will she survive? Packed with references to classic films and villains of the genre, this one is sure to please horror fans and YA readers alike.