Halloween Horror Recommendations!

Top Ten Tuesday(90)

My FAVORITE part of October is getting the chance to recommend some of my favorite horror books to you all! I mean to be honest I can recommend these whenever I want but it’s more fun to do it in October!

These are all books that fall 100% into the horror genre in my opinion whether they’re actually terrifying or just an entertaining read or whether they’re full of spirits/monsters or deal with serial killers and slashers.

***I will be doing another post here soon of Halloween Recommendations for those of you who want a book that isn’t necessarily scary or horror! So some “non-spooky” books!***

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Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

(Review Here)

This is about a male teen, Cas, who hunts ghosts in his spare time and now he’s on the hunt for Anna, a vengeful spirit who murders anyone who sets foot in her home. Except she spares Cas’s life.

I highly, highly recommend this for any other Supernatural fans out there as it really has the feel to the story!


Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke

(Review Here)

A YA horror anthology with some top notch stories! There were only a couple of duds in here but for the most part they were all excellent and definitely scary.


The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

(Review Here)

This story follows a vengeful spirit who wreaks havoc on those who murder or do harm to children. She meets a strange boy the sucks her in but the boy has a dark secret that she wasn’t expecting…

Okay so with this one I know a few people didn’t enjoy it but I am absolutely terrified of any stories that are even remotely reminiscent of The Ring or The Grudge and have disjointed bodies crawling out of things. That’s all one big nope for me so naturally this story scared the shit out of me!


The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

(Review Here)

This is a psychological thriller with a creepy twist, is it supernatural or is it something else? The story is told through video transcripts, journal entries, and newspaper clippings and the events all lead up to what ends in mysterious fire that killed three students and one, Carly Johnson, disappeared. In the ruins they find a diary that belonged to Carly’s twin sister, Kaitlyn, except Carly didn’t have a twin…..

I recommend this one for people who want more suspense than horror, it gets a little creepy but never anything super scary!


Alice by Christina Henry

(Review Here)

Trigger Warnings: Rape and other graphic violence

This is one where people are the monsters and it’s very violent and graphic. It’s a retelling of “Alice in Wonderland” that’s very dark and gritty I definitely don’t recommend this to the faint of heart, you’ll have to steel your stomach for this one. However, I recommend it to anyone who thinks they can brave it because it is still an excellent story!


Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

(Review Here)

You wouldn’t think that a graphic novel compiled of several short stories would be that scary but it is, it really is! These stories are open ended for the most part and that leaves more to your imagination in which case you’ll probably scare yourself thinking of it like I did! The illustrations are both terrifying and beautiful at the same time.

I highly recommend this if you’re looking for a quick horror read and you don’t mind open ended stories.


A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

(Review Here)

This is kind of a thriller/action-adventure/horror all rolled into one. It follows a group of teens who are invited to help explore a recently discovered underground palace in France. However, there’s something else waiting for them in the depths of the palace.

Kind of an odd story but I definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a very fast-paced, suspenseful read!


The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

(Review Here)

A boy named Will Henry finds himself studying under Dr. Pellinore Warthrop who happens to be a monstrumologist, someone who studies monsters.

Pretty straight forward, this is a historical fiction and it’s a pretty dark horror story because on top of the creepy monsters there’s also just a lot of gore in general. You may get squeamish!


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Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

(Review Here)

Honestly this is one of my favorites on the list!

It’s about a pioneer family who moves out onto the prairie with a teenage daughter who is desperately trying to hide her pregnancy. However, they arrive and find a new home that was abandoned with the walls and floors covered in blood and they’ve heard rumors of the prairie being tainted by evil.

This is a wonderful mix of terrifying, gory, and twisted. You definitely will not see the twists coming at all! I recommend this one for the horror lovers out there who want to be scared silly, this one is a treat!


Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

(Review Here)

A group of teen contest winners all get whisked away out into the middle of nowhere to meet horror director Justin Blake. However, things start to get weird and soon they’re all trapped in a game of nightmares.

This reads exactly like a classic slasher horror movie so if you’re a fan of those you’re probably going to love this one! It’s entertaining but don’t expect a lot of depth.


And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

(Review Here)

One of my other favorites plus I love the cover!

Two girls, Silla and Nori,  arrive at their aunt’s manor in the forest and soon learn that everything is not right and the manor may be cursed. They aren’t allowed to enter the woods, the trees feel like they’re closing in around the house, and there’s a strange man with no eyes who Nori plays with in the basement at night…..

So creepy and so good! The Creeper Man will definitely be haunting your dreams after reading this one….


The Merciless by Danielle Vega

(Review Here)

Four girls gang up on an outcast tying her up and attempting to perform an exorcism on her. However, it’s more torture than anything else and Sofia, the new girl, wants out but if she goes against the others she may be next…

This one isn’t too creepy or scary but it definitely is full of twisted mean girls, gore galore, and some demonic possession!

If any of those things interest you I’d recommend checking this one out!


The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

(Review Here)

Lucy and Margaret are cousins who live with their respective parents in a mansion in the middle of the woods, one day Margaret’s mother goes missing and she slowly starts to believe she can hear her dead mother’s voice in the walls. Lucy watches as Margaret slowly goes insane and she soon starts hearing voices as well and must confront the legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.

Not as good as “Daughters Unto Devils” but still very twisted and creepy! Most of the book is a bit slow but the ending makes it all worth it!


Dreamfall by Amy Plum

(Review Here)

A group of teenagers enter an experiment that is supposed to help cure their insomnia but instead find themselves all trapped within a dreamworld made up of their worst nightmares.

I thought this was going to be more sci-fi than anything but was surprised by how scary it actually got! There are definitely some very creepy nightmares the kids have to make it through.


Night Film by Marisha Pessl

This one can be both scary horror and suspenseful thriller, there are some supernatural elements to the story and the situations themselves can get pretty terrifying.

A journalist, Scott McGrath, investigates the death of Ashley Cordova, the daughter of the mysterious horror film director Stanislas Cordova. He believes there’s more to her death than anyone knows and as he digs deeper he discovers more and more disturbing things about the family and wonders if he may be next.

If you want a very dark, gritty, and terrifying thriller this one is for you. It’s extremely compelling and fast paced.


The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

(Review Here)

Trigger Warning: Rape, violence, and gore

A Romani girl studying herbcraft under her Gran’s teaching befriends an outsider but on her way home one day they are both jumped and brutally assaulted leaving her friend on the brink of death. She must now utilize her dark witchcraft to extract body parts from the boys who wronged her in order to save her friend.

If revenge stories are up your alley this one is very satisfying and I loved the addition of the witchcraft. However, if you can’t handle gore or graphic violence maybe leave this one alone.

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Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Are you going to give any of these horror books a try?

What are some of your favorite scary horror books?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

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Book Review: Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1) by Amy Plum

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Cata Cordova suffers from such debilitating insomnia that she agreed to take part in an experimental new procedure. She thought things couldn’t get any worse…but she was terribly wrong.

Soon after the experiment begins, there’s a malfunction with the lab equipment, and Cata and six other teen patients are plunged into a shared dreamworld with no memory of how they got there. Even worse, they come to the chilling realization that they are trapped in a place where their worst nightmares have come to life. Hunted by creatures from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they’d rather keep buried, Cata and the others will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears. And if they can’t find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.

review

This was as good as I was hoping it’d be! Of course I was definitely not thinking it’d be as creepy and thrilling as it ended up being, this is sort of a mash of sci-fi and horror together. It’s definitely a very, very unique premise and I thought the execution was great!

PLOT

First of all the pacing is pretty even throughout the story since it never really felt like it lagged but also wasn’t super fast to the point where I had my eyeballs glued to the pages. I really liked how there wasn’t a bunch of time wasted on pointless filler too and we are thrown into the action right from the start and it stays that way up until the end. There are also quite a few DAMN GOOD twists along the way as well and I did not see them coming either!

The story is narrated by three different POV characters: Cata, Jaime, and Fergus. The great part was that I always knew when we changed POVs right away even without the help of the chapter headers because each character had a more distinct personality and “voice”. My only complaint was that I didn’t feel that Fergus’s POV was really necessary since he and Cata were both “dreamers” and had similar experiences. I did really like how much depth Jaime, the pre-med student watching the experiment, added to the story overall though.

Also apparently we never learn if Jaime’s character is male or female and I honestly didn’t even notice until the end but I guess I had just assumed Jaime was a he, however, Amy Plum has stated she left it out on purpose. Maybe it’s a twist for the next book? Who knows! Also just a fun side-note here I saw some other reviewers debating this saying they thought Jaime was a girl because of the spelling and ALL I could think of was Jaime Lannister guys! Come on!

I absolutely LOVED the overall atmosphere of this story too! It’s so freaking creepy! Although I will say even if you’re not a lover of horror or horror-esque stories this isn’t TOO scary to handle but it will definitely have you flailing about in suspense and maybe even looking over your shoulder every now and then! I also really liked how unique and interesting each “nightmare” was too, they were all very different and terrifying in their own ways. We saw very realistic horrors as well as your traditional monster type horrors and I thought it was very neat to show what types of things haunt these kids.

I’m just gonna throw this out there too: there are some very Weeping Angel-esque statues that literally terrified me in one of the nightmares. So many creepy monsters! I was pretty stressed out while reading because of this but also I still had fun? I know, it’s odd.

Plus that cliffhanger ending has me practically screaming for more! That was such an insane twists and I’m definitely excited to see where the next book in this duology takes us!

Also another little fun tidbit is that this book has no romance! Yay!

characters

The characters in “Dreamfall” were good but they still felt a little under-developed and one dimensional by the end of the book. None of them really stuck out to me either while reading but I still liked them enough to care about their fates in that messed up dreamworld!

I did like how none of these kids were perfect either, they all had their flaws and knew how to deal with them and come face to face with them as well. It was really intriguing to learn more and more about what past events traumatized the characters enough to suffer from such severe insomnia too (their backstories essentially). This is the only kind of development we see for them though.

One other big plus I have for the characters is that they actually always made smart decisions! This feels a lot like your typical horror slasher movie at times and you always wait for the characters to trip up and get caught or split up or something equally as unwise but these guys didn’t ever do that. I was pleasantly surprised with the lack of dumb decisions throughout the story, it was great!

in conclusion

What I Loved:

  • The intense and pretty scary nightmare scenes
  • Even pacing
  • Great, great plot twists!
  • Zero romance

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Personally felt Fergus’s POV wasn’t really needed
  • Characters weren’t very developed or complex

RECOMMEND

I highly recommend checking this book out if you’re looking for a unique YA book with no romance or if you’re a YA horror or thriller fan! This book is definitely full of enough thrills to keep you interested!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy

May Releases I’m Excited For!

Top Ten Tuesday(55)

I’ve decided to do a post up the beginning of each month about upcoming releases, I used to do them up way ahead of the time (like the first half of the year etc.) but it’s much more exciting to talk about them when they’re coming out right away! Plus May is PLUMP full of some amazing releases!

I’ll link up each title to their Goodreads page so you can check them out or add them to your TBRs as well! Also keep in mind these are ordered by release date from the beginning of the month to the end.

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Into The Water by Paula Hawkins

Release Date: May 2nd, 2017

Into the Water

So I really enjoyed “The Girl on the Train” but it wasn’t something that completely blew me away like, let’s say, Gillian Flynn’s books. However, like I said I did like it and people who didn’t like it are saying this new book of hers is even better so of course I’m excited to read it! Especially since I love dark, twisted, and slightly confusing mystery/thrillers!


Dreamfall by Amy Plum

Release Date: May 2nd, 2017

Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1)

This one sounds super unique and exciting, it’s about a bunch of kids in an experimental procedure to help insomnia and end up getting trapped in a dreamworld with their worst nightmares. This just seems like it’d have a super eerie atmosphere too!


The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

Release Date: May 4th, 2017

The Seafarer's Kiss

This was SUPPOSED to be released on the 30th of this month and I do have an ARC of it but now I have to hustle up and read it right away since it’s May 4th. Anyways though this is a short retelling of The Little Mermaid with a F/F romance!


The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

Release Date: May 16th, 2017

The Love Interest

This sounds like a really fun twist on a YA trope! It’s about two guys who were “trained” as love interests and must both compete for the same girl but end up falling for each other.


Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Release Date: May 16th, 2017

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)

Okay must I explain this one? I think we are ALL pumped for Renee Ahdieh’s new book! There’s a lot going on in the plot but mainly it’s set in a type of Japanese style fantasy world where the main character dresses as a boy in order to infiltrate an enemy clan in order to exact revenge. It sounds like non-stop action and is almost guaranteed to be a five star read!


Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott

Release Date: May 16th, 2017

Violet Grenade

A homeless girl, Domino,  is offered a spot in a Madam’s girl’s home where she competes with other girls to gain the Madam’s approval. Everyone in the home has secrets but Domino’s is the worst of them all.

I’m not 100% sure what exactly this book is supposed to be about but it sounds super interesting, I like when all the characters are dirty, twisted, secret-keeping manipulators!


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Release Date: May 30th, 2017

When Dimple Met Rishi

This book seems like it is going to be fun, heart-warming, and absolutely adorable! It’s about two Indian-American teenagers whose parents have arranged for them to be married.


One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Release Date: May 30th, 2017

One of Us Is Lying

When I first read the premise I was 100% sold on this book because it sounds almost EXACTLY like The Breakfast Club but with detention ending in murder.  It just sounds awesome!


House of Furies by Madeleine Roux

Release Date: May 30th, 2017

House of Furies (House of Furies, #1)

I’m down to read anything that is remotely creepy since there aren’t enough YA Horror books! This one is about a boarding house where the owner and staff pass judgement and execute their guests……


Dark Breaks The Dawn by Sara B. Larson

Release Date: May 30th, 2017

Dark Breaks the Dawn

YA fantasy with magic powers, shapeshifting, wars, and evil kings! I’m worried this may be another standard YA fantasy book but one can hope……


Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

Release Date: May 30th, 2017

Royal Bastards

Basically this book’s title is self explanatory, it’s about the kingdom’s royal bastards teaming up to prevent a civil war. Sounds fun since we usually read more stories about true-born princes and princesses but never the King or Queen’s bastard children!

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Are you also looking forward to any of these books?

Have you read any of them yet (ARCs etc)?

What are some May releases I didn’t include that you’re looking forward to?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy