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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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved The Year I Started My Blog

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Another week, another Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s theme is a throwback freebie so it can be anything you’d like to discuss about older books such as: books published 10 years ago, older books you forgot you loved, or books from the year you started blogging (which I’m doing!).

There are so many books I read a while ago that I don’t talk about enough and some of them I do talk about plenty. This is going to be a list of my favorite reads from 2015 back when I started this blog!

These are in no particular order and I do have reviews up for each of these books but I’m not going to link them since they’re older and slightly embarrassing! Still though they are available if you want to hear my full thoughts on some of them.


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10.) A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

This was one of the first books I read when I started my blog because there was a ton of hype and glowing reviews for it! Of course I’m super happy I gave Schwab a try because she’s one of my favorite authors now.


9.) Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

I had read “Gone Girl” as well as “Dark Places” before I gave this one a go because I really enjoy the way Flynn tells her stories, they’re also super twisted. This one is probably one of my favorites of hers now as well because of that twist at the end!


8.) Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke

This was a new release when I started my blog and I had heard a few good things about it and I’m ALWAYS looking for some great, creepy YA horror books. This is an anthology and pretty much all of the stories were fantastic plus some of them definitely did not fail to give me nightmares!


7.) Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

I actually mention this book quite frequently but when I first started blogging I was digging around for some great books to read that I hadn’t heard of before. “Lips Touch” was one of the ones I found and it definitely is very underrated. It’s three short stories told by Laini Taylor and her writing here is just as beautiful as it is in her other book “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”. Highly recommend checking out if you’re a fan of hers!


6.) The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco

I bought this book when I got “Slasher Girls & Monster Boys” as well because I had heard mixed things about it and was looking for more scary reads. I’m really terrified of Japanese horror stories every since getting nightmares in the fourth grade from the movie “The Grudge” so I was easily scared reading this book, which was fun!


5.) The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

I hadn’t actually heard much about this book but I saw it in my local bookstore and the cover was so intriguing and creepy that I HAD to buy it. It’s also told in a really unique format consisting of transcripts of video footage, journal entries, and even drawings. It’s an interesting and pretty suspenseful psychological thriller.


4.) The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

This book….broke my heart! It came highly recommended when I was searching Goodreads for new books to read since I started my book blog and while it was fantastic and very well written….it was also completely emotionally devastating!


3.) Alice by Christina Henry

Okay, okay I KNOW I mention this book all the time but that’s only because it’s so fantastic! I think it’s pretty good for me to still be recommending a book two years after reading it! This is a very twisted, gritty retelling of Alice in Wonderland and is very much worth reading through in my opinion.


2.) Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

This book was actually recommended to me by one of my blogging besties Arianna @ The Quirky Book Nerd and I of course always take her recommendations to heart! This was such a hilarious graphic novel and I enjoyed every minute of it, it’s a great book to brighten up your day!


1.) Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Probably my most highly recommended book I’ve read and I was pretty proud reading two of Schwab’s books in half a year too when I started all of this! It’s got morally ambiguous characters with freaking superpowers….so yeah I was definitely impressed. I’m also DYING to read the sequel!!!!


A Few Honorable Mentions:

  • You by Caroline Kepnes
  • The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
  • Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

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Have you read any of these books as well? What did you think?

What are some of your favorite books from the year you started blogging?

How about some older favorites in general?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top Ten Tuesday: Creepiest YA Covers

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jamie @ The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s theme is covers, anything to do with covers! It’ll definitely be interesting to see everyone’s take on this and I decided to go with the creepiest book covers, because I looooove horror books. Of course there are actually quite a few creepy covers out there and these are just a couple of my favorites, some I have read and some are just on my TBR.

I will link up a review if I have one! These are also in no particular order.

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10.) And The Trees Crept In (or The Creeper Man) by Dawn Kurtagich

Image result for and the trees crept inImage result for the creeper man book cover

For this book I just HAD to have both the US cover and the UK cover since they’re both creepy as hell! I do love the US cover more because it’s more beautiful than it is creepy but I can’t deny that the UK cover is probably the creepiest book cover I’ve ever seen.

Also the story is creepy and amazing so you can judge this book by its covers! It’s about two girls living in a mansion with their aunt and they notice that the trees are creeping closer to the house and that the entity known as the Creeper Man that watches them from the woods is getting closer too.

You can read my full review here.


9.) The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

Image result for the dead house book cover

Two Dawn Kurtagich books? Yes! She’s becoming a queen of YA horror in my book and her covers match the stories perfectly too. This is a very creepy psychological thriller about a girl with a split personality disorder or maybe….it’s something more sinister than that.

You can read my full review here.


8.) Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

Image result for daughters unto devils

Creepy cover? Yes! Creepy story? Definitely yes! This one revolves around a family living out on the prairie, their secretly pregnant daughter, and well…..demons. This one is pretty insane but also scary, highly recommend!

You can read my full review here.


7.) The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

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I’m sorry! I’m done with the repeat authors now I swear! I really love the typography on this cover, it is super eerie. The story is about a girl whose aunt tragically goes missing and her cousin claims she can hear her dead mother’s voice inside the house’s walls…..

You can read my full review here.


6.) Alice by Christina Henry

Image result for alice christina henry book cover

I don’t know it could just be me but I find the creepy rabbit head pasted over top a man’s body to be very creepy. This is a very, very graphic horror retelling of Alice in Wonderland and I found it to be absolutely amazing. This one definitely isn’t for the faint-hearted though.

You can read my full review here.


5.) The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco

Image result for the girl from the well

Quick story time: when I was 10 years old I made the mistake of watching “The Grudge” and am now forever terrified of Asian ghosts. Therefore this book’s cover (and the book itself) creeps the shit out of me! It’s a very interesting and scary book revolving around the spirit Okiku, who takes vengeance on wrong-doers.

You can read my full review here.


4.) Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke

Image result for slasher girls and monster boys

Whatever that thing is on the cover it’s disturbing and it creeps me out, but I suppose it fits the stories in this YA anthology perfectly in that case. There are TONS of creeptastic (shhh that’s a word) stories in here and pretty much all of them are amazing with the exception of 1 or 2.

You can read my full review here.


3.) Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

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Is it just me or are mirrors super creepy? So yeah, ghostly reflections in them = creepy. I have yet to read this one but it’s a take on the Bloody Mary urban legend.


2.) Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Image result for asylum book

Blurred/scratched out old timey photos are creepy, actually a lot of old photos are creepy but especially when they’re blurred or scratched out. This is a pretty popular book that I also have yet to read but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing if it’s any good.


1.) Shutter by Courtney Alameda

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Look at that black, gaping ghost and tell me it isn’t creepy! This is a book I have sitting on my shelf currently awaiting to be read and it’s about teenage ghost hunters basically.

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What do you think of these covers? Creepy or not so much?

What are some of your favorite creepy YA covers?

Have you read any of these books or anything similar?

What cover theme did you choose for you TTT this week?

Let me know in the comments and feel free to link up your TTT as well!

The Sassy

Book Review: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

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description

Two decades have passed since an inferno swept through Elmbridge High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear. The main suspect: Kaitlyn, “the girl of nowhere.”

Kaitlyn’s diary, discovered in the ruins of Elmbridge High, reveals the thoughts of a disturbed mind. Its charred pages tell a sinister version of events that took place that tragic night, and the girl of nowhere is caught in the center of it all. But many claim Kaitlyn doesn’t exist, and in a way, she doesn’t – because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson.

Carly gets the day. Kaitlyn has the night. It’s during the night that a mystery surrounding the Dead House unravels and a dark, twisted magic ruins the lives of each student that dares touch it.

review

Wow this book is so twisted and messed up I’m not sure my brain has recovered enough to properly rate it and write this review. Therefore it may be shorter than I’d like, but I may update it more later with more thoughts.

This is and isn’t YA Horror, it’s creepy but not really scary enough for me to feel like it’s good enough to compare to others I’ve read in this genre. It feels a lot more reminiscent to the style of Gillian Flynn, where it leaves you feeling like you need to go take a shower and watch a Disney movie to make yourself feel happy again.

PLOT

Probably the best part of the book for me because it makes you question EVERYTHING! You can’t trust any information you’re given, not even the tiniest piece. You also can’t trust any of the characters. Everything is very psychological in “The Dead House” so I REALLY mean it when I say you can’t trust anything you’re told.

While reading you’re going to be thinking mainly about two questions:

  1. Is Carly/Kaitlyn mentally ill and suffering from DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder)?
  2. Or is she under the influence of something sinister and supernatural?

So as I said already the book is very psychological but also it’s paranormal. Add those together and the result you get is a very unsettling and disturbing story.

The ending is also very open, it’s up to YOU to decide what you think really happened. Was Kaitlyn mentally ill or possessed/haunted? So if you’re looking for a book that gives you straight answers then this isn’t for you.

Also the format of the book makes it really interesting to read through, it’s written as a police report including Kaitlyn’s diary entries, newspaper clippings, transcripts for video clips and interviews.

Cool, right? It also makes for some pretty easy reading.

On another note, I love the cover. If you take the jacket off you even get ANOTHER awesome cover! It’s like my dream come true, if you want to impress me then you’ll put a cover underneath the jacket cover. Like so:

Both covers fit the themes of the book very well too. Bonus points.

characters

Meh.

I did not enjoy any of them, the only one even remotely interesting is the MC Carly/Kaitlyn that’s it. Every other character was boring, flat, and uninteresting. I feel like they were all just added to the story to do things to set plot points into motion. I felt that there was no character depth or complexity, with the exception of Carly/Kaitlyn as I said earlier.

Carly/Kaitlyn seemed to get more…foolish as the story progressed though, and no I do not mean because of her potential “mental health” issues. She’s potentially losing her mind or being manipulated by supernatural forces but that’s no excuse to lose all common sense. What I mean is if someone tells you don’t trust anyone especially your friends then I don’t know…..maybe you should LISTEN and not trust anyone!

And the romance, I’m cringing. What romance there was, was barely present throughout the entire book but it was so lifeless and unexciting. I could have done without it entirely. Seriously I think Bella and Edward had a better romance than any of the characters in this story. It’s somewhat important to the plot (unfortunately) so I must (grudgingly) accept it.

in conclusion

In conclusion this book was decent, if you’re looking for something to completely scare your pants off I would look else where but if you’re looking for something to really mess with your mind and creep you out then this might be the book for you. It’s worth checking out anyways and I will be looking out for anything else Dawn Kurtagich writes…..

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy

 

Top Ten Tuesday: My Fall TBR

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

This week’s theme is books on my fall TBR, which there’s always a ton on my TBR. Now some of these books are ones that I’m planning on buying and reading, others I already own.

So first, books I own and have yet to read (that are towards the top at least):

10.) You by Caroline Kepnes

You

This one hasn’t been sitting around for too long, and I’m pretty excited to read it. So it’s in my top 10 to get at this fall. But until then it’ll be sitting by my night stand…waiting.

9.) Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

The Ghosts of Heaven

I’m actually about half way through this already….but I got distracted by other books. So I’m looking to finish this one up soon.

8.) The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco

The Girl from the Well (The Girl from the Well, #1)

I just bought this one even though I’ve read mixed reviews about it. It still looks like something I might enjoy reading so I bought it anyways! I’m waiting to read “The Girl From The Well” a little closer to Halloween though.

And now books that are either newly released or soon to be released:

7.) The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

The Dead House

The minute I discovered this book I knew I wanted to read it.

Here’s the description:

Over two decades have passed since the fire at Elmbridge High, an inferno that took the lives of three teenagers. Not much was known about the events leading up to the tragedy – only that one student, Carly Johnson, vanished without a trace…
…until a diary is found hidden in the ruins.
But the diary, badly scorched, does not belong to Carly Johnson. It belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, a girl who shouldn’t exist Who was Kaitlyn? Why did she come out only at night? What is her connection to Carly?
The case has been reopened. Police records are being reexamined: psychiatric reports, video footage, text messages, e-mails. And the diary.
The diary that paints a much more sinister version of events than was ever made publicly known…

Sounds pretty awesome right? Once again I’m going to save it for around Halloween hoping that it’s at least a little scary.

6.) The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

The Creeping

This one was released fairly recently, I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. Apparently it has a really dark and creepy atmosphere to it. So I’m hoping to pick it up soon.

5.) Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Pretty Girls

This book is going to be released next week (on my birthday) and I’ve heard mixed reviews of it. It’s a thriller and I think it sounds interesting enough for me to give it a shot.

4.) Alice by Christina Henry

Alice

A retelling of “Alice in Wonderland” obviously, and apparently a very grim, dark, and graphic one. I’m really excited to get my hands on this book, I’ve heard a TON of good things about it. There is one drawback for me though, it’s been mentioned that there is some really graphic, disturbing content such as rape. I don’t think that’s enough to keep me from reading it though.

3.) The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace, #1)

This one was released today and I’m just waiting to buy it (because I’m lazy). It sounds so cool and I’ve had this on another one of my mini lists. Check it out here.

2.) The Traitor Baru Cormorant

The Traitor Baru Cormorant

Once again this one’s been on here before, check it out on my “Most Anticipated Reads for September”.

1.) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

If any of you have been on my blog before then you KNOW how excited I am for “Six of Crows”. IneeditIneeditIneeditIneedit.

Are there any books on YOUR fall TBR that we have in common? Are any of you guys as excited as I am for any of these books?