The start of summer means the start of spooky season. There’s no better way to spend your summer evenings than to spend them reading scary stories around the campfire or with a bowl of popcorn watching horror movies. If these things sound up your alley, then we have the recommendations for you.
Ready Or Not (2019) and Go Hunt Me by Kelly deVos
Go Hunt Me
By Kelly deVos
320 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593204856 | Razorbill
Alex Rush is ready for the trip of a lifetime. She and her friends have made some creepily awesome films together throughout high school, so with only a few months left before they go their separate ways for college, they’re determined to make the best one yet: an epic short film that reimagines the story of Dracula, filmed on location at a remote castle in Romania. But when they get there, it’s not quite the majestic setting they planned for. Menacing weapons line the walls, the twisted halls are easy to get lost in, and with no connection to the outside world, the group is unexpectedly off the grid. After just a few hours spent under its roof, Alex and her friends have no trouble imagining how this dark, terrifying castle inspired one of the most enduring horror novels of all time. Only soon they no longer have to use their imaginations to understand the location’s terrifying history – just as they get the film’s first shot rolling, one of Alex’s friends disappears, and she’s nearly certain she saw a cloaked stranger lurking in the shadows. As more members of the group begin to meet an untimely demise, Alex is desperate to stop the bloodshed, even if it means facing a monster she never thought would be let loose.
House of Ash and Bone
By Joel A. Sutherland
336 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781774880968 | Tundra Books
Release Date: September 5, 2023
Seventeen-year-old Josephine Jagger is a talented writer with special abilities she doesn’t fully understand. Over the years she has developed methods to cope with the voices she hears in her head, but the old house her family has inherited in Vermont makes Josephine question what’s real and what’s not more than anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s filled with shadows, and whispers, and the unshakable feeling of being watched. Josephine then catches her first glimpse of a shadowy woman with long hair, pale skin, an impossibly wide smile and hollow pits for eyes. Her name is Dorcas, the ghost of a witch who died three hundred years ago. She has summoned the family to Vermont to ensnare them – then consume them – in order to rise from the grave and live again . . .
Midsommar (2019 )
and Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White
Hell Followed With Us
By Andrew Joseph White
448 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781682635636 | Peachtree Teen
Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him – the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with. But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC. The ALC’s leader, Nick, is gorgeous, autistic, and a deadly shot, and he knows Benji’s darkest secret: the cult’s bioweapon is mutating him into a monster deadly enough to wipe humanity from the earth once and for all. Still, Nick offers Benji shelter among his ragtag group of queer teens, as long as Benji can control the monster and use its power to defend the ALC. Eager to belong, Benji accepts Nick’s term . . . until he discovers the ALC’s mysterious leader has a hidden agenda, and more than a few secrets of his own.
By Suzanne Young
384 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593487587 | Delacorte Press
Theo and her brother, Marco, threw the biggest party of the year. And got caught. Their punishment? Leave Arizona to spend the summer with their grandmother in the rainy beachside town of Nightfall, Oregon – population 846 souls. The small town is cute, when it’s not raining, but their grandmother is superstitious and strangely antisocial. Upon their arrival she lays out the one house rule: always be home before dark. But Theo and Marco are determined to make the most of their summer, and on their first day they meet the enigmatic Minnow and her friends. Beautiful and charismatic, the girls have a magnetic pull that Theo and her brother can’t resist. But Minnow and her friends are far from what they appear. And that one rule? Theo quickly realizes she should have listened to her grandmother. Because after dark, something emerges in Nightfall. And it doesn’t plan to let her leave.
Saint Juniper’s Folly
By Alex Crespo
304 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781682635773 | Peachtree Teen
For Jaime, returning to the Vermont town of Saint Juniper means returning to a past he’s spent eight years trying to forget. After shuttling between foster homes, he hopes to make something out of this fresh start. But every gossip in town already knows his business, and with reminders of his past everywhere, he seeks out solitude into the nearby woods – Saint Juniper’s Folly – and does not return. For Theo, Saint Juniper means being stuck. He knows there’s more out there, but he’s scared to go find it. His senior year is going to be like all the rest, dull and claustrophobic. That is until he wanders into the Folly and stumbles on a haunted house with an acerbic yet handsome boy trapped – as in physically trapped – inside. For Taylor, Saint Juniper is a mystery. She tries to practice the magic her dad banned from the house after her mom, an accomplished witch, suddenly died. But without someone to guide her, she’s floundering. Then a wide-eyed teenager barges into her life, rambling about a haunted house and a trapped boy. He needs a witch. The Folly and its ghosts will draw these three teenagers together. But can they each face their demons to forge a bond strong enough to escape the Folly’s shadows?
By Maren Stoffels
224 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593647448 | Underlined
Don’t think you can get rid of me so fast. . . . No phones. No internet. No social media at all. That’s what it’s going to take to finally get serious about school and focus on exams. Nova, Vin, and Lotus even rented a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere so they won’t get distracted. After that, everything can go back to normal. But they aren’t alone. Someone is watching them from the forest. Someone who knows their secrets. Someone who wants revenge. And things will never be the same again.
By Natasha Preston
336 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593481493 | Delacorte Press
They said goodbye to their friends and family for the weekend. They weren’t counting on forever. Jagged Island: a private amusement park for the very rich – or the very influential. Liam, James, Will, Ava, Harper, and Paisley – social media influencers with millions of followers – have been invited for an exclusive weekend before the park opens. They’ll make posts and videos for their channels and report every second of their VIP treatment. When the teens arrive, they’re stunned: the resort is even better than they’d imagined. Their hotel rooms are unreal, the park’s themed rides are incredible, and the island is hauntingly beautiful. They’re given a jam-packed itinerary for the weekend. But soon they’ll discover that something’s missing from their schedule: getting off the island alive.
Hereditary (2018) and The Wicked Unseen by Gigi Griffiths
The Wicked Unseen
By Gigi Griffis
228 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593644102 | Underlined
From the moment Audre arrives in rural Pennsylvania, it’s clear she won’t fit in. After all, her nose ring, her horror movie obsession, and her family’s Ouija board collection aren’t likely to endear her to a town convinced there’s a secret Satanic cult conducting rituals in the nearby woods. When the preacher’s daughter and Audre’s crush, Elle, goes missing on Halloween weekend, the town is quick to point fingers in Audre’s direction. With the cops busy harassing her family for being nonbelievers and everyone else convinced demons are to blame, Audre realizes she might be the only person who can find her friend. But the deeper Audre digs, the weirder it gets. Has Elle fallen victim to a Satanic ritual, or is the town’s obsession with the occult covering up something even more sinister?
Those We Drown
By Amy Goldsmith
416 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593570098 | Delacorte Press
It should have been the trip of a lifetime. When Liv lands an all-expenses-paid opportunity to study aboard the luxury cruise ship The Eos for a semester, she can’t believe her luck. Especially since it will oﬀer her the chance to spend time with Will, her ex–best friend, who’s barely spoken to her since the night their relationship changed forever. But as soon as she steps on board, Liv realizes just how out of her depth she is. With Will, with the rest of the Seamester students – including the brittle and beautiful Constantine, who may be hiding his own ties to the Eos – and most of all, with the Sirens, three glamorous and mysterious inﬂuencers who seem to have the run of the ship. Liv quickly discovers that the only reason she was invited to join the trip is because another girl disappeared shortly after enrolling – and no one seems to know what happened to her. When further disappearances rock the ship and strange creatures begin haunting Liv’s dreams, she wonders: Is the Eos hiding a dark secret within its shadowy decks? The truth will come at a price . . . only, how much is Liv willing to pay?
Win Lose Kill Die
By Cynthia Murphy
272 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593705476 | Delacorte Press
Failure is fatal… At the historic Morton Academy, a school for high-achievers, everyone wants to be Head Girl and gain all the prestige and success that comes with the title. But when bodies start piling up, the students begin to worry that someone is too determined to take that crown. Liz, Taylor, Kat, Marcus and Cole all set out to discover what exactly is going on. Is it the secret society that they have sworn allegiance too? The history of a cult that plagues Morton Academy? Or even a greedy teacher? They need to find the truth…and quickly.
The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) and
Hatchet Girls by Diana Rodriguez Wallach
By Diana Rodriguez Wallach
336 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593643419 | Delacorte Press
When Mariella Morse accuses her boyfriend, Vik Gomez, of murdering her wealthy parents with an axe, the town is quick to believe her. It doesn’t help that Vik is caught standing over her parents’ bodies with blood on his hands, unable to remember anything about the night in question. But Vik’s sister, Tessa, knows that Vik would never be capable of such a gruesome crime. Haunted by the mistakes she made that led her family to move to Fall River, MA in the first place, she sets out to prove her brother’s innocence. Tessa’s search for answers will lead her into a sprawling, notoriously cursed forest, where she and Mariella must face a darkness that has lurked within their town since before the days of Lizzie Borden – the original axe murderess of Fall River.
Midnight at the Houdini
By Delilah S. Dawson
368 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593486795 | Delacorte Press
Life has gone according to plan for Anna – she stays in the background, letting her sister, Emily, shine in the spotlight. But on Emily’s wedding night, Anna learns that her sister is moving away, abandoning her – and all their shared dreams. Devastated, Anna leaves the reception in the middle of a raging storm, taking shelter in a hotel she’s never seen before: the Houdini. The Houdini is a hotel unlike any other, with sumptuous velvet couches, marble tiled floors, secret restaurants, winding passageways, and an undercurrent of magic in the air. And when Anna meets Max, who has lived his entire life inside its walls, she’s captivated. For the first time in her life, Anna is center stage, in a place that anticipates her every desire, with a boy who only has eyes for her. But there’s a terrifying secret hidden in the Houdini. When the clock strikes midnight, Anna will be trapped there forever unless she can find a way to break free from its dreamlike magic. But will she be able to do it if it means leaving Max behind?
The Final Girls (2015) and The Last Girls Standing by Jennifer Dugan
The Last Girls Standing
By Jennifer Dugan
320 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593532072 | G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR
Sloan and Cherry. Cherry and Sloan. They met only a few days before masked men with machetes attacked the summer camp where they worked, a massacre that left the rest of their fellow counselors dead. Now, months later, the two are inseparable, their traumatic experience bonding them in ways no one else can understand. But as new evidence comes to light and Sloan learns more about the motives behind the ritual killing that brought them together, she begins to suspect that her girlfriend may be more than just a survivor – she may actually have been a part of it. Cherry tries to reassure her, but Sloan only becomes more distraught. Is this gaslighting or reality? Is Cherry a victim or a perpetrator? Is Sloan confused, or is she seeing things clearly for the very first time? Against all odds, Sloan survived that hot summer night. But will she survive what comes next?
Crimson Peak (2015)
and The Spirit Bares Its Teeth by Andrew Joseph White
The Spirit Bares Its Teeth
By Andrew Joseph White
400 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593527702 | Peachtree Teen
Release Date: September 5, 2023
Mors vincit omnia. Death conquers all. London, 1883. The Veil between the living and dead has thinned. Violet-eyed mediums commune with spirits under the watchful eye of the Royal Speaker Society, and sixteen-year-old Silas Bell would rather rip out his violet eyes than become an obedient Speaker wife. According to Mother, he’ll be married by the end of the year. It doesn’t matter that he’s needed a decade of tutors to hide his autism; that he practices surgery on slaughtered pigs; that he is a boy, not the girl the world insists on seeing. After a failed attempt to escape an arranged marriage, Silas is diagnosed with Veil sickness – a mysterious disease sending violet-eyed women into madness – and shipped away to Braxton’s Finishing School and Sanitorium. The facility is cold, the instructors merciless, and the students either bloom into eligible wives or disappear. When the ghosts of missing students start begging Silas for help, he decides to reach into Braxton’s innards and expose its guts to the world – if the school doesn’t break him first.