My Spooky Season TBR and YA Book Recommendations!

two photos of artie looking embarrassed with lots of stars and crystals and a pumpkin face and a pile of books, 'spooky season tbr' in large text

Hey Pals,

Spooky Season is upon us, we are all locked up, never allowed to leave the house again. All our homes are basically becoming houses of horrors where our souls have laid to rest, along with our hopes, dreams, and motivation. As I have zero to talk about at this point, I’ve been struggling to create content for any of my social media that I’m happy with, books are my only thing right now. SO I bring you YA spooky book recommendations and my TBR. As usual, the TBR section is ridiculous and I am not going to read that many books or even try! But I like to talk about all the books I currently own and would like to read that fit the brief! I like flexibility as well in case I’m struggling to get into a book or DNF any, which happens quite often as many of the physical books I own are second hand and bought a long time ago. My tastes have changed a lot over that time.

Books I haven’t read yet.

Books I Haven’t Read and Are on my TBR

Zombies by David Nutt: A book of short stories and poems about the zombie apocalypse. I’ve struggle to get started on this book, but I’m going to give it one more go before I unhaul it.

Sub Rosa by Amber Dawn: This is about a runaway called Little who finds this underground community of sex workers and magicians, seems kind of magical and spooky.

Let Me Be Like Water by S. K. Perry: I picked this up second hand a long time ago, it’s based in my local area Brighton which is why I picked this up. The MC moved here after her boyfriend died and she meets a Magician… It may not be super magical but I guess I’ll find out!

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman: I love the film, I’ve said this before. Two sister witches who grew up thinking very different things about their magic. I think this is classed as a Romance novel, a genre I have never really read before. I know the basic plot from the film, but there are always differences between book and movie so I’m keen to see what wasn’t included and what the magic on the page felt like.

Witch Child by Celia Rees: Another random charity shop pick up, a YA novel about a teenage girl who loses her grandmother to a hanging because she was accused of being a witch. The MC narrowly escapes this fate but has to hide her identity from here on.

Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean: This is a book I did start reading once upon a time, probably a decade ago, and hung onto because I love Peter Pan. Maybe I’ll give it another go!

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: So, I’m conflicted on this one as it has a disabled character in it that sacrificed themselves to save their brother in an apocalypse… Otherwise this seemed like an interesting book, but I’m not here for inspiration porn or using disabled characters as plot devices and not actual important characters so… yeah. I might read the first couple of chapters and see.

The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward: I actually thought I unhauled this but I found it on my shelf in the spare room and it’s about a potion maker trying to cure the princess before any other potion people do it. And it’s obviously a straight book, but I could see this being gay as the MC is a girl and they are trying to cure the princess so, another book I might read the first couple of chapters to see how I like the writing before finally deciding if I’m going to continue it.

The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco: 19th century Europe, the Freemasons, Italian Republicans and Italian Criminals. Another book that has been sat on my shelves for a long time, I think I picked this up during university, so not quite as old as some books. I feel like I have a gist of what it’s about but I need to give it a go.

The Sight by David Clement Davies: “Morgra knows that one of the pups born beneath the castle holds a key to power even stronger than her own power that could give her control of this world and the next. But the pack she hunts will do anything to protect their own, even if it means setting in motion a battle that will involve all of nature, including the creature the wolves fear the most: Man.” I don’t remember reading this blurb at all! Sometimes reading the plot summaries for these old books makes me laugh.

Blood Ties by Sophie McKenzie: So I have already started this but… I am stupid and didn’t read anything on the cover clearly as I wasn’t expecting it to be a YA. I used to read Cherub when I was a teenager and this book gives me those vibes. Looking at the cover of this and the title, it felt more like an adult crime thriller, so I may not carry on with this one.

Dead Tomorrow by Peter James: This was a book I picked up as a part of my reading books about my local area theme, “The body of a teenager dredged from the seabed off the coast of Sussex is found to be missing its vital organs. Soon two more young bodies are found. Caitlin Beckett, a fifteen-year-old in Brighton, will die if she does not receive an urgent liver transplant. When the health system threatens to let her down, Lynn, her mother, turns in panic to the internet and discovers a broker who can provide her with a black-market organ – but at a price.” This is more what I was looking for to read, I love watching crime shows but wanted to delve into the realm of reading it. It is quite a chunky book though, so I hope the pacing is good and it’s filled with lots to keep me interested.

Black Hills by Nora Roberts: Apparently this is classed as a Romance, Thriller, Mystery so not usually something I go for but it sounded interesting when I picked it up. “Twelve years later and Cooper has returned to run the ranch after his grandfather is injured in a fall. Though his touch still haunts her, Lil has let nothing stop her dream of opening the Chance Wildlife Refuge, but something – or someone – has been keeping a close watch. When small pranks escalate into heartless killing, the memory of an unsolved murder in these very hills has Cooper springing to action to keep Lil safe. They both know the dangers that lurk in the wild landscape of the Black Hills. And now they must work together to unearth a killer of twisted and unnatural instincts who has singled them out as prey.” Uh, bit of an odd plot but I’ll have a go.

Lord Loss by Darren Shan: I’ve had and kept this book for a long time. I was gifted it when I was in year six, probably around 10 or 11, by a kid in my class I never liked. I find it funny that even back then, before my emo phase, I gave off the energy that I would like books like Darren Shan. I’ve never actually read this. I have a vague memory of reading the beginning but that’s it, so I’d like to pick it up and finally give it a read now that I enjoy spookier stories.

Books I Recommend!

Full-Metal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa: “Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world; something between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in this power to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and a leg…and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living steel. Now Edward is an agent of the government, a slave of the military-alchemical complex, using his unique powers to obey orders…even to kill. Except his powers aren’t unique. The world has been ravaged by the abuse of alchemy. And in pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher’s Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are…”

Blue Exorcist by Kazue Kato: “Raised by Father Fujimoto, a famous exorcist, Rin Okumura never knew his real father. One day a fateful argument with Father Fujimoto forces Rin to face a terrible truth – the blood of the demon lord Satan runs in Rin’s veins! Rin swears to defeat Satan, but doing that means entering the mysterious True Cross Academy and becoming an exorcist himself. Can Rin fight demons and keep his infernal bloodline a secret?”

Mediator series by Meg Cabot: “Being a mediator doesn’t exactly make Susannah Simon your typical sixteen-year-old. Her job is to ease the path for the unhappy dead to their final resting place. She finds her skills tested to the maximum. But can this girl get her ghost?” (edit: I’ve re-read the first book of this series and noticed it’s quite problematic for a few reasons such as using the term sch*zo and also a white girl (the MC) using “Brazilian Voodoo” to banish a ghost so… I change my mind I don’t recommend these books at all)

Midnight by Jacqueline Wilson: “A wonderful tale of family and fairies from the phenomenally successful Jacqueline Wilson. Violet has always been in the shadow of her mesmerizing, controlling brother Will — by turns delightful and terrifying. Now that Will has learned a shocking secret about his own past, things seem to be getting worse. Violet retreats further into her fantasy world built around the fairy characters created by her favourite author, Casper Dream. The arrival of Jasmine, a new girl at school who immediately befriends Violet, seems like it might change Violet’s life for the better and allow her to break free of Will’s spell. But is Jasmine a true friend?”

Kissed by an Angel by Elizabeth Chandler: “Ivy and Tristan are meant to be together. Both stunningly attractive, brilliantly talented and very much in love, they think their happiness will last forever. When a terrible car accident shatters their world, killing Tristan and injuring Ivy, she must face life alone – or so she thinks. However, Tristan is watching over her as her guardian angel – so close she can feel his touch and hear his voice. And no one needs a guardian angel more than Ivy, because someone is trying to kill her. But if Tristan saves Ivy, his mission on earth will be finished, and he’ll have to leave her behind. Will saving Ivy mean losing her forever?”

Generation Dead and The Kiss of Death by Daniel Waters: “Something strange is happening – teenagers who die are coming back to life, but they come back different. Termed ‘living impaired’ or ‘differently biotic’, there are lots of conspiracy theories to explain this new phenomenon. As their numbers keep on growing, so does the discomfort of the living people in the local community.” This is a book I want to read again, especially after reading the summary, as I’m interested to see the similarities between being a zombie and being disabled.

Vampyr Legion by Alan Gibbons: “What if there are places where our nightmares live and wait for us? Phoenix has found one and it’s alive. Armies of bloodsucking vampyrs and terrifying werewolves, the creatures of our darkest dreams, are poised to invade our world. After his battle with the evil Gamesmaster in SHADOW OF THE MINOTAUR, Phoenix knows this is for real. As he prepares to enter the second deadly computer game in The Legendeer series, he knows he must win or never come back. The Legendeer is more than just a game. Play it if you dare.” I didn’t know this was the second in a series! I dunno how I read this in school and didn’t notice but okay then.

Most of these books I want to re-read anyway! I’m hoping I’ll get a chance to enjoy some of them during October, but I also plan to spend my time watching True Crime, Supernatural, Conspiracy Theory YouTube videos and Netflix shows as well. I plan to bring out a blog post next week on some of my favourite creators in these categories, I hope you will enjoy that! Let me know if you have read any of the books on my list and what you thought! See you back here next week!

~ Artie

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