Happy Friday! It’s time to talk about some more books that I may or may not read this decade. Last week I was all about the witches; this week, I just want to be terrified. Don’t get me wrong, I will never get tired of reading cute picture books, but sometimes I want to read a story so scary that it will ruin my sleep schedule and run up my light bill. Here are a few books that I hope will do just that:
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Just sit with those words a minute and imagine a person actually dressed in blood. This is one of the creepiest, most evocative titles in the horror game. I don’t think I’ve ever run across a “Best YA Horror” list that didn’t have this book on it. And yes, I am thoroughly ashamed of myself for never having read it before.
Small Spaces by Katherine Arden; cover art by Matt Saunders
This book ticks quite a few boxes for me: a great cover with fantastic Halloween-y imagery, ghosts, creepy scarecrows, and a straight-out-of-a-horror-movie plot involving a field trip to a haunted farm that ends when the school bus breaks down. This one comes out on September 25, and I am incredibly excited to read it.
Sadie by Courtney Summers; cover art by Agata Wierzbicka (illustration) and Kerri Resnick (design)
Here’s another upcoming release that I’m dying to read. I’m not actually sure how frightening this one is…I’ve tried to avoid finding out, because it seems like the kind of book that’s best enjoyed when you know as little as possible about it beforehand. This is the briefest synopsis I could find: “A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial-like podcast following the clues she’s left behind.” I’ve never actually listened to Serial, because I already have far too many all-consuming hobbies, but my takeaway is that this book is going to ruin my life when it comes out on September 4 and I am READY FOR IT.
Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac; illustrations and cover art by Sally Wern Comport
“Molly’s father, who grew up on the Mohawk Reserve of Akwesasne, always had the best scary stories. One of her favorites was the legend of Skeleton Man, a gruesome tale about a man with such insatiable hunger he ate his own flesh before devouring those around him. But ever since her parents mysteriously vanished, those spooky tales have started to feel all too real.”
Reading this book in bed at midnight with one foot dangling out from under the covers seems like a terrible decision, so I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what I’m going to do tonight.
How about you? Do you have any terrifying books you can’t wait to smuggle under the covers with a flashlight, or do you prefer books that don’t give you nightmares? Are you lucky enough to have read an advance copy of Small Spaces or Sadie? Tell me your (non-spoilery) thoughts in the comments!