Top YA Reads for Halloween 2019
Halloween is by far my favorite holiday. I live in Socal though so our Halloween’s are usually hot (we legit experience like 2 days of ‘fall’ weather), not to mention good old global warming, am I right?! :’D
Regardless, even though it may not necessarily feel like Halloween weather-wise, there are tons of activities you can do to get into the holiday mood!
It’s especially nearing that time again when it’s going to be nice to curl up with a spooky book at night in anticipation for Halloween! So many YA reads have been published recently so I thought I’d compile a list of the best reads for this year!
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1. The Institute by Stephen King
In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”
In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.
2. Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper Series #4) by Kerri Maniscalco
Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.
Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve encountered before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.
Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?
3. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans is a safe haven after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent in the middle of the carnival season, Celine is quickly enraptured by the vibrant city, from its music to its fancy soirées and even its danger. She becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s enigmatic leader, Sébastien Saint Germain.
When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in Sébastien’s own lair—the second dead girl to turn up in recent weeks—Celine battles her attraction to Sébastien and suspicions about his guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.
After a third murder, New Orleans becomes gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one who has now set Celine in his sights. As the murderer stalks her, Celine finally takes matters into her own hands, only to find herself caught in the midst of an age-old feud between the darkest creatures of the night, where the price of forbidden love is her life.
4. Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
But Imogen isn’t really Imogen. She’s Jule. And she’s on the run from something. Or someone. Which means . . . where is the real Imogen?
Rewind: Jule and Imogen are the closest of friends. Obsessed with each other, even. Imogen is an orphan, an heiress; she and Jule spend a summer together in a house on Martha’s Vineyard, sharing secrets they’d never reveal to another soul.
But that was months ago. Where is Immie now? And why is Jule using her name?
5. The Best Lies by Sarah Lyu
She was happy once. Remy had her boyfriend Jack, and Elise, her best friend—her soul mate—who understood her better than anyone else in the world.
But now Jack is dead, shot through the chest…
And it was Elise who pulled the trigger.
Was it self-defense? Or something darker than anything Remy could have imagined? As the police investigate, Remy does the same, sifting through her own memories, looking for a scrap of truth that could save the friendship that means everything to her.
6. The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring
Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.
At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.
Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored… and one of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence.
7. The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.
Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.
8. I Know You Remember by Jennifer Donaldson
After three long years away, Ruthie Hayden arrives in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to this devastating news. Zahra was Ruthie’s best friend—the only person who ever really understood her—and she vows to do whatever it takes to find her.
Zahra vanished from a party just days before Ruthie’s return, but the more people she talks to, the more she realizes that the Zahra she knew disappeared long before that fateful night. Gone is the whimsical, artistic girl who loved books and knew Ruthie’s every secret. In her place is an athlete, a partier, a girl with secrets of her own. Darker still are the rumors that something happened to Zahra while Ruthie was gone, something that changed her forever…
As Ruthie desperately tries to piece together the truth, she falls deeper and deeper into her friend’s new world, circling closer to a dangerous revelation about what happened to Zahra in the days before her disappearance—one that might be better off buried.
9. Keep This to Yourself by Tom Ryan
It’s been a year since the Catalog Killer terrorized the sleepy seaside town of Camera Cove, killing four people before disappearing without a trace. Like everyone else in town, eighteen-year-old Mac Bell is trying to put that horrible summer behind him—easier said than done since Mac’s best friend Connor was the murderer’s final victim.
But when he finds a cryptic message from Connor, he’s drawn back into the search for the killer—who might not have been a random drifter after all. Now nobody—friends, neighbors, or even the sexy stranger with his own connection to the case—is beyond suspicion. Sensing that someone is following his every move, Mac struggles to come to terms with his true feelings towards Connor while scrambling to uncover the truth.
10. The Books of the Dead by Emilia Bernhard
When American sleuth Rachel Levis stumbles upon an employee of the French national library strangled in the bathroom of a cafe, she’s not surprised to be asked to help with the investigation by her old acquaintance Capitaine Boussicault—after all, she and her best friend Magda solved a tricky murder only eighteen months before.
But right from the start, this case proves to be très difficile. When Rachel goes undercover as a librarian to determine which of his book-loving colleagues loathed the man enough to kill him, the library is rocked by more bad news: a priceless antique book has been mutilated. And the very next day, her favorite suspect for the murder is found dead in the stacks.
Just as the case is heating up, Boussicault pulls Rachel from the investigation. Undeterred, she and Magda decide to forge ahead with their own investigation—even if it could put them at odds with the police and in serious danger. With evidence and suspects piling up, it will be up to them to find the culprit—and stop more innocent books from being harmed—before anyone else checks out for good.
11. The Liar’s Daughter by Megan Peterson
Seventeen-year-old Piper knows that Father is a Prophet. Infallible. The chosen one.
She would do anything for Father. That’s why she takes care of all her little sisters. That’s why she runs end-of-the-world drills. That’s why she never asks questions. Because Father knows best.
Until the day he doesn’t. Until the day the government raids the compound and separates Piper from her siblings, from Mother, from the Aunts, from all of Father’s followers—even from Caspian, the boy she loves.
Now Piper is living Outside. Among Them.
With a woman They claim is her real mother—a woman They say Father stole her from.
But Piper knows better. And Piper is going to escape.
12. The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey
1833. A near-fatal carriage accident has deposited an unconscious young woman on the doorstep of Hardwick Manor and into the care of young Lord James Ellerby. But when she finally awakens, it is with no memory of who she is or where she came from.
Beth, as she calls herself, has no identity; the only clue to her circumstances is a recurring nightmare of a hummingbird, blood dripping from its steel beak.
With the help of James and his sister, Caroline, Beth tries to solve the mystery of her own identity and the appalling events that brought her to their door. But nothing could prepare her for the escalating dangers that threaten her and the Ellerby clan. From the hazardous cliffs of Dorset to the hostile streets of London, Beth will fight to reclaim her past, hunted by a secretive foe with murderous intentions.
13. Broken Things by Lauren Oliver
Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.
The only thing is: they didn’t do it.
On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous.
14. The Color of Lies by C. L. Lyons
Ella Cleary has always had an eye for the truth. Due to her synesthesia, she is able to read people via the waves of colors that surround them. Her unique gift has led her to trust very few people outside her family since her parents died in a fire. So when a handsome young journalist appears with no colors surrounding him at all, her senses go on high alert.
But while Alec is a mystery, Ella feels a connection to him she can’t ignore. Something about him feels familiar, and she is able to talk with him in ways she can’t with anyone else. Then just as feelings develop between them, Alec drops a bombshell: he believes her parents’ deaths were no accident. And she may be in more danger than she’s ever realized.
Soon Ella doesn’t know who she can trust or even who she really is. As family secrets begin to unravel and fact and fiction collide, it becomes clear that the only way for Ella to learn the truth about her past is to find a killer.
15. Killing November by Adriana Mather
At the Academy Absconditi, there’s no electricity, no internet, and an archaic eye-for-an-eye punishment system. Classes range from knife throwing and poisons to the art of deception. And the students? Silver-spoon descendants of the world’s most elite strategists—all training to become assassins, spies, and master impersonators.
One is a virtuoso of accents—and never to be trusted. Another is a vicious fighter determined to exploit November’s weaknesses. And then there’s the boy with the mesmerizing eyes and a secret agenda. November doesn’t know how an ordinary girl like her fits into the school’s complicated legacy. But when a student is murdered, she’ll need to separate her enemies from her allies before the crime gets pinned or her. Or she becomes the killer’s next victim.
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I definitely personally recommend these books in particular!