Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Top Five Spooky Books

I am a big fan of horror, in any form. Books, movies, TV shows--I just love it. Scaredy-cats (like the husband) always ask why, as in: "Why do you enjoy getting scared to pieces?" Truthfully, I love anything that can tap into some core emotion, be it romantic or sad or silly, and fear, terror (especially when I know I am safe on my couch) are pretty important emotions, too.

Books sometimes get the short straw as far as horror, seeing as they lack the visual, but that doesn't mean I haven't been freaked out by a good read. Here are some of my favorites:

I Hunt Killers, Barry Lyga
Holy crow. I had to read this one for the Cybils and I was completely blown away. Jazz, son of the country's most notorious serial killer, gets drawn into a series of mysterious murders that seem to echo his dad's work. As Jazz works to solve the mystery, he has to tap into the mind of a serial killer, which shouldn't be too hard, considering his dad's been training him as his replacement ever since Jazz was born.
Smart, complex, and scary as hell, I Hunt Killers kept me turning pages and wondering what the hell goes on in Barry Lyga's head.

Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake
Kendare Blake gets a lot of credit for jump-starting the horror trend in YA, and with good reason. Cas, the charismatic ghost hunter, meets his match in the beautiful Anna, a young woman cursed to haunt her former home for eternity. 
Horror + romance + crazy ghost chick = awesome.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
Told with a series of atmospheric, amazing photos, Miss Peregrine's... was one of the most unique, unusual books I've read. Ransom Riggs introduced us to a new world hidden beneath reality, with a cast of characters as unsettling as they are captivating.

Bruce Coville's Book of Nightmares
This is a total nostalgia pick, I must admit. When I was a kid, I practically inhaled the Bruce Coville's Book of... series, but I had a special spot in my heart for this one, which featured stories so chilling and disturbing that I'm kinda amazed they got away marketing it for kids. By far, my favorite story was Janni Lee Simner's "Drawing the Moon," in which two orphans try to bring their parents back to life (see what I mean about disturbing?)

Dracula, Bram Stoker
I used to read this one on the subway until I got so engrossed that I missed my stop (always the sign of a good book). There's a reason that this is the big daddy of vampire stories: it's creepy, bloody, and brutal. No sparkles, no love story, just crazy monsters that will kill you (or possibly turn you mad or possibly transform you into a half-human/half-monster succubus). I'm just saying. It's awesome.

What are some of your horror favorites?

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