Readalikes: Creepy YA Reads for Halloween!

Looking for some good horror this October? The spotlight novel for this readalike is Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan. A movie adaption was also recently released starring AnnaSophia Robb. If you enjoyed the movie you will love the book as well as these other books that make perfect creepy reads for Halloween!

 

downadarkhall

Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan

Kit is forced to attend Blackwood Boarding School, an elite private school for girls while her parents are away on honeymoon. While Kit makes friends and enjoys her classes, she begins to suspect something evil is lurking in the halls of Blackwood. This is a fast-paced and creepy mystery that will keep you turning the pages constantly to find out what happens next.

 

themerciless

The Merciless by Danielle Vega

Sofia should’ve known better than to mix with the popular girls she admired for years. Sure, maybe they are set in their ways, but Sofia never imagined she would’ve walked into them performing a real-life exorcism on a classmate! She needs to escape but what if her new friends decide to turn on her? She could be next!

 

thedeadhouse

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

A mysterious fire, three deaths and one student missing. When Elmbridge High burned down, a student, Carly Johnson, disappears. Now, 25 years later a diary is discovered to be the owner of Kaytlin Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. The problem is, Carly never had a sister. Sift through psychiatric reports, police records and more, discover what really happened to Carly and the tragedy of Elmbridge High.

 

theprank

The Prank by Ashely Rae Harris

Practical jokes turned deadly. Jordan never imagined participating in pranks with the popular kids, let alone trying to discover the cause of the mysterious accidents with her crush, Charlie. This is a fast-paced paranormal story to chill you to the bone.

 

badgirlsdontdie

Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender

Alexis knows she doesn’t the live picture-perfect American dream. Her constantly bickering parents and weird little sister Kasey, Alexis has figured at this point it is just how her life is. Recently though, Kasey is acting stranger than usual and almost at the same time, their own house is starting to have a mind of its own. Alexis wishes this was all a dream but if she doesn’t figure out what is wrong with her sister and their home, her whole family could be in a lot of danger!

 

asylum

Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Dan enters New Hampshire College Prep planning to finally make some new friends after living most of his high school years as a social outcast. As Dan and his new friends explore their spooky summer home, they begin to realize they were chosen to attend this summer academy for a very specific reason. A creepy visual read, Asylum will keep you hooked until the very end of the story.

 

 project17

Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Six teens break into a closed down mental institution, rumoured to be the birthplace of lobotomy while they film their experiences. For Derik, it’s a chance to win a major filmmaking contest that would give him a nice chunk of cash that will prevent him from flipping burgers for many years to come. One dare turns into a nightmare and Derik begins to wonder if there are more than just them in the abandoned building.

 

wickedpedia

Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten

Cole and Gavin love editing Wikipedia pages while the dumb jocks end up failing their assignments by taking their Wikipedia edits as sources. It’s all jokes and laughs until one soccer player dies, just as Cole and Gavin edited into a Wikipedia page. They promise to never edit Wikipedia again, but somebody is still editing the website resulting in horror happening offline! To their dread, they discover someone has created a Wikipedia page about themselves, including a death date!

 

defriended

Defriended by Ruth Baron

Jason thinks he has found his dream girlfriend online named Lacey. Okay, he hasn’t exactly met her yet, but they talk all the time! The weird thing is, Lacey never agrees to meet in person. Confused, Jason turns to google to discover the ultimate shock: Lacey had died a year ago. Jason meets up with Lacey’s best friend Jenna and the two try to get down to what happened to Lacey and who Jason has been talking to online.

Advertisements

The Dead House

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-9-17-16-pm

Author: Dawn Kurtagich

My Review: 5/5

I’ve never cared for YA novels. Even when I was a young teenager myself, I could never see the appeal of the same old fantasy love triangle scenarios. Those were really big in my day, maybe they still are, who knows. When you start to not recognize the Disney Stars on the J-14 or Tiger Beat magazines, you know you aren’t hip with the kids anymore. And since I don’t know who the hell Ross Lynch is, I guess I’m old now. All I know about him is he is some Teen Beach hottie who is going to be playing Jeffery Dahmer in an upcoming movie. Teen Beach hottie to now play a cannibalistic serial killer? This guy better have legit acting skills or I am going to be seriously pissed off when I see the movie.

ANYWAYS, I decided to take a break from reading my typical true crime cases to something lighter. I’m snickering at myself now for thinking that because I thought The Dead House was going to be a “light scary teen read.”

Boy, was I very wrong.

For one, I had no CLUE this story was the author’s debut novel. You would never guess considering it is an incredibly written story.

The formatting was very different, which I loved in the end. The book is compiled of diary entries, psych therapy sessions and police interrogation interviews. It kept the story fast paced and with so many twists, I had an extremely difficult time putting it down. That must have been how I finished the book in only two days.

I won’t give out too much about the story, but the jist of it is the tale is told from the perspective of Kaitlyn Johnson (for the most part,) who attends Elmbridge High. Except, many claim she isn’t real; and she might not be, because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson. They consider themselves sisters who share a body. Carly gets the daytime, Kaitlyn gets the night and considers herself “a child of darkness.” Carly is the good, shy and quiet one while Kaitlyn is stubborn, rebellious and self harms. And then one day, Kaitlyn wakes up in the morning to find Carly gone.

This was an insane read, but so amazing and I’ve NEVER read anything quite like it. The truth is, you don’t really know what is happening in the story. Is Kaitlyn real? Is she telling the truth? Is Carly real? Is Kaitlyn and Carly’s psychiatrist lying to them? Is there something paranormal creeping in the shadows?

The protagonist is sometimes so lost in her own thoughts you can’t even consider her reliable; so actually summarizing this book would be very difficult because you don’t for sure what is going on.

Bottom line, I just loved this novel. It’s a horror, but whether you consider it a psychological thriller or a paranormal story depends on what you think happens. And I think that is why this story is so deliciously addictive.

The Selection #1

selection

Author: Kiera Cass

My Rating: 2/5

“35 Girls. One Crown. The Competition of a Lifetime.”

I first heard of Kiera Cass when I stumbled on her awesome YouTube channel a couple of years ago. Her videos are hilarious, witty and entertaining.

I figured I’d give her fairly newish series a shot.

Basically, it’s The Hunger Games (minus the killing,) and The Bachelor (except you’re trying to steal the heart of a prince.) Ok, so for some, maybe that is a really sweet combination, but for me, the whole idea and plot fell short. Maybe it’s just the romance aspect that bored me to death, I rarely read any love triangle/romance novels. The Hunger Games had a love triangle arguably, but come on, there was oppression, rebellion and survival as well! I think the reason this book reminds me of the THG is that in both dystopian worlds, their societies are heavily controlled by a caste/class system. Similar to THG, in the Selection, you are born into a caste/district and the chance of climbing up in terms of careers and lifestyle are slim to none.

Or perhaps it was the cringe worthy names Cass decided to use that really made me shake my head in disbelief. One of the female character’s is called Tuesday, I shit you not, her name is Tuesday, after the day of the week. Oh, and the female protagonist of the series is called America Singer, who just happens to be a talented and paid singer, wow, didn’t see that one coming. And somehow, despite being a paid singer, America is in a low caste level…um, you would think jobs of the poor would be something less glamorous and more hard labour, or maybe that is just me?

I know a lot of people have been raving about this series, and maybe I would’ve enjoyed it too when I was a young teen, I’ll never know now.

I recommend this to teen girls, those who like romance novels or those who just enjoy The Bachelor in general. I, on the other hand, will not be continuing with this series.

(I still love her YouTube channel, so if you want, check it out here.)

My Parents are Sex Maniacs: A High School Horror

sexmaniacs

My Rating: 5/5

Author: Robyn Harding

The title of this novel is quite misleading. When I first picked this up, I was half expecting a story of a teenage girl who discovered her parents were part of a swinger lifestyle or participating in some massive orgy. My Parents are Sex Maniacs was far tamer than I had expected.

I enjoyed this book far more than I expected. Based on the summary given, it appears to be your classic YA story. My Parents are Sex Maniacs is told in first person by sixteen year old Louise Harrison who is struggling with family issues and friendships. This may sound pretty typical, so you may be asking yourself: Why should I read this one? It sounds pretty much like a million other YA novels I’ve read before.

Well, I am pleased to share that the plot does not revolve around a teen romance or a story of a teenage girl meeting an amazing teenage boy that changes her complete outlook on life. I also found Louise to be a very refreshing and hilarious character, who is far from your perfect, skinny, long haired Mary Sue.

Yes, there are themes of popularity and teen partying, but I found the novel focused mostly on Louise (who is not a popular party girl herself,) and how she deals with her current dysfunctional family.

I read this novel in one sitting and found it to be a very easy and humorous read. I recommend this for those looking for a light and funny young adult novel.

Living Dead Girl

livingdeadgirl

My Rating: 5/5

Author: Elizabeth Scott

Living Dead Girl is easily the most disturbing and horrific novel I have ever read in my life, and that is saying something. I tend to read about the darkest and twisted human behaviour, frequently visiting the subreddit /r/gore and watch documentaries on child predators. Living Dead Girl is one of the few books that made me feel very uncomfortable and horrified while reading it. For its very twisted and detailed content, this book has been banned in many stores and schools.

The story is told by “Alice,” a fifteen year old girl who was abducted by a man when she was ten years old while she was on a field trip. During the five years “Alice” has been brainwashed and abused to the point of doing whatever her abductor expects from her, physically and mentally.

“Alice” was not the first girl her abductor has snatched off the streets. When the girl before Alice turned fifteen years old, she was soon after killed by “Alice’s” abductor. Because of this, “Alice” is very aware her time will eventually be up, just like the girl before her.

Living Dead Girl is surprisingly classified as a YA novel, something I find hard to believe. Elizabeth Scott is a YA writer, but this is way out of her happy, light, coming of age YA novels.

Honestly, I still do not know what to say about Living Dead Girl. I did not enjoy this book for its subject matter, and certainly will not be a book I will be rereading anytime soon, if ever at all; but the writing was excellent, the story was engrossing and haunting, easily earning five stars.

As stated above, this was the most horrific novel I have ever read, and be very wary there are pedophilia references and descriptive sexual, physical and mental abusive scenes.

I recommend this to anybody who is looking for the most disturbing and twisted YA novel on the planet, because Living Dead Girl certainly is just that.

A Cool Moonlight

acoolmoonlight

My Rating: 4/5

Author: Angela Johnson

Born with a rare skin condition causing her skin to be very sensitive to sunlight, Lila does not even remember the sun. Kept inside from the harsh sun rays, Lila is homeschooled and plays outside only at night. There, she plays with her two friends, Alyssa and Elizabeth, who promise to help her feel the warmth of the sun.

This is a very short read, but an absolutely beautiful and charming story. It is hard to tell whether this is a children’s book or a YA. I would more classify it is a YA; even though the main character in the book is much younger than the reader, only being eight years old, the subject and themes seem more mature than a typical children’s chapter book.

For the super anal grammar freaks, A Cool Moonlight may drive you up the walls given that no names or words are capitalized.

I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a unique YA quick read.