So seeing as we’re now part-way through October, I thought I would share with you my top recommended books for Autumn. I always love this time of year for so many reasons– my uni campus looks stunning, the leaves on the ground, cups of pumpkin spice coffee, Halloween around the corner, bonfire smells and of course, the excuse to snuggle up on the sofa in warm blankets and jumpers with a really good book.
Most of these recommendations are YA, since that’s what I mostly read, but there’s a few which are non-YA that I enjoy reading so much at this time of year that I couldn’t resist including them 😀
- Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand.
I’m only about halfway through reading this, but boy is it good. It tells the very creepy story of an island called Sawkill, where girls frequently go missing, never to be seen again. There are whispers of monsters and suspicions of murder everywhere. When Marion, the new girl on the island, is drawn into the mystery against her own will, she encounters two other girls who are desperate to fight back and reclaim the island for themselves.
2. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw.
This is another super creepy book with lots of gorgeous descriptions that will keep you turning the page long after you should’ve turned the lights out. On a little island [yes, another one] there’s a terrifying yearly tradition. Three sisters, killed for their witchcraft long ago, come back every year to possess girls on the island and drown unsuspecting boys who get too close. Penny, enchanted by a new arrival on the island, is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, but since it is impossible to tell who has been taken over by a witch and who hasn’t, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
3. City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab.
As the title suggests, this is another rather creepy read. It takes place in Edinburgh, where a girl called Cassie is accompanying her ghosthunting parents as they film a supernatural tv show. The problem is that Cassie has the special ability to see ghosts. In fact, her best friend is one of them. Trailing through the ancient city, Cassie begins to encounter ghosts which are a lot less friendly than the one by her side. This one is a Middle Grade read, rather than YA, but it’s definitely worth a read.
4. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert.
Again, this book is a pretty good shout in the build up to Halloween. It’s set in America, where seventeen-year old Alice is obsessed with her famous, reclusive grandmother’s collection of dark fairytales. When her grandmother dies on her estate, The Hazel Wood, Alice’s mother believes this might finally be the end of their rotten bad luck. Unfortunately, she’s wrong. Instead, Alice’s mother is kidnapped, and the only lead is a message left behind warning Alice to stay away from The Hazel Wood.
5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.
Honestly, I’m not sure if it would be a list on my blog without the inclusion of The Raven Cycle somewhere. This is possibly my favourite book ever [except HP because let’s be real here]. Blue, a non-psychic girl living in a house of psychic female relatives, is tired of being told her future. She’s been warned since her childhood that if she kisses her true love, he will die. That won’t be a problem though. The only boys in town are the snobby private school ones, known as the raven boys. Gansey is one of them. In fact, he’s practically the king of the raven boys. Surrounded by a strange mixture of friends, Gansey is on a quest– to research and rediscover the body of Owen Glendower, a lost warrior of Wales. The search seems to be going nowhere, but then he meets Blue.
6. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken.
Again, this is a MG book, but it is just perfect for Halloween. In fact, it is set around that time of year. Prosper is the son of a super-rich family with a terrifying grandmother and a strange curse. When the family decide to use him to end the curse, Propser flees with the help of a mysterious branch of his family who feel sorry for him. Now he’s stuck with a witch cousin, a furious cat, and a demon in his head who wants to kill his whole family.
7. The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke.
Admittedly, I haven’t yet read this one, but it comes highly recommended by firends with good taste in books, so I’m going to trust them on this one. Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Boneless Mercies—girls hired to kill quickly, quietly, and mercifully. But Frey is weary of the death trade and, having been raised on the heroic sagas of her people, dreams of a bigger life. When she hears of an unstoppable monster ravaging a nearby town, Frey decides this is the Mercies’ one chance out. The fame and fortune of bringing down such a beast would ensure a new future for all the Mercies. In fact, her actions may change the story arc of women everywhere.
8. The Secret History by Donna Tartt.
This one isn’t YA, but I loved it so much I did my whole masters dissertation on the author. It’s a rich and dark tale of a group of aristocratic scholars who reject the mainstream, studying Greek and keeping to themselves. Richard has always believed himself to be an outsider, but he’s drawn in to the Greek group by the allure of their grandeur. Richard has no money, no powerful connections, but he’s determined to be one of the group. In doing so, he winds up unearthing some terrifying secrets about the members which will tie them all together forever. This book is more of a whydunnit than a whodunnit but it’s a perfect and macabre Autumn read.
9. Dracula by Bram Stoker.
Obviously, this had to be included in the list. It tells the story of the infamous Count Dracula travelling from Transylvania to England, where he hopes to continue his reign of terror by drinking from new victims. Only a small group of humans stand in his way. Jonathan Harker, an unsuspecting solicitor who travels to Transylvania to provide legal support. Mina Murray, Harker’s fiancee. Lucy, Mina’s best friend, and the Dutch doctor, professor and lawyer, Abraham van Helsing. The novel is told in an epistolary format which is very gripping.
10. Pet Sematary by Stephen King.
The Shining would have been an obvious choice here [as would most of the stuff Mr. King has written] but I thought I’d throw in a bit of a curveball and go for this gem instead, especially since the trailer for the remake has just been released. Doctor Louis Creed has just moved with his family to the small town of Ludlow, to start his new job at the University of Maine’s campus health care service. His neighbour, Jud Crandall, warns the young family about the busy highway by their new house, as well as showing them the pet cemetery behind their home. The story goes that anything that is buried there will return to its loved ones. But Creed isn’t prepared to listen to that warning.
Well, that’s it for today folks. Who here has read the books on this list, or plans to get round to them soon? Have you got a perfect Autumn recommendation you think I should check out? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below ❤