As I was looking for books I wanted to read for Horror October, I realized something: There’s not very many YA horror books.
I’m not talking “horror” stories that are about cute ghosts or are all romancey and shit.
I’m talking REAL. HORROR. Gory, homicidal, disturbing, you’re-going-to-die, HORROR.
There are only two books I’ve ever read that were labeled as horror that I actually consider to be real horror:
The Monstrumologist and Lockdown. Both were totally dark and twisted, and were actually creepy. Now, there’s really nothing that ever scares me. I have yet to find a horror movie or book that actually scared me. But they sure did give me the heebie jeebies! [side note: The ONLY horror movie that ever truly creeped me out was The Hills Have Eyes. Deformed, inbred psychopath rapists in the middle of the desert *shudder*]
I would LOVE to find a book/movie that is truly scary. To be honest, I don’t even know if it’s possible for me. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I know it’s fiction, or if it’s just because I love twisted things. Then again, I don’t really feel any fear for much of anything. I’m afraid of spiders, sure, but it’s not actual terror. It’s just a ew-they’re-creepy-get-it-away-kill-it-now kinda thing. I’ve only felt real terror once in my whole life, and I don’t care to talk about it – but it had to do with a loved one’s life being in danger. That is really the only thing that legitimately scares me. I’ve also never been in a bad situation before where fear was warranted. I know I’m not immortal, but death isn’t something that worries me yet.
ANYWAY. Got off on a tangent there, oopsie. (DON’T JUDGE ME BECAUSE I HAVE THE ATTENTION SPAN OF A GOLDFISH.)
So. Horror in YA sucks. Aside from the aforementioned titles, here’s the ones I’ve read:
- Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake – ★★★★
- Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake – ★★★
- Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin – ★
- Nevermore by Kelly Creagh – ★★★½
- Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard – ★★★
- Unquiet, The by Jeannine Garsee – ★★★★
- Ten by Gretchen McNeil – ★★★
- Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn – ★★★★
- Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff – ★½
- Slasher Girls and Monster Boys anthology – ★★★★
As you can see, I didn’t care a whole lot for many of them. Some of these were more of thrillers than horror, too. And actually, the ones I rated higher didn’t leave a lasting impression. Looking back, I don’t really care much for Anna Dressed in Blood. I remember enjoying Another Little Piece and The Unquiet, but I don’t remember any of either book! Everything else was just meh. I did really love a few of the short stories in Slasher Girls, but I want a WHOLE book!
All of those books, with the exception of some of the short stories, were what I consider to be fluffy “horror.” Anna is bloody, sure, but it is a romance at its core. None of these books were even close to scary. And again, most of them are truly more thriller than horror.
And then there’s the ones I DNFed:
- Shutter by Courtney Alameda
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
- The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1) by Maureen Johnson
- Rot and Ruin (Benny Imura #1) by Jonathan Maberry
- The First Days (As the World Dies #1) by Rhiannon Frater
- Unwind (Unwind #1) by Neal Shusterman
- The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
- Zom-B (Zom-B #1) by Darren Shan
For some reason, YA horror tends to not work out for me.
Maybe I’m just too picky when it comes to horror. Maybe I just haven’t found the right one? I NEED MORE LIKE ESCAPE FROM FURNACE AND THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST.
Does anybody know of a good NOT fluffy YA horror? One that is ACTUALLY scary?!
I haven’t read any adult horror books. I probably should! I really want to read some Stephen King, but don’t know where to start. I did read the first three (well, two and a half; I never actually finished the third) books of the Dark Tower series, but I don’t consider that horror so that doesn’t count. I’d like to read It or The Stand, but the length of them scares me. 1,000+ pages? In one book? NO THANKS. (I do not like big books and I cannot lie, thank you very much. BIG BOOKS INTIMIDATE ME OKAY.) Maybe Pet Sematary or The Shining, since I never saw the movies? (Yes, I just said I’ve never seen The Shining. STOP JUDGING)
If I were to read a Stephen King horror book, which one would you suggest I start with?