halloween: a time of vampires, hobgoblins, draculas, boogens, and headless mice… And Community references.
Finally, it’s that day of the year: Halloween, the best holiday in the history of forever. Something about last-minute costumes, ghost romances, candy (sans candy corn), horror films, and the California weather that always remains in the high 80’s despite it being fall, never fails to enchant.
To honor this auspicious holiday, Eri and I are bringing you our Halloween Reading Recommendations complete with ghosts
some more real than others, vampires, shifters, and also books in which pumpkins are somehow involved. Expect Romance and non-Romance reads.
Note: All pun names were curated by me (Eri) and I take full credit/blame for how cheesy they are. – Eri. And I’m responsible for the never-ending Community references. I will take your thanks now – Alexis. Also, we’d like to thank our friend Mana for creating the amazing banner as we were both too busy to do it ourselves.
- Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake // Young Adult ⋆ Paranormal. Between a vindictive ghost girl and a snarky ghost hunter boy, why would you not want to pick this up? This is perhaps my most nostalgic read on this list, since I remember consuming it as a kid and I think it does hold up, as the best books do. It’s positively creepy in many parts and I do recommend reading with the lights on. – Eri
- Shutter by Courtney Alameda // Young Adult ⋆ Paranormal. Essentially a sleeper hit for me, I’d had one good friend recommend it to me years ago and finally picked it up last year and adored it. The heroine is a Van Helsing legacy (yep I know) who can see ghosts and with her scrappy crew, they basically hunt the undead with a camera. – Eri
(on THIS blog, we don’t have a zero ghost tolerance policy)
- Ghost of a Feeling by Celestine Trinidad // New Adult ⋆ Contemporary Romance. The heroine, a doctor, struggles after a patient dies under her care. When she’s about to jump from the rooftop of her apartment, she’s met with the ghost of a man who took his own life years before. Only that’s not actually him. And he’s not a ghost. Also, it’s actually set during Halloween. Content Warning: Suicide, Suicide ideation. – Alexis
- Dark Needs At Night’s Edge by Kresley Cole // Adult ⋆ Paranormal Romance. Ghost ballerina heroine? Check. Spooky, abandoned manor? Check. A vampire hero, near death experiences, and binging the rest of this series after you finish this book? Also, check check and check. If you can, I highly recommend the audiobook version of Dark Needs at Night’s Edge. Robert Petkoff is a narration GOD. – Alexis
(S)take Me Away
- Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia // Adult ⋆ Science Fiction. Since Twilight, I have been a fan of vampires. Certain Dark things is the best vampire book I’ve read to date. The mythos behind the vampires in this book is unique and vibrant. The story itself is set in Mexico City and features multiple, strong voiced POV characters. I also loved how this dealt with the relationship between Vampires and Humans. Seriously, if you’re going to read one vampire book this season, make it this one. – Alexis
- Though Smoke Shall Hide the Sun by Brit Mandelo // Adult ⋆ Short Story. Short Stories used to be the bulk of my Goodreads reading challenges. In the days when I read them, I went though an embarrassing amount. Though Smoke Shall Hide the Sun is one story from those days. A vampire with mysterious powers and a pyrokinetic
(and, wow I really could never resist pryokinetics)are paired up on a job gone wrong. While I wish it was longer (crying), it’s an enjoyable, quick read in a world were supernaturals are not yet known to the public. – Alexis
- Blood of Eden series by Julie Kagawa // Young Adult ⋆ Paranormal. Julie Kagawa is probably more famous for her Iron Fey series, but this vampire series is not to be missed. It is a little rocky to start, but it was such a fun and dystopian take on vampires. Also there’s a [redacted for spoilers] character trope vampire in this series and he is a total delight to read about and has one of my favorite character growth arcs. – Eri
Were the Wild Things are
- Beary Christmas, Baby by Sasha Devlin // Adult ⋆ Paranormal Romance. Yeah, I’m including a Christmas book on a Halloween rec list. SHOOT ME. I adore this shifter novella and re-read it whenever I’m in a slump, which is why I’m mentioning it. Dragon Shifter heroine + Polar Bear Shifter hero + Ice Queen trope + Near Death Experience + Loved you for years = Perfection. – Alexis
- Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert // Adult ⋆ Paranormal Romance. Somehow, if you haven’t read a Talia Hibbert book by now, here is your perfect chance to get started. Plus, it is actually halloween themed this time lol. After finding the scent of of his mate in the form of a borrowed jacket, this werewolf hero finds himself loitering around the heroine’s coffee shop struggling to properly ask her out. And the heroine is a werewolf hunter who totally knows what he is. – Alexis
Babes with the Power
- Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews // Adult ⋆ Urban Fantasy. Eri recommended the Hidden Legacy series to me… forever ago. On whim I started Burn for Me at the end of September, and then proceed to finish all the books in the series in 3 days. The heroine, Nevada is a private investigator who has the power to tell when people are lying (something she keeps secret). The first meeting of the hero, Rogan, a billionaire magical legend, and the heroine involves her getting kidnapped by him. And this probably was the only time I’ll ever be this okay with a hero kidnapping the heroine in a Romance. Trust me. They have to team up to take done a fire-powered magic user on the loose. This series is easily marathon-able and a ton of fun. Also, the novella introduction to the series’s next heroine, Catalina, comes out November 5th just in time for your post-marathon of Hidden Legacy recover act. – Alexis
- Winterblaze by Kristen Callihan // Adult ⋆ Historical Fantasy/Romance. Officially known as the #1 Estranged Spouses fan, I read of books based on the trope. Winterblaze is my favorite fantasy estranged spouses romance. The secretly supernatural heroine also secretly runs a supernatural organization while moonlighting as a doting wife and bookseller. Her ex-inspector husband doesn’t know. After being attached by a werewolf, he learns the truth. He’s not happy. And the drama is delicious. Note: while it is the third book in the series, you can get away with reading it out of order. – Alexis
Hey There Demons, It’s Me
- Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan // Young Adult ⋆ Fantasy. So this is cheating a bit because this book technically won’t release until the beginning of November, but we’re putting it on this list anyway. The Demon King is a looming, menacing presence, but the real magic in this book is the gorgeous worldbuilding. I guarantee you’ll devour this one and it’s also got a charming f/f romance at the center, as well as the author’s promise that you’ll see even more f/f and m/m ships in the sequels. Content Warning: Sexual Assault. – Eri
- Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost // Adult ⋆ Paranormal Romance. The start of a new branch-off series featuring Master Vampire/Fan Favorite, Ian, from Jeaniene Frost’s long running Night Huntress Universe… Overall, I have thorny feelings about certain installments but Shades of Wicked stood clear from aspects I’ve taken issue with. And, Frost finally gave the world building I’ve been wanting for. Expect sexy vampires, a ton of magic, tropes galore (seriously, Eri and I were shaking), characters cameos, and the always fun activity of selling your soul to a demon. And a Bisexual hero and heroine. This is another book I’d highly recommend listening to in audiobook format. Honestly, there’s no other way to read this series than through Tavia Gilbert’s genius, super galaxy brain narration. – Alexis
Pumpkins are somehow involved
- When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore // Young Adult ⋆ Magical Realism. With this book, Anna-Marie McLemore showed me I could love purple prose. And made me fall absolutely in love with her storytelling. Miel and Sam are absolutely enchanting. When the Moon Was Ours is one of those books that’s impossible to describe because I love it too much. If you like roses out of wrists, secrets, and crying then this one is for you. Also, scary glass pumpkins. – Alexis
Goblins, faeries and Unsee(m)lie creatures
- Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones // Young Adult ⋆ Fantasy. AKA the book Alexis still hasn’t read and I will murder her over if she hasn’t by the end of 2018. If you’ve seen Labryinth with David Bowie, this is a retelling of that and if you also found the Goblin King sexy, well I’ve got the book for you. Liesl is one of the most complicated heroines I love, and the way her personal journey unfolds in this book is wonderful as well as the battle of wills between her and Der Erlkoenig throughout. Also S. Jae-Jones has some of the most beautiful writing and there is a reason why this book is my go-to recs for people. – Eri
- The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black // Young Adult ⋆ Fantasy. Holly Black is a faerie queen and also one of my favorite authors of all time, I grew up with her books. Also Alexis loved me enough to drive five hours to take me to a signing for her so she’s a special author for Lacy Literacy. Holly always manages to write fascinating characters who grapple with the structures of their confined worlds as well as have loads of snark and heart. I would have added all of her books if I could have but I did restrain myself by just adding one. – Eri
Monster Under the Page
- Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer // Young Adult ⋆ Sci-Fi. Fair warning, this book is not for the faint of heart, it contains quite a bit of blood, torture, gore etc. and if you don’t think you can handle any of these and related topics, I caution you away. That being said, this book is one of my surprise favorites of 2018, I loved that several of the characters are absolutely terrible and I honestly cannot wait to see them truly wreak havoc in the sequel. Essentially, the heroine helps her mom sell monster body parts on the black market, until she ends up there herself as she is also a kind of monster. Very suitable for Halloween hah. Content Warning: blood, gore, mutilation/torture scenes. – Eri
And maybe when you’re done reading watch the Community episode “Epidemiology” for zombie community college related fun. It totally happens.