Spooky season may not be for a little while yet, but we here at Penguin Teen are all about the year-round spooks. So if you’re looking for the next read that’s going to have you either buying a nightlight or bidding sleep adieu altogether, read on! 👻
Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall
Rules for Vanishing is a chilling combination of The Blair Witch Project and Stranger Things that will leave you thoroughly freaked out. And probably convinced that anything that goes bump in the night is Lucy coming into your house to kill you.
About the book: Once a year, a road appears in the forest. And at the end of it, the ghost of Lucy Gallows beckons. Lucy’s game isn’t for the faint of heart. If you win, you escape with your life. But if you lose….Sara’s sister disappeared one year ago–and only Sara knows where she is. Becca went to find the ghost of Lucy Gallows and is trapped on the road that leads to her. In the sleepy town of Briar Glen, Lucy’s road is nothing more than local lore. But Sara knows it’s real, and she’s going to find it.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
This book is a classic, timeless creepy that just sticks to your mind (usually when you’re trying to sleep.)
About the book: My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise, I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cap mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead…
The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
This one will keep you up all night. Not because you’ll be scared, but because it will be AGONY to put it down. This slow-burn romance set in New Orleans, a city ruled by the death and tormented by the gruesome murders left in the wake of a serial killer on the loose, will have you flipping pages into the wee early morning hours.
About the book: In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.
When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.
There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Not only is this quickly making its name as a classic in the slasher genre, but it’s coming to the screen! We are dying (no pun intended) to see There’s Someone Inside Your House make its way to Netflix!
About the book: It’s been almost a year since Makani Young came to live with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska, and she’s still adjusting to her new life. And still haunted by her past in Hawaii.
Then, one by one, the students of her small town high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, Makani will be forced to confront her own dark secrets.
I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall
Chances are, after you read Rules for Vanishing, you’ll be dying to read more Kate Alice Marshall. And luckily, her other book is a whole DIFFERENT kind of scary. It’s the thriller, fight for survival/unraveling a dark murder mystery kind of scary. It’s the kind of scary you’re glad is trapped in the pages of a book and will probably make you put off hiking for a while.
About the book:
We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund
This book is the perfect read if you want a little more depth to your scary. Melancholy and haunting, Natalie Lund’s debut is full of secrets, ghosts, and a traumatic event that seems to be reoccurring every fifty years in the same town.
About the book: It’s been more than 50 years since a tornado tore through a drive-in movie theater in tiny Mercer, Illinois, leaving dozens of teens — a whole generation of Mercerites — dead in its wake. So when another tornado touches down in the exact same spot on the anniversary of this small-town tragedy, the town is shaken. For Brenna Ortiz, Joshua Calloway, and Callie Keller, the apprehension is more than just a feeling. Though they seem to share nothing more than a struggle to belong, the teens’ paths continue to intersect, bringing them together when they least expect it, and perhaps, when they need it most. Both the living and the dead have secrets and unresolved problems, but they may be able to find peace and move forward–if only they work together.
A beautifully told, haunting yet hopeful novel about pushing past the pain, facing the world, and finding yourself.
The Haunted by Danielle Vega
This list requires at least one classic haunted house and a whole lot of ghosts, and The Haunted has both. And if you’re looking for a quick dose of scary, check out author Danielle Vega’s Spooky Hour series, in which she tells true scary stories sent in by readers!
About the book: Clean slate. That’s what Hendricks Becker-O’Malley’s parents said when they moved their family to the tiny town of Drearfield, New York. Hendricks wants to lay low and forget her dark, traumatic past. Forget him. But things don’t go as planned.
I Know You Remember by Jennifer Donaldson
This is the perfect up-all-night thriller if you loved One of Us Is Lying. Full of secrets, dark turns, and twisty lies, I Know You Remember is a spooky must read.
About the book: Zahra Gaines is missing.
After three long years away, Ruthie Hayden arrives in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to this devastating news. Zahra was Ruthie’s best friend–the only person who ever really understood her–and she vows to do whatever it takes to find her.
Zahra vanished from a party just days before Ruthie’s return, but the more people she talks to, the more she realizes that the Zahra she knew disappeared long before that fateful night. Gone is the whimsical, artistic girl who loved books and knew Ruthie’s every secret. In her place is an athlete, a partier, a girl with secrets of her own. Darker still are the rumors that something happened to Zahra while Ruthie was gone, something that changed her forever…
As Ruthie desperately tries to piece together the truth, she falls deeper and deeper into her friend’s new world, circling closer to a dangerous revelation about what happened to Zahra in the days before her disappearance–one that might be better off buried.
The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart
This book is basically Gremlins meets The Breakfast Club by way of Stephen King and Stranger Things. WHAT A COMBO.
About the book: In the summer of 1982, five friends discover an ancient stone box hidden deep in the woods. They seal inside of it treasured objects from their childhoods, and they make a vow:
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
A badass group of girls in the midst of a very dark mystery? Sign us up.
About the book: Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep.
He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep.
Who are the Sawkill Girls?
Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.
Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.
Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.
Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.
Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.
What’s coming next…
The Unleashed by Danielle Vega – Coming July 7, 2020
Remember how The Haunted scared the hell out of you? Book 2 is basically going to have you sleeping with the lights on on a regular basis.
A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens – Coming July 28, 2020
We are getting serious Sabrina vibes from this cover and WE ARE ABOUT IT.
About the book: Dan and Liss are witches. The Black Book granted them that power. Harnessing that power feels good, especially when everything in their lives makes them feel powerless.
During a spell gone wrong, Liss’s boyfriend is snatched away by an evil entity and presumed dead. Dan and Liss’s friendship dies that night, too. How can they practice magic after the darkness that they conjured?
Months later, Liss discovers that her boyfriend is alive, trapped underground in the grips of an ancient force. She must save him, and she needs Dan and the power of The Black Book to do so. Dan is quickly sucked back into Liss’s orbit and pushes away her best friend, Alexa. But Alexa has some big secrets she’s hiding and her own unique magical disaster to deal with.
When another teenager disappears, the girls know it’s no coincidence. What greedy magic have they awakened? And what does it want with these teens it has stolen?
The Companion by Katie Alender – Coming August 25, 2020
THIS FAMILY IS NOT ALRIGHT.
About the book:
The other orphans say Margot is lucky.
Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis – Coming August 25, 2020
If you love horror movies, you’ll want to move this to the top of your list.
The Woods Are Always Watching by Stephanie Perkins – Coming September 22, 2020
Stephanie Perkins is back to spook us and we are READY TO BE SPOOKED.
About the book: Another blood-chilling contemporary horror novel, the perfect companion to her New York Times bestseller There’s Someone Inside Your House, soon to be a Netflix feature.