Anyone else getting in the Halloween spirit like crazy? I have the Halloweentown and Hocus Pocus air times on my phone calendar. Call me obsessive (probably because I am), but I'm not missing my faves this year! Monday at 6:30 CT, you'll find me with popcorn, candy corn, and some other kind of corn, because surely I need three types, sitting on my couch enjoying Halloweentown, and living it up.
Now, I'm kind of a holiday purist. I have a certain time frame that is relegated for each holiday. Halloween may not be celebrated before October. Thanksgiving, November. Christmas, December, etc. I don't do this Christmas tree decorations in August thing that craft stores like to do. But, anyway, I diverge. Without further ado, some of my favorite books, that get me in the Halloween mood.
The Mediator Series (6 books) by Meg Cabot
Published Year: 2000
"Suze is a mediator - a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won't leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living. But Jesse, the hot ghost haunting her bedroom, doesn't seem to need her help. Which is a relief, because Suze has just moved to sunny California and plans to start fresh, with trips to the mall instead of the cemetery, and surfing instead of spectral visitations.
But the very first day at her new school, Suze realizes it's not that easy. There's a ghost with revenge on her mind... and Suze happens to be in the way."
I love, love, love this series. Suze is my spirit animal, and Jesse is 100% swoon-worthy. She's one fierce, badass high schooler. She is not afraid to give any ghost a shiner, that's for sure. She definitely gets herself into some tight situations, but this series is my go to for some light Halloween-esque themes (without being worried for my soul, if you know what I mean).
Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach
Published Year: 2011
"A haunted castle, a handsome young man dead for four hundred years, one heck of a scary portrait of a witch, and a treasure hunt -- not to mention a princess for a roommate! -- all await American girl Caitlyn Monahan when she earns a scholarship to a French boarding school.
There are secrets behind the stone walls of Chateau de la Fortune, buried for centuries along with the mystery of who killed Raphael, the charming ghost who visits Caitlyn at night. But as Caitlyn unearths the history of the castle, nothing scares her as badly as the secret she learns about herself, and the reason she was chosen to come to the Fortune School."
Definitely more of a love story than a creepy story, Wake Unto Me still qualifies as a ghost story that leaves you thinking about the nuances of time. I really enjoyed this read, and didn't mind that the ghosts were again sweet and lovely and not at all creepy (sensing a trend here?)
The Forest of Hands and Teeth (#1 of 3) by Carrie Ryan
Published Year: 2009
Genre: YA Horror
"In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?"
A series that has an interesting take on zombies (aka the "unconsecrated"). Told over three books, Mary will slowly realize the world she lives in isn't what she thought it was at all. This book isn't in the vein of World War Z or I am Legend so if that's what you're looking for, move right along. Not wrench your heart out or break neck paced, but a good read!
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen
Published Year: 2009
Genre: Historical Fantasy/Horror
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.
So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read."
This one is pretty self-explanatory. However, if you're an Austen purist or hate seeing Lizzy Bennet portrayed differently or anything slightly differently than the original. Might want to stay away from the zombie version... (Also I highly disagree with into something you'd actually want to read. I actually wanted to read the original thank you very much and I loved it, so there.)
Hex Hall (#1 of 3) by Rachel Hawkins
Published Year: 2010
"Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tag-along ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her."
Such a great series! I highly recommend this one if you're looking for a series about witches this Halloween! Sophie and friends end up in a race against time to save all Prodigium, and it comes down to her... (of course, right?). There's also a new series from the POV of her cousin, which is just as great, because I'm a big fan of this world (and Izzy!).
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Published Year: 2011
"A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.
"Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell."
I actually haven't read this one, but came across it during my research for this post. It sounds fantastic. I've immediately added it to my TBR pile, and I can't wait to get my hands on it. Has anyone read it? What did you think of it??