Now that spooky season is in full swing all around me, it’s time to turn to some spinechilling reads. It’s been an amazing year for Black horror in YA, from an anthology (out October 17th!) to exciting new books that will keep you up all night long. Here are 3 YA horror books with Black protagonists for you to check out!
I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast Is Me by Jamison Shea
There will be blood. Ace of Spades meets House of Hollow in this villain origin story. Laure Mesny is a perfectionist with an axe to grind. Despite being constantly overlooked in the elite and cutthroat world of the Parisian ballet, she will do anything to prove that a Black girl can take center stage.
To level the playing field, Laure ventures deep into the depths of the Catacombs and strikes a deal with a pulsating river of blood. The primordial power Laure gains promises influence and adoration, everything she’s dreamed of and worked toward. With retribution on her mind, she surpasses her bitter and privileged peers, leaving broken bodies behind her on her climb to stardom.
But even as undeniable as she is, Laure is not the only monster around. And her vicious desires make her a perfect target for slaughter. As she descends into madness and the mystifying underworld beneath her, she is faced with the ultimate choice: continue to break herself for scraps of validation or succumb to the darkness that wants her exactly as she is—monstrous heart and all. That is, if the god-killer doesn’t catch her first.
From debut author Jamison Shea comes I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast Is Me, a slow-burn horror that lifts a veil on the institutions that profit on exclusion and the toll of giving everything to a world that will never love you back.
You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight by Kalynn Bayron
At Camp Mirror Lake, terror is the name of the game . . . but can you survive the night? This heart-pounding slasher by New York Times bestselling author Kalynn Bayron is perfect for fans of Fear Street.
Charity Curtis has the summer job of her dreams, playing the “final girl” at Camp Mirror Lake. Guests pay to be scared in this full-contact terror game, as Charity and her summer crew recreate scenes from a classic slasher film, Curse of Camp Mirror Lake. The more realistic the fear, the better for business.
But the last weekend of the season, Charity’s co-workers begin disappearing. And when one ends up dead, Charity’s role as the final girl suddenly becomes all too real. If Charity and her girlfriend Bezi hope to survive the night, they’ll need figure out what this killer is after. Is there is more to the story of Mirror Lake and its dangerous past than Charity ever suspected?
Welcome to the Dark. We are all familiar with tropes of the horror genre: slasher and victims, demon and the possessed. Bloody screams, haunted visions, and the peddler of wares we aren’t sure we can trust. In this young adult horror anthology, fans of Jordan Peele, Lovecraft Country, and Horror Noire will get a little bit of everything they love—and a lot of what they fear—through a twisted blend of horror lenses, from the thoughtful to the terrifying.
From haunted, hungry Victorian mansions, temporal monster–infested asylums, and ravaging zombie apocalypses, to southern gothic hoodoo practitioners and cursed patriarchs in search of Black Excellence, All These Sunken Souls features the chilling creations of acclaimed bestsellers and hot new talents, with stories from Kalynn Bayron, Donyae Coles, Ryan Douglass, Sami Ellis, Brent Lambert, Ashia Monet, Circe Moskowitz, Joel Rochester, Liselle Sambury, and Joelle Wellington.