It’s officially fall and the beginning of the spooky season! We have three spooky books out this week to start this magical time off right as well as the sequel to another one of Chloe Gong’s fantastical Shakespeare’s adaptations. Which of these will be your spooky season read?
If I Have to Be Haunted by Miranda Sun
Cemetery Boys meets Legendborn in this thrillingly romantic, irresistibly fun YA contemporary fantasy debut following a teenage Chinese American ghost speaker who (reluctantly) makes a deal to raise her nemesis from the dead.
Cara Tang doesn’t want to be haunted.
Look, the dead have issues, and Cara has enough of her own. Her overbearing mother insists she be the “perfect” Chinese American daughter—which means suppressing her ghost-speaking powers—and she keeps getting into fights with Zacharias Coleson, the local golden boy whose smirk makes her want to set things on fire.
Then she stumbles across Zach’s dead body in the woods. He’s even more infuriating as a ghost, but Cara’s the only one who can see him—and save him.
Agreeing to resurrect him puts her at odds with her mother, draws her into a dangerous liminal world of monsters and magic—and worse, leaves her stuck with Zach. Yet as she and Zach grow closer, forced to depend on each other to survive, Cara finds the most terrifying thing is that she might not hate him so much after all.
Maybe this is why her mother warned her about ghosts.
The Grimmer by Naben Ruthnum
The small-town mysteries of John Bellairs are made modern with a dash of Stranger Things in this spine-tingling supernatural horror-thriller.
After his father returns from treatment for addiction, highschooler Vish ― lover of metal music and literature ― is uncertain what the future holds. It doesn’t help that everyone seems to know about the family’s troubles, and they stand out doubly as one of the only brown families in town. When Vish is mistaken for a relative of the weird local bookseller and attacked by an unsettling pale man who seems to be decaying, he is pulled into the world of the occult, where witches live in television sets, undead creatures can burn with a touch, and magic is mathematical. Vish must work with the bookstore owner and his mysterious teenage employee, Gisela, to stop an interdimensional invasion that would destroy their peaceful town.
Bringing together scares, suspense, and body horror, The Grimmer is award-winning author Naben Ruthnum’s first foray into the young adult genre. This gripping ride through the supernatural is loaded with vivid characters, frightening imagery, and astonishing twists, while tackling complex issues such as grief, racism, and addiction.
The Changing Man by Tomi Oyemakinde
Feiwel & Friends
A teenage girl is pulled into investigating the truth behind her new boarding school’s decades-old legend in The Changing Man , this debut Young Adult speculative thriller by Tomi Oyemakinde
Face front. Watch your back. BE BRAVE.
If it was left to her, Ife Adebola wouldn’t be starting at Nithercott School. Because despite her being in the Urban Achievers scholarship program, her parents can barely afford the tuition. No matter who is trying to be friends with her, like her classmate Bijal, or how much the prestigious boarding school tries to pull her in, Ife is determined not to get caught up in any of it.
But when another student, Malika, begins acting strange, Ife can’t help but wonder if there’s more going on at Nithercott than she realizes. Could there be any truth to the school’s decades-old legend of the Changing Man? Is there any connection to the missing older brother of her classmate, Ben?
As more questions arise, Ife has no choice but to team up with Ben and Bijal to investigate. But can the trio act quickly enough to uncover who is behind everything, before one―or all―of them is the Changing Man’s next victim?
Mermaids Never Drown: Tales to Dive For edited by Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker
14 Young Adult short stories from bestselling and award-winning authors make a splash in Mermaids Never Drown – the second collection in the Untold Legends series edited by Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker – exploring mermaids like we’ve never seen them before!
A Vietnamese mermaid caught between two worlds. A siren who falls for Poseidon’s son. A boy secretly pining for the merboy who saved him years ago. A storm that brings humans and mermaids together. Generations of family secrets and pain.
Find all these stories and more in this gripping new collection that will reel you in from the very first page! Welcome to an ocean of hurt, fear, confusion, rage, hope, humor, discovery, and love in its many forms.
Edited by Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker, Mermaids Never Drown features beloved authors like Darcie Little Badger, Kalynn Bayron, Preeti Chhibber, Rebecca Coffindaffer, Julie C. Dao, Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Adriana Herrera, June Hur, Katherine Locke, Kerri Maniscalco, Julie Murphy, Gretchen Schreiber, and Julian Winters.
Firsts and Lasts edited by Laura Silverman
An exciting fiction YA anthology that celebrates the new experiences and final moments teenagers face on their journey into adulthood from editor Laura Silverman and a cast of spectacular contributors.
From first breakups and romantic vampire encounters to last band performances and the deadly end of a friendship, Firsts and Lasts is an anthology that is just as unpredictable as being a teenager. While each of these stories span different genres and styles, they all perfectly capture the big emotions–confusion, joy, uneasiness, and anticipation–that many teens experience as they grow up.
Whether you are hopelessly in love and not sure how to tell your crush, going through loss and can’t fully process it, or just trying to figure out where you belong in the world, this collection of sixteen stories has something for every reader.
Stories written by: Adi Alsaid, Keah Brown, Monica Gomez-Hira, Kika Hatzopoulou, Shaun David Hutchinson, Amanda Joy, Loan Le, Joy McCullough, Yamile Saied Méndez, Anna Meriano, Nina Moreno, Tess Sharpe, Laura Silverman, Rachel Lynn Solomon, Diana Urban, and Julian Winters.
Foul Heart Huntsman (Foul Lady Fortune #2) by Chloe Gong
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Winter is drawing thick in 1932 Shanghai, as is the ever-nearing threat of a Japanese invasion.
Rosalind Lang has suffered the worst possible fate for a national spy: she’s been exposed. With the media storm camped outside her apartment for the infamous Lady Fortune, she’s barely left her bedroom in weeks, plotting her next course of action after Orion was taken and his memories of Rosalind wiped. Though their marriage might have been a sham, his absence hurts her more than any physical wound. She won’t rest until she gets him back.
But with her identity in the open, the task is near impossible. The only way to leave the city and rescue Orion is under the guise of a national tour. It’s easy to convince her superiors that the countryside needs unity more than ever, and who better than an immortal girl to stir pride and strength into the people?
When the tour goes wrong, however, everything Rosalind once knew is thrown up in the air. Taking refuge outside Shanghai, old ghosts come into the open and adversaries turn to allies. To save Orion, they must find a cure to his mother’s traitorous invention and take this dangerous chemical weapon away from impending foreign invasion—but the clock is ticking, and if Rosalind fails, it’s not only Orion she loses, but her nation itself.