The Best YA Horror Books Of All Time, According To Goodreads Users
It's Horror Week on Goodreads, so while scaredy cat readers like me are cowering at every link, lovers of all the best and biggest scary, eerie, spooky reads are reveling in this decidedly horrific build up to Halloween. The site has released their Top 50 All-Time Favorite Horror Novels as chosen by based on overall shelvings (i.e., the number of times each book has been marked as "read" or "want to read"), plus reader reviews and ratings. If you're feeling a frightening chill making its way down your spine right now, it's for good reason.
The list includes a wide array of books from YA to middle grade, classics to stories that have become better known for their film counterparts. But each book contains tales so goosebumps raising, and keep-you-up-at-night terror inducing that you'll consider sleeping with the lights on. And if you're looking for a little something scary in young adult (in the hopes that it probably won't be quite as scarring as some of the others on the list...) you've got to check out the three reads that made it onto the final selection below. And if you're brave enough, head over to Goodreads for the full list of favorite horror reads.
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'Anna Dressed in Blood' by Kendare Blake
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost. Now, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroying the murderous dead. Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas finds a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home. Yet she spares Cas's life. Learn more at Goodreads.
'The Coldest Girl in Coldtown' by Holly Black
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave. One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself. Learn more at Goodreads.
'The Girl from the Well' by Rin Chupeco
Okiku is a lonely soul. She has wandered the world for centuries, freeing the spirits of the murdered-dead. Once a victim herself, she now takes the lives of killers with the vengeance they're due. But releasing innocent ghosts from their ethereal tethers does not bring Okiku peace. Still she drifts on. Such is her existence, until she meets Tark. Evil writhes beneath the moody teen's skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. While his neighbors fear him, Okiku knows the boy is not a monster. Tark needs to be freed from the malevolence that clings to him. There's just one problem: if the demon dies, so does its host. Learn more at Goodreads.