This post originally ran on my old blog on April 20, 2015.
I’m a wuss, but I somehow end up reading books that scare the pants off of me and seriously force me to reconsider getting a nightlight. Here are some of the books that have haunted (heh heh) me after I’ve read them:
A friend of mine is obsessed with this book, but it traumatized me. I read it at an “appropriate” age, but I think even as an adult this book would probably still give me recurring nightmares. If you’re into goosebumps-inducing books with female protagonists, this’ll probably be right up your alley. I haven’t seen the movie adaptation even though I own it because I’m still too scared of it.
The Lovely Bones
This book—and its subsequent movie—are both terrifying and horrifying (and not just because Stanley Tucci plays a kidnapper/murderer/rapist/dollhouse maker—this is not a spoiler). Definitely read the book first, (1) because that’s always a fun rule of thumb and (2) because I don’t want Stanley Tucci making it difficult for you to imagine the murderer and (3) because I said so, that’s why.*
The Name of the Star
Maureen Johnson is known for her awesome YA books. This one is also YA (it’s the first book in her Shades of London series), but man oh man is it different from anything she’s written so far. I read this when I was babysitting alone, which was a terrible idea. The book’s got two of my favorite things, historical fiction and a female protagonist, and it’s so good (so good that my Sister Who Hates to Read was asking me when the sequels were going to come out—the answer was 2013 and 2015, respectively, and I still haven’t read them. Oof.). It looks like there’s going to be a fourth book out soon; in addition, you can read the first third of The Name of the Star and the series’ prequel, The Boy in the Smoke, for free on Wattpad.
You’ve probably already read/seen this one, but I re-read it over the summer (it was one of my inappropriately-dark beach reads) and it still holds up. I wish I could read it fresh, not knowing what is going to happen, but as it was, I still really enjoyed it despite knowing the ending. Also, the Alfred Hitchcock movie that came out of Rebecca is pretty durn good, too, but in this case the book was better.
The Magic Toyshop
This book is super duper creepyscary and so it goes on the list. It’s got that Gothic, haunted-house-y thing going on, but the real creepiness comes from its characters. I’ve had this book finished for a while and have talked about it with other people that have read it and I’m still not really sure how I feel about the end, or Finn, who is either the worst or the best character, depending on who you talk to. If you’re not convinced this isn’t scary enough, Google some of the covers this book as gone through, which includes this monstrosity:
Even just making this list is creeping me out all over again, so now maybe it’s time to read something comforting. Like literally any other books on this planet.
*Also, I just want to reiterate that Stanley Tucci plays the murderer. It’s unnerving.