Spooky Season Book Recs

Hey everyone!

I have been doing a ton of reading and am always on the lookout for new books to read even though my tbr pile will probably take me a lifetime to get through. I also just joined Book of the Month, which may or may not be a good idea for said tbr pile, but an economical choice, it seems, for my wallet. Those trips to Barnes and Noble where I go in for one book and end up with three hit the bank account hard. But they are so worth it, am I right?? : )

I’ve read some cute stuff and some spooky stuff in the month of September, but there are a few books that I feel are stand outs for very different reasons. And, if you are a reader looking for a good recommendation for October (and a book to stay away from) I have a few recommendations for you! And if you’ve read any of these already, I’d love to chat with you in the comments and get YOUR favorite book recs!!

Fast-Paced Thrillers

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

This was a fast paced thriller that I really enjoyed. It follows the story of Dr. Chloe Davis, whose father was convicted of murdering six teenage girls in her Louisiana hometown when she was a kid. On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the murders, a new set of teenage girls go missing in Baton Rouge where Chloe is now living. I couldn’t stop reading because I needed to know what was going to happen. Check trigger warnings. Overall, an awesome read.

The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager

If you follow Booktok, BookTube, Bookstagram, or any sort of book related social media, then you’ve probably heard about Riley Sager. This book, much like A Flicker in the Dark, was a super easy, fast-paced read about a widowed actress, Casey Fletcher, who goes to her family’s cabin to recuperate after a bad run in the press and becomes embroiled in the drama of the couple who live across the lake from her when the wife goes missing. I definitely did not see the twist coming AT ALL. Worth a read.

Witchy Rom-Coms

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

For fans of enemies to lovers tropes with a bit of spice ala Book Lovers, small town romances, and Practical Magic vibes without the literary feel of Alice Hoffman. This is a story about Vivienne Jones, who puts a hex on her boyfriend after he dumps her, only to be put in his path nine years later when he comes back to town. Hijinx ensues. Very atmospheric for October and a super easy read if you’re looking for something light.

Cackle by Rachel Harrison

Lovers of Gilmore Girls, this book is for you. This is a story about a woman named Annie, who takes a teaching job in a small town in upstate New York after a bad break-up with her long time boyfriend. The town is quaint with small shops and a farmer’s market, but there’s a secret that runs under the surface and is connected to Annie’s new friend, Sophie. I read this book in a day. Another super easy, light read filled with magic and small town, Stars Hollow vibes perfect for October. This is more a story about the bonds of female friendship and about female empowerment. And witches.

Historical Fiction/Mystery

Relative Fortunes by Marlowe Benn

1920’s, Manhattan. Julia Kydd returns to New York from London on the eve of her 25th birthday to fight her brother for her inheritance, and ends up becoming embroiled in the investigation of her friend’s sister’s “suicide”. The book has great atmosphere, but can get pretty wordy at times. Overall, it was an interesting read and Julia Kydd is a compelling character.

Murder at Beacon Rock by Alyssa Maxwell

I can not sing the praises of this cozy mystery series enough. All the books follow the exploits of Emmeline Cross, a descendent of the Vanderbilt’s, who seems to find herself in the middle of the murders that happen in Newport, Rhode Island. There’s romance and intrigue and great atmosphere. And if you’ve ever been to Newport (which is one of my favorite places on earth) then you’ll enjoy the descriptions of the setting. Highly, HIGHLY, recommend!

YA Suspense

Ace of Spades by Faridah Abike-Iyimide

This. Book. Woah. It’s about Devon and Chiamaka, two black students at a prestigious majority white academy who end up being the targets of The Ace of Spades. Get Out meets Gossip Girl, this book deals with issues of race, sexual identity, and self acceptance. The story is told from the alternating perspectives of Chiamaka and Devon. I couldn’t stop reading. I needed to know who the Ace of Spades was. And the main characters are so compelling, I rooted for them from start to finish.

Never Coming Home by Kate Williams

If you like Agatha Christie and are interested in a retelling of And Then There Were None, this book was pretty good. Ten influencers are brought to a remote island where one by one they die under mysterious circumstances. I’d give this book a 3 out of 5. I enjoyed it and was interested in finding out who the killer was. It’s a quick, easy read.

DO NOT Bother Reading This

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

I’m still mad at this book. It’s only 124 pages long and cost me $5 at Barnes and Noble, so the investment was minimal. But it was HORRIBLE. It had so much promise. Haunted house. Group of friends. GHOSTS AND MURDER. And it fell so incredibly short under the author’s need to “wow” the audience with her ability to craft a metaphor. The story got lost in the words, and the characters were absolutely insufferable. Half the time I was confused and half the time I was just straight up angry reading this. Do not waste your time.

Well friends, that’s it for now! Please let me know your thoughts on the books and share your personal recommendations with me!

Until next time. : )

Published by Robyn Neilsen

I am a writer and educator based out of New Jersey. My creative nonfiction essays and flash fiction stories have been published by Thought Catalog, Vocal Media, and On Mogul. As a lifelong learner, I enjoy honing my craft through writing workshops with LA Writers Group, Gotham Writers, and The Moth. I am currently querying my first novel and am actively working on my second.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: