Good evening gals and ghouls! I am very excited for tonight’s post because we are going to talk about my suggestions for the best novels to read if you are new to the horror genre. I believe many of the novels that I am going to mention fall under the category of “Young Adult”, however, they are the easiest to read and are (in my opinion) the perfect place to start.
As a child, I never read anything scary. Like, literally, nothing. I remember the closest thing I got to anything supernatural or horror-esque was the Harry Potter series. My brother, however, was really into the Goosebumps novels, which inspired this list and happens to be number 1.
I feel as though the Goosebumps novels are pretty much irrelevant at this point in time, even with the film that was released in 2016. But they are definitely a fantastic place for children to start in terms of scary books! For those of you who don’t know, Goosebumps is a series of novellas written by R.L. Stein. The original series was written between 1992 and 1997, with two separate follow up series that were written between 1998 and 2007, as well as 2008 to present day.
I personally think that the original books were scarier than the newer ones, mostly because they revolved around the stories of more traditional monsters where nowadays they tend to be about absurd, made-up creatures. What I love about these novels is that they are the perfect combination between scary and funny, so if you’re the kind of person who needs to watch the Disney channel after seeing a scary movie, these will be a perfect starting point! Some of my favourite stories include: The Haunted Mask, Welcome to Dead House and Monster Blood.
This next novel that I would like to mention is actually the first in what is currently a trilogy. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is about a boy named Jacob who, following the death of his Grandpa Abe, is thrust into the magical world of the Peculiar, which he soon finds out he is very much a part of. As he ventures into this world, he meets his grandpa’s friends who all have their own peculiarities such as controlling fire, super strength and having bees living inside of one boy in particular.
Although the base storyline here doesn’t exactly fall in the horror genre, there are some definite scary parts to this story. Overall, I would consider this to be a supernatural fantasy novel with horror aspects. The best part of this series as a whole is that it allows your imagination to run wild with fantastical ideas of good and bad guys in an alternate universe. Unfortunately, they did create a film based off of the first novel, so if you’ve seen that film, your idea of some characters will be tainted just a slight bit. Regardless, I think this fast paced, eerie read is a definite must for beginners to the horror genre.
The reason why I would almost classify this novel as “Young Adult” is because many of us were forced to read this story in high school English class. I know I was, and at the time, I absolutely hated it! I found that when I read this on my own time, just after college, I was able to enjoy it a lot more because I wasn’t being asked to analyze. For anyone who doesn’t know, Lord of the Flies is about a group of school boys (all rather young) being stranded on an island during a school trip. After the adults all perish, the boys are left to fend for themselves and essentially turn malicious towards one another. Long story short, a bunch of the kids die, they kill a pig and put it’s head on a stick and I believe there’s some cannibalism in there as well.
This option is definitely the most gruesome of the entire list, so please keep that in mind if you choose to explore this avenue. I think I would rather suggest this novel to someone who finds the previous two options childish, if you will. So if you are into gruesome, gory, horrific stories… Try this one for size!
Hands down one of my favourite young adult series’ I have ever read from start to finish. It follows the story of young Dan Crawford and his two best friends as he finds out the dark past of his birth parents while trying to weave his own path through teenage life. The series currently consists of 4 novels and one collection of related novellas. I absolutely recommend that everyone interested in the supernatural and haunted asylums read every single one.
In this case, I don’t want to give too much of the story away… But please, give this series a chance. You won’t regret it.
That’s it for this week friends. I hope you find something you love on this list and would really appreciate if you would like and share it with your friends! Do you have any favourite horror novels that are suitable for beginners? Would you be interested in a more advanced book list? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @kelsimarie1330.
Until next time… Keep it spooky!