There’s nothing quite like a good horror story… especially ones that feature gigantic monsters! If you, like me, are barely holding on while you wait for the new season of Stranger Things to come back to Netflix, this is the list for you!
Any horror list that doesn’t include these three books on them is not a complete list. Given that the movie is coming our way soon, as well, this series is a no-brainer read for fans of Stranger Things! Each tale is short and compact, but you know what they say… horrifying – er, I mean, good – things come in small packages. (Also, if you’re like me and are terrified of , that third cover will send immediate and lasting shivers down your spine…)
Melmoth by Sarah Perry
One of the most underrated things about Stranger Things is its throwbacks to the gothic horror tradition, so it only makes sense to include a tale of gothic horror in this roundup! For centuries, the mysterious dark-robed figure has roamed the globe, searching for those whose complicity and cowardice have fed into the rapids of history’s darkest waters—and now it is heading in our direction.
Let’s face it, Stranger Things is a bit of a weird show. But isn’t the best of horror just a little weird? If weird horror is your thing, then you do not want to miss these books, based on the incredible podcasts Welcome to Night Vale and Alice Isn’t Dead. Just like Stranger Things, everything that makes horror such a compelling genre – the oddities, the humour (yes, humour), the macabre – is all on display in these expertly crafted novels.
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you likely know allllll about Bird Box by now, thanks to the Netflix adaptation, so I won’t bore you with more plot details. But trust me when I say that this novel is very, very scary, reminiscent of the heart-pounding scenes in the upside down.
If you’re a horror fan, then you’re no stranger (see what I did there?) to Joe Hill. Just like his father, a little known author named Stephen King, Joe Hill has a masterful command of the English language and an uncanny ability to infest our imaginations with absolute nightmares. If you watch Stranger Things for the horrifying scenarios, then you definitely need to check out Joe Hill‘s novels. Bonus: N0S4A2 is becoming a TV show that premieres in June!
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
Who are the Sawkill Girls? Marion: The newbie. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find. Zoey: The pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is. Val: The queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives; a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies. Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires. Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight…until now.
Monster by Michael Grant
It’s been four years since a meteor hit Perdido Beach and everyone disappeared. Everyone, except the kids trapped in the FAYZ—an invisible dome that was created by an alien virus. Inside the FAYZ, animals began to mutate and teens developed dangerous powers. The terrifying new world was plagued with hunger, lies, and fear of the unknown. Now the dome is gone and meteors are hitting earth with an even deadlier virus. Humans will mutate into monsters and the whole world will be exposed. As some teens begin to morph into heroes, they will find that others have become dangerously out of control…and that the world is on the brink of a monstrous battle between good and evil.
If You Go Down to the Woods by Seth C. Adams
Life’s tough when you’re a 13-year-old outsider, but life gets a whole lot tougher when you and your friends find a burnt-out car abandoned in the woods with a pile of cash in the front seat, a body in the trunk, and someone desperate to hide his secrets… If You Go Down to the Woods is a fast-paced thriller, perfect for fans of It, Fargo, and, obviously, Stranger Things. Equal parts scary and shocking, I promise that you will not be able to put this book down.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman is a name known to readers all around the world (for good reason), and I have to admit that it was impossible to choose just one book for this article, because all of them are SO good and imaginative. But I went with The Graveyard Book because it’s my personal favourite, and a book that everyone – not just fans of Stranger Things – should read. Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—he’s the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians’ time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead?
What do you think, Savvy Readers? What will you be reading while you wait for the new season of Stranger Things? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SavvyReader!
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