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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Read at Your Own Risk: Teen Horror Series

October is a month for costume-making, pumpkin spice lattes and horror movies. It also happens to be when we observe Teen Read Week, an annual celebration of reading for fun. And what's more fun than a good scare? Move over R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike. These spine-tingling horror series will have you reading long into the dark and creepy night. Don't say we didn't warn you.

In Bad Girls Don't Die by Kate Alexander, Alexis' fairly typical teenage life takes a bizarre and frightening turn when her little sister Kasey starts behaving strangely, not at all like herself. Then there are the unexplained and unsettling events happening around their old, Victorian home. But no, she must be imagining things. Ghosts aren't real.

Does the thought of a sanatorium for the criminally insane get your heart racing? In Asylum by Madeleine Roux, Dan Crawford is among the students housed in an old psychiatric hospital at New Hampshire College Prep, a summer program for gifted students. Follow Dan and his new friends as they uncover the asylum’s dark secrets and allow yourself to get totally creeped out by the accompanying spooky photographs.

Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore. Like many in her family, Daisy Goodnight has a special talent. She can speak to the dead and sometimes uses her abilities to help the police solve cold cases. But when the FBI pulls her out of school to work on a murder/kidnapping, she gets kidnapped herself. Can she solve the mystery in time?

In The Devouring by Simon Holt, Reggie happens upon an old journal at the bookstore where she works and reads about Vours, evil demons that feed on fears and possess humans. Being an avid horror fan, she jokingly attempts to summon the Vour to predictably catastrophic results. Will she be able to face her fears and save her family?

If you find serial killers fascinating but want to stick to the YA section, give I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga a try. Jasper Dent has seen more of the dark side of humanity than anyone his age should. But that’s not very surprising considering he is the son of a notorious, imprisoned serial killer. When murders begin again in Lobo’s Nod, Jasper joins the police in the search for the killer to prove to everyone, including himself, that he is not his father.

Meet Benny Imura, apprentice zombie hunter, in Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. Benny doesn’t want to work with his older brother, but he is 15 now and must either find a job or give up half of his rations. Tag along as he is forced to venture out from safety into the zombie apocalypse.

Do you need EVEN MORE scary books? Find recommendations from Neil Gaiman, Harper Collins, the Washington Post and more at All Hallows Read. All Hallows Read is a new tradition started by best-selling author Neil Gaiman where you give someone a scary book on or near Halloween. Follow the link to find out more.

-Rebecca Molineaux, George Mason Regional Library

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