Creepy Reads For Squeamish Readers


Not much of a confession but a reiteration that everyone who truly knows me can back up: I hate horror. I just can't handle it. I'm more of an atmospheric reader because of this. Instead of an outright horror novel, I look for the books with the dark atmosphere. I've noticed that two authors excel in this field for me and that is VICTORIA SCHWAB and SARAH FINE. And me being the book pusher than I am, I have to shove them on everyone I know.

It helps that I realized that there has to be people like me. I simply can't be the only person out there who can't read or watch blood and guts galore and avoids the television at all costs directly around Halloween because of all the horror movies playing that I could accidentally click to. Please, comment below if you're like me so I feel less alone... lol

Anyway, for those who are like me (and even for those who aren't), I have decided to do a quick recommendation post of my favorite creepy atmospheric reads to get everyone in the mood for Halloween. Really, my favorite five authors who can write those atmospheric reads for people like us.


~*~Victoria Schwab~*~


Hands down, Victoria Schwab is one of my favorite authors ever. It's because she not only is an amazing author, but she takes her books places that most authors aren't willing to go. Combine that with her talent to write naturally creepy atmospheres and you have the perfect author to make you question books.

The best example of her taking a book some place that nobody else is willing to go to is VICIOUS.
Like the author, this among my favorite books to ever exist. It is so deliciously dark and it makes you question everything. I also think it took the author to some dark places while writing it, which just shows the lengths she is willing to go to not only write an amazing novel, but to write for her devoted fans and readers as well.

And then there's her debut novel, THE NEAR WITCH. While not my favorite Schwab novel, it is still wonderfully atmospheric and well-written. You can tell throughout the course of her publications that she consistently becomes a better and better writer, but you can also tell that she is one of those people made to creep us out. Yeah, you know, write those stories that leave goosebumps on your skin and cause shivers to go down your spine. Just read all of her books. Seriously. She has yet to steer me wrong and I can't imagine that she ever will.

A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, her next novel, seems like it won't disappoint too, which makes me super excited.


~*~Sarah Fine~*~


I have not read all of Sarah's works, but I have read a great deal of them, and it's very obvious to me that creepy, dark, and gritty topics also appeal to Sarah, which I am totally fine with since they appeal to me, too. ;)

Her debut series shown above, THE GUARDS OF THE SHADOWLANDS, is one of my favorite series. It's dark and it's twisted and it's about a special place in Hell where people who commit suicide go. Sure, our main character follows her best friend there to save her, but then we meet these creatures called the Mazikin who inhabit body's and steal their souls and you're like, yep, this is a creepy read for sure. Just read the synopsis and prepare to fall in love with this author's writing style.

Fine's creepiness is also exhibited in her duology published by Simon & Schuster, the first book of OF METAL AND WISHES. Not only does she deliver a kickass POC main character with a small side of blood, guts, and gore that can surprisingly be stomached by squeamish readers like myself, she also gives us an amazing love interest with a unique storyline that is a re-imagining of The Phantom of the Opera. Also, the atmosphere? It takes place in a slaughterhouse. Need I say more?


~*~Susan Ee~*~

I have not had the time to get around to the sequel to Susan Ee's amazing debut, ANGELFALL, because I know what book one did to me mentally. Having to wait for book two took a toll and knowing book three is still another year away is cringe-worthy. So, I am waiting to binge the last two back to back. Either way, I have to say that Ee's attention to detail and atmosphere are superb. Her series is pretty much about good angels and bad angels at war on Earth. On top of a yummy romance, there's lots of creepiness and darkness and ripping off angel's wings (which is the worse thing ever) and all around jaw-dropping moments that make you scream. A lot. So even with only one book read, Ee easily deserves a spot on this list.


~*~Abigail Haas~*~


All of my recommendations on this list are authors in every genre but contemporary, so I had to throw her in, right? Haas's works better fall under the psychological thriller and murder mystery characters, but I'm just loosely categorizing them as contemporary's based on the fact that there are no paranormal/fantastical/dystopian elements in either of these novels. They're both simply twisted. They are among the twistiest and most well-written murder mystery's I have ever read. And while both are disturbing, book two was significantly more disturbing because you are in the mind of a sociopath as said individual awakens their sociopath tendencies. It's scary and awesome all at once. Perfect for fans of twisted stories, though book two, DANGEROUS BOYS, is significantly darker than book one. I would recommend reading them in the order of publication because of this.

~*~Michelle Hodkin~*~


This series...THIS SERIES. It's so hard to describe. It is another psychological thriller, but there is paranormal elements to this one. However, because our main character is sort of insane (literally and in the best possible way), we don't know what is real and what is not, just that everything is absolutely nuts. And the ending for book two was super intense. The final book needs to be in my hands already! It's so hard to wait until November fourth. However, I would say this is a super strong atmospheric read. It's hard to tell what is going on and the confusion adds to the questionable and dark atmosphere that Hodkin has created. Plus, the romance is pretty damn awesome, so this is definitely a good read for those who are trying to ease their way into creepier atmospheric reads because they simply don't appeal to them. No judgment here, I was like this a few years ago.


Now that I have shared five authors who are great for atmospheric creepy reads for readers who are not fans of gore (first two are especially amazing!), I was wondering if anyone had similar suggestions? As a primarily dark and gritty reader, I am always looking for new books to read that won't make me lose sleep at night.

As always, any and all comments are greatly appreciated, lovelies! <3

20 comments:

  1. Ha! Thank you for this post! You will never find me watching a horror movie - I just can't watch that sort of stuff. I have less issues with reading it, because I'm not a very visual reader, but I do make certain faces when I read G.R.R. Martin or Stephen King.. sometimes it's just too graphic. So a creepy atmosphere would be the perfect middle way.

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    1. Ah see! I knew there were readers like us out there! I kind of refuse to read Stephen King, except I loved the movie SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION so I may try to read his novella. Otherwise, nope.

      Hope this was helpful and you enjoy these books! (:

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  2. Wonderful post. I have heard wonderful things about all these authors but have yet to pick any up. they are on my TBR though :)

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    1. Ahhh! Give them a chance! None of them will disappoint!

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  3. Great suggestions! I haven't read anything by Sarah Fine bu I've seen her books popping up all over the place!

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

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    1. She's amazing. Her books are popping up for a reason. ;)

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  4. I feel so much better now! I kind of wrote a post over the weekend about how scary books/ movies and I don't go together, and now I know there are more people like me! I never read scary books or watch any horror movies - they just creep me out to much.

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    1. Haha well I get ya, girl. I would lose sleep for WEEKS, trust me.

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  5. I definitely prefer scary books to scary movies. Seeing it and reading it are very different.
    Yay, Mara Dyer! I love that series! :) It's definitely a great read, and it's really balanced. I love the horror in it, but also the romance!
    I need to read Angelfall! It sounds amazing. Also, Sarah Fine! Of Metal and Wishes looks so pretty...also, the synopsis.
    Great post! :)

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    1. Nope, scary anything is a negative to me. I can handle gore in books better than viewing it, but it's still on a super limited basis. And MARA is horror-like, but not gory horror which is what makes it so atmospheric and great for me <3

      I rec ANGELFALL to everyone! And I do the same for Sarah ;)

      Thank you for stopping by! <3

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  6. I NEED TO READ ALL OF THESE!! Thanks for making the massive TBR even longer! These all sound so good and I need to read them soon!

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    1. Bookish friends are there to cause your towering TBR to literally fall on you and flatten you, duh.

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    2. The tower wouldn't need to be that tall to do that to me lol!

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  7. Yay for this. I'm all for suspense and creepiness, but does that have to come with gore and blood? I haven't read any V.A. Schwab, but I did love Of Metal and Wishes. And Dangerous Girls was pretty fun. Mara Dyer --- I didn't love book one but did like book two and am very curious about book three!
    Great post :)
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. Same person! ;) Definitely worth checking Schwab out, and Fine as well! (I am acknowledged in one of her books!)

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  8. I like horror but I don't particularly like gore and graphic violence so I'd say I probably do prefer the creepy atmospheric books like you! I definitely don't like watching very bloody slasher movies or anything like that!

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    1. ugh bloody slasher movies *shivers*

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  9. Angelfall was so creepy!! Same goes to Mara Dyer, still haven't read the Evolution of Mara Dyer

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