Last year, I posted my Top 15 Scary Stories just in time for the spooky Halloween, dark-and-scary-night season. You can find that post here.
Since I am still in love with those titles, I thought that I would add my Top 5 creepy stories from 2013. And then I realized that there are a few more than 5...but not quite 15.
So, here you go...just in time to get your scare on! (In no particular order...)
Midwinter Blood by Marcus Sedgwick. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! I love this author, I love his dark and creepy writing, I love this collection of 7 intertwined atmospheric stories. I can't even explain this book to do it justice, because I will honestly make it sound really lame, and it's NOT. By far, one of the best books that I've read in 2013. Did I mention that I love it? I will say, that I love it as an adult. Looking at it through a teen's lens, I'm honestly not sure who the best audience for this is, but I hope that it will find it's way into the hands of sophisticated high school (and adult) readers looking for something amazing to read. Grades 9-12.
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. Yeah, this is NOT for the faint of heart (nor is the sequel, which is actually the book that came out in 2013). I am a giant fan of Bones, CSI, The Following, and any sort of crime-solving drama on TV, so I was naturally drawn to a murder mystery story for teens surrounding the son of the nation's most infamous serial killer. VERY dark. VERY graphic. But very good if you are the reader that can handle it. Grades 10-12.
Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman. This is being touted as Stephen King for teens. Not being a huge fan of the master of the horror genre myself, I can't actually attest to that. But I did completely enjoy the author's "The Book of Blood & Shadow" so I gave this one a shot. SO GOOD! Again, not really for the faint of heart because it lives up to it's horror billing, but an excellent read. Grades 10-12.
Siege & Storm by Leigh Bardugo. I'm not sure that this is the "scary" story you might be looking for, but this book (and it's sequel, which is the book that came out in 2013), is very dark and atmospheric and has incredible world-building and writing. It feels like the perfect book to read on a dark and stormy night. Grades 7-12.
The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry. This edge-of-your-seat mystery will keep your heart racing right from page one. Best opening pages of a book that I've read in a long time! (I actually liked the author's Girl, Stolen just a bit better, but this one did not disappoint). Grades 8-11.
If You find Me by Emily Murdoch. I don't actually think this is a "scary" story, except for the fact that it could so easily be true and as a parent that is what is so disturbing about it. This book made me never want to camp in the woods again. Grades 9-12.
Doll Bones by Holly Black. The master of creepy tales and ghost stories, this is a terrific ghost story/road trip/adventure for the middle school set. And a great cover! Grades 5-8.
The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud. This is book one in the new "Lockwood & Co." series by the author famous for the incredible "Bartimaeus" trilogy. Teen ghost hunters in London? Do I even need to say anything more? Fantastic! Cannot wait for the next book! Grades 6-9.
Happy reading! Don't forget to leave the lights on...