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Magic, romance, and intrigue combine in The Burning Sky, the first book in the Elemental Trilog. It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning. Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation--or so she's been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of the Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training. Guided by his mother's visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission--and her life."
Goodreads choice awards has come up with their list of the Best Young Adult Fiction for 2013. Here is the link to the list. Check out also the Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction list here.
Here is a top five of both lists:
Young Adult Fiction Category Top 5
Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell
Dare You To, Katie McGarry
United We Spy, Ally Carter
The Moon & More, Sarah Dessen
Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction Category Top 5
Allegiant, Veronica Roth
Clockwork Princess, Cassandra Clare
The Indigo Spell, Richelle Mead
Opal, Jennifer L Armentrout
Scarlet, Marissa Meyer
The 50 Scariest Books of All Time
By Emily Temple on Oct 9, 2013 12:30pm
The air is getting crisper, the nights are getting longer, and All Hallow’s Eve draws near. You know what that means: it’s time to curl up with a book guaranteed to give you the shivers — or at least make you check the locks twice. Here, for your horrifying pleasure, are 50 of the scariest books ever written in the English language, whether horror, nonfiction, or speculative futures you never want to see. One caveat: the list is limited to one book per author, so Stephen King fans will have to expand their horizons a little bit. Check out 50 books that will keep you up all night after the jump, and add any other scary favorites to the list in the comments.
IT, Stephen King
All right, let’s get this out of the way up front: Stephen King is the you-know-what of horror, and if there wasn’t this pesky rule about keeping it to one book per author, this list could almost be wholly populated by his terrifying reads. This book might be the scariest of the lot, and has the added bonus of being about fear itself — the scariest thing of all. There’s also a murderous, shapeshifting clown.
Pieing, Ryu Murakami
This novel isn’t “boo” scary; it’s more like “set your teeth on edge for days and make you never want to be close to anyone for the rest of your life” scary. The protagonist, overcome by an urge to pierce the flesh of his newborn child, decides to do the right thing by capturing a prostitute and taking his issues out on her. There is much talk of cutting Achilles tendons and the horrifying things that can build up in a ostensibly normal person’s soul.
The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty
You’ve seen the movie, right? Well, the book is a hundred times more frightening. Think about that.
Ghost Story, Peter Straub
Straub is another master of contemporary literary horror, and Ghost Story, which was his breakout book, remains one of his best. The Chowder Society, a group of old men who gather to tell each other ghost stories, are set upon by the horrors of their past — and some other horrors as well. Plus, Straub pays homage to the entire genre, something that could have been hokey in lesser hands but turns out to be fairly devastating in his.
American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
This book is one of the most disturbing modern classics around, so upsetting that in some countries it still has to be sold shrink-wrapped. Sure, there’s all the violence and upsetting sex, but what’s really terrifying is that the inside of Patrick Bateman’s head might be the inside of anybody’s.
Hell House, Richard Matheson
It was tough to put Hell House above I Am Legend, but hey, the world is full of choices, and this writer finds haunted houses scarier than vampires. And, as Stephen King commented, “Hell House is the scariest haunted house novel ever written. It looms over the rest the way the mountains loom over the foothills.”
Dracula, Bram Stoker
Sure, you’ve seen every iteration of vampire there is by now, but the original still has the potential to keep you up at night.
The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
Many speculative novels could have made this list, but Atwood’s vision is one of the scariest of all, perhaps because it just feels so possible — in it, the world is run by a religious, misogynistic society that keeps women as breeders and laborers. It’s fundamentalism taken to its furthest point, something that should terrify everyone down to their not-yet-uniform-issue boots.
The Best of H. P. Lovecraft, H.P. Lovecraft
Or really any Lovecraft, who is the Captain of the heebie-jeebies (At the Mountains of Madness would be a solid choice, but “Best of” covers all the bases). This is a man whose guiding principle was “cosmic horror,” so you’d better believe he’ll chill you to your bones.
The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
A classic ghost story. Henry James knows what he’s about.
House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
Not only is this book a mind-blowing haunted house story, it’s also the only one on this list to actually give the reader the feeling of claustrophobia via the very act of reading. A singular, expansively existentialist horror story that will invade your mind for years to come.
The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson
Here’s another haunted house story — or perhaps the haunted house story, so often is it referred to as the best in its category. It’s a much more standardly built classic than House of Leaves to be sure, but don’t let that fool you. It’s the oldest houses that have the most ghosts.
The Silence of the Lambs, Thomas Harris
Here’s another example of a film so famous it outshines the book in the public imagination. But here’s some news: the book’s way scarier.
Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin
Ditto this one.
The Amityville Horror, Jay Anson
Your typical paranormal horror story, made much more terrifying by the fact (or at least the claim) that it’s all true. You may have to see it to believe it, but you really wouldn’t want to.
The Trial, Franz Kafka
The fear Kafka produces is an existential kind of fear, but it’s fear nonetheless. What’s scarier than a lifetime of isolation, misunderstanding, and relentless pursuit by forces that you can’t understand but who have complete power over you? Not much.
Books of Blood, Clive Barker
Bleak, bloody and extremely psychologically upsetting, the first book in Barker’s series of short stories was hailed by Stephen King as “the future of horror” when it came out in the mid-‘80s. With some 30 stories in the collection, there’s something to terrify everyone.
Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy
McCarthy’s 1985 masterpiece may not be horror, but it’s certainly horrifying: bleak, bleak, bleak, and bloody, and bleak, a book that may or may not leave you with no faith in humanity whatsoever.
Heart-Shaped Box, Joe Hill
No, not Courtney Love’s nether regions (although…), but rather the debut novel of contemporary horror great Joe Hill. The premise is a little hokey — an aging rock star buys a poltergeist-infected suit that turns on him — but the story will keep you up all night.
Carrion Comfort, Dan Simmons
Simmons has a number of strong contenders, but this one might just be the scariest. In this world, a tiny cadre of humans have The Ability — that is, they can psychically control anyone, even from a distance. Don’t buy it? The novel won the Bram Stoker Award, The Locus Poll Award for Best Horror Novel, The World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and The August Derleth Award for Best Novel. Just saying.
The Complete Tales and Poems, Edgar Allan Poe
You just can’t have a list of creepy, mind-melding horror stories without a little Poe, who knows just how to catch you with your heart in your throat. Or under the floorboards. Either way.
Dawn, Octavia Butler
Butler’s science fiction and horror tends to be terrifying and beautiful at the same time — not an easy feat — in which a tentacle-covered alien race saves the last members of humanity, but demand a steep price. Junot Díaz called this one the scariest book he’d ever read, writing, “This book still gives me nightmares and teaches you right quick that no trade is ever free.”
We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver
Every mother’s nightmare is that her son is a monster — and that she might be, too. Now we can all live it!
The Girl Next Door, Jack Ketchum
Stephen King once called Jack Ketchum “the scariest guy in America.” This book, one of his many greats, is truly terrifying and torturous in every way. It investigates the horror families can inflict on each other, and will have you looking askance at every quiet house in the suburbs.
The Painted Bird, Jerzy Kosinski
In some ways, this list could be populated entirely by Holocaust novels, but this one might just be the most harrowing. In it, a young Jewish boy wanders around a series of small villages in Eastern Europe, encountering cruelty upon cruelty and sexual abuses that will leave you shuddering.
The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
A violent masterpiece with a killer twist.
The Cipher, Kathe Koja
Jagged and surreal, Koja’s debut novel is both an existential masterpiece and scary as hell. A young couple find a hole in the floor of their apartment building, so black and bleak and alluring that it can’t be anything but oblivion. Obviously, they start poking stuff down it. They don’t like what comes back.
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
How quickly our dearly held civilization can dissolve into madness.
The Ruins, Scott Smith
Right now you worry about ticks when you walk through the tall grass. After reading this novel, you’ll never walk through the tall grass again. Smith makes a convincing argument that nature is trying to kill you.
Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, M.R. James
Another giant of the genre, James is a must-read for any horror fan. His stories, though lacking in horrific details, will creep up behind you and sit on your shoulder, whispering in your ear, for a long, long time.
Naomi’s Room, Jonathan Aycliffe
In this terrifying book, a man’s daughter is kidnapped, mutilated, and murdered — but perhaps does not completely leave this world.
The Ritual, Adam Nevill
Campers in the woods is a pretty standard horror convention, sure, but this version is guaranteed to give you the creeps. You’ll rush to the finish — in a warm, well-lit place, of course.
Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo
A World War I soldier wakes up in a hospital bed having lost all of his limbs and facial features, trapped in what’s left of his body, unable to move or, at first, communicate, or even kill himself. If that’s not horror, nothing is.
Incarnate, Ramsey Campbell
Campbell has a lot of scary books to choose from, but try this one, a psychological nightmare that stomps all over the line between dreams and reality.
The Woman in Black, Susan Hill
A mysterious, vengeance-filled spirit stalks an English town, appearing wherever children die. Subtle, short, beautiful and moody-scary, this one’s a classic Gothic ghost story.
The Great God Pan, Arthur Machen
If you think Pan is a cute little fellow with a pipe, check yourself. This terrifying novella, of which the great god Lovecraft wrote, “No one could begin to describe the cumulative suspense and ultimate horror with which every paragraph abounds,” features brain surgery and Greek gods and murder. What more could you want?
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Alvin Schwartz
For every kid who grew up in the ‘80s or ‘90s, Schwartz’s series was the pinnacle of scary shit. Or perhaps it was Stephen Gammell’s ultra-disturbing illustrations. Either way, we’ve never forgotten the experience, so for children or not for children, this series makes the list. “The Big Toe,” you guys.
The October Country, Ray Bradbury
Bradbury is a master of the macabre, and this classic collection will chill you, no matter in which month you read it.
White Is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi
Lord, is this book unsettling. It will show you just what hunger can do.
Let the Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist
Vampires have become a little too familiar/sexy to be scary most of the time, but this existential, unusual novel brings them back into the dark, with streaks of pedophilia, bullying, castration, and love. As often, even scarier than the movie.
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Harlan Ellison
In the title story of this collection, a supercomputer becomes intelligent and kills off the entire human race, minus five survivors, whom he has fun torturing as they struggle to survive. It is one of the scariest things you’ll read. And then you can play the video game Ellison made out of it.
The Collector, John Fowles
A chilling novel of obsession and abduction, with no end in sight.
The Store, Bentley Little
Here’s another book with a hokey premise — an evil, Walmart-esque store comes to consume a small town — that bears it out with a lot of scary.
Penpal, Dathan Auerbach
A truly creepy and unsettling book, Penpal began as a series of short stories posted on Reddit, but ballooned into a novel that asks the question: “How far can you go into the woods?”
In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
Sometimes hailed as the first nonfiction novel, Capote’s masterpiece, which dramatizes the murder of a Kansas family, also elicited a lot of questions, both at the time of its publication and more recently, about how non-fictional it really was. Either way, the book is a terrifying investigation into murder and the unstable minds of killers, its connections to reality, whatever they might be, only deepening the fear.
Swan Song, Robert R. McCammon
Now here’s the stuff of every aware citizen’s nightmares: nuclear war, with a healthy dose of unambiguous evil and crazy people on the side. Constantly compared to King’s The Stand, but somehow more brutal.
The Wolfen, Whitley Strieber
Maybe the scariest werewolf book of all time.
The Hot Zone, Richard Preston
Yeah, this isn’t even a horror novel, but rather an investigation into infectious viruses, particularly that time Ebola broke out 15 miles from DC, told thriller style. It will scare you into many extra hand-washings to come.
The Killer Inside Me, Jim Thompson
This novel is a horrifying, blistering, deeply upsetting trip into the mind of a psychopath, hiding in the body of a normal guy. Unlike certain other normal-guy-psychopath books, though, there’s no ambiguity of purpose. Monsters are among us.
Top 10 First Novels for Youth.
Cooper, Ilene (author).
FEATURE. First published October 15, 2013 (Booklist).
These first novels cover a lot of territory, from Iran to Russia, 1960s Spanish Harlem to the upper echelons of a Kabbalistic world. And yes, there are also zombies.
Crash and Burn . By Michael Hassan. 2013. HarperCollins/Balzer and Bray, $18.99 (9780062112903). Gr. 9–12.
In this sprawling, vulgar, sexy tale of a decade-long antagonism between two boys destined to fulfill their yin-yang fate, Hassan constructs three of the most vividly alive characters in recent YA.
Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy . By Elizabeth Kiem. 2013. Soho Teen, $17.99 (9781616952631). Gr. 8–11.
Teenage Marya, a talented dancer, flees Russia for Brooklyn in 1982. But secrets follow her in this atmospheric and suspenseful story filled with deception, music, and coming-of-age.
The End Games . By. T. Michael Martin. 2013. HarperCollins/Balzer and Bray, $17.99 (9780062201805).
Michael, 17, has managed to protect his little brother, Patrick, from flesh eaters by convincing him that the nightmarish scenario that they’re experiencing is all a video game. This fresh take on zombies rockets forth like single, exhaled breath, meshing action, intelligence, and emotion.
If You Could Be Mine . By Sara Farizan. 2013. Algonquin, $16.99 (9781616202514). Gr. 10–12.
Two Iranian teen girls love each other, but homosexuality is a crime in their country. So Sahar decides to have sex-reassignment surgery and become a man. A groundbreaking, powerful depiction of gay and transsexual life in a culture that forbids it.
In the Shadow of Blackbirds . By Cat Winters. 2013. Abrams/Amulet, $16.99 (9781419705304). Gr. 9–12.
This unconventional look at a dark period in history encompasses the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, WWI shell shock, national prejudice, and spirit photography, all told through a straightforward and welcoming teen voice.
Jinx . By Sage Blackwood. 2013. Harper, $16.99 (9780062129901). Gr. 4–7.
Orphan Jinx finds a home with the wizard Simon, but she loses some of the powers that he possesses. In this expertly paced book, Blackwood elevates familiar fantasy elements and introduces exquisitely credible characters who inhabit a world of magic and whimsy.
Paperboy . By Vince Vawter. 2013. Delacorte, $16.99 (9780385742443). Gr. 6–8.
Written in the tradition of Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird, this moving historical novel follows the trials of an 11-year-old boy who stutters. His hope fortifies and satisfies in equal measure.
The Path of Names . By Ari Goelman. 2013. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $16.99 (9780545474306). Gr. 5–8.
Using the Jewish mystical practice of Kabbalah as a touchstone, this story is both thrilling and meaningful as it leads spunky Dahlia through a wondrous world, where she makes contact with a Talmudic scholar from the past.
The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano . By Sonia Manzano. 2012. Scholastic, $17.99 (9780545325059). Gr. 6–9.
Rosa, 14, growing up in East Harlem’s Puerto Rican barrio in 1969, wants to be more mainstream, but her activist abuela inspires her to join the Young Lords. Both wry and moving, this blends the personal and the political without denigrating either.
Uses for Boys. By Erica Lorraine Scheidt. 2013. St. Martin/s/Griffin, paper, $9.99 (9781250007117). Gr. 9–12.
A beautiful, honest story about a mother who seeks validation through men, causing her daughter to use boys to define her self-worth.
Top 10 Romance Fiction for Youth: 2013.
Kelley, Ann (author).
FEATURE. First published September 15, 2013 (Booklist).
Eleanor + Park. Sam + DeeDee. Rafe + Ben. The best romance novels reviewed in Booklist between September 15, 2012, and September 1, 2013, all introduce memorable, even swoon-worthy, couples.
All Our Pretty Songs. By Sarah McCarry. 2013. St. Martin’s/Griffin, $19.99 (9781250040886). Gr. 9–12.
In this suspenseful trilogy-starter, Aurora is sweet and flighty, while the unnamed narrator is surly. When Jack, an adult guitarist, comes into their life, the girls’ differences come to a head.
Dark Triumph. By Robin LaFevers. 2013. Houghton, $17.99 (9780547628387). Gr. 9–12.
The riveting historical adventure that began with Grave Mercy (2012) follows the story of another of Death’s handmaidens, Sybella. She is bound to a knight who is both the bane of her existence and her hope for the future.
Eleanor & Park. By Rainbow Rowell. 2013. St. Martin’s/Griffin, $18.99 (9781250012579). Gr. 9–12.
Eleanor and Park, from opposite worlds, slowly build a relationship while riding the bus to school every day. The pure, fear-laced, yet steadily maturing relationship they develop is urgent and, of course, heartbreaking.
The Girl with Borrowed Wings. By Rinsai Rossetti. 2012. Dial, $17.99 (9780803735668). Gr. 7–12.
Frenenqer feels her father’s invisible finger between her shoulder blades forcing her obedient actions. When a shape-shifting cat, who often takes the form of a boy, enters the picture, he offers freedom—and romance.
The Infinite Moment of Us. By Lauren Myracle. 2013. Abrams/Amulet, $17.95 (9781419707933). Gr. 10–12.
Myracle’s sweet and steamy romance boldly captures first love in all its glory. Wren Gray, perfect daughter, falls for Charlie Parker, and, through texts, meaningful conversation, and, yes, sex, the two 18-year-olds fall hard and deep.
Love Disguised. By Lisa Klein. 2013. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (9781599909684). Gr. 7–12.
Eighteen-year-old Will Shakespeare meets teen pub-maid Meg Macdougall, disguised as a boy named “Mack.” Pub-maid Violetta woos Will, while Will and Meg-Mack develop feelings for one another. Multiple plots reveal the complexities of relationships.
Openly Straight. By Bill Konigsberg. 2013. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $17.99 (9780545509893); e-book, $17.99 (9780545509909). Gr. 9–12.
High-school junior Rafe is sick of being labeled “the gay kid.” So he leaves his Colorado school for a private boys’ academy in New England. This sometimes painful story of self-discovery is also a beautifully written, captivating romance between Rafe and Ben.
September Girls. By Bennett Madison. 2013. Harper, $17.99 (9780061255632). Gr. 9–12.
When Sam’s mother runs away into “something called Women’s Land,” his father takes Sam and his older brother to a beach town overrun by gorgeous blonds with exotic accents. Among these mysterious women, Sam finds DeeDee. A rare and beautiful novel.
The Symptoms of My Insanity. By Mindy Raf. 2013. Dial, $17.99 (9780803732414). Gr. 9–12.
Handsome Blake is finally paying attention to 15-year-old hypochondriac Izzy—but then he circulates a snapshot of her breast that labels her “Boobgirl.” Isn’t there a sweet, cute guy who will treat her right? (Yes!)
The Treachery of Beautiful Things. By Ruth Francis Long. 2012. Dial, $17.99 (9780803735804). Gr. 7–12.
Seven years after her older brother disappeared into the forest, Jenny enters the woods to say good-bye and stumbles into the fairy realm. As she quests to reclaim her brother, she also falls in love with Jack o’ the Forest. A meld of legends and fairy tales.
Winfried Heiringhoff discusses his book, Adrift for 93 Days on the Pacific Ocean, and other tales from his extraordinary life.
ALA Top Ten Young Adult Books
The Best Books for Young Adults committee of the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, has chosen the following books as Top Ten Young Adult Books.
The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.
National Book Award for Young People's Literature
The National Book Awards are given out by the National Book Foundation with the goal of enhancing the public's awareness of exceptional books written by fellow Americans, and to increase the popularity of reading in general.
Great Graphic Novels
YALSA's newest list and is an annual list of recommended graphic novels which have teen appeal: Top Ten Great Graphics Novels.
The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.
Pura Belpré Award
This award honors Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian from the New York Public Library. This award, established in her honor in 1996, is awarded to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays the Latino culture in a work of literature for children and youth.
Schneider Family Book Award
The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for children and adolescent audiences.