Saturday, October 25, 2014

What Does the Bookworm Say? ~ Scary Books

Hi everyone, and welcome to the What Does the Bookworm Say? feature hosted by me, Thuy from Nite Lite Book Reviews, Crystal from Books Unbound, and Kimberly from The Windy Pages. Today we're talking about scary books--what makes a book scary? What are some of your favorite scary books?

What makes a book scary for me is suspense. Suspense and only suspense. When I went to the Vegas Valley Book Festival this last weekend, they had a panel for scary YA books, and I asked a question about whether they thought gore was necessary in a scary book. Most of them said no, unless it was a zombie book. Many of them also said that one of their favorite scary movies was Cabin in the Woods, a Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) masterpiece that has a lot more suspense than gore. And honestly, I HATE scary movies. It's one of the reasons I don't like scary books. So, to give you an idea of what kind of scary I like, here are some scary movies I'm willing to watch:

Scream: Scream was one of the first scary movies I ever watched, mostly because I'd heard that it was a sort of satire. It still scared the crap out of me because there was still a lot of suspense and just enough blood to make it believable.
Cabin in the Woods: Like I mentioned before, Cabin in the Woods was pretty much perfect. It turned all the scary-movie paradigms on their heads. I loved the way they made fun of scary movies and were still able to make it scary.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil: There's nothing scary about this movie; it's just utterly hilarious. There's very little suspense that they make up for in gore, but it's on the list of "scary movies" I'm willing to watch.
Hocus Pocus: Because you can't talk about Halloween without mentioning the cult classic that is Hocus Pocus.

As you can see, I'm a bit of a scaredy-cat. Still, I'm trying to read suspenseful books right now in the spirit of Halloween. I've read Possess by Gretchen McNeil, which I thought was okay, but it was scary. I'm also planning on reading her new book, Get Even, soon, which she explains as John Hughes with a body count. I'm also reading Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan, which so far has a lot of gothic suspense. I also want to read Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas and the Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea duology by April Genevieve Tucholk.

Other books that I've read about scary stuff in Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake and its sequel. These books were so creepy and very suspenseful. I also recently read Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick, which was a great suspense thriller right until the end where it ended too perfectly. There's also The Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy by Carrie Ryan. Zombies are literally my worst nightmare, so those books scared the crap out of me. Then there's The Storyteller, a book by Antonia Michaelis originally written in German that was disturbing on so many levels. Finally, there's the Nevermore series by Kelly Creagh, books based on the stories of Edgar Allen Poe. The first book was fantastic, the second just okay, and I feel like I've been waiting forever for the third.

I guess I didn't realize how many books I've read that could be considered scary. And I'm hoping to make it more as I read the books I mentioned above.

What are your favorite scary books and/or movies? Let me know in the comments!


  1. I didn't realize that Black Ice was such a suspenseful read! I'm definitely going to the have to pick it up very soon now! Good call on The Forest of Hands and Teeth! The first one was definitely the series of the whole series. Great discussion Nicole!

  2. I just watched Hocus Pocus for the first time tonight! I am glad I know what everyone is talking about now. I didn't think it was scary at all but it was fun. Suspense is definitely a good thing to have in a scary book. Great post, Nicole!


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