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6 Books to Get You in the Mood for Spooky Season

Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back and October is just around the corner – do you know what that means? Spooky season is officially upon us! This time last year, reading was not on my radar and I missed out on all of the cozy mysteries, thrillers and horrors. I am trying to redeem myself this year by reading thrillers throughout the month of October. So, here are six books on my October TBR list:

Survive the Night by Riley Sager

I read this book in less than 24 hours in June and I still think about it. Yes, I’m using spooky season as an excuse to re-read it and that’s okay. If you’re a film nerd and love the unreliable narrator trope, then this book is definitely for you. Set in the fall of 1991, the novel follows a college student named Charlie who decides that it’s time to leave Olyphant University and escape from campus life after her best friend is murdered by the “Campus Killer”. This road trip thriller takes off when Charlie accepts a rideshare with a complete stranger, who may or may not be the campus killer…

The Maiden by Alex Michaelides

Dark academia. Need I say more? Not really, but I will. This is one of my most anticipated reads of the year because of how much I loved Michaelides’ 2019 debut, The Silent Patient. This twisty thriller is about a 36-year-old woman named Mariana who is a gifted and complex group therapist. One day, Mariana receives a frantic call from her niece Zoe, a Cambridge University student, reporting the murder of one of her best friends, Tara. To complicate matters even worse, Tara was a member of something called The Maidens – a group of unstable young women who are all insanely devoted to Edward Fosca, their beloved professor. 

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This book definitely gives The Haunting of Hill House vibes and I’m here for it. It contains a bit of everything: elements of fantasy, terror and suspense. In Mexican Gothic, we meet Noemì, a glamorous socialite who receives a frantic letter from her cousin Catalina who explains that she believes her husband is poisoning her. This leads Noemì to go to the house where Catalina lives with her husband to check up on her. When she arrives, she finds that the house is a creepy old-looking mansion, gloomy and with a strong musty smell everywhere. Noemì quickly realizes that something is wrong in that house and that she needs to do everything in her power to make her cousin safe.

The Girl on the Train by Rachel Hawkins

I definitely did not pick up this book because I wanted to watch the film adaptation with Emily Blunt (okay fine, I totally did). Turns out, I gravitate towards unhinged female characters because that’s exactly what the main character of this book is. Rachel’s commuter train always waits at the same signal and she uses that time to people watch, catching a glimpse of a couple she sees on their deck every day, building her own small life for them.  However, one day she notices something that doesn’t add up and it draws her deep into events that are way over her head.

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass

If a paranormal horror sounds like your definition of a good time, then this is for you! The Taking of Jake Livingston is a gloomy and dramatic story about a 16-year-old queer Black kid who has the unwelcome power to see things on another level of reality. He sees spirits and ghosts everywhere he goes which causes a lot of havoc in his life. While the majority are innocent, just a few are interested in communicating with the boy. A queer ghost story with a happy ever after? Yeah, this is going to be a good read.

Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper 

Last but not least, here’s a book that I am once again highly anticipating. It’s being described as “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The L Word’ and that’s all I need to be sold. The novel follows Emmy Harlow, a girl who flees Thistle Grove to Chicago nine years ago because of a messy breakup with the heir of the town’s most powerful family, Gareth Blackthorn. She returns to continue the Harlow family tradition as an arbiter for the annual spellcasting tournament. It’s supposed to be an easy break from her life in Chicago before Talia Avramov walked into a bar on Emmy’s first night back. Turns out, her ex has broken one too many witches’ hearts while Emmy has been away and they conspire together so the Blackmoores will finally lose the tournament. 

This book is expected to be published on October 5, 2021!

Happy Reading!

Kadija Osman

Ryerson '23

Kadija is a 3rd-year student at Ryerson University majoring in journalism and minoring in English. Her true great loves are books, films, and Timothée Chalamet.
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