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Now that it’s fall, nothing sounds better than curling up with a good book to watch the leaves change color in the crisp autumn air. These five books are the perfect mix of spooky vibes and self-growth. Not only is fall time for Halloween, but as the seasons change, it’s also time to move onward with our own lives.

Chain Letter: Chain Letter; The Ancient Evil by Christopher Pike

“The time has come for your punishment. Listen closely, the hourglass runs low.”

A super creepy read – perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and anyone wanting to get into horror. The 2013 edition of Chain Letter by Christopher Pike contains both the original Chain Letter published in 1986 and the sequel The Ancient Evil from 1992. Alison and her friends all share one terrible secret from last summer; they committed murder. What they thought they buried away in the past has come back to haunt them through a series of chain letters demanding payment for their crime. The “Caretaker” is coming for them, and each friend can either pay the price of completing their task or pay the price with their own lives. With each character just as untrustworthy as the next, Pike’s books are full of blackmail, plot twists, betrayal with an extra kick of gore. 

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”

Drawing from the story of Cain and Abel, John Steinbeck’s novel follows two convoluted family sagas set primarily in California’s Salinas Valley. The Trask family and Hamilton family deliver a powerful story, connecting many unique characters in a massive web of good and evil as they struggle to fall onto one side or another. Not only is this novel an epic adventure of history, but it is also a great reflection of humanity. Exploring themes of love, hate, fate, free will, jealousy, and faith, each character is just as complex as the next. Steinbeck takes you on a journey of self-discovery as you experience each storyline unfold. It truly feels like living many different lives, and every scene is profoundly touching.

(Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

“Depend on the rabbit’s foot if you will, but remember it didn’t work for the rabbit.”

This book is a complete mind-bender. Taking place in Gardnerville, this is a paradise where no one ever gets sick or dies, but it comes with one condition. Every four years, the magic of the town causes teenagers to die randomly and tragically. Skylar’s sister, Piper, was the cause of those deaths the last time around. As Skylar spends her days desperately trying to forget about it all, pieces of the past begin to unfold, and we’re left to try and untangle the truth from all of Gardernville’s secrets. With an unreliable and twisted mess of a narrator, this mystery is a tough one to solve. This beautifully written masterpiece combines a sisterly bond, a pinch of romance, and insane mystery. The creepy town comes to life so vividly, making this the perfect read for any imaginative mind looking for some fall chills.

The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino

“How they make you feel says a lot about them and nothing about you.”

This collection of prose is the type of book you might not realize you need to read until you read it. More than just your average self-help book, The Strength in Our Scars teaches the art of self-love. Even for those hopeless moments, it’s full of hope and provides a friendly voice to let you know that you are never alone. It’s there to support you through your healing, patiently, openly, and with acceptance. At only 152 pages, this is the perfect book to bring with you on a fall day to sit at a park bench and experience the beauty and clarity of finding your way back to yourself.

Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm

“Oh mirror, mirror on the wall, 

Who is the fairest of us all?”

Ever wondered where all of your favorite fairy tales come from? Most of them aren’t fairy tales at all. Grimm’s Fairy Tales are mainly full of evil and blood, with some stories more comical and lighthearted. Some personal favorites are The Fisherman and His Wife, Rumplestiltskin, and The Goose Girl. The stories can be read in any order you’d like, with evil stepmothers, witches, kings, dragons, or maidens to carry each one. “Once upon a time” will take on a whole new meaning with these twisted tales. Get ready for poisonous apples and cut-off feet in glass slippers to add a spooky twist to your late and dark nights.

If you don’t already have a Goodreads fall reading list, you can start yours off with these five books. There are five new worlds full of wonderful characters and exciting storylines for you to explore. Grab yourself a cup of tea, a warm blanket, and get reading! 

Mara is a third-year student at York University's Glendon Campus in the International Studies Program. As an avid reader herself, she is delighted to be writing with Her Campus York U to motivate and empower the community. In her spare time, Mara enjoys doing yoga and playing the piano.
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