How long has it been since I’ve come at you all with a brand new book listicle?! Too long, or maybe just long enough – giving myself permission to stop blogging & reviewing books this year has done so much for my mental health, and for my productivity! I realized I was pressuring myself to split my time between so many things that I wasn’t able to give my full attention to any of them without a huge amount of personal distress, so taking a step back and really evaluating where my time needs to go has been hugely helpful!
That said, I’ve missed my little blog, so I’m excited to have this post for you all today!! I wanted to have an easy, handy reference sheet for folks who ask me for book recommendations without having to risk hitting the Twitter character limit, so why not a blog post about my Top 10 Most Highly Recommended Horror Books that have been released over the last 5 or so years?
1) To Be Devoured by Sara Tantlinger
I’ll start this recommendation off with a small warning that if you’re squeamish, parts of this may be a bit tough for you to stomach! (Heh, see what I did there?) This is one of the best novellas I’ve read in the last couple years, and I love Sara’s poetry collections as well. If grotesquely gorgeous writing is your thing, check out all of her books – I don’t think I’ve ever given one less than 5 stars, they’re so good.
2) Cricket Hunters by Jeremy Hepler
I’ve been raving about this one for over a year now, and I still don’t see enough people talking about it! It was one of the first books that put Silver Shamrock Publishing on my radar, and it introduced me to the author as well! I’m excited to read anything else by Jeremy Hepler after this, it’s incredible! A combination of coming-of-age tale and thriller-murder-mystery, with plenty of spooky stuff thrown in. AND THAT ENDING! No spoilers, go read it!
3) Whispers in the Dark by Laurel Hightower
I’m a huge fan of combining horror with other genres, and this one blends paranormal with thriller in the best ways. I really think this book could be made into a hit TV show and wish someone would do it, ’cause I’d binge the hell out of it. The main character is flawed and powerful, a trained killer with a spooky secret – I love her, and this whole book. Laurel’s also got another book she released after this one that I recommend as often as I can called Crossroads! It’s more emotional horror than shoot-y thriller type, but it’s excellent!
4) Go Down Hard by Ali Seay
This is one of the more recent additions to my most-recommended list, but it deserves its place for sure. I love morally gray badass ladies in my fiction, and Ali delivers it in spades with Meg here – I loved this from start to finish and found it hard to put it down! If you’re into serial killers and girl power, give it a shot. I will add a small trigger warning that there is some graphic stuff, so if you know that you need trigger warnings with your books, please do some research ahead of time!! That said, this is one of my all-time favs now.
5) The Forgotten Island by David Sodergren
I could recommend several of David Sodergren’s books, but I’m going with this one ’cause it was the first of his I read. After doing so, I was like, “OKAY COOL, I NEED EVERYTHING HE WRITES NOW!” – it was that good! This one is perfect for the upcoming summer season especially – tropical horrors, who could ask for more?!
6) Rites of Extinction by Matt Serafini
I know there are lots of fans of stories involving cults, so if that describes you, look no further: this is it! I love the cover of this – THOSE BRIGHT POPS OF COLOR, who wouldn’t?! – but it’s the story itself that has me coming back to it again and again recommendation-wise. This is a story about a PI mama looking for her daughter’s murderer, and it does not go where I expected it to – which I absolutely loved. I have a few more of Matt’s books waiting in my TBR shelf, and can’t wait to get to them if this one is any indication of how much I’ll love his writing!
7) The Worm and His Kings by Hailey Piper
Cosmic horror fans, if you haven’t already put this one on your radar, you have to fix that! Hailey’s most recent release (as of writing this – she’s got several more coming out soon, and I am ecstatic about it!) is a perfect blend of terrifying creatures, underground society’s, mystery, and WORMINESS. Hailey’s also got a personal mission to make horror queer, and I am 100% here for that – the characters in this one will stay with me for awhile, I’m positive of that! Also, why don’t we have more stories set in the 90s? Please give me 90s horror, I love it so much!
8) Coyote Songs by Gabino Iglesias
With our current political climate being what it is in our country right now, this book is one that I couldn’t possibly recommend highly enough. It can be incredibly easy for people in places of privilege to remain removed and disconnected from what’s happening around them right now by putting down their phones or turning off their TVs, but it’s important to remain aware and engaged – even if it isn’t always easy. I recommend this one as often as possible, to as many people as possible – read it if you haven’t!
9) I Am Not Your Final Girl by Claire C. Holland
This is one of the first books I read after discovering “horror poetry”, and it’s still in my top 10 of all-time favorites. I recommend it to everyone, even people who claim not to “like poetry”, ’cause it’s so good and the combination of original writing plus beloved women characters from some of horror’s most popular films is just… *chef’s kiss*. Grab a copy for yourself, and then grab a copy for the horror fan in your life – neither of you will be disappointed!
10) Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare
A lot of folks hate on the YA genre and I just don’t get that. Adam Cesare’s most recent release just proves that YA horror can be really gory and scary, and that having the ‘young adult’ tag doesn’t have to mean it’s tame in comparison to books on the ‘adult’ shelves. I loved this depiction of small town life, teenage drama, and spooky clown action – so good!! If you think YA horror isn’t “real horror”, snag a copy of this and let Adam change your mind. 😉
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