So let’s say that you want to read some books to get into the spirit of Halloween, but you don’t like laying awake creeped out in your bed all night long. Not everyone likes to have the pants scared off of them! Here is a list of nine books that can still get you into the holiday spirit, but lack *most* of the scary imagery and the gore.
Sign of Seven Series By Nora Roberts: Blood Brothers, The Hollow, The Pegan Stone. Most people don’t know that Nora Roberts wrote such a cool series about three childhood friends and a creepy demon ghost child that haunts their town. I know this is a list for not-so-scary books for Halloween, and that sounds like a horrible start. Demon child?! But seriously, he only shows up a few times and since these are Nora Roberts books they are ultimately romance novels, the evil child from the past is easy to put up with to experience the chemistry between these characters.
The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith: The Awakening, The Struggle, The Fury This story was originally published as a trilogy in 1991. I LOVED these first three books when I read them before the series came out on TV. I had no idea that I already had these books and they had been on my shelf since my mom had ordered them from book order for me way back in the 1990’s, so imagine my joy when I was sifting through a shelf of YA books and discovering all three of them, glittering little gems. With handsome vampires that sweep into high school and have a steamy love triangle with hot chick Elena, all during Halloween in their own town, this one has guilty pleasure read written all over it, if that is what you like. Since the show has gone on (and off) the air, Smith has published many follow-up novels, which I have attempted to read. I’m not going to lie, they got weird after awhile, with imagery that was hard to understand at times and just really bizarre. But the first three were definitely work the read.
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs This wonderful series follows a shifter named Mercedes Thompson in many adventures, good and bad, with vampires, werewolves, very bad fairies, and other unsavory characters. These are a much more raw and gritty then the other two we talked about so far, and while there is a little romance later in the other novels, it is definitely not the focus of the story.
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi This is a great quick little read, perfect for getting ready for Halloween. Kids find the Field Guide when they move into an old house, a book that has all the secrets of every secret living being; fairies and elves and brownies and such. Naturally there are those that want the book back, thus conflict ensues. If you are lucky to have seen the travesty of a movie, it follows the books pretty close until #4.
Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning Lots of dark fairies, a fair amount of sex, and eight sequels. Moning gives a pretty good look at the fairy courts in these books and turns it up with steamy scenes with hot fairy dudes.
The Host by Stephanie Meyer I promise that I am never going to lie to you about a book. I have never talked to another person that actually enjoyed reading this book other then my dad, and he is a pretty hardcore sci-fi guy. I have read Twilight and I have read The Host and honestly The Host was so much better written. It stretched a little bit at times, moved slow here and there, but the invasion of the body snatchers element was enough to keep me interested until the very end. This one may not be for everyone.
Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness Part sweeping romance, part history lesson, this book moves a little slow in the beginning but is worth the build up in the end. She’s a witch who is in denial and he is a handsome rich vampire, they go on an adventure. Definitely sounds like a stereotypical paranormal romance novel, but the rich history included gives it a little something that the others lack.
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly If you like a twisted take on fairy tales then this is a great book for you. Set in WW2 London, David’s mother dies and he gets a new step-mother, who soon gives birth to a baby boy. Trying to befriend David, she gives him a bedroom in their old family home that used to belong to his uncle, a man that loved to collect books. David can hear the books whispering to him at night and with the little help of some magic he is transported to a fairytale world with a sinister side. Snow White is fat and demands the seven dwarfs slave to get her food, there is a crooked man, a woodsman and wolf/human half-breeds that chase them as well as many others. At the end of the novel is each fairytale that he used in each original form, in case you weren’t sure of some of the references.
Bunnicula by James Howe How could you not want to read these again and again!! With a total of seven books all together, the series starts with our bunny vampire Bunnicula, who sucks the juice from vegetables. The story is told from the view of the old family dog Harold, who, at the urging of the house cat, is trying to figure out if the bunny is indeed a real vampire and whether they should kill it. It is age appropriate for 8-10 year olds by cute to read for any age!