Woohoo, it’s Hype or Like Friday again! This meme and Goodreads group were created by myself, Jill @ Rant and Rave Books, and Britt @ Geronimo Reads. To join our group and find out more information about what it’s all about, please go to our Goodreads page HERE.
October’s BOTM is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. The weekly topics this month are whichever ones we want to choose from a list of ideas that our members came up with. They are all so much fun!
- Answer the weekly discussion topic.
- Optional: Discuss your chosen hyped book of the week.
- Optional: Talk about your progress on the BOTM.
TOPIC OF THE WEEK (that I chose): Top 5 scariest stories – and why they make you want to hide in the cupboard.
Here’s the thing – I don’t really read any horror novels, nor do I enjoy watching scary movies. Being scared just isn’t my thing (probably because I’m easily scared and tend to have nightmares). So my list of scary books probably won’t include your typical Stephen King novel. The only book I’ve read by him is 11/23/1963, one of the few non-horror stories that he’s written. Sorry to disappoint you!
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
To earn a secret so profound, I would need to tell momentous lies, and make as many people as possible believe them…
Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is modest and well mannered—a proper young lady who knows her place. But inside, Faith is burning with questions and curiosity. She keeps sharp watch of her surroundings and, therefore, knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing—like the real reason her family fled Kent to the close-knit island of Vane. And that her father’s death was no accident.
In pursuit of revenge and justice for the father she idolizes, Faith hunts through his possessions, where she discovers a strange tree. A tree that only bears fruit when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit, in turn, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father’s murder. Or, it might lure the murderer directly to Faith herself, for lies—like fires, wild and crackling—quickly take on a life of their own.
The Lie Tree wasn’t scary in that the plot was super spooky, it was the atmosphere and setting of the story that gave it some scary vibes. I read this one at night in bed and I’ll admit I was kind of creeped out during some parts. It was a pretty dark novel for being considered Middle Grade and I wasn’t really expecting that going into it, so that might have helped a bit too. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it! You can read my review of it HERE.
Asleep by Krystal Wade
“To cure fear, you must use fear.”
Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He’s understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they’ll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.
Here’s the thing, insane asylums are just scary. End of story. They creep me out and I can’t help that I think that they’ll probably end up on an episode of Ghosthunters at some point (if they already haven’t). Now throw in a doctor who tries to cure his patients using the things they fear most. You just had a little chill roll down your spine, didn’t you? You can find my review of this indie novel HERE.
The Diviners (The Diviners, #1) by Libba Bray
Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.
As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.
I enjoy most bad guys or “Big Bad” in novels, as they add that extra spice that most plot lines need to keep my attention. However, the bad guy in The Diviners was just damn creepy. I wouldn’t read this book after dark if that tells you anything. Seriously.
Side note: I really need to reread this book so I can move on to the second one. I don’t remember a dang thing that happened other than I literally had nightmares because of this story.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
When a plane crashes on a remote island, a small group of schoolboys are the sole survivors. From the prophetic Simon and virtuous Ralph to the lovable Piggy and brutish Jack, each of the boys attempts to establish control as the reality – and brutal savagery – of their situation sets in.
The boys’ struggle to find a way of existing in a community with no fixed boundaries invites readers to evaluate the concepts involved in social and political constructs and moral frameworks. Ideas of community, leadership, and the rule of law are called into question as the reader has to consider who has a right to power, why, and what the consequences of the acquisition of power may be. Often compared to Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies also represents a coming-of-age story of innocence lost.
This book isn’t labeled as a horror or thriller and probably seems a little out of place on this list. But if you’ve read this book, you’ll understand why it scared the shit out of me when I read it. The scariest part is that it shows you the depravity of human nature and how we all have that little piece inside of us capable of doing terrible things. This book still makes me ill to think about.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt’s sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.
Again this is one of those stories where the plot itself is less creepy than the setting and the characters in it. I mean just look at that book cover! All I can think about when I picture Savannah, Georgia is ghosts, dark cemeteries, and gardens filled with trees dripping in Spanish moss. And some of the people portrayed in this novel just gave me the heebie jeebies.
What books would you include in your top 5 scariest/spookiest list? Do you agree with any of the books that made my list? What does your Hype or Like Friday look like? Which topic did you choose this week?