The Ladies of Horror Fiction team is putting a spotlight on Young Adult and Middle Grade horror each month. Below we are featuring the books that were released in July as well as what our team has been reading and reviewing.
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.
Season of the Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan
It’s the summer before her sixteenth birthday, and Sabrina Spellman knows her world is about to change. She’s always studied magic and spells with her aunts, Hilda and Zelda. But she’s also lived a normal mortal life – attending Baxter High, hanging out with her friends Susie and Roz, and going to the movies with her boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle.
Now time is running out on her every day, normal world, and leaving behind Roz and Susie and Harvey is a lot harder than she thought it would be. Especially because Sabrina isn’t sure how Harvey feels about her. Her cousin Ambrose suggests performing a spell to discover Harvey’s true feelings. But when a mysterious wood spirit interferes, the spell backfires in a big way.
Sabrina has always been attracted to the power of being a witch. But now she can’t help wondering if that power is leading her down the wrong path. Will she choose to forsake the path of light and follow the path of night?
Young Adult Books Reviewed
Team members Jen and Emily both read and loved Wilder Girls by Rory Power. Be sure to check out both Jen’s review ( If you enjoy body horror, I think you will really dig Wilder Girls. It’s going to end up on my favorites list for the year. ) and Emily’s review ( If you’re looking for an awesome coming-of-age horror story that is actually focused on girls for once (and on queer girls especially), I highly recommend picking this one up! )
Toni enjoyed both The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab and Last Things by Jacqueline West this month. Be sure to read her review of The Near Witch (For me this book was like falling down a rabbit hole. The language and the character and all the little nuances that are written into the story. ) as well as her review of Last Things (As a reader I really appreciated the thought that West puts into the details for her characters.)
Middle Grade Books Reviewed
Toni also read and loved Small Spaces by Katherine Arden. You can read her full review here (Many of the feelings and emotions that the main character are going through are relatable. The creep factor is there for children and there is a major Halloween vibe through the story which I really loved.)
Toni and Jen both read House of Furies by Madeleine Roux this month. House of Furies is the first book in Roux’s House of Furies trilogy. Stay tuned for our upcoming reviews!
Toni is currently reading Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace. Shallow Graves is one of Jen’s favorite YA horror novels. Stay tuned for Toni’s review of this one as well!
Thank you for joining us for our first YA/MG Horror Spotlight! Have you read any of the books we read or reviewed this month? Let us know what YA or MG books you have read recently!