Young Adult and Middle Grade Horror Spotlight
YA and MG Horror

YA/MG Horror Spotlight March 2021

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 March as well as what our team has been reading and reviewing.

Young Adult New Releases

Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

He saw the darkness in her magic. She saw the magic in his darkness.

Wren Southerland’s reckless use of magic has cost her everything: she’s been dismissed from the Queen’s Guard and separated from her best friend—the girl she loves. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate, Colwick Hall, to cure his servant from a mysterious illness, she seizes her chance to redeem herself.

The mansion is crumbling, icy winds haunt the caved-in halls, and her eccentric host forbids her from leaving her room after dark. Worse, Wren’s patient isn’t a servant at all but Hal Cavendish, the infamous Reaper of Vesria and her kingdom’s sworn enemy. Hal also came to Colwick Hall for redemption, but the secrets in the estate may lead to both of their deaths.

With sinister forces at work, Wren and Hal realize they’ll have to join together if they have any hope of saving their kingdoms. But as Wren circles closer to the nefarious truth behind Hal’s illness, they realize they have no escape from the monsters within the mansion. All they have is each other, and a startling desire that could be their downfall.

Allison Saft’s Down Comes the Night is a snow-drenched romantic fantasy that keeps you racing through the pages long into the night.

Love makes monsters of us all.

Published March 2nd 2021 by Wednesday Books | Amazon | Goodreads

The Lake by Natasha Preston

Hot on the heels of The Twin, the undisputed queen of YA thrillers is back with a scary and suspenseful read about a summer camp filled with dark secrets.

Esme and Kayla once were campers at Camp Pine Lake. They’re excited to be back this year as CITs (counselors in training). Esme loves the little girls in her cabin and thinks it’s funny how scared they are of everything–spiders, the surly head counselor, the dark, boys . . . even swimming in the lake! It reminds her a little of how she and Kayla used to be, once. Before . . . it happened.

Because Esme and Kayla did something bad when they were campers. Afterwards, the girls agreed to keep it secret. They’ve moved on–or so they say–and this summer is going to be great. Two months of sun, s’mores, and flirting with the cute boy counselors. But then they get a note. THE LAKE NEVER FORGETS. And the secret they’ve kept buried for so many years is about to resurface.

Published March 2nd 2021 by Delacorte Press | Amazon | Goodreads

Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall

Kara Thomas meets Twin Peaks in this supernatural thriller about one girl’s hunt for the truth about her mother’s disappearance.

Sophia’s first memory is of drowning. She remembers the darkness of the water and the briny taste as it fills her throat. She remembers the cold shock of going under. She remembers her mother pulling her to safety before disappearing forever. But Sophia has never been in the ocean. And her mother died years ago in a hospital. Or so she has been told her whole life.

A series of clues have led Sophia to the island of Bitter Rock, Alaska, where she talked her way into a summer internship at the Landon Avian Research Center, the same center her mother worked at right before she died. There, she meets the disarmingly clever Liam, whose own mother runs the LARC, as well as Abby, who’s following a mystery of her own: a series of unexplained disappearances. People have been vanishing from Bitter Rock for decades, leaving only their ghostly echoes behind. When it looks like their two mysteries might be one and the same, Sophia vows to dig up the truth, no matter how many lies she has to tell along the way. Even if it leads her to a truth she may not want to face.

Our Last Echoes is an eerie collection of found documents and written confessionals, in the style of Rules for Vanishing, with supernatural twists that keep you questioning what is true and what is an illusion.

Expected publication: March 16th 2021 by Viking Books for Young Readers | Amazon | Goodreads

Rule of Wolves (King of Scars #2) by Leigh Bardugo

The Grishaverse will be coming to Netflix soon with Shadow and Bone, an original series!

The wolves are circling and a young king will face his greatest challenge in the explosive finale of the instant #1 New York Times-bestselling King of Scars Duology.

The Demon King. As Fjerda’s massive army prepares to invade, Nikolai Lantsov will summon every bit of his ingenuity and charm—and even the monster within—to win this fight. But a dark threat looms that cannot be defeated by a young king’s gift for the impossible.

The Stormwitch. Zoya Nazyalensky has lost too much to war. She saw her mentor die and her worst enemy resurrected, and she refuses to bury another friend. Now duty demands she embrace her powers to become the weapon her country needs. No matter the cost.

The Queen of Mourning. Deep undercover, Nina Zenik risks discovery and death as she wages war on Fjerda from inside its capital. But her desire for revenge may cost her country its chance at freedom and Nina the chance to heal her grieving heart.

King. General. Spy. Together they must find a way to forge a future in the darkness. Or watch a nation fall.

Expected publication: March 30th 2021 by Orion Children’s Books | Amazon | Goodreads

Middle Grade New Releases

Bridge of Souls (Cassidy Blake #3) by Victoria Schwab

Where there are ghosts, Cassidy Blake follows … unless it’s the other way around?

Cass thinks she might have this ghost-hunting thing down. After all, she and her ghost best friend, Jacob, have survived two haunted cities while travelling for her parents’ TV show.

But nothing can prepare Cass for New Orleans, which wears all of its hauntings on its sleeve. In a city of ghost tours and tombs, raucous music and all kinds of magic, Cass could get lost in all the colourful, grisly local legends. And the city’s biggest surprise is a foe Cass never expected to face: a servant of Death itself.

Cass takes on her most dangerous challenge yet…

Published March 2nd 2021 by Scholastic Press | Amazon | Goodreads

Ghost in the Headlights by Lindsey Duga

In this modern-day retelling of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” an angry ghost haunts a small-town road in search of revenge…

When Brianna Jenson agreed to move in with her cruel uncle Shane in rural Pennsylvania, she didn’t expect to find herself in the middle of a terrifying town legend.

Every afternoon on her walk home from school, as the sun begins to set behind the overhanging branches of Shadowrun Road, Brianna hears footsteps following her — footsteps that belong to no one. Then there’s the car that races along the narrow country road with blinding lights and almost runs her over! That’s when Brianna realizes… there’s no one driving. It’s almost as if someone — or something — is trying to get her attention.

As Brianna investigates what happened on Shadowrun Road, she discovers a town tragedy that has never been resolved. Can Brianna get to the bottom of this ghostly mystery before it’s too late?

Published March 2nd 2021 by Scholastic Inc. | Amazon | Goodreads

Young Adult Books Reviewed

Here are the Young Adult books team member Audra read and reviewed in March!

For Better or Cursed (The Babysitters Coven, #2) by Kate Williams – Be sure to check out Audra’s review of For Better or Cursed (“I adored The Babysitters Coven, and I was looking forward to seeing what Esme, Cass, and Pig would be up to in this second entry.”)

Dread Nation (Dread Nation, #1) by Justina Ireland – Don’t miss Audra’s 5⭐ review of Dread Nation (“I can’t wait to read the sequel Deathless Divide to this! I can tell this is just the tip of the iceberg; there is so much more story here, and I am definitely along for the ride.”)

Deathless Divide (Dread Nation, #2) by Justina Ireland – You also don’t want to miss her review of the sequel Deathless Divide (“All in all, this is an engaging and wonderful expansion of the Dread Nation universe—not exactly an easy feat to pull off, since the first book was simply amazing.”)

Middle Grade Books Reviewed

Last year I (Jen) read and loved Be Wary of the Silent Woods by Svetlana Chmakova. This past month I finally posted my review of Be Wary of the Silent Woods (“Be Wary of the Silent Woods was another home run for me. Be Wary of the Silent Woods is the first volume in the The Weirn Books series. It’s a graphic novel, and I adored it.”)


Jen

Jen is one of our LOHF Admins. She creates posts and manages the technical side of the Ladies of Horror Fiction website.

You can also find Jen on her blog Book Den, Twitter as @bookden, Instagram as @bookdenjen, on Goodreads, and Letterboxd.

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