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 May as well as what our team has been reading and reviewing.
Young Adult New Releases
Prom House by Chelsea Mueller
Prom weekend at the beach turns deadly in this unputdownable thriller.
A KILLER AFTERPARTY . . .
When Kylie walks into the gorgeous beach house, it’s a dream come true. She still can’t believe she talked her parents into letting her spend the weekend down the shore with her boyfriend, Liam, after prom. Kylie, Liam, and their friends have rented the most amazing party house—and it’s all theirs. Prom was awesome, but this is going to be even better.
Except there’s a little problem. A violent storm hits the beach and the power goes out—with no sign that it’s coming back anytime soon. Roughing it with candles and camping lanterns isn’t the vibe they were going for, but everyone wants to make the most of it. Until people start disappearing . . . and turning up dead. Kylie is terrified. Is somebody’s prom date a killer?
The Hollow Inside by Brooke Lauren Davis
A YA debut about a girl caught in a web of betrayal and revenge.
Phoenix and mom Nina have spent years on the road, using their charm and wits to swindle and steal to get by. Now they’ve made it to their ultimate destination, Mom’s hometown of Jasper Hollow. The plan: bring down Ellis Bowman, the man who ruined Nina’s life.
After Phoenix gets caught spying, she spins a convincing story that inadvertently gives her full access to the Bowman family. As she digs deeper into their secrets, she finds herself entrenched in the tale of a death and a disappearance that doesn’t entirely line up with what Mom has told her. Who, if anyone, is telling the whole truth?
Middle Grade New Releases
Into Darkness (Stuffed, #2) by Liz Braswell
No Stuffy has ever gone into the Darkness and returned….
Clark can’t wait to go away to camp this year. For the first time ever, he has actual friends to hang out with. Catherine-Lucille and D. A. will both be at Camp I Can with Clark, and C. L. has already promised to induct him into her exclusive camp club—the one for campers who know everything there is to know about the world of Monsters and how Stuffies protect kids from them. And now that he knows (or suspects . . . very strongly) that his grandma-made Stuffy, Foon, heroically saved his own father from a horrible fate, Clark is obviously bringing Foon to camp along with him.
But once Clark gets to camp, he and his friends discover things are off. There are strange, gooey findings in some of the bunks, the adults are acting weird, and, worst of all, their Stuffies and dolls go missing right at the moment they need them the most—when they go on the intersession camping trip and end up trapped in a creepy old cabin. What Clark and his friends don’t know, and what the mighty Foon soon discovers, is that the Monsters have launched a revenge campaign against Foon—a campaign that entails sucking the very life out of Clark. Now it’s up to Foon to enter the World of Darkness and take on the Monster in charge in order to stop the plot and save Clark’s life.
In the long tradition of Stuffies vs. Monsters, this one’s a battle for the ages—one that will certainly go down in Stuffy history.
Long Lost by Jacqueline West
Eleven-year-old Fiona has just read a book that doesn’t exist.
When Fiona’s family moves to be closer to her older sister’s figure skating club—and far from Fiona’s close-knit group of friends—nobody seems to notice Fiona’s unhappiness. Alone and out of place, Fiona ventures to the town’s library, a rambling mansion donated to the town by the long-dead heiress. And there she finds a gripping mystery novel about a small town, family secrets, and a tragic disappearance.
Soon Fiona begins to notice strange similarities that blur the lines between the novel and her new town. And when she looks for the book again, it’s gone. Almost like it never existed. With stubbornness and a little help from a few odd Lost Lake locals, Fiona uncovers the book’s strange history. It’s not a novel, but the true story of an unsolved century-old crime filled with clues to the mystery. Lost Lake is a town of restless spirits, and Fiona will learn that both help and danger come from unexpected places—maybe even the sister she thinks doesn’t care about her anymore.
The Edge of Strange Hollow by Gabrielle K. Byrne
Welcome to Strange Hollow. Beware the Grimwood.
Poppy Sunshine isn’t like everyone else in Strange Hollow. She’s not afraid of the Grimwood, home to magical creatures like shape-shifters, fairies, witches, and even a three-headed dog.
Banned from the wood by her parents, Poppy longs to learn everything about it and imagines joining her mother and father as they hunt the forest’s cursed magical objects. So when her only family disappears on a routine expedition, she and her friends must break every rule to save them. But Poppy soon discovers that things in the Grimwood are rarely what they seem…
And the monsters who took her parents may not be monsters at all.
Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland
The New York Times bestselling author of Dread Nation makes her middle grade debut with a sweeping tale of the ghosts of our past that won’t stay buried, starring an unforgettable girl named Ophie.
Ophelia Harrison used to live in a small house in the Georgia countryside. But that was before the night in November 1922, and the cruel act that took her home and her father from her. Which was the same night that Ophie learned she can see ghosts.
Now Ophie and her mother are living in Pittsburgh with relatives they barely know. In the hopes of earning enough money to get their own place, Mama has gotten Ophie a job as a maid in the same old manor house where she works.
Daffodil Manor, like the wealthy Caruthers family who owns it, is haunted by memories and prejudices of the past–and, as Ophie discovers, ghosts as well. Ghosts who have their own loves and hatreds and desires, ghosts who have wronged others and ghosts who have themselves been wronged. And as Ophie forms a friendship with one spirit whose life ended suddenly and unjustly, she wonders if she might be able to help–even as she comes to realize that Daffodil Manor may hold more secrets than she bargained for.
Crater Lake: Evolution by Jennifer Killick
It’s five months since the nightmare Year Six School trip to Crater Lake, and something has gone very wrong in Lance’s home town of Straybridge. There’s been an explosion at the University, a mysterious test creature is missing and no one is allowed in or out of the town. On top of this Lance has lost touch with his friends since starting at his new school. And now his mum has been acting strangely since they started decorating the Christmas tree… As he goes door to door trying to reunite his team, Lance realises how bad things have got. Now he, Katja, Max, Chets and Ade, plus new friend Karim, must think bigger and bolder if they are to save their families. But there’s something else out there too – something straight out of their nightmares…
Middle Grade Books Reviewed
This month Kathy read and loved Root Magic by Eden Royce. Don’t miss her 5⭐ review of Root Magic (“Root Magic sends readers to an earthly world plagued with racial prejudice, as well as an imaginary one filled with joy, terror, and magic.”)
Emily read and loved Seance Tea Party by Reimena Yee. Be sure to check out her 5⭐ review of Seance Tea Party (“I’m obsessed with the artwork, and the story was so cute and fun.”)
And Tracy read and loved Hide and Seeker by Daka Hermon. Check out her 5⭐ review of Hide and Seeker (“Recommended for readers of all ages, Hide and Seeker is a horror novel with heart that explores “coming of age” in a fresh, unique way.”)
Jen is one of our LOHF admins. Jen manages the technical side of the Ladies of Horror Fiction website. She also keeps a spotlight on middle grade and young adult horror each month.