Young Adult and Middle Grade Horror Spotlight
YA and MG Horror

YA/MG Horror Spotlight October 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 October as well as what our team has been reading and reviewing.

Young Adult New Releases

Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, illustrated by Lisa Sterle

Pretty Little Liars meets Teen Wolf in this fast-paced, sharply funny, and patriarchy-smashing graphic novel from author Maggie Tokuda-Hall and artist Lisa Sterle. When the new girl is invited to join her high school’s most popular clique, she can’t believe her luck—and she can’t believe their secret, either: they’re werewolves. Fans of Mariko Tamaki and Elana K. Arnold will devour the snappy dialogue, vivid artwork, and timely social commentary.

When Becca transfers to a high school in an elite San Francisco suburb, she’s worried she’s not going to fit in. To her surprise, she’s immediately adopted by the most popular girls in school. At first glance, Marley, Arianna, and Mandy are perfect. But at a party under a full moon, Becca learns that they also have a big secret.

Becca’s new friends are werewolves. Their prey? Slimy boys who take advantage of unsuspecting girls. Eager to be accepted, Becca allows her friends to turn her into a werewolf, and finally, for the first time in her life, she feels like she truly belongs.

But things get complicated when Arianna’s predatory boyfriend is killed, and the cops begin searching for a serial killer. As their pack begins to buckle under the pressure—and their moral high ground gets muddier and muddier—Becca realizes that she might have feelings for one of her new best friends.

Lisa Sterle’s stylish illustrations paired with Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sharp writing make Squad a fun, haunting, and fast-paced thriller that will resonate with fans of Riverdale, and with readers of This Savage SongLumberjanes, and Paper Girls.

Expected publication: October 5th 2021 by Greenwillow Books Goodreads | Bookshop

The Violent Season by Sara Walters

An unputdownable debut about a town marred by violence, a girl ruined by grief, and the harsh reality about what makes people decide to hurt each other. The Violent Season is a searing, unforgettable, and thrilling novel that belongs on shelf with Sadie and Girl in Pieces.

Every November, the people in Wolf Ridge are overwhelmed with a hunger for violence–at least that’s the town rumor. Last fall Wyatt Green’s mother was brutally murdered, convincing Wyatt that this yearning isn’t morbid urban legend. but rather a palpable force infecting her neighbors.

This year, Wyatt fears the call of violence has spread to her best friend Cash–who also happens to be the guy she can’t stop wanting no matter how much he hurts her. At the same time, she’s drawn to Cash’s nemesis Porter, now that they’re partners on an ambitious project for lit class. When Wyatt pulls away from Cash, and spends more time with Porter, she learns secrets about both of them she can’t forget.

And as the truth about her mother’s death begins to emerge from the shadows, Wyatt is faced with a series of hard realities about the people she trusts the most, rethinking everything she believes about what makes people decide to hurt each other.

Expected publication: October 5th 2021 by Sourcebooks Fire Goodreads | Bookshop

Where Echoes Lie by Shannon Schuren

In this eerie thriller of a ghost story, a teenage girl must solve the mystery of the ghost bride that has haunted her community in rural Kentucky for more than a century.

Rena Faye believes in things she can see and touch, or at least capture through the lens of her camera. Things like the moonbow–a gray-and-white colorless bow that arcs out of Cumberland Falls every month when the moon is full. This natural phenomenon is what keeps her family’s motel business afloat, and what puts their tiny Kentucky town on the map. That, and the legend of the ghost bride.

Along with everyone else who has grown up near the falls, Rena knows the tragic tale of the bride who walks the cliff on moonlit nights. But when her grandma tells her that the legend is real, and worse, that the ghost bride has cursed the women of their family, she dismisses it as just another of her mawmaw’s famous stories. But when Rena Faye’s life begins to fall apart, she must delve deeper into the stories surrounding the legend, and reexamine who she can trust, as well as the truth about her town and family history. before the curse takes everything–and everyone–she holds dear.

An eerie thriller of a ghost story filled with twists and turns until the final page.

Expected publication: October 19th 2021 by Philomel Books Goodreads | Bookshop

Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood

What the heart desires, the house destroys…

Andromeda is a debtera—an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, Andromeda quickly realizes this is a job like no other, with horrifying manifestations at every turn, and that Magnus is hiding far more than she has been trained for. Death is the most likely outcome if she stays, but leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone isn’t an option. Evil may roam the castle’s halls, but so does a burning desire.

Kiersten White meets Tomi Adeyemi in this Ethiopian-inspired debut fantasy retelling of Jane Eyre.

Expected publication: October 19th 2021 by Wednesday Books Goodreads | Bookshop

Middle Grade New Releases

Beware!: The Art of Goosebumps by Sarah Rodriguez, illustrated by Tim Jacobus

Featuring tons of fun facts about the series alongside a walkthrough of all books and covers in the Goosebumps collections, this art book is a must-have for old and new fans alike!

In the summer of 1992, Scholastic tasked two terrifyingly talented artists with creating the cover paintings for the books that would premiere the Goosebumps series. At that time, four books in the line were being market-tested by the publisher to see how young readers would react to R.L. Stine’s particular brand of humor-tinged horror. One element that was sure to catch the attention of little eyes everywhere was striking cover art, and, boy, did they find it!

The imagery provided by the covers of the Goosebumps series is part and parcel to the 90s Kid zeitgeist, helping to create a visual brand for R.L. Stine’s smash-hit horror series. The covers helped set the tone for the numerous adaptations of the series, including a television series, a theatre experience, and, more recently, blockbuster films!

Expected publication: October 12th 2021 by Dynamite Entertainment Goodreads | Bookshop

Children’s Book Spotlight

Rosie Paints with Ghosts by Cassie Daily

Rosie Paints with Ghosts by Cassie Daley

When Rosie finds a secret door under her bed, it leads her to a spooky town with two BIG problems – they’ve lost all their color, and Rosie can’t seem to get back home!

With the help of a new friend, Rosie has a new goal: repaint and restore the town of Tomb!

But what can she do when the Mayor of Tomb doesn’t like Rosie’s changes?

Expected publication: October 11th 2021 by Galactic Press Goodreads

Young Adult Books Reviewed

This month Alex read and reviewed There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins. Be sure to check out his review of There’s Someone Inside Your House (“There are also some grisly deaths with decent gore, a lot of suspense, and fun YA thriller plot twists.“)


Jen is one of our LOHF Admins. Jen manages the web content and the technical side of the Ladies of Horror Fiction website. She also keeps a spotlight on middle grade and young adult horror each month.

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

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