With Halloween coming up I’ve decided to start reading some old books that reminded me of this spooky, cold autumn time. I dusted off the books I had read as a teen and delved into my shelf of supernatural fiction that fits perfectly with this time of year. I would devour these books when I was younger, and I was always grasping for the next vampire book, ghost book, witch book. Young adult authors were new to me and it was suddenly all I was asking for at Christmas or my birthdays. My mum, being a book fanatic, was always happy to fuel my excitement. However, since growing up I haven’t gone back to these books for a long time, whether that’s because I don’t have time or I’m reading different things now. Gone are the days where it was all I would read, gone are the night I would stay up late secretly to carry on reading. These days I’ve been widening my reading but – some of these books haven’t changed in my view- they’re spooky, intriguing and perfect for halloween.
The Forbidden Game by L. J Smith
“I didn’t finish. It’s a haunted house. You run into a different nightmare in every room while you’re trying to get to the top. And you have to watch out for the Shadow Man.”
“Thee what?” Jenny said.
“The Shadow Man. He’s like the Sandman, only he brings you nightmares. He’s lurking around inside, and if he catches you, he’ ll – well, listen. He’ll ‘bring to life your darkest fantasies and make you confess your most secret fears” she read with obvious enjoyment.
Intrigued yet? The Forbidden Game is a novel by L. J smith- one of my all time favourite authors growing up. I adored her Night world novels (still forever hoping for her to finish that series) and she also wrote The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle (why, oh why did the TV series get cancelled? I’m still bitter). I read this so long ago and was pulled into the world with fascination, because as those teens read about the game none of them knew they were about to actually be within it.
If you’re looking for a few spooky reads before halloween, this is definitely one to pick up. It’s like a new take on Jimanji and mixing it with vibes of Pretty Little Liars. Seven teens have to make their way to the top of the dolls house within a time limit to get back into their own world. But is it that simple? Of course not. Each room they face one of their individual nightmares. If you face it, you can leave. If you don’t? You die.
What makes the book is that it goes further than the game, and the teens realise that it’s not so easy to get away from. Suddenly the world is a whole lot bigger, and the idea of demons, visitors and fey have become a reality.
This is a great read for young teens, and an easy read for me now that I’m twenty one. What I did notice however, was that I’m used to more challenging reads now and I definitely noticed this. However L. J Smith continues to be one of my favourites authors.
Carrie – Stephen King
Now this one was mentioned in my September book buys and I mentioned how I hadn’t read a Stephen King book yet. Fairly recent for my as I’m still reading this one but I’m so glad I picked it up. Carrie is a bullied teen with a religious mother and a hidden secret – she is telekinetic. You can imagine that bullying a girl with powers isn’t going to end well – and it doesn’t for many people within the story line. What I found the most scary was the relationship between Carrie and her mother, and if you have seen any of the two film adaptations – you would know what I mean. Her mother thinks Carrie is the devil, and often treats her that way. She beats her, hurts herself to manipulate Carrie and forces her to prey locked in a closet if she disobeys. When she was just three, her mother tried to cut the Devil out of her daughter but before she could Carrie’s powers showed for the first time…
What I also found shocking is that her mother thinks that menstruation is a sin, and not once prepared her teen daughter for it. In the opening scene Carrie is showering with the other girls in her year after P.E. She gets her first ever period and the girls taunt her because Carrie thinks she’s dying. She’s screaming and flailing about, and the whole thing is pretty horrific. She’s past the age where she should have had her first period, and through the teacher’s thoughts her home life and why her mother hasn’t informed her begins to come under question. It’s just the beginning, because as Carrie’s bullying gets worse – her powers begin to get stronger. With their prom coming up, plans are put into place for Carrie by the meaner teens and everything is about to go wrong.
Do you have a favourite supernatural read? A favourite spooky, haunting read to get you into Halloween? Let me know because I’m definitely still on the look for more