As the university semester comes to a close (!!!!) and I begin to be granted with the luxury of free time, I’ve found myself getting back into reading! Whenever I’m studying I never have the energy to read for fun, but as soon as the holidays roll around, the ‘To Read’ stack of books on my bedside table just gets bigger and bigger. Since it’s the spooky season, I thought it’d be nice to pull together some books I think are pretty appropriate for this time of the year. I’m very reluctant to call this a ‘Halloween Reading List’ as there is no horror or gore here. But there are magical novels featuring witches and wizards, a science fiction world I would hate to live in, a young adult series about a friendship group plagued by a social media stalker, and suspenseful as heck thrillers featuring some absolutely kick ass female characters that kept me on my toes the whole time. If you enjoy this post please give it a “like” so I know, and let’s get on with the reading list!
A Little Bit of Magic…
From about September onwards, the Harry Potter series reaches its prime because the fantasy world is appropriate for Autumn, Halloween and Christmas. With its pages full of magic, spells and nostalgia, Harry Potter is a sure fire way to get me in a cozy mood. There are seven books in the series, eight films and a bunch of spin offs, so there’s enough Harry to last you for the rest of the year.
Jumping from wizards to witches, every single year I sit down to read Wicked by Gregory Maguire and every year I don’t finish it – but I’m trying again this year! I thought I’d mention it anyway because it’s the novel that was inspired by The Wizard of Oz that inspired a Broadway musical to be created about it, and now a movie adaption will be made! Wicked is about the life of the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz, and its so interesting! I think it’s a must read for any fan of musical theatre who is a fan of the show or the original movie.
Sci-Fi and Social Media Stalkers…
I feel like some people may scoff at the fact that I’m including the Pretty Little Liars series in this post, but that’s why I didn’t call it a ‘Halloween’ Reading List! I’m a scaredy cat through and through, which is why I thoroughly enjoyed the PLL novels. They’re full of suspense, mystery and creepiness and I vividly remember staying up late on the holidays to burn through the fourth book because I just needed to figure out the plot.
If you’ve managed to not hear about PLL, both the books and the hit TV show, Wiki tells us it’s about “four teenage girls whose clique falls apart after the disappearance of their Queen bee leader, Alison DiLaurentis. Three years after her disappearance, the girls begin receiving threatening messages from an anonymous character named “A,” who threatens to expose their secrets, including long-hidden ones they thought only Alison knew. Shortly after the messages begin, Alison’s body is discovered buried in her yard. The books progress with the four girls trying to figure out the identity of A.”
They’re easy to read and a bit cliché, but they’re perfect for when you just want something fun but actually really interesting. I never finished the series as I think there are 13 books or more (just Googled it and there are 16 books and three ‘companion’ novels… so nineteen altogether) but I definitely read up to number eight and also read the prequel about Alison, which was actually creepy. Also, I think this page is super gothic, so I couldn’t not include it!
Moving to a much darker series compared to PLL, the Gone series by Michael Grant was, and still is, one of my favourite novel series. I read the whole series when I was in about Year 10, and it completely reignited my love for reading. I used to be such a book worm when I was younger, then fell out of it, but the Gone series was unlike anything I had read before and I couldn’t stop recommending it to people. In short, the series is about world in which suddenly everyone over the age of 15 disappears at once. There are no phones, no internet, no television, no way to get help and no way to figure out what has happened. The teenagers are put into a terrifying new world where time is running out, as on your 15th birthday, you disappear as well. It’s based around a young audience but I personally think the series is better, darker and more realistic than series like The Hunger Games, Divergent, or The Maze Runner, and yet I never hear people talking about this series as much as the ones mentioned. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves dystopian, science fiction novels!
Thrillers and Murder Mysteries
Warning: The following two novels are probably my two favourite novels ever written so prepare yourselves for the onslaught of love and admiration. Let’s proceed.
We’ll start with the thriller Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and boy did I love this novel. Everything about it is fantastic. From the intricate plot to the way she constructed the super flawed characters to how she leads the reader on, it’s just all so incredibly done. In short, GG is about a married couple where, on their fifth wedding anniversary, the wife Amy disappears. The novel tries to figure out whether the main character, Nick Dunne, is involved in the disappearance of his wife. It alternates points of view between Nick and Amy, with Nick describing their relationship in the present day and Amy’s diary entries depicting their relationship in the past.
One look at the Goodreads review section of this novel and you’ll see reactions are split 50/50, some think it’s incredible while others hate it. Personally, I highly recommend it!
Finally, we’ve made it to Big Little Lies. I honestly need to sit down and write a letter of appreciation to Liane Moriarty and thank her for continuing to publish the best books I’ve ever read. I can’t get enough of her work and she genuinely inspires me to push myself to become a better writer. When I was younger I wanted to be a published author and write novels, and as I got older and I shelved that idea (ha, get it) but even since picking up Big Little Lies earlier this year, and then The Husband’s Secret (another banger from Liane – can books be bangers?) that aspiration has got its spark back. But enough about me, let’s discuss BLL. I’m going to paste the entire summary here from Liane’s website because it’s too good to cut down and paraphrase.
“Pirriwee Public is a beautiful little beachside primary school where children are taught that ‘sharing is caring.’ So how has the annual School Trivia Night ended in full-blown riot? Sirens are wailing. People are screaming. The principal is mortified.
And one parent is dead.
Was it a murder, a tragic accident or just good parents gone bad? As the parents at Pirriwee Public are about to discover, sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal… Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, school-yard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.”
I love everything about this book, it’s all just so exceptionally written. From the flawed yet realistic characters, to the wild plot, to just how witty and on point Liane’s observations are, to how well written each relationship is, whether it be parents and their children, friends, partners, principals – it’s just all amazing. I loved the TV series and adored the novel, so I can’t recommend it all enough!
So there you have it, my October Reading List! If you’ve read any of these books or now want to, leave me a comment below, I would love to know your thoughts!
If you enjoyed this post, leave a “like” so I know!
All the love,