October 28, 2011

Halloween Antidotes: For Fellow Scaredy-Cat Readers

Since Halloween is fast approaching, I've been seeing plenty of lists popping up around the blogosphere lately recommending various scary, spooky, creepy, unsettling, will-make-shivers-run-down-your-spine books.

Books like this one, which I'm still not sold on. Should I read it?

And that's great, for those people who love to get horrified out of their minds. But I am, well...

 ...a scaredy-cat.

Horror movies make me shudder. I can't stand blood and gore. And don't even get me started on spiders.

Now, I do understand the appeal of books that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Personally, I have a soft spot for psychological thrillers, rather than the traditional kind of horror that involves lots of grotesque violence. But once you're trembling in your boots, then what do you do? Well, read on.

In honour of the spooky holiday coming up, I have compiled a list of books that you should read if you've just watched a terrifying movie/read a terrifying book, or if you are just feeling generally scared because strangers are ringing your doorbell and demanding you give them candy:

1.) Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (and the accompanying sequels) — the dragons aren't scary, they're friendly! (Well, most of them.) And the bad wizards just make fools of themselves most of the time. Plus in one of the books there is a blue 6-foot flying rabbit-turned-donkey...and let's face it, NO ONE can be scared of that.

2.) Unearthly by Cynthia Hand — there's really quite a limit to how terrifying angels can get. Even dark ones. And there's a super cute romance in this one :D

3.) Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty — this is one of my ultimate contemporary feel-good reads! Unless you have a fear of letters, you will love this book.

4.) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins — yeah, I think the title says it all. Fear factor = low. Awwwwww factor = high.

5.) Please Remove Your Elbow From My Ear by Martyn Godfrey — how can anything be scary when you're reading a book that has the word "elbow" in the title? It's impossible. Plus this book means guaranteed laughs.

6.) Victoria and the Rogue by Meg Cabot — Historical more your thing? Well, I can't vouch for the historical accuracy of this one, and it is admittedly very cheesy in places, with a heroine who is unthinkably obtuse and irritating at times...but she's also stubborn, bold, and good-intentioned, and it's a frothy fun read with a very enjoyable hero in Jacob Carstairs. Only steer clear of this one if neckcloths terrify you. 

7.) The Arkadians by Lloyd Alexander — unlike some of Alexander's other books (The Iron Ring, for example, or his Prydain series) the villain of this one isn't super evil or creepy. It's full of wonderfully distinct characters on a journey that incorporates other stories into the larger one.

8.) Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine — okay, there are a few dangers in this one, like ogres and stepsisters. But Ella holds her own against them just fine! It's one of my favourite fairy tale retellings (I love this book and will push it at any opportunity :D).

9.) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen — another one of my ultimate comfort reads! There is absolutely nothing scary in this one. So whisk yourself into a world filled with balls, teas, long sleeves and Fitzwilliam Darcy!

10.) The Nose from Jupiter by Richard Scrimger — this book is hilarious. You will laugh away your fears.

So that's my suggested list of books for cozying up with on Halloween! What books would be on YOUR list?


  1. I have Anna Dressed in Blood on my soon-to-be-read stack, but I think I might be too much of a wimp for it. :)

    Epistolophobia! I guess you never know :P Luckily I was able to brave that book.

    This list reminds me of all my middle school sleepover parties where we had to get one horror movie but then also one funny movie to watch before going to sleep.

  2. You should definitely read Anna Dressed in Blood. It's really not THAT scary. Most of the time. But it is a really, really good book that's way different from what's out there right now.

  3. I'll probably read Anna Dressed in Blood but if it gets too scary, I'll be taking a break. I haven't read too many books on this list so I'll have to check the others out.

    I love, love Ella Enchanted! Just looking at that cover makes me want to re-read the book.

  4. Lol! As a fellow scaredy-cat, I LOVE your list! I occasionally read books that turn out to be scary (mostly not on purpose though...), but it's not really my thing. Thanks for the list :)

  5. I'm a scaredy-cat who, in a twisted way, likes getting scared. Does that make sense?

    You got some of my fave reads on that list, especially ANNA and CELIA <333

    And Anna Dressed In Blood is something I've been wanting to read for a while now. If only my tbr pile wasn't so high already..

  6. I get you! Thrillers are fine but as I have an overactive imagination ....reading horror books= Nightmares

    Great list

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

  7. I too was hesitant on Anna Dressed in Blood but think I'll give it a go. I <2 Anna & the French Kiss and really need to read Lola and the Boy Next Door!

  8. I'm not big on scary books either.

  9. I'm the biggest chicken too :) Horror movies are a major no no for me.

    I did however recently finish and love the Coraline audio. That was creepy but in a good way :)

    Last night Mr. Whimsy and I watched Ghostbusters and gave out candy. Confession: The possession scene creeped me out. See I'm a chicken ;)


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