We’re getting excited for the next installment of slasher royalty, Scream VI. If you’re gearing up for another heart-pounding performance and are looking to get your pulse racing early, we’ve compiled a list of horror books to get your hands on. Enjoy reading with the lights on with these top tier horror recs!
Hairspray and Switchblades by V. Castro
When Maya and Magdalena lose their parents to a home invasion, Magdalena puts her dreams on hold and turns to exotic dancing. Cash is what the sisters need to stay together and keep Maya in an elite catholic high school that has set her on the path for an athletic and academic college scholarship.These sisters come from a bloodline of Jaguar shifters from Mexico and have gained unwanted attention. The San Antonio Stripper Ripper is stalking the streets, out for a specific kind of blood. Though Magdalena trades in skin, there is no way she will allow anyone to own her. Steamy. Bloody. Dangerous. Hairspray and Switchblades, what more could a girl need to survive the hot streets?
The Last Final Girl by Stephen Graham Jones
Life in a slasher film is easy. You just have to know when to die.
Aerial View: A suburban town in Texas. Everyone’s got an automatic garage door opener. All the kids jump off a perilous cliff into a shallow river as a rite of passage. The sheriff is a local celebrity. You know this town. You’re from this town.
Zoom In: Homecoming princess, Lindsay. She’s just barely escaped death at the hands of a brutal, sadistic murderer in a Michael Jackson mask. Up on the cliff, she was rescued by a horse and bravely defeated the killer, alone, bra-less. Her story is already a legend. She’s this town’s heroic final girl, their virgin angel.
Monster Vision: Halloween masks floating down that same river the kids jump into. But just as one slaughter is not enough for Billie Jean, our masked killer, one victory is not enough for Lindsay. Her high school is full of final girls, and she’s not the only one who knows the rules of the game.
When Lindsay chooses a host of virgins, misfits, and former final girls to replace the slaughtered members of her original homecoming court, it’s not just a fight for survival-it’s a fight to become The Last Final Girl.
There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
It’s been almost a year since Makani Young came to live with her grandmother and she’s still adjusting to her new life in rural Nebraska. Then, one by one, students at her high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the body count rises and the terror grows closer, can Makani survive the killer’s twisted plan?
Tastes Like Candy: A Slasher Novel by Ivy Tholen
Everyone at Pritchett High wants an invitation to the Senior Scavenge. In 2020, Violet Warren and her friends are the lucky ones. Eight girls will break into the Poison Apple Carnival after hours for a scavenger hunt, then at sunrise they’ll gather for a celebration in honor of their upcoming senior year.
But someone else has another game planned. Minutes after the girls sneak into the carnival, a madman in a rubber mask begins slashing his way through the group and Violet quickly realizes his motives are personal. As she watches her friends die in a series of increasingly bizarre attacks, she must fight to survive while trying to answer the question: What could she have done to earn a fast-pass for a roller coaster ride straight to hell?
The Murder Game by Carrie Doyle
What if your roommate is a murderer? Or what if he’s being framed and only you can save him?
Luke Chase made history as a child when he escaped a kidnapping. Now, all he wants is to be a normal teenager. So when he sneaks out to the woods one night to drink with friends and flirt with the new British girl at school, he’s excited to feel some freedom.Except the next morning, one of their teachers is found murdered — in the exact same spot where they had been partying. Soon, Luke’s roommate and best friend Oscar is the #1 suspect
As the evidence and list of suspects builds, Luke attempts to use his famous survival skills to find the killer and clear Oscar’s name. But as Luke gets closer to the truth, the killer is getting closer to Luke.
The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix
In horror movies, the final girls are the ones left standing when the credits roll. They made it through the worst night of their lives…but what happens after?
Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre. For more than a decade, she’s been meeting with five other final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, working to put their lives back together. Then one woman misses a meeting, and their worst fears are realized — someone knows about the group and is determined to rip their lives apart again, piece by piece.
But the thing about final girls is that no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.
Under the Blade by Matt Serafini
It’s been twenty-five years since Cyrus Hoyt’s infamous killing spree at Camp Forest Grove. A quarter-century since teenage counselor Melanie Holden left him mortally wounded and escaped with her life.
Today, Melanie’s teaching career has bottomed out and left her with no choice but to return to the scene of the crime. Motivated by a lucrative publishing offer, as well as a desire to free herself from recurring nightmares, Melanie’s research into the murderer’s life brings resistance from all directions as she uncovers skeletons in Forest Grove’s past.
Because of Melanie, a long-held secret is about to be revealed–one that somebody is willing to kill for in order to protect. And Melanie is going to discover she has a lot more to lose than just her mind.
The stalk-and-slash suspense of Friday the 13th meets the small town mystery of Sharp Objects in this white-knuckle horror story of a final girl’s revenge.
In 1915, The Birth of a Nation cast a spell across America, swelling the Klan’s ranks and drinking deep from the darkest thoughts of white folk. All across the nation they ride, spreading fear and violence among the vulnerable. They plan to bring Hell to Earth. But even Ku Kluxes can die.
Standing in their way is Maryse Boudreaux and her fellow resistance fighters, a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter. Armed with blade, bullet, and bomb, they hunt their hunters and send the Klan’s demons straight to Hell. But something awful’s brewing in Macon, and the war on Hell is about to heat up.
Can Maryse stop the Klan before it ends the world?
Manhunt by Gretchen Felker-Martin
Beth and Fran spend their days traveling the ravaged New England coast, hunting feral men and harvesting their organs in a gruesome effort to ensure they’ll never face the same fate.
Robbie lives by his gun and one hard-learned motto: other people aren’t safe.
After a brutal accident entwines the three of them, this found family of survivors must navigate murderous TERFs, a sociopathic billionaire bunker brat, and awkward relationship dynamics ― all while outrunning packs of feral men, and their own demons.
On April 27, 1997, four contestants make it to the final cell of the Quigley House, a full-contact haunted escape room in Lincoln, Nebraska, made famous for its monstrosities, booby-traps, and ghoulishly costumed actors. If the group can endure these horrors without shouting the safe word, “reprieve,” they’ll win a substantial cash prize — a startling feat accomplished only by one other group in the house’s long history. But before they can complete the challenge, a man breaks into the cell and kills one of the contestants.
Those who were present on that fateful night lend their points of view: Kendra Brown, a teenager who’s been uprooted from her childhood home after the sudden loss of her father; Leonard Grandton, a desperate and impressionable hotel manager caught in a series of toxic entanglements; and Jaidee Charoensuk, a gay international student who came to the United States in a besotted search for his former English teacher. As each character’s journey unfurls and overlaps, deceit and misunderstandings fueled by obsession and prejudice are revealed, forcing all to reckon with the ways in which their beliefs and actions contributed to a horrifying catastrophe.
A literary omnivore and influential Bookstagrammer, Layne applies her vivid creativity for every title we promote by deftly coordinating news coverage and events for authors, writing and editing diverse content for social media, and assisting with Books Forward’s social media engagement initiatives.
As a former special education teacher, Layne firmly believes in the importance of literature and accessibility. This unique point of view is an asset in her publicity efforts as she works to reach readers across various platforms and demographics.
Layne received her Bachelors of Arts in Creative Writing and Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and her Masters of Art in Teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education. She lives in Philadelphia with her loyal, but sadly illiterate cat, Macaroni.