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Five Really Scary YA Novels

Updated on January 16, 2011

 

Horror novels written for young adults have come a long way in recent years. Long gone are the vampire and werewolf novels of the past. Murder, mystery and terror keep even the most courageous YA junkie up well past their bedtime.

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Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

 

These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for nearly ninety years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.

So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphan and assistant to a doctor with a most unusual specialty: monster hunting. In the short time he has lived with the doctor, Will has grown accustomed to his late night callers and dangerous business. But when one visitor comes with the body of a young girl and the monster that was eating her, Will's world is about to change forever. The doctor has discovered a baby Anthropophagus—a headless monster that feeds through a mouth in its chest—and it signals a growing number of Anthropophagi. Now, Will and the doctor must face the horror threatening to overtake and consume our world before it is too late.

Source: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

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The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

Source: Random House Children's Books

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The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

Edward Scissorhands meets The Catcher in the Rye in this wildly imaginative and frighteningly beautiful horror novel about an unusual boy and his search for a place to belong.

Source: Penguin Young Readers

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Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

 

When Alexis's little sister Kasey becomes obsessed with an antique doll, Alexis thinks nothing of it. Kasey is a weird kid. Period. Alexis is considered weird, too, by the kids in her high school, by her parents, even by her own Goth friends. Things get weirder, though, when the old house they live in starts changing. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in. Kasey is changing, too. Her blue eyes go green and she speaks in old-fashioned language, then forgets chunks of time.

Most disturbing of all is the dangerous new chip on Kasey's shoulder. The formerly gentle, doll-loving child is gone, and the new Kasey is angry. Alexis is the only one who can stop her sister -- but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?

Source: Hyperion Books for Children

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Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman

 

You are indestructible. These are the words that transfer an astonishing power to Jacob Fielding... and it changes everything. After all, there's something addictive about testing the limits of fear, experiencing the thrill of walking through fire, or saving your friend from a beating in front of the whole school.

Then Ophelia James, the beautiful and daring new girl in town, suggests that they use the power to do good, to save others at risk of death. But with every heroic act, the power grows into the specter of a curse. How to decide who lives and who dies? And why does darkness seem to be chasing them? Jacob only has thirteen days to figure out how to harness this terrifying power... and the answer is chilling: What if he has to kill the one he loves to save her?

In the context of a dark, unconventional superhero story, Patrick Carman has envisioned a high concept tale of intrigue, romance, friendship and adventure that probes deep into what teens face as they enter young adult years: navigating increasingly complex choices with greater consequences, as well as the gray areas blurring the definitions of right and wrong.

Source: Little Brown and Company

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    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      6 years ago from Minnesota

      Interesting list! Thanks for sharing. My son has read a lot of YA books, but several on this list will be new to him. This will help keep him reading for a while!

    • KateMcGregor profile imageAUTHOR

      Katie Griffith 

      7 years ago from Cheyenne, Wyoming

      Thanks! These books are definitely more suspense than horror, but a good thriller is definitely scarier to me!

    • profile image

      risarooh9 

      7 years ago

      Ooh, I may have to check some of these titles out! I love a good story of suspense!

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