10 atmospheric ya books to read for the Halloween season

Hi friends! I’m back today with recommendations for the season yet again. It’s the end of October and spooky time is coming!

Every year, I feel like everyone gets excited about this time : October, pumpkins, fall leaves and Halloween, the spooky season, the time to read all the scary, mysterious, atmospheric kind of books. I get that, I really do, even if I’m unfortunately just not as hyped about it all as everyone else.

The thing is: I don’t read A LOT of spooky and scary reads, because I’m a scaredy-cat. I just can’t handle too-scary things and they’re just not my thing. Still, strangely, if there’s something I love, it’s a book with a great atmosphere. It might get a little tense, it might get a little spooky, at times, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.

I’m here for these kind of books and, today, these are the kind of books I will recommend. I hope you’ll enjoy my little list!

You can click on the covers to get to the goodreads page of the book!

โœจ Atmospheric YA fantasy to read for Halloween

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Michelle Hodkin

Why I recommend it ๐Ÿ”Ž The Mara Dyer series has conflicted reviews, but it will always be one of these series I got completely hooked on and that I adore. I feel like they’d be the perfect atmospheric read for the Halloween season: filled with mystery, suspense and tension and a little bit creepy at times, just as well.

The Dark Vault, Victoria Schwab

Why I recommend it ๐Ÿ”Ž I could have gone with This Savage Song, but I feel like Schwab’s incredible debut series deserves to be mentioned here. Plus, it’d be perfect for the season: I mean, a giant library where the dead rest, like books? A main character preventing them from awakening? Spooky right??
๐Ÿ“– read my full review

Girls Made of Snow and Glass, Melissa Barshadoust

Why I recommend it ๐Ÿ”Ž The question is WHY don’t you read this??? It’s a Snow White retelling with a f/f romance, complex step mother/daughter relationships, it’s a beautifully written story and the snowy wintery atmosphere is perfect. I LOVE THIS.
๐Ÿ“– read my full review

The Accident Season, Moรฏra Fowley-Doyle

Why I recommend it ๐Ÿ”Ž The Accident Season is another underrated read I’d definitely recommend. It’s magical realism and at the end of every October, everyone in Cara’s family is prone to accidents. It’s just a wonderful, intriguing read from beginning to end.

๐Ÿ“– read my full review

We Speak in Storms, Natalie Lund

Why I recommend it ๐Ÿ”Ž Now friends, THIS is a debut that released this September that I’d definitely recommend! It’d be perfect for the season, too, because it’s set in this small town after a tornado, it’s VERY strange and atmospheric, it has such a wonderful focus on friendships, I really love this.


Broken Things, Lauren Oliver

Why I recommend it ๐Ÿ”Ž I feel like Lauren Oliver’s latest book could be a great Halloween read. It’s a murder mystery where, a little while after their best friend was murdered in the woods, Brynn and Mia have to face the truth of what happened to her. It’s suspenseful and addictive for sure. (tw: for animal death though. take care, friends).

๐Ÿ“– read my full review

The Walls Around Us, Nova Ren Suma

Why I recommend it ๐Ÿ”Ž When I think of atmospheric, The Walls Around Us is one of the first books that comes to mind. It’s such a stunning read that kept me fascinated and guessing from beginning to end. It’s about ballerinas and ambition, it’s about justice and innocence, it’s… hard to explain, but definitely an experience to read.

๐Ÿ“– read my full review

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, Julie C. Dao

Why I recommend it ๐Ÿ”Ž I feel like I haven’t talked about this book much, but I found it really engrossing right from the start and think it would be perfect for the season, too. It’s an East Asian retelling of the Evil Queen’s origin story and it’s dark and compelling with an interesting world and an ambiguous main character.

๐Ÿ“– read my full review

The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater

Why I recommend it ๐Ÿ”Ž I feel like I don’t have to explain The Raven Boys, it’s so hyped everyone probably knows these books. I feel like you’ll all know as well why they’re perfect in this list: the author’s writing is beautiful and the atmosphere she creates in this story is stunning just as well.


The Wicked Deep, Shea Ernshaw

Why I recommend it ๐Ÿ”Ž Now I clearly need to read more witchy books, because this is the first witchy book on that list. Oops. The Wicked Deep fills the air with mystery and sea salt and old witches legends and it was a really surprising read, too, a debut I’d definitely recommend!

๐Ÿ“– read my full review


Did you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read them?

Do you read spooky, atmospheric books for Halloween, or not? ALSO question: do you have witchy books recs for me?? Let me know in comments!





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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. ๐Ÿ“š |๐ŸŒ | ๐Ÿ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

72 thoughts on “10 atmospheric ya books to read for the Halloween season

  1. Hi Marie,
    I’m also not that hyped for Halloween. This celebration has never really left a mark in Italy or France, in my opinion. I like seeing Americans and English being so happy about it and looking forward to it, but I don’t feel the same way.
    Other than that it obviously depends on the person, I also tend to read very few Horr books.
    “Mara Dyer” has been on my Tbr for ages! I feel I’m going to love it and I really want to pick it up soon.
    I’ve only read “This Savage Song” and “A Darker Shade of Magic” by V.E Schwab, the others haven’t been translated in Italian yet. But I love her writing style and her world-building!
    Finally “The Wicked Deep” seems really interesting, I might give it a try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like Halloween is such a big deal in other countries and here well, not so much I guess haha ๐Ÿ™‚
      I hope you will get to read Mara Dyer soon and will fall in love with it, too!! It is an absolutely incredible read.
      I’m so happy I could give you new books to discover and hope you’ll get to read them sometime ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Broken Things has been on my TBR for ages. I really need to get around to it, especially after your description. It sounds perfect for the mood I’m in right now! Love the post ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I finished the Mara Dyer trilogy and while I’m underwhelmed with the result, it’s definitely a creepy one! Especially because we knew Mara is an unreliable narrator so we don’t know what’s real or not. I have the Wicked Deep on my TBR this month but I don’t think I can get to it ahaha. The Raven Cycle is also a perfect series for the halloween season- it has the right amount of scary, cozy, and magical feeling to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like a lot of people were a little underwhelmed by the Mara Dyer series, which makes me a little bit sad, but I can understand it, too. I loved how complex Mara was, always keeping me on the edge of my seat!
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. These are such great recommendations! The only book I’ve read that you mentioned is The Raven Boys, but I will definitely add the rest to my TBR ๐Ÿ™‚ I tend to go for scarier books for October, but I don’t like to limit myself to reading just horror books in October, so I do put a couple of more atmospheric/spooky non-horror books on my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, you give the BEST recommendation posts โค Now I definitely have to read Girls of Snow and Glass! I've heard of it, but I never realized that it sounded that good! I also agree that The Raven Boys is perfect for the season. Same with The Archived. A place where the dead rest on shelves is perfect for the season!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHH Caitlin thank you, you’re too sweet!! โค I hope you'll read Girls Made of Snow and Glass, it's such an underrated, but wonderful read โค Can't wait to hear what you think of it! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel like I’m a scaredy-cat, but at the same time, how can I know that because I’ve never actually watched or read a horror film/book. However, I can get very creeped out by the dystopian genre, so yeah…..I must be a wimp :’) If I ever have the guts to pick up a scary read, I’ll have to refer back to this ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh these are not all really scary! To be honest, they’re more atmospheric than purely scary. Like I said, I found these a little strange, a little spooky, but not too scary to make me afraid haha, so they might fit your taste well, hopefully! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment Macey!! โค

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So many of these are on my TBR again! I really hope to read Forest Of A Thousand Lanterns and Girls Made Of Snow & Glass soon as I own them both and they sound so amazing. The first of these that I’m going to read is Broken Things though, I have it out of the library atm โ˜บ๏ธ I actually have a list of witchy books that I’m hoping to post this week although it’s mostly ones on my TBR as I’ve somehow read very few despite loving them in TV shows. Atm I’m reading Hex Life (just three stories in it left) and it’s got some really fantastic stories in it. I have found some pretty creepy too though. Its good, it really works for the book, but some have left me with chills. One in particular I actually had to look at another review of to see if someone else found it scary too or if I was just being a wimp ๐Ÿ˜…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh I can’t wait to hear what you think of these, they were both so wonderful. Also eager to hear your thoughts on Broken Things! I really liked that one ๐Ÿ˜€
      Ooohhh that’s good to know haha, not sure I’ll give it a try though because I’m a wimp so I might end up being too scared ๐Ÿ˜… ๐Ÿ˜… ๐Ÿ˜…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fingers crossed I’ll like them as Im super excited for both of them. I actually somehow accidentally lucked into a copy of Forest Of Thousand Lanterns with a signed bookplate. I got it secondhand of Amazon as I really wanted a copy and it was a really good price, opened it up and found that so I was thrilled โ˜บ๏ธ I’m really intrigued by the concept, it sounds so good.
        Yeah some of the stories were pretty creepy and gave me total horror genre vibes. I’m a wimp too tbh but I do want to try and read some more horror stories sometime. Although I was totally caught off guard by how creepy the stories in that anthology were on the whole ๐Ÿ˜…

        Liked by 1 person

  8. When I think atmospheric, Fowley-Doyle immediately comes to mind. All her books made me feel so much and that feeling was ratcheted up so much by the atmosphere she created. Same for Ernshaw. The gloom and the mood was so well written. It just wrapped itself around me.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. OOOOooo I’m definitely not someone who prefers reading creepy or horror books so I really like how to recommended “atmospheric” reads for the Halloween season!! These recommendations are honestly so ~on point~ I remember reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer in high school and being shook by how suspenseful and tense it was. I’ve also really been meaning to read The Raven Cycle and Forest of a Thousand Lanterns so I love seeing those books on this list as well! ๐Ÿงก

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I received We Speak in Storms from Penguin but wasn’t super excited about it until now, Marie!! You make it sound so good and my interest in it has gone up a lot now — definitely looking forward to the focus on friendships! And I loved Forest of a Thousand Lanterns! It wasn’t my absolute favorite, but there’s something about it that’s so memorable, and I adored Xifeng and all of her moral ambiguity. These are perfect recs, Marie, especially for someone who also can’t do much horror!! โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh I’m so happy I could make you eager to read it! It was such a lovely surprise, I liked the atmosphere and loved the characters and focus on friendship so much, I hope you will too ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much! โค


  11. Awesome list! I recently finished The Cheerleaders (Kara Thomas) and loved the atmosphere – so much autumn vibes and was a tiny bit creepy too. Kinda got me in the mood for the season. I really wanna read Broken Things at some point as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t read books based on seasons as I read what books I’ve had the longest but I do think it is a really cool idea. Like you I haven’t read many scary books as it doesn’t seem to be something I will reach for but I do love books which build a great atmosphere!!
    I love that you included the pumpkins at hogwarts– they are so cool and I saw them at Harry Potter Studio Tour last month and it just brought back all the memories!!
    Ohh I didn’t know too much about The Dark Vault but that does sound spooky and interesting. Definitely perfect for this season!!
    And now I want to read so many books, haha!! Just reading your descriptions of them has made me want to pick them up!! Thank you for creating this list!! Girls Made of Snow and Glass and We Speak in Storms are jumping out to me at the minute!!
    I agree about The Raven Boys, you immediately jump into an atmosphere and I love Maggie’s writing. Her prologues are my favourite!!
    Wonderful post, thank you for making my TBR longer haha!! โค

    Liked by 1 person

      I hope you’ll get to read some of these wonderful books, I’d love to hear what you think of them! Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment โค

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m a fellow scaredy-cat so I don’t read books that are too scary ๐Ÿฑ I definitely love atmospheric books as well though, because being immersed in a vivid world can make for such a fantastic reading experience! The Wicked Deep was definitely such a book for me, I just read it recently and it was so amazing in writing style and atmosphere, I was incredibly excited to read it every time I picked it up ๐Ÿฅฐ I also thought that The Devouring Gray also has a good atmosphere with creepy woods and a mysterious small town ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I was very much expecting to see The Raven Cycle in this post and I am very happy I did! I have Broken Things on my kindle and really should read it already. And The Accident Season sounds so interesting to me!

    Liked by 1 person

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