YA fiction

9 Recommended YA Ghost Books

If you’re here, you probably already know about my ghost books–the Haunted Halls: Blood Flesh Bone trilogy, and my upcoming Haunted Halls: Winter’s Cavern trilogy. There are a number of other ghost books that I would love to recommend, though! Here are a few of them:

A Certain Slant of Light, by Laura Whitcomb. This one features a ghost who falls in love with a living person–a theme I’m exploring in the Winter’s Cavern trilogy. It’s beautifully written.

The Summoning, by Kelley Armstrong. Fast-paced, with scary suspense. Be warned, it ends on a cliff-hanger!

Ghost Abbey, by Robert Westhall. This was an old favorite from when I was a kid, so I had to include it here. The abbey is the ghost, which is pretty cool. Hard to find this one, now.

Bad Girls Don’t Die, by Katie Alender. This book involves a doll that someone becomes obsessed with, and scary hijinks ensue. Deliciously creepy.

The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater. The character development in this series is really well done, and I love the ghost the most.

Assassin’s Heart, by Sarah Ahiers. This is a stunning fantasy novel with excellent world-building and some creepy-as-heck ghost action!

Once Dead, Twice Shy, by Kim Harrison. I read this one a really long time ago, but the main character is a ghost and there are some funny aspects to the story, if I’m remembering correctly.

The Diviners, by Libba Bray. As I mentioned in the mystery post last month, this one is really really scary (but really really good).

Hex Hall, by Rachel Hawkins. A young witch is forced to go to reform school, where other badly-behaved supernatural creatures get to enjoy all kinds of fun drama. 🙂


YA fiction

YA Authors’ Summer Reads

Author Summer Reads

Although I try to spend time with my author friends year-round, summer is usually the season when we’re all off doing our own things. I recently got in touch with some friends to ask them what they’ve been reading.

(Note: most of these links take you to the Goodreads page for each book.)

Helene Dunbar, author of Boomerang, just read Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood. “Creepy and beautiful, I couldn’t put it down.”

Veronica Rossi, author of Under the Never Sky, is listening to Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer. “Amazing audio, amazing book in general.”

Carissa Andrews, author of Oracle, read Lynne McTaggart’s nonfiction book The Power of Eight.

Donna Cooner, author of Screenshot, just finished two books, Robin Benway’s Far from the Tree and Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. “Both were very good.”

Talia Vance, author of Silver, read Rachel Hawkins’s Royals. “I just love her voice and sense of humor. Great beach read.”

Katherine Longshore, author of Gilt, is loving This is Going to Hurt, by Adam Kay. “It’s an account of his time as a junior doctor in the National Health Service Maternity and labor wards. Not exactly designed for a YA readership, but fascinating, and hilarious and grim and wonderful.”

I’m re-reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone! If summer treats me well, I might even re-read the entire Harry Potter series. For some weird reason, I teared up in Chapter One when Dumbledore and McGonagall were talking about Harry’s parents dying. I don’t think I’ve read the entire series since reading the final book (although I’ve read Books 1-6 several times), so it was like coming full-circle, all over again, and seeing all the set-up that Rowling has done throughout the earlier books.

What are you reading? Did you get some good ideas for your TBR list from these authors’ summer reads?




mystery, YA fiction

Unputdownable Young Adult Mysteries

8 YA mysteries

I didn’t set out to write a mystery, at first. But when the Blood Flesh Bone trilogy took me there, well, I was undeniably happy because I love mysteries! I spent my teens and early twenties devouring Trixie Belden books, Elizabeth George, and Patricia Cornwell. I just never thought I could write one.

There are quite a few excellent young adult mysteries out there–here are a few of my favorites:

1. Holding Court by K. C. Held: A wacky, heartfelt mystery with romance and a ton of humor. Highly recommend!

2. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly: Gorgeous historical fiction set in the early 1900s, with true-to-life characters who tugged at my heartstrings.

3. Mister Death’s Blue-Eyed Girls by Mary Downing Hahn: Another historical mystery, this one is set in the 1950s.

4. The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George: Elizabeth George is a master of mystery. This one ends on a little bit of a cliffhanger, fair warning!

5. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: More of a psychological mystery, it nonetheless had me flipping pages as fast as I could. People either love or hate this one–I personally loved it.

6. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead: This might be considered more middle grade than young adult, but I believe readers of all ages will love this story.

7. Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma: Beautifully written with magical realism, this is a book I could read a thousand times.

8. The Diviners by Libba Bray: Not for the faint of heart! This one is terrifying (says the author of gothic mysteries featuring ghosts).