Culture

Spooky Book Recommendations

It – Stephen King

By Bronte Spargo

Halloween is approaching and what better way to get in the spirit than to settle down with a spooky book? When you think horror, it’s likely you think of Stephen King, especially with all the recent adaptations of his work. If you’ve ever enjoyed any of King’s adaptations, I would highly recommend checking out his writing, especially IT. IT may ridiculously long (over 1,000 pages), but this novel is a work of art, and one of my favourite books.

King tells the story of the ‘loser’s’: seven adults who were best friends when they were kids in the menacing town of Derry, Maine. They’ve all forgotten their horrific childhood summer where they battled the terrifying child-eating clown Pennywise, but a call from one of the losers quickly brings it all back and propels them back into Derry to once and for all ‘kill this fucking clown’.

I found IT genuinely terrifying when I read it; King paints the town of Derry so well that it comes alive so vividly, including Pennywise callously killing kids. The thought of this shape-shifting entity hidden in the dark underbelly of a normal town put me on edge as I read late at night.

By Sasha Nugara

IT by Stephen King is a perfect accompaniment to the dark evenings, cold weather and haunted feel of the spooky season. If you enjoyed the recent revival of the novel which hit cinemas only a few months ago, following the first part of 2017, there is no excuse to not dig in. However, as goes the case in many examples, the book has so much more to offer than then film. Stephen king allows the reader to experience all emotions during the read, from laughter-inducing happiness to extreme sadness to hesitant fear. The length of the book allows King to create in-depth, detailed character profiles in which it’s hard not to relate to and empathise with.

The story itself focuses on the children overcoming Pennywise the dancing clown and revisiting this in their adulthood. The lengths the children go to and the experiences they endure are of epic proportion and are almost unimaginable for the reader to contemplate. The friendships they create with each other and the support they supply is unimaginable. Therefore, despite the infamous clown offering reason enough to make this novel the perfect partner to your spooky evenings, there’s so much more to this book which makes it more enjoyable than most. Equally, if your plans were to dress as Pennywise for Halloween, then you may as well conduct a thorough research first! 

Carrie – Stephen King

By Coby Barker

A book perfect for this spooky season is a throwback to the classic debut novel from Stephen King, Carrie – a read which gives me such strong memories of my childhood as I remember picking it out my library, completely unaware of how unnerving 11-year old me would find it! The book surrounds Carrie White, an outsider bullied by her peers, who discovers she has telekinetic abilities to her and her own classmates’ demise on the fateful prom night of ‘1979. If this isn’t enough, she has to live with her religious fanatic mother Margaret White, who holds the belief that almost everything is sinful, including her given sex. In my opinion, the novel perfectly combines matters such as bullying and parental abuse with a famous Stephen King twist upon it to include the horrific and supernatural. Imagery of Carrie White covered in pig blood; the massacre on Prom Night – something widely recognised throughout pop culture now from Sissy

Spacek’s bulging bright eyes to Chloe Moretz’s take on the character in 2013’s remake. Most of us know the terrifying tale – however reading the book is a chilling experience which gives so much more detail and is an immersive journey one wouldn’t achieve simply through seeing the movie and can be a frightful Halloween read for anyone to enjoy.

Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson

By Neus Forner

I read Truly Devious about a year ago, and I still think about it constantly. Fall ambience, mistery kidnaps and cruel crimes, it is the perfect read for Halloween. Being the scary cat that I am, this book is perfect if you want a little spook but not the I cant-sleep-at-night scary feeling. This book follows Stevie Bell, a true-crime aficionado that is starting school at Ellingham Academy, a private school for the brightest kids. The founder, Albert Ellingham wanted to create a school in which learning was a game. He filled Ellingham Academy with gardens, secret passages and riddles. Unfortunately, his wife and daughter were kidnapped shortly after the opening, and no one to this day has ever been able to solve this mystery.  The only thing found about the murder was a letter signed by Truly Devious.

Fast-forward 20 years, Stevie struggles to adapt to her new life at Ellingham. With the help of her new housemates, she will try to solve this case. But history is repeating itself. Truly Devious is back, and someone has gotten away with murder.

This three-part book series will hook you right from the beginning and you will not be able to put it down. The author keeps the reader constantly on edge, and you will love this story from beginning to end. So, if you get scared easily like me, but still want to enjoy some creepy and eerie read this Halloween, give this book a chance!


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