Oh, I’m in such a mood. I finished Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia a few weeks back, and it’s lodged into my brain as this penultimate, incredible piece of young adult fiction that literally nothing can hold a candle to. It was contemporary, on top of everything, which I rarely read because it often guts me.
This is the glory and difficulty of reading something really wonderful: the book hangover can sometimes last for weeks.
Some bookish babble about recent reads
I’m trying to outpace it, though. I followed it with Josh Malerman’s Bird Box, and while the story had some great heart-pounding moments, the ending was entirely too hopeful for horror. If I’m paying for existential dread (paying with my time alongside my dollars) I want existential dread. It’s a simple philosophy.
Given how lauded Bird Box was over 2016, I thought it’d be a sure win.
“It was okay.”
(Sorry, is that authorial dread? Hearing those words? Dude, your book was okay. I swiped right on you, Bird Box, but our first date kinda petered after the fourth drink a.k.a. the second plot point.)
Something else to look forward to, then? There is. YA Horror is this growling, growing monster in diapers that always seems to be hungry. Sometimes it throws a sheet over its head and pretends to be something its not, but I know it when I see it, and I’m excited to say the 2017 offering so far looks pretty good.
(I’m not even looking at adult titles until I see some best-of lists rolling in and/or, I start knocking on Paul Tremblay’s door for a handout. He’s got something new coming, right? Right?! I know Ronald Malfi does. Hearing rumours that Michael Rowe’s got something cooking too. File these tidbits under, “Things to look forward to.”)
Upcoming YA Horror Novels of 2017
House of Furies by Madeleine Roux
After escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house. But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house’s mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more than lodging for his guests. Far from a place of rest, the house is a place of judgment, and Mr. Morningside and his unusual staff are meant to execute their own justice on those who are past being saved.
Louisa begins to fear for a young man named Lee who is not like the other guests. He is charismatic and kind, and Louisa knows that it may be up to her to save him from an untimely judgment. But in this house of distortions and lies, how can Louisa be sure whom to trust?
Featuring stunning interior illustrations from artist Iris Compiet, plus photo-collages that bring Coldthistle House to chilling life, House of Furies invites readers to a world where the line between monsters and men is ghostly thin.
The Ravenous by Amy Lukavics
From the outside, the Cane family looks like they have it all. A successful military father, a loving mother and five beautiful teenage daughters. But on the inside, life isn’t quite so idyllic: the Cane sisters can barely stand each other, their father is always away, and their neglectful mother struggles with addiction and depression.
When their youngest and most beloved sister, Rose, dies in a tragic accident, Mona Cane and her sisters are devastated. And when she is brought back from the dead, they are relieved. But soon they discover that Rose must eat human flesh to survive, and when their mother abandons them, the sisters will find out just how far they’ll go to keep their family together.
When I Cast Your Shadow by Sarah Porter
Dashiell Bohnacker was hell on his family while he was alive. But it’s even worse now that he’s dead….
After her troubled older brother, Dashiell, dies of an overdose, sixteen-year-old Ruby is overcome by grief and longing. What she doesn’t know is that Dashiell’s ghost is using her nightly dreams of him as a way to possess her body and to persuade her twin brother, Everett, to submit to possession as well.
Dashiell tells Everett that he’s returned from the Land of the Dead to tie up loose ends, but he’s actually on the run from forces crueler and more powerful than anything the Bohnacker twins have ever imagined….
These Unclosed Few by Dawn Kurtagich
(No cover available.)
Based on the legend of Faustus and set in the Welsh mountains, the story explores the events that took place in an ancient mill house where a centuries-old evil connects three girls across the centuries. Publication is slated for fall 2018.
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
(No cover available.)
Pitched as Shutter Island meets Bone Gap, Sawkill Girls tells the story of three teen girls desperate to unravel the mystery behind the vanished girls of Sawkill Rock–but an ancient evil is at work on the island’s privileged shores, and soon the girls realize that no one and nothing can be trusted. The book is scheduled for fall 2018.
By all means, if you’ve heard of something up-and-coming i the horror genre, please let me know about it in the comments. Even by my definition, this list is pretty spartan. Believe me, I could always use more books. 🙂