25 YA ghost stories


I’m not into really serious horror, but fantasy that grades over into horror can appeal to me. It depends on my mood and how the story is presented, I suppose. Several of these sound good, a couple have been on my radar for a while (Anna Dressed in Blood), and one I am seriously inclined to try.

That one is A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma. Here’s the description:

After too many broken promises and an unstable home life, Sabina decides to leave the Hudson Valley and move into the girls’ boarding house where her mother once took residence in New York City. Bina discovers there’s a whole world here that is startling, different, and compelling and that the girls who are with her at Catherine House may (or may not) be entirely real. …

I think that sounds pretty snazzy, and although other books by Suma have not worked for me, I do think she’s a great writer. Maybe a ghost story rather than a grim contemporary would be something I’d like a lot.

Oh, hey, look here, this is unexpected: a book by Laura Ruby! I hadn’t been aware she’d written a YA ghost story. Oh, I see this is a very new title, not quite out yet — coming out October 1. You may remember, Laura Ruby wrote Bone Gap, which was one of my favorite books of the year a couple years ago. I do have York on my Kindle, I believe.

By a funny coincidence, Ruby’s title also features wolves: Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All.

What do you think of that title? Too long, awkward with the comma, perhaps your emotional reaction to the thought of wolves is not teeth but beautiful canid, not very dangerous and thus the title fails to evoke quite the right emotional reaction? Not sure what I think of it.

Here’s the description:

A story about two girls—one who is living and one who is dead—set against the backdrop of World War II in Chicago. Frankie and her sister are left in an orphanage when their mother dies, with a promise from their father that as soon as he’s back on his feet, he’ll rescue them. But the time doesn’t come, and he runs off with another woman instead, leaving them behind. Abandoned like so many others, Frankie will have to find a way to carve out something resembling a life. (And yes, there are ghosts). Ruby is a master at the unsettling, at the magical and mythical, and this book promises all of those things and more, with the backdrop of war and the Great Depression.

Well, that sounds intriguing. I’ve been wanting to read something else by Laura Ruby. Maybe I should read York and then decide about this one.

Several of the other books on this list also look promising. Honestly, this is the most successful list I’ve ever seen at Book Riot, defining success as “getting me to look seriously at the books and think about trying them.”

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