It has been a long since I have posted anything regarding my goal to re-read vintage Young Adult books (mostly from the 80’s/90’s but there are some from the 70’s thrown in there too!). I thought it was about time that I did something about that and what better opportunity to discuss my favourite teen horror novels than the week leading up to Halloween?
It’s time for my third and final batch of vintage Young Adult horror recommendations! I had a lot of fun with my first post (which you can find here) and my second post (which you can find here) so I was looking forward to this final post. I thought it was quite fitting to finish this series of posts on Halloween itself. So, without any further ado, here are my final selections.
Twins by Caroline B. Cooney
Two girls…one life. Mary Lee and Madrigal are identical twins, exactly alike in every way. They’re mirror images, two halves of one whole – or so it seems. But when their parents send Mary Lee to boarding school, two thousand miles away from her twin, she feels lost and alone. Mary Lee wishes she could live her sister’s life. But then her wish comes true. And Mary Lee starts to find out just how different Madrigal was… .
I remember being completely shocked by this book. The idea that one twin could hate the other twin so much was not something I had ever thought would happen with twins (especially after reading so many Sweet Valley High books where even when Jessica would do something truly heinous to Elizabeth – she would always ultimately be forgiven for it).
This book was thus a bit of a revelation – it certainly was a plot I had never previously encountered before (ah, so young and naive!) and it has stuck with me for years. I have never re-read this book so I am unsure at how well it would stand up to the test of time but I remember being completely hooked by the twisty tale.
Monster by Christopher Pike
She said she killed them because they were monsters. Mary Blanc walked into the party with a loaded shotgun. In the blink of an eye she blew two people away. She wanted to kill more, but was stopped by her best friend, Angela Warner, and the police. The next day, when Angela visits Mary at the jail, she asks why she did it. Mary responds, “Because they were no longer human.” Angela thinks she’s crazy. At first. Until she probes deeper into Mary’s claims and discovers a horror so unimaginable that she thinks she is going crazy. She even gets to the point where she wonders if she should have let Mary keep on killing. While there was still time to stop the thing from spreading. The very old thing. The hungry thing.
This wasn’t my favourite Christopher Pike book (that would be Remember Me) but it was definitely the one that scared me the most. Not just the whole ‘monster’ thing – the threat in this book was more the human element. The shooting at the beginning really freaked me out and set me on edge throughout. I had no clue what was going on – and that was the most terrifying thing of all.
This was a deeply unsettling book – and I was used to reading Stephen King and Dean Koontz! Pike was really my go-to horror/thriller guy and this book in particular just hit all of the right notes for me. I feel like a re-read is definitely in order!
Funhouse by Diane Hoh
If it weren’t for the Boardwalk, the small town of Santa Luisa might disappear altogether. The amusement park employs half the town’s workers, pulls in tourists, and gives teenagers like Tess Landers someplace to hang out on the weekends. Tess is eating a hot dog when the Boardwalk’s roller coaster—the Devil’s Elbow—jumps the track, hangs for a moment in the air, and then plummets to the ground. One of Tess’s classmates is dead on impact, two are forever maimed, and over twenty others are taken to the hospital. It’s the worst tragedy Santa Luisa has ever seen, but it’s only the beginning. As people rush to help, Tess spies a black-suited figure running away from the crowd. The crash was no accident. Five more teens will suffer before the killer is through, and Tess may be about to put herself on the list of victims.
Last, but by no means least, my favourite Point Horror novel – Funhouse. I adored this book as a teen. I loved the mystery element to the plot and I have always loved carnivals (especially boardwalk carnivals). The story is simple but extremely effective. Diane Hoh was one of my favourite Point horror writers and I think this book was a perfect example of her skills as a writer. This book was thoroughly entertaining and a real thrilling ride (pun intended!)
Whelp, that’s it folks. I had a lot of fun devising this list – I hope y’all had just as much fun reading it! Have a great Halloween. 😉
Bye for now!