Not-So-Spooky Book Recommendations

Here are some October book recommendations for easily-spooked readers!

Here are 15 book recommendations that I think are prefect for the spooky season but are light on the spooky-factor.

These are organized by age range/format – Middle Grade, Graphic Novels, YA, and Adult.

Middle Grade

1. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

This middle grade is absolutely perfect for Halloween time! It’s has creepy vibes but is definitely still safe for kids. I highly, highly recommend picking up this illustrated by Chris Riddell edition – the art works adds another creepy layer to the story!

The movie is very close the source work, so if you enjoy the Tim Burton movie, definitely check this one out this October!

2. Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

One of my favorite spooky middle grades! Katherine Arden is the queen of atmosphere and this series has it in spades. This has a spooky farm setting, fall vibes, and living scarecrows.

3. The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie

This is a really fun, pahanmoral MG mystery. A young girl moves from Florida to Chicago only to discover that her new house is haunted. With the help of her new friends, she has to find a way to get rid of her ghost. It’s really ominous and spooky but also sweet and fun. Plus is has great friendships and family dynamics!

Graphic Novels

4. Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker

This is a super adorable, queer, witchy YA graphic novel. It has witches, werewolves, and tons of paranormal goodness. Bonus – the art work is absolutely amazing.

5. Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell

This YA graphic novel takes place on the night of Halloween at a pumpkin patch – does it get more fall than that? This book isn’t spooky at all, it’s a friends to lovers YA contemporary. But the October vibes are perfection.

Young Adult

6. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

This YA, paranormal fantasy not only features brujos/brujas and ghosts, but it also takes place on Dia de Muertos! This has great friendships, one of my favorite romances, amazing discussions on representation and acceptance, and all the spooky, October vibes.

This is one of my favorite books of 2020 so I can’t recommend this one enough!

7. Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

This YA fantasy is a dark twist on the Cinderella tale. It follows a village, 200 years after Cinderella married her prince. But things aren’t as happy as they seem and young women are now forced to attend the ball to be selected as brides. This story has creepy fairytales vibes, loads of magic, and even some necromancy. It’s a really fast, fun read that’s perfect for this time of year!

8. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

I definitely thought this book/series was going to be much creepier before going in! This series surrounds some pretty creepy events/characters – Jack the Ripper, Dracula, Deadly circus. But overall these are just really fun historical mysteries! There are some creepy illustrations sprinkled throughout to add to the ominous atmosphere and a swoon worthy romance I can’t get enough of.

9. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

This series isn’t spooky but it’s definitely mysterious! This is a gender-bent take on Sherlock Holmes so it has tons of amazing mystery vibes. Plus this first book takes place at a boarding school – which always makes me think of fall.

10. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

I know this book took some heat last year for not being ‘paranormal enough’ and honestly I don’t get why at all. I thought this gothic, eerie fantasy was amazing. This series is wholly addicting and the perfect atmospheric read. Plus is full of paranormal goodness!

11. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

This YA mystery surrounds an unsolved murder at a prestigious boarding school. It definitely has a few spooky scenes, but overall this a fantastic whodunit style mystery. I love how this book is told in dual timelines as we slowly discover what happened all those years ago right alongside the main character.

12. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Shea Ernshaw is another master of atmosphere. This story is haunting and beautifully written. It’s a really ominous witchy story, following a teenager who lives in a coastal town haunted by the spirits of 3 witches. Every year the witches lure young men into the water and kill them.

13. The Babysitters Coven by Kate Williams

This is a super fun take on a witchy, October read!! It has amazing 80s vibes, fun magical characters, and takes place on the night of Halloween!


14. A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

There’s something about historical mysteries that give me all the autumn feels. This mystery series definitely isn’t spooky at all, but Deanna Raybourn weaves some amazing mysteries! Plus this has the slowest of slow burn romances between 2 of my favorites characters of all time.

15. Sacrifice by Katee Robert

This is ADULT. We’re talking XXX style. If you’re under 18 please click away now. This is vampire erotica and I just couldn’t help but add it to this list. If you want vampires and other paranormal creatures without the spooky factor – this is it. Katee Robert took spooky and replaced it with sex. A lot of it. It’s over the top, a little ridiculous, but a whole lot of fun.

Let me know if you have any not-so-spooky recommendations in the comments below!


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