October is here, which means Spooky Season is upon us! Time for everyone to cuddle up with a cozy sweater, the pumpkin spice flavored beverage of your choice, and a good book.
Strangely, young adult fiction doesn’t have much in the way of officially spooky titles headed our way this month, which is perhaps reflective both of the time we’re currently living in and a publishing environment that has seen many titles shift their release dates due to various pandemic-related issues. (Janella Angeles’ When Night Breaks was originally part of our summer preview almost six months ago, and is only just now officially hitting shelves!)
But, we’re not completely bereft of October-appropriate content. Margaret Rogerson’s Vespertine is a tale about a novice nun who must wield an ancient spirit to battle literal hordes of the undead and Lauren Blackwood’s Within These Wicked Walls is a dark YA spin on classic literature (Jane Eyre). The Violent Season focuses on a small town beset by a mysterious and deadly illness – one that drives its residents to do harm to one another.
But for those of you who aren’t terribly interested in things that go bump (or scream) in the night there are plenty of other great options for you, including a Chinese inspired fantasy (Jade Fire Gold) and several timely contemporary tales that deal with complex racial and social issues (Why We Fly and We Light Up the Sky.)
What October YA releases are worth your time this month?
Here are 11 of our picks for the best YA releases hitting shelves this month. What’s going on your October must-read list?