Posted in Feature, Recommendations

Samhain Favorites Book List

Happy Halloween/Samhain everyone! Plaid Reader here, I thought I’d give you a little Samhain surprise and do a list of my favorite scary books from the past few years. I’m still held up being sick from the COVID booster so I’m around but not very useful. Shoot me a comment or tweet me and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

1) The Cassidy Blake Series by Victoria Schwab

Perfect for the younger set but nice as a comfort read for the older set. Where Cassidy goes ghosts follow or is it the other way around? With a lovely cast of side characters, including a ghost best friend and clueless parents and great black cat. These books are a can’t miss! I imagine Cassidy celebrating Samhain with Grim and Jacob at her parents latest film destination.

City of Ghosts by [Victoria Schwab]

Amazon: City of Ghosts

2) The Contagion Series by Erin Bowman

If you think being stuck on a planet full of zombies during eternal night when people keep turning into zombies isn’t scary enough imagine being the rookie roped into the mission trying to stay alive. Then imagine being the survivor from the previous ship where everyone got zombiefied and you have decide whether or not to trust the current crew. With more action in the second book, Thea, Nova and Coen could all use an escape to a sunny beach for Samhain. I see them lighting candles on Samhain with Thea’s mom and Coen’s sister on some planet with long days and sunny afternoons.

Contagion by [Erin Bowman]

Amazon: Contagion

3)The Darkdeep Series by Allie Condie and Brendan Reichs

The Darkdeep Series follows a group of friends as they become guardians and deal with with the problems of dark puddle in the bottom of an old boat that can conjure your greatest wishes or darkest fears. As the series goes on they learn more about the portal and the portal’s powers. I imagine the group sharing a meal for Samhain on the houseboat, they’ve had a tough time with Halloweens, so I imagine they’d keep things quiet maybe some smores.

The Darkdeep by [Ally Condie, Brendan Reichs]

Amazon:The Darkdeep

4) Before I Let Go-Marie Najkamp

Since the book itself follows Kyra’s suicide, and the town’s frightening attempt to hunt Corey down because she comes looking for knowledge about her friend. I imagine in the future on Samhain she puts up some kind of ofrenda for Kyra to celebrate her life.

Before I Let Go by [Marieke Nijkamp]

Amazon: Before I Let Go

5)The Nightmare Thief

I imagine now that Hallie is awake the Dream Shop is somewhat back to normal. I think Maren has learned her lesson about making nightmares after her adventure with Obscura. I think she and Gran Gran now make only slightly spooky dreams for Samhain and keep it mostly cute. I think she, her parents, Hallie and Gran Gran and maybe Henri are having a dinner at one of the fun magical bake shops of Rockpool Bay.

Amazon: The Nightmare Thief

6) Even If We Break

Five go into a cabin in the woods but who comes out alive? Part RPG mystery part locked room mystery part simply awesome Even If We Break set my standard now for who survives the horror movies. I don’t want to give who survives away. (IT’S TOO GOOD A TWIST). But I imagine they are living out their post high school dreams. I can see them as the type to dress up and give out candy to the little ones and do a display on their apartment door.

Amazon: Even If We Break

7) Willa of Dark Hollow

Willa wouldn’t really celebrate Samhain but she would respect the turning of seasons and like the idea of humans observing and respecting nature. Since she already does that all the time anyway.

Amazon: Willa of Dark Hollow

8) The Companion

Margot and Agatha totally celebrate Samhain and are busy making protection charms just in case Laura ever gets released from the state facility. Margot also has an ofrenda to her family.

The Companion by [Katie Alender]

Amazon: The Companion

9)Dark Waters

This is just the latest outing in the Small Spaces Quartet. I can see each character having different feelings about Samhain, I can see Ollie starting off as suspicious because of everything she’s been through with the Smiling Man. I can see Coco jumping right in because she’s smart but has a gut for what good or bad when it comes to spooky. I can also see Brian being weary because of his Smiling Man experiences but eventually having a good time and the three of them and their parents all having a Samhain dinner at the Egg.

Dark Waters (Small Spaces Quartet Book 3) by [Katherine Arden]

Amazon: Dark Waters

10) Ghost Girl

Since Zee is totally a young witch I can totally see her in a crystal shop on Samhain then hanging out with Elijah, and Nellie and her father and sister over some sort of meal and maybe sharing one of her ghost stories.

Amazon: Ghost Girl

11) What Lives In The Woods

After the summer she had in the woods of Michigan, I can see Ginny spend Samhain maybe helping her mom bake a cake to celebrate Samhain, and remembering one spirit in particular. I can see her trying to solve another mystery and maybe helping the dead.

Amazon: What Lives In the Woods

Posted in Reviews

A Kind of Spark

I read this for the Halloweenathon challenge while at first I didn’t think it have anything to do with Halloween it had a real spark of the holiday in there. It also has a OwnVoice neurodivergent protagonist whom I found very engaging so I present to you.

A Kind of Spark

A Kind of Spark tells the story of 11-year-old autistic Addie as she campaigns for a memorial in memory of the witch trials that took place in her Scottish hometown. Addie feels a deep bond with this witches and they become one of her special interest. She knows how easily people can turn on you when you are different and expect these women were just scared and different women, who were a lot like her. Addie is willing to challenge some of the social issues autism presents if she can get this memorial made, for example she has to speak in front of the town council multiple times. Something that would be difficult for anyone. She also has to change how they see her, as more than just a disabled girl who can’t do anything? A story about friendship, courage and self-belief, perfect for fans of The Goldfish Boy


What did I not like about this book? Umm nothing. It features one of the most realistic (perhaps because it is written by a wonderful #OwnVoices author) stories of a middle grade autistic girl that I’ve seen. They even got the language right. Addie becomes better about being her own advocate throughout the book. She is also good at a key point to draw historical parallels of her condition and the so called witches to help convince the town of something. I love the book showing her special interests, her need to stim, her getting overwhelmed, masking and especially her relationship with her sister Keedie who is also autistic. Her friend Audrey who asks about her special intrests is also a highlight. As is the portrayal of autistic burnout. Overall a standout book about autism and witchcraft, perfect for Halloween.

Amazon: A Kind of Spark