I met Jennifer on Twitter. Jennifer is a Web Developer and a dedicated library patron. She also runs a fantastic book review blog, Book Den
Below Jennifer adds her contribution to my ongoing “Why I Love Horror” series with an annotated list of some of her favorites.
Why I Love Horror by Jennifer
As a young girl, it was easy for me to fall in love with horror. My mom and my grandmother were (and still are!) big readers of horror. I grew up surrounded by book shelves filled with horror books, and I had no restrictions on what I was allowed to read. I read Stephen King and Dean Koontz long before reading Lois Duncan and Christopher Pike.
My mom was also an English teacher so there was a solid mix of horror and classic literature in our house. It's no surprise that my favorite book of all time is the perfect pairing between American literature and coming of age horror: Boy's Life by Robert McCammon.
My exposure to horror helped shape me as a reader, but "why" I love horror so much is harder to explain. I enjoy the adrenaline rush of a really suspenseful story, and I think being afraid and having someone to root for elevates the reading experience. My favorite elements in every fiction book that I read are imagination and suspense. Horror is a natural fit.
Some of the horror titles that I would highly recommend are:
Southern Gods by John Hornor Jacobs - Southern Gods is a fantastic novel that starts out Southern Gothic and ends up Lovecraftian horror. I highly recommend it for fans of Lovecraft, but it's such a well developed horror story, I would recommend it to any horror fan who's simply looking for something new.
In the Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson - I am unapologetic in recommending this book every chance I get. In the Valley of the Sun is a perfect novel for horror readers like me who love a mix of literature and horror. It's also a great pick for horror readers who love crime novels.
Slade House by David Mitchell - Slade House is another horror novel I would recommend for horror fans who are looking for something new. It's a haunted house story, but it's unlike any other haunted house story I've read.
Seed by Ania Ahlborn - Seed is the perfect book for October horror readers who want that one scary story just in time for Halloween. It has plenty of traditional creeps and scares, but it also has an ending that will pack a memorable punch for their holiday.
The Five by Robert McCammon - I mentioned Robert McCammon earlier when I said Boy's Life is my favorite book of all time. Despite the fact that McCammon is well known within the horror community, The Five still seems to be one of his hidden gems. It's a beautiful book about the power of music.
The Secret Life of Souls by Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee - The Secret Life of Souls is a great read for horror fans who love psychological suspense. It has the added bonus of being a genre book that revolves around a dog.
The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett - The Last Harvest would be my pick for readers who enjoy young adult horror. It contains some of the best straight up horror I've come across in YA. Rosemary's Baby meets Friday Night Lights is an accurate description.
Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace - Shallow Graves is another YA horror book that I really enjoyed. The main character wakes up in a shallow grave after having been murdered. The voice in this novel is really great, and the creepy factor is high.