21 must-read books that will give you chills & thrills

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A mix of old and new, these are 21 books I’ve loved and highly recommend for this spooktacular time of year!

Series Starters

Standalones

Please note that Find Her by Lisa Gardner is a part of a series, but can be read as a standalone thriller.

book recs by category

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13 Must-Listen Audible Books

MUST LISTEN AUDIBLE

I love my Audible books. I am always listening to a book at the same time I’m reading another, always. I listen when I run, I listen in the car, I listen when I’m getting ready. And because many people know I’m an Audible junkie, I often get asked for recommendations. So here’s a list of just some of the ones I’ve loved—great stories which come alive through expert narration. I know I have more to uncover and there are definitely more I can recommend, but for now, check these out…

For the suspense reader ✦

Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith; narrated by Robert Glenister

For the women’s fiction reader ✦

Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty; narrated by Caroline Lee

For the fiction reader 

The Martian by Andy Weir; narrated by R.C. Bray

✦ For the historical reader 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah; narrated by Polly Stone

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly; narrated by Emily Janice Card and Emma Bering

For the romance reader 

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover; narrated by Zachary Webber and Angela Goethals

After I Do and Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid; narrated by Tara Sands

For the YA contemporary reader 

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson; narrated by Julia Whelan

For the paranormal romance reader ✦

Embrace series by Jessica Shirvington; narrated by Rebecca Macauley

Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward; narrated by Jim Frangione

All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness; narrated by Jennifer Ikeda

The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley  Cole; narrated by Emma Galvin and Keith Nobbs

For the fantasy reader 

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson; narrated by Jennifer Ikeda

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas; narrated by Jennifer Ikeda

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer; narrated by Rebecca Soler

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My 30 Most Anticipated Early 2016 Releases

MOST ANTICIPATED BANNER

2016 is going to be EPIC!!!!!

I don’t know how I’ll be able to read everything I WANT to read! I’ve got most of my reading list done through April, and even then, I know ever-enticing books will be popping up, throwing a wrench into my best-laid plans. I wanted to get you guys as excited as I am with my most anticipated list of early 2016. Some I’ve already read, loved and obsessed over (which means I can’t wait until you read them too), and the rest I plan to read as soon as I can!

For more awesome 2016 releases, click here.

7 YA Book Trends in 2016

ya book trends

2016 is an exciting year! 

There’s a lot of goodness coming from YA as a category and I’ve been keeping careful watch of what’s doing well and what’s coming up. After running my ideas with publishers and talking with authors and readers, I’ve compiled a list of 7 book trends to get excited about!

First, a couple over-arching trends worth noting…

  • Historicals of all types—Historical fantasies, historical suspense and mysteries, twists on historicals, as well as straight-up historicals will be big next year. I also see this trend play into the time travel theme mentioned below.
  • Fantasies attract new readers—There are lots of great fantasies coming next year and I’ve been seeing an influx of new readers giving the genre a try, especially romance readers who are loving the romantic component in these fantastical stories. Some exciting titles include: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, The Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard,  The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine, Riders by Veronica Rossi, Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson, A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, and A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir.

Time Travel

Move over Marty McFly, we’ll be seeing characters with super special abilities bend and travel through time, experiencing new dimensions while on epic, heart-pounding adventures.

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Fairy Tale Inspired

This past year was definitely one where some of our beloved fairy tales were given new life with exciting flips and twists. It was thrilling to see how authors redefined well-known stories, making them feel new again. The trend continues with some much-anticipated sequels and new titles!

*Note Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi is a middle grade, but I’m betting a lot of loyal YA readers will be picking up the book nonetheless.

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Classics Redux

An extension of both retellings and historicals, there’s a trend of reawakening time-tested classics and giving them a whole new twist.

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Royal Fantasies

Royal intrigue, political machinations, power, romance, secrets, lies… we can’t get enough, and lucky for us, we’ll have lots of awesome books to keep us reading.

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Gritty Contemporaries

Stories that deal with real-world problems, tough situations. Yes, I’m talking morally complex and challenging stories. YA is already great at coming up with stories that will grip us, and we’ll see more books broaching these topics next year.

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Suspense and Mysteries

Suspense stories continue to gain momentum with some exciting, sleuthing, pulse-pounding titles hitting shelves.

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Historicals

Drawing on historical events and unfurling in fascinating time periods, we’ll see some gripping stories that are sure to leave a mark.

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