With 90s retro trends growing stronger every day, it's no wonder that the Netflix adaptation of R. L. Stine's Fear Street series has generated a ton of buzz. The first book in the series, The New Girl, was published in 1989 and the campy horror books have been considered classics ever since. Horror novels are having a moment again in 2021, so enjoy some of the best new nightmare-inducing books for teens.
If you like the different time periods of the Fear Street movies, check out The Perfect Place To Die. Set in Chicago during the Columbian Exposition of 1893, this historical novel shows how America's first well-known serial killer, H. H. Holmes, preyed on the young women who worked as maids in his creepy hotel, which was nicknamed The Castle. Etta takes a job at the hotel to unravel the mystery of what happened to her sister Ruby and uncovers some very gruesome secrets. Fun fact: Did you know that the site of Holmes' hotel is now the Englewood post office?
Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's classic story "The Cask of Amontillado," The Initial Insult also features all the blood and gore. Tress' parents went missing one night when they were driving her best friend Felicity home, and Tress is convinced that Felicity knows the truth about what happened. When Felicity continues to deny that she remembers anything about that fateful night, Tress decides to trap her former friend in a wall of bricks in the basement of an abandoned house. Yikes.
While most of these stories have featured white teens, we're finally seeing more diversity in the YA horror genre. In The Taking Of Jake Livingston, Jake is a medium who's trying to deal with racism at mostly-white St. Clair Prep while crushing on new kid Allister. When Sawyer, a school shooter who killed himself after his crime, tries to possess Jake's body so he can murder other people, Jake's life gets even more complicated.
What horror novel will you pick up this summer?