New Year, New Genre: Horror

As the new year approaches, many of us will be thinking about resolutions. I like to incorporate reading into mine, and a great way to do that is to try reading something different. If you’re looking to expand your reading horizons, you should check out the horror genre. There are plenty of different styles of horror and one is bound to turn you into a fan.

If some late-80s horror that’s not overly scary sounds up your alley, try Fear Street. This volume is a re-release of four classic Fear Street books from everyone’s favorite elementary school horror author, R. L. Stine (he also wrote Goosebumps). It's scarier than Goosebumps but not overwhelming, making it a good way to dip your toes into the genre. The four stories include a mysterious girl love interest whose family claims has been missing, threats of murder if a party isn’t canceled, an overnight trip in the woods gone wrong and a case of missing parents.

If monsters are more your thing, check out the scary, fun Squad graphic novel. Becca has always had a tough time fitting in, so when she gets the chance to befriend the popular girls at her new high school, she’s all for it. But she soon discovers that the girls are actually a pack of werewolves who feast once a month on boys who make unwanted sexual advances toward them. Becca jumps at the chance to join their feminist pack and become a werewolf, but things get more and more complicated as they feast.

For horror steeped in Welsh folklore and a medieval-ish setting, try The Bone Houses. Ryn and her siblings are orphans, so she takes up her father’s work as a gravedigger and tries to save their family’s home. Ryn knows all about the bone houses - animated corpses that come alive at night in the forest - but they begin to venture into the village and attack more violently. When Ellis, a mapmaker, comes to town in search of his parents, he and Ryn team up to travel the woods and solve their mysteries. Plus, there’s a benevolent bone goat friend! Come on!

Finally, The Spirit Bares Its Teeth is must-read for something truly dark, frightening and unlike anything else. Silas is an autistic trans boy who is seen as a violet-eyed woman by society. This means his life is doomed to being a mother to violet-eyed sons that are allowed to communicate with the dead (which violet-eyed women can also do, but its forbidden). Silas would rather rip out his insides than do this, so he skirts an arranged marriage and is sent to a "finishing school" for women. This place does horrible things to people who don't conform and the ghosts of the students that were killed start reaching out to Silas for help, who also must save himself.

Are you up for a genre-bending adventure this new year, whether it's horror or something entirely different? Share your reading resolution with us down in the comments!