It’s Valentine’s Day!
Today is Valentine’s Day, and while other people are getting mushy-gushy by talking about books they love or listing the reasons why they love books or their favorite ships in books, I shall stand out by talking about thriller and horror books I’ve fallen in love with, and you really must read immediately.
Because I like to think of myself as a lover and expert of the genre, I thought the best way to express that love was to recommend some books. This is my Valentine’s Day, people
I shall never stick to the status quo.
1.) pressure by jeff strand
THIS BOOK. I absolutely love this book so much. And it seems like no one else has read this one. I’m offended.
Basically, this is a book that travels through the past and the present to talk about the life of a man who is constantly haunted by a murderer. He seems to be just a creepy little kid, but once they become adults, it’s clear that it wasn’t just a fluke, and it turns into a cat-and-mouse thriller. This was absolutely addicting and thrilling and took me for a wild ride.
Clearly, all that I want in a book.
2.) the trap by melanie raabe
I physically could not put this book down. Okay, I was reading it on my phone, BUT YOU GET WHAT I MEAN.
Basically, an author who has stayed inside her home for years after witnessing the murder of her sister ends up spotting the face of her murderer on television and creates a plan to lure him to her house and prove he did it. And that’s all I tell you, because everything that happens after the fact is basically a spoiler. JUST READ THE DAMN BOOK.
3.) the magpies by mark edwards
Okay, so in general, I HIGHLY recommend Mark Edwards’ books. They are all fantastic and have the craziest plot twists of ever.
But, I think this is one of my favorite books of his, so I chose this one to spotlight! I’m a fan of the “terrible neighbors” trope in thrillers, but I feel like this one was popular for, like, five seconds, and then domestic thrillers about marriages and twisted friendships ended up taking over. It’s a one hundred percent guarantee that this book will make you super angry, but you also won’t be able to stop turning pages.
(Or maybe that was just me. Who knows?)
4.) reconstructing amelia
As soon as I read the premise for this one, I knew I was hooked – a mother gets a call that her daughter killed herself by jumping off the top of the school building but doesn’t know why? I AM SOLD.
But who knew how much this book was going to HURT. We get to the see the point-of-views of both her mother in the present and Amelia in the past, and, okay, I was crying a bit when I reached the end. I LOVE AMELIA SO MUCH.
And I got my mom to read this one. That’s how much I loved it.
5.) i let you go by clare mackintosh
Fun Fact: I actually almost gave up on this book. Literally all my thriller-junkie friends said it was amazing, but when I first read it, I was just not into it. I made it about one hundred pages in and decided that I’d pick it up another time because everyone loved it so much.
And, boy oh boy, I’m so glad I did. The second time around, I was just glued to the pages, and I couldn’t stop. And that plot twist? One of the best I’ve ever read. The hype is real with this one.
6.) all is not forgotten by wendy walker
Another book I almost skipped out on! This was mainly because I stumbled upon it, and all I saw were really bad reviews, so I assumed I wouldn’t like it as well. Well, Goodreads was wrong. No surprise there.
I ended up reading this from start to finish in only a couple of hours. I literally could not put this book down. I couldn’t stop flipping the pages. I just needed to reach the end. And it’s not even much of a traditional thriller; it feels more literary, but it was oh-so-good. That ending took me by surprise. I WILL SCREAM MY LOVE FOR THIS BOOK TO THE HEAVENS.
7.) the butterfly garden by dot hutchinson
This book is definitely a bit different, since it’s so dark and deals with such a tough subject of women being kidnapped by a creepy guy, but it’s SUCH a great read. I absolutely loved the main character and felt for her, not to mention I loved the undertones of sisterhood and female friendship among those who were all stuck in a really crappy situation. The way the story was told with the rescued main character telling the story of what had happened really kept me interest.
Is it a hard book to read? Definitely. But is it worth it? Oh hell yes.
8.) slasher girls & monster boys by various authors
Summer Days and Summer Nights who? My True Love Gave To Me what? This is clearly the superior YA short story anthology, and I will forever be annoyed at the fact that it seems like absolutely no one has read this gem of a book.
But, seriously. This anthology definitely has some duds in it, but a large majority of the stories hit it right out of the park. Especially Carrie Ryan’s story, which was an actual living nightmare. Just read it, please.
9.) i’m thinking of ending things by iain reid
The fact that this book is so low-rated on Goodreads is probably the biggest reason why I find the whole “I only read books that average 3.5 or above” to be stupid. There are tons of mediocre books above that rating, and tons of good books below it. And then you’re going to outright rob yourself of this genius of a book.
It’s just so incredibly smart. The entire time you read the book, you have this creeping sense of anxiety and unease about the whole thing, which is so hard to capture via writing, but Reid does so incredibly well. And the book is so short that you can’t help but turn the pages to figure out what the heck will happen and how does everything fit together and WHAT IS HAPPENING. And then you reach the end and die because it’s just so good.
I CAN’T SING MY PRAISES ABOUT THIS BOOK ENOUGH.
10.) night film by marisha pessl
I’d like to personally thank Marisha Pessl because this book is literally the reason why I love mysteries and thrillers to this day. This was the first hyped one I had ever read, and I fell in love, and now here I am, writing an entire post about it. So a genuine thanks to this book.
But Pessl’s writing is so magnificent. She’s also fantastic at creating a great atmosphere, especially with Cordova, who I actually searched up to see if he was real (he is not, unfortunately). The characters are fantastic, and I really grew to fell in love with the whole gang by the ending. And the mystery itself. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. This book has so many twists and turns and endings. And I know so many people don’t like it, but the ending is absolutely perfect for the book. GOD I LOVE IT.
11.) the troop by nick cutter
This is probably one of the grossest books I’ve ever read. BUT that’s one of the reasons why I love it so much? It’s not afraid to GO THERE, and I dig that. Not to mention that this one so addicting. I read this in a day because I can’t help myself, and I forever needed to know what terrible things were going to happen to my boys next.
AND THAT ENDING. OH BOY.
12.) dark matter by blake crouch
THIS IS ONLY ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS OF EVER, OKAY? I realized that I haven’t talked about this book in over a year? So, I decided to fix that.
Once again, this is another one of the few books that ended up being a romance disguised as a sci-fi thriller, but I didn’t even care? The romance was so freaking beautiful. The sci-fi was so well done and kept my interest. I wanted to cry buckets at the ending. Just go into this book blind; it’s actually the best.
13.) into the darkest corner by elizabeth haynes
Holy crap, what a roller coaster. This book juggles between the past – where a woman is caught up in an abusive relationship – and the present – where a woman finds out her abusive partner is out of jail and thinks he’s tracked her down.
It is so freaking good. The flashbacks are absolutely chilling, and there was one scene in particular that I thought was so clever; I can’t even. And it was such a compelling read; I literally read this entire 800 page e-book in one day. COMMITMENT.
do you like thriller and horror novels? what are some of your favorites? do we share any of the same ones? do you have any recommendations for me?