Leta’s Book Lists: Cozy and Creepy Autumn Reads

            Ah, spooky season, how we love you! One of the most loved aspects of the spooky season by readers is the autumn days of chilly, rainy weather. It’s the perfect time to grab your favourite blanket and a cup of something warm (an electric blanket and some earl grey for me) and snuggle in for a relaxing day of reading. Like “beach reads” in the summer and “holiday reads” in the winter, we all need some recommendations for cozy reads during the in-between time known as October and November.

            I’ve chosen a few books or series that are perfect for days like this. Most are standalones, but I chose a duology and a trilogy as well and I’ll explain why below. Each one fits into the required cozy and creepy vibes of this recommendation post. I’ll rank their coziness and spookiness as I go so that you can pick the one for how you’re feeling today.

Starting with a standalone, Among the Beasts and Briars by Ashley Poston is a simple and delicate fairy tale all its own about a kingdom holding onto a delicate truce with the malevolent forest and the journey to fix what’s been broken. It’s aimed at the younger end of the young adult spectrum, but I enjoyed its similarity to classic fairy tales. It’s comforting and innocent, and though I wished it had more, I loved what it had. If you like Disney-esque fairy tales with furry companions, snuggle in with this quick and easy read.

            Coziness: 5/5

            Spookiness: 2.5/5

            The next two are both standalones but are by the same author and feel like two sides of the same coin. House of Salt and Sorrows and Small Favors by Erin A. Craig both bring a level of psychological horror to the mix. House of Salt and Sorrows is a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, but every moment is full of anticipation or fear as the daughters continue to meet their untimely deaths. There are a few good family moments and sisterly moments. Small Favors contains more romance and family moments than the other novel, though it doesn’t lose any bit of the fear and death. If you like one, you’ll like the other.

            Coziness: House of Salt and Sorrows 2/5            Small Favors 4/5

            Spookiness: House of Salt and Sorrows 5/5            Small Favors 5/5

            The trilogy that begins with Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins also fits on this list. The other two books, Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After, carry the same cozy, happy vibes. These books take place mostly in France at a school for American students. All three of the heroines are intertwined, so these books can be read as standalones or in any order. I technically read book one, book three, and then book two, but I didn’t think that it changed my experience. They are all about the romance and aimed towards a young YA crowd. They’re cute and so fulfilling in the end. Better than the repetition of so many romance novels.

            Coziness: 5/5

            Spookiness: 0/5

            The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw might be the only truly creepy book on this list, with the least amount of coziness. Still, I wanted to recommend it in case you’re feeling the spooky mood. In this short YA fantasy, three sisters that were sentenced to death for witchcraft two centuries ago cursed the town of Sparrow. Now they return each summer to possess three girls and lure boys to their deaths in the harbour. With a creeping, twisting pace and a surprising ending, The Wicked Deep is a quick and delicious read that will leave you with an appetite for more.

            Coziness: 0/5

            Spookiness: 5/5

            The duology I wanted to mention is a recent release: Bone Crier’s Moon and Bone Crier’s Dawn by Kathryn Purdie. These books are best read one right after the other, since the second one picks up right where the first one leaves off. These books are about Ailesse, Bastien, and Sabine. Ailesse and Sabine are Bone Criers, a family of women who drawn on the strength of animal bones to ferry the dead to their respective afterlives. Before they graduate to ferrying the dead, they must ritually murder their destined soul mate. When he was a boy, Bastien watched as a Bone Crier killed his father in this ritual and wants revenge against all Bone Criers. All of them will face tough decisions and information that change their realities. I found them to be extremely exciting, quick reads.

            Coziness: 2/5

            Spookiness: 4/5

            I couldn’t complete this list without this final book. I read it last year and fell in love with its mix of culture and spooky vibes. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Turner is a must-read for the Halloween season. Yadriel, a brujo, struggles to be accepted as a boy by his Latinx family. But when he performs the ritual that proves him to be a brujo, he accidentally summons the ghost of Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy. Together, they go on a journey to help Julian tie up loose ends and find peace. Full of romance, spooky vibes, and Latinx and trans representation, Cemetery Boys is the perfect modern ghost story.

            Coziness: 3/5

            Spookiness: 3.5/5

            Each book on this list is perfect for an afternoon or day on the couch or in your favourite chair. I found happiness and fulfilment at the end of each of these reads and I hope you do too. If you’d like more recommendations, please reach out to me below in the comments on this post, or via my Instagram, @litandleta or Facebook at Lit & Leta Blog. Thanks for reading!


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