Thursday, February 24, 2022

YA/MG Horror Spotlight February 2022

The Ladies of Horror Fiction team is putting a spotlight on Young Adult and Middle Grade horror each month. Below we are featuring the books that were released in February as well as what our team has been reading and reviewing.

Young Adult New Releases

Horror Hotel by Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren

This addictive YA horror about a group of teen ghost hunters who spend the night in a haunted LA hotel is The Blair Witch Project for the TikTok generation.

When the YouTube-famous Ghost Gang—Chrissy, Chase, Emma, and Kiki—visit a haunted LA hotel notorious for tragedy to secretly film after dark, they expect it to be just like their previous paranormal huntings. Spooky enough to attract subscribers—and ultimately harmless.

But when they stumble upon something unexpected in the former room of a gruesome serial killer, they quickly realize that they’re in over their heads.

Sometimes, it’s the dead who need our help—and the living we should fear.

Underlined is a line of totally addictive romance, thriller, and horror paperback original titles coming to you fast and furious each month. Enjoy everything you want to read the way you want to read it.

Expected publication February 1st 2022 by Underlined Goodreads | Bookshop

These Deadly Games by Diana Urban

Let’s play a game.

You have 24 hours to win. If you break my rules, she dies. If you call the police, she dies. If you tell your parents or anyone else, she dies.

Are you ready?

When Crystal Donavan gets a message on a mysterious app with a video of her little sister gagged and bound, she agrees to play the kidnapper’s game. At first, they make her complete bizarre tasks: steal a test and stuff it in a locker, bake brownies, make a prank call.

But then Crystal realizes each task is meant to hurt—and kill—her friends, one by one. But if she refuses to play, the kidnapper will kill her sister. Is someone trying to take her team out of the running for a gaming tournament? Or have they uncovered a secret from their past, and wants them to pay for what they did…

As Crystal makes the impossible choices between her friends and her sister, she must uncover the truth and find a way to outplay the kidnapper… before it’s too late.

Author of All Your Twisted Secrets, Diana Urban’s explosive sophomore novel, These Deadly Games, will keep you riveted until the final twist is revealed.

Expected publication February 1st 2022 by Wednesday Books Goodreads | Bookshop

Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams

As infants, twin sisters Charlie Yates and Magnolia Heathwood were secretly separated after the brutal lynching of their parents, who died for loving across the color line. Now, at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, Charlie is a young Black organizer in Harlem, while white-passing Magnolia is the heiress to a cotton plantation in rural Georgia.

Magnolia knows nothing of her racial heritage, but secrets are hard to keep in a town haunted by the ghosts of its slave-holding past. When Magnolia finally learns the truth, her reflection mysteriously disappears from mirrors—the sign of a terrible curse. Meanwhile, in Harlem, Charlie’s beloved grandmother falls ill. Her final wish is to be buried back home in Georgia—and, unbeknownst to Charlie, to see her long-lost granddaughter, Magnolia Heathwood, one last time. So Charlie travels into the Deep South, confronting the land of her worst nightmares—and Jim Crow segregation.

The sisters reunite as teenagers in the deeply haunted town of Eureka, Georgia, where ghosts linger centuries after their time and dangers lurk behind every mirror. They couldn’t be more different, but they will need each other to put the hauntings of the past to rest, to break the mirrors’ deadly curse—and to discover the meaning of sisterhood in a racially divided land.

Expected publication: February 8th 2022 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Goodreads | Bookshop

Extasia by Claire Legrand

**One of BuzzFeed’s Great LGBTQ+ YA novels to Warm up Your Winter**

From New York Times bestselling author Claire Legrand comes a new, bone-chilling YA horror novel about a girl who joins a coven to root out a vicious evil that’s stalking her village. Perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Grace Year.

Her name is unimportant.

All you must know is that today she will become one of the four saints of Haven. The elders will mark her and place the red hood on her head. With her sisters, she will stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountain–an evil which has already killed nine of her village’s men.

She will tell no one of the white-eyed beasts that follow her. Or the faceless gray women tall as houses. Or the girls she saw kissing in the elm grove.

Today she will be a saint of Haven. She will rid her family of her mother’s shame at last and save her people from destruction. She is not afraid. Are you?

This searing and lyrically written novel by the critically acclaimed author of Sawkill Girls beckons readers to follow its fierce heroine into a world filled with secrets and blood–where the truth is buried in lies and a devastating power waits, seething, for someone brave enough to use it.

Expected publication: February 22nd 2022 by Katherine Tegen Books Goodreads | Bookshop

Only a Monster by Vanessa Len

With the sweeping romance of Passenger and the dark fantasy edge of This Savage Song, this standout YA contemporary fantasy debut from Vanessa Len, is the first in a planned trilogy.

It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother’s eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place.

But she soon learns the truth. Her family aren’t just eccentric: they’re monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And Nick isn’t just a cute boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to bring them down.

As she battles Nick, Joan is forced to work with the beautiful and ruthless Aaron Oliver, heir to a monster family that hates her own. She’ll have to embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself, and her family. Because in this story . . .

. . . she is not the hero.

Expected publication: February 22nd 2022 by HarperTeen Goodreads | Bookshop

Middle Grade New Releases

The Keeper by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

The Keeper by Guadalupe García McCall 

Inspired by the true story of the “Westfield Watcher.”

The first letter turns up on his desk. The second is stuck between the spokes of his bike. The third flies through the kitchen window.

And they are all addressed to James from someone called the Keeper.

Moving from Texas to Oregon was a bad idea. No sooner have James and his family arrived in their “perfect” new town than he starts getting mysterious and sinister letters from someone called the Keeper. Someone who claims to be watching him. Someone who is looking for “young blood.” James and his sister, Ava, are obviously in danger. But the problem with making a fuss about moving and having a history of playing practical jokes is that no one believes James—not even his parents.

Now James and Ava need to figure out who is sending the letters before they become the next victims in their neighborhood’s long history of missing children. Because one thing is clear: uncovering the truth about the Keeper is the only thing that will keep them alive.

Expected publication: February 8th 2022 by HarperCollins Goodreads | Bookshop

Young Adult Books Reviewed

This month Cassie read and reviewed I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter. Don’t miss her review of I Stop Somewhere (“The social commentary regarding how our society deals with the horrors girls and women encounter every day is a difficult subject to approach in young adult fiction, but it’s so, so important to have these kinds of stories to let girls know that they aren’t alone.”) We recommend checking content warnings.

Kathy read and reviewed Small Favors by Erin A. Craig. Be sure to check out her review of Small Favors (“I loved Erin A. Craig’s Small Favors with its depiction of the small-town community of Amity Falls when life was simple – that is, until the monsters came to town.”)


Jen is one of our LOHF admins. Jen manages the technical side of the Ladies of Horror Fiction website. She also keeps a spotlight on middle grade and young adult horror each month.

You can also find Jen on her blog Book Den, Twitter as @bookden, Instagram as @bookdenjen, on Goodreads, and Letterboxd.

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