Hello everyone and welcome back to another themed Thursday, where I share book recommendations based on a theme or concept. If there is some thing you would love for me to cover, let me know!
Today I am kicking off my three post series featuring Sarah Glenn Marsh with readalikes for her newest release: The Girls A re Never Gone. It’s a solid ghost story set beside a lake and full of bi energy.
Bag of Bones by Stephen KingBag of Bones by Stephen King
Published by Simon & Schuster Inc on June 22, 1999
Four years after the sudden death of his wife, forty-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan is still grieving. Unable to write, and plagued by vivid nightmares set at the western Maine summerhouse he calls Sara Laughs, Mike reluctantly returns to the lakeside getaway. There, he finds his beloved Yankee town held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, whose vindictive purpose is to take his three-year-old granddaughter, Kyra, away from her widowed young mother, Mattie. As Mike is drawn into Mattie and Kyra's struggle, as he falls in love with both of them, he is also drawn into the mystery of Sara Laughs, now the site of ghostly visitations and escalating terrors. What are the forces that have been unleashed here—and what do they want of Mike Noonan?
It is no secret that King is one of our most mesmerizing storytellers. In Bag of Bones, he proves to be one of our most moving as well.(back cover)
That Weekend by Kara ThomasThat Weekend by Kara Thomas
Published by Delacorte Press on June 29, 2021
Three best friends, a lake house, a secret trip - what could go wrong?
It was supposed to be the perfect prom weekend getaway. But it's clear something terrible happened when Claire wakes up alone and bloodied on a hiking trail with no memory of the past forty-eight hours.
Three went up the mountain, but only one came back.
Now everyone wants answers - most of all, Claire. She remembers Friday night, but after that... nothing. And now Kat and Jesse - her best friends - are missing.
That weekend changes everything.
What happened on the mountain? And where are Kat and Jesse? Claire knows the answers are buried somewhere in her memory, but as she's learning, everyone has secrets - even her best friends. And she's pretty sure she's not going to like what she remembers.
The Dark Across The Bay by Ania AhlbornDark Across The Bay by Ania Ahlborn
Published by Earhling Publications Goodreads
In the vein of John MacDonald’s Cape Fear, Ahlborn takes the classic stalker tale and updates it for the modern era.
The house sits stoic and slightly askew off the coast of Raven’s Head. Its off-kilter windows are both charming and disorienting, its walls of overstuffed bookshelves both comforting and claustrophobic. When Leo and Lark Parrish arrive at their vacation home with their parents, their mother’s idea of a quintessential Maine getaway seems like both a blessing and a curse. Lark—a novice novelist—can’t wait to find inspiration at the end of a fog-entombed pier. She’ll forgive her mother for forcing her into this non-negotiable holiday, but only if she can find her muse among a lapping, rocky shore. And while being trapped in a house with no means of escape is the last thing Leo would consider a good time—especially with parents on the precipice of divorce—he can’t help but wonder if maybe the change of scenery will help him shake off the chains of sadness brought on by the death of his closest friend.
But what starts off as a relatively benign family trip quickly turns menacing. Leo finds himself face-to-face with what feels like his best friend reaching out from beyond the grave, and only hours after they arrive, Lark begins to receive sinister texts. And then they both see it: someone lurking in the shadows of their rental home. Someone who has been expecting them despite the Parrishes being a thousand miles from home.
The Invited by Jennifer McMahonThe Invited by Jennifer McMahon
Published by Doubleday on April 30, 2019
A chilling ghost story with a twist: the
New York Times
bestselling author of
The Winter People
returns to the woods of Vermont to tell the story of a husband and wife who don't simply move into a haunted house--they build one . . .
In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate have abandoned the comforts of suburbia to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams.
When they discover that this beautiful property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the local legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago.
With her passion for artifacts, Helen finds special materials to incorporate into the house--a beam from an old schoolroom, bricks from a mill, a mantel from a farmhouse--objects that draw her deeper into the story of Hattie and her descendants, three generations of Breckenridge women, each of whom died suspiciously.
As the building project progresses, the house will become a place of menace and unfinished business: a new home, now haunted, that beckons its owners and their neighbors toward unimaginable danger.
The Graveyard Apartment by Mariko KoikeThe Graveyard Apartment by Mariko Koike, Deborah Boliver Boehm
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on October 11, 2016
A terrifying tale of a young family who move into an apartment building next to a graveyard and the horrors that are unleashed upon them.
One of the most popular writers working in Japan today, Mariko Koike is a recognized master of detective fiction and horror writing. Known in particular for her hybrid works that blend these styles with elements of romance, The Graveyard Apartment is arguably Koike’s masterpiece. Originally published in Japan in 1986, Koike’s novel is the suspenseful tale of a young family that believes it has found the perfect home to grow in to, only to realize that the apartment’s idyllic setting harbors the specter of evil and that longer they stay, the more trapped they become.
This tale of a young married couple who are harboring a dark secret is packed with dread and terror, as they and their daughter move into a brand new apartment building built next to a graveyard. As strange and terrifying occurrences begin to pile up, people in the building begin to move out one by one, until the young family is left alone with someone... or something... lurking in the basement. The psychological horror builds moment after moment, scene after scene, culminating with a conclusion that will make you think twice before ever going into a basement again.
Kill Creek by Scott ThomasKill Creek by Scott Thomas
Published by Inkshares on October 31, 2017
At the end of a dark prairie road, nearly forgotten in the Kansas countryside, is the Finch House. For years it has remained empty, overgrown, abandoned. Soon the door will be opened for the first time in decades. But something is waiting, lurking in the shadows, anxious to meet its new guests…
When best-selling horror author Sam McGarver is invited to spend Halloween night in one of the country’s most infamous haunted houses, he reluctantly agrees. At least he won’t be alone; joining him are three other masters of the macabre, writers who have helped shape modern horror. But what begins as a simple publicity stunt will become a fight for survival. The entity they have awakened will follow them, torment them, threatening to make them a part of the bloody legacy of Kill Creek.
Wonderland by Zoje StageWonderland by Zoje Stage
on July 14, 2020
If Shirley Jackson wrote The Shining, it might look like this deliciously unsettling horror novel from the acclaimed author of Baby Teeth.
A mother must protect her family from the unnatural forces threatening their new and improved life in a rural farmhouse.
The Bennett family - artist parents and two precocious children - are leaving their familiar urban surroundings for a new home in far upstate New York. They're an hour from the nearest city, a mile from the nearest house, and everyone has their own room for the very first time. Shaw, the father, even gets his own painting studio, now that he and his wife Orla, a retired dancer, have agreed that it's his turn to pursue his passion.
But none of the Bennetts expect what lies waiting in the lovely woods, where secrets run dark and deep. Orla must finally find a way to communicate with - not just resist - this unknown entity that is coming to her family, calling to them from the land, in the earth, beneath the trees... and in their minds.
Ghost Wood Song by Erica WatersGhost Wood Song by Erica Waters
on July 14, 2020
Sawkill Girls meets Beautiful Creatures in this lush and eerie debut, where the boundary between reality and nightmares is as thin as the veil between the living and the dead.
If I could have a fiddle made of Daddy’s bones, I’d play it. I’d learn all the secrets he kept.
Shady Grove inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle, but she also knows the fiddle’s tunes bring nothing but trouble and darkness.
But when her brother is accused of murder, she can’t let the dead keep their secrets.
In order to clear his name, she’s going to have to make those ghosts sing.
Family secrets, a gorgeously resonant LGBTQ love triangle, and just the right amount of creepiness make this young adult debut a haunting and hopeful story about facing everything that haunts us in the dark.
Autoboyography by Christina LaurenAutoboyography by Christina Lauren
on September 12, 2017
Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.
But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.
It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.
One Last Stop by Casey McQuistonOne Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on June 1, 2021
From the New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue comes a new romantic comedy that will stop readers in their tracks...
For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.
But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.
Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.
Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.
What About You?
Have you read any of the books? What are some of your favorite books that fit the chosen theme? Let me know in the comments!