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Terrifying Tuesday with Teen Read Week.

I hope you aren’t too scared from yesterday, because the frights are only beginning.  Today we offer a tantalizing taste of terror with these following book suggestions:

Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier.

In this offbeat anthology, editors Black and Larbalestier embark upon a literary throw-down to determine which is superior: zombies or unicorns. To that end, each assembled a six-person team of writers and set them loose. Each story is prefaced by editorial banter as each editor (hilariously) makes her case. Highlights include Diana Peterfreund’s Rampant tie-in, “The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn”; Libba Bray’s postapocalyptic tale of teens trying to maintain a semblance of civilization in “Prom Night”; and Maureen Johnson’s pointed take on celebrity fads in “The Children of the Revolution.” Meg Cabot’s “Princess Prettypants” skewers the image of unicorns as sparkling, rainbow-farting “symbols of pure happiness, hope, and awesomesauce,” while Carrie Ryan’s “Bougainvillea” acts as a prologue to The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Scott Westerfeld’s “Inoculata” examines what happens when the zombie hordes finally win, while the zombie in Alaya Dawn Johnson’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” isn’t nearly as far gone. Without a clunker in the bunch, this anthology more than lives up to the potential its concept suggests. Zombies or unicorns?

 

The Diviners by Libba Bray.

Evie O’Neill has a neat-o party trick: she can uncover details about people by holding any object that belongs to them. After one too many tumblers of gin, she uses this skill to out the sexual misadventures of a prominent bachelor in her Ohio hometown, earning her immediate exile to Jazz Age New York City, where her professorial uncle runs a museum devoted to the occult. Naturally, Evie considers this punishment the luckiest break possible, until she realizes she’s arrived just as a demon spirit has been inadvertently released. A spree of grisly murders ensues, eventually necessitating the use of Evie’s special skill. Evie is fighting personal demons, as well, including the ghost of her dead older brother and a penchant for alcohol that gets her into continual trouble. Bray empties a wealth of topics into her complicated narrative-labor reform, a steampunkish robotics experiment, flapper culture, religious zealotry-but her trademark humor is less apparent. The large cast-a pickpocket with a missing mother, a Ziegfeld girl with Hollywood dreams, a Harlem numbers runner who longs to be a poet-ensures there’s plenty to write about in the sequels.

Things That go Bump in the Night by Patrick Carman.

In this chilling new series, 3:15 is a “place where spooky stories find a home.” Readers will experience 10 terrifying tales in three parts: a fearsome audio introduction, several pages of spooky text, and a spine-chilling video conclusion accessible online or through a free downloadable mobile app-all in 15 minutes or less. Each story contains a cliff-hanger that includes a password unlocking its ending. Readers meet Cody Miller, whose greediness leads to an ominous mistake involving a man with a hook as a hand; Emma Franklin, who learns that not all childhood tears are foolish; and Dylan Smith, who should know better than to show off his snowboarding skills on a haunted mountain. The other stories range from a mirror with diabolical powers to a cannibalistic teacher, horrific ghosts, deathly gargoyles, gruesome monsters with claws, and giant atomic ants. The selections are filled with light suspense, encouraging readers to watch the endings.

 

Enjoy today’s terrifying suggestions, and if you still have a pulse by tomorrow, tune in again for more halloween reads!

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