If you’ve been on social for say the past week or so, you’ve probably heard some version of Kate Bush’s masterpiece, Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God). It’s been popping off due to Stranger Things – it’s featured heavily in the show and is, in fact, a certified bop. I’m so happy this song is getting new life! Kate Bush is an icon and a legend and more than deserves it. I have fond memories of blasting this song out in my car on the drive to school, and scream-singing along! The haunting lyrics, that 80’s pop synth, the drums… simply perfection! And now I am gladly taking this excuse to give you my list of books with big Running Up That Hill Energy. Will these books save you from Vecna? I don’t know. Will they give you that perfect blend of sad girl energy with dance-worthy plot? You bet your sweet butt they will!
I like to say that That Dark Infinity is like if The Last Unicorn and The Witcher had a baby. The Ankou is an immortal, socially awkward monster hunter who is cursed to live by night and turn to bones at daylight. Flora is handmaiden to the princess of Kaer-Ise and the sole survivor of the sacking of her island kingdom – save for rumors that the royal family may have escaped. The two team up, the Ankou agreeing to help find the missing princess if Flora agrees to help break his curse. If you love old-school adventure fantasy that was oh-so-big in the 80’s ala The NeverEnding Story and The Dark Crystal, you need to check this one out!
We love an angry sad-girl and we love them even more when they choose revenge! Magpie Lewis’s life is falling apart, and the day it all starts to crumble is the day she begins writing about a fantasy town called Near. It’s the perfect place, a place where Magpie’s life never imploded, and she writes it so vividly and completely that a doorway to it materialized right in her backyard. It’s a place she can have everything she ever wanted – even revenge. If you love morally gray heroines and stories where you’re not sure what’s real or what’s in the main character’s head, you’ll adore You Must Not Miss!
No one does vampires quite like Holly Black! Tana lives in a world where vampires are very real. Quarantined within walled cities called Coldtowns, the vampires and the humans around them pursue decadence and their darkest desires – and live-stream them for the whole world to watch. The only catch? Once you walk through the gates of Coldtown, there’s no going back. One morning after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up to carnage. The only survivors are herself, her infuriatingly endearing ex-boyfriend infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy with a dark secret. To save herself, she will have to race against the clock and venture into the dark heart of Coldtown itself.
Lyrical and mysteriously magical, this book is a retelling of the myth of Chang’e and Houyi, and combines Emily X.R. Pan’s signature poetic prose with a Romeo-and-Juliette tale for the ages! Hunter Yee has perfect aim with a bow, but everything else in his life is veering off course. Luna Chang feels unmoored by her parents’ expectations. When the two meet, it’s like magic – like fate. Caught between their growing attraction, their families’ enmity and secrets, and the strange occurrences that keep surrounding them, Hunter and Luna must figure out who they’re meant to become and what fate intends for them before everything unravels. If you love a good star-crossed love story that will make you weep, this one is for you!
Small town secrets, the blurring of fiction and reality, and a murder… what more could you want? Celeste is the new girl in this remote Montanta town. Vivvy is heir to the town’s name and a social pariah. Inspired by a passion-fueled incident at school, Celeste and Vivvy begin writing a fan-fiction about golden-boy Joss and the school stoner. While Celeste uses the stories they write to feel safe in fantasy, Vivvy keeps pushing to make fiction a reality. Until, after a drunken night, Joss winds up dead and Celeste can remember kissing him… but not much else. Could she have delivered the killing blow? Or does her new friend Vivvy have more to hide? Oscillating between before the murder and after, this book keeps you on your toes trying to find out if Celeste is lying or everyone else is. This book has big Twin Peaks energy, so if you love an unreliable narrator and impeccably unsettling atmosphere, this one is for you!
Haunting and dark, this glorious Welsh-inspired fantasy is wonderfully moody! Part heist, part romance, and entirely magical, this book follows Mer, the last living water diviner. Once bound to a prince and used as a tool of war, Mer has been on the run. Until a figure from her past approaches her with a proposition – use her powers to take down the prince that abused them both. She and a motley crew of misfits, including a fey-cursed boy, will have to steal the cache of magic that keeps the prince’s lands safe. This dark fairy tale is set in the same world as The Bone Houses, so if you loved that one you’re sure to adore this one! But don’t worry, if you haven’t had the chance to read The Bone Houses you can start with The Drowned Woods.
Silence of the Lambs fans, rejoice! We’ve got your next read! In 1982, two teens – serial-killer survivor Emma Lewis and US Marshall candidate Travis Bell – are recruited by the FBI to interview convicted juvenile killers in the hopes their insights can help solve future cases. But when a serial killer who exclusively hunts teenagers surfaces, things begin to unravel. The team turns to one of the country’s most notorious incarcerated murderers for help: teenage sociopath Simon Gutmunsson. Simon is an expert manipulator with his sights set on Emma while the active killer is still out there and getting closer. Harrowing and chilling, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final page as it explores the fear instilled by the monsters that live among us... and the monsters that live inside us.