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A Book and Movie Marathon to Get You in the Halloween Spirit

by | October 19

October is such a splendid time. Fall fashion (the best fashion, in our opinion) is finally back—and we can all obsess over our favorite spooky films without someone shutting us down with, “It’s still summer!” This year, while you’re marathoning Freeform’s “31 Nights of Halloween” and “Huluween,” we challenge you to pair your favorite creepy movie with a book inspired by our guide below! 

Akata Witch

Akata Witch

by Nnedi Okorafor

Cara’s Pick

If Halloweentown is your ultimate nostalgic, Halloween-themed movie, you are going to be a bit disappointed in the number of book options to satisfy your cravings. It’s actually a pretty unique plot, and I had a hard time finding a book about a witch who goes off to another world to learn about their magical destiny from a knowledgeable source (besides Harry Potter, of course). But I think I found the perfect choice in Akata Witch, an incredible fantasy by Nnedi Okorafor. It tells the story of Sunny, an albino black girl who’s moved back to Nigeria with her family. She learns that she’s a “free agent,” a person with latent magical power who is part of the Leopard People, an ancient group of magic users. Sunny joins a group of friends who are all learning magic, and together they become embroiled in the hunt to catch a criminal who is terrorizing both our world and the magical one. Akata Witch creates the same enthralling feeling that Halloweentown does, of young witches going on a journey of discovery, and unlocking the magical potential they carry inside of them. It’s certainly what drew me in as a kid watching the movie and it still appeals to me now: that I have the ability to do anything, and I did all along. Even if I can’t really cast a spell to make it happen.

It (Media-Tie-In)

It (Media-Tie-In)

by Stephen King

Shefali’s Pick

I will admit, I was not planning to watch It the movie. I was dragged against my will (just a little bit) by my boss, Sienna, and had a scarf over my face pretty much the entire time because I 100% hate horror. That being said, it (hah!) was WAY funnier than I expected, and also more terrifying. If you’re a thrill-junkie, and love this movie—I highly suggest you check out the source material, Stephen King’s IT. For one thing, you won’t have to wait until next year to find out how it ends, and you’ll be able to visualize your own versions of Pennywise and the Losers Club. That being said, Pennywise (as played by Bill Skarsgård) will haunt me FOREVER.

via GIPHY

The Lying Game

The Lying Game

by Ruth Ware

Saimah’s Pick

Were you a fan of the 1997 hit movie, I Know What You Did Last Summer starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Freddie Prinze Jr.? I am not a fan of horror movies, but I watched many of them when I was younger. Now that I’m an adult, I’m better at saying no when my friends try to get me to watch movies that will keep me up all night. Although I don’t like seeing these horrors played out in TV/Movies—I am a huge fan of thriller books that have a whodunit element, such as a missing person or murder mystery.

In Ruth Ware’s The Lying Game, four friends also receive a mysterious note from someone who knows that the friends committed a crime and covered it up. What crime did they commit and how did this person find out about it? The girls reunite to find out who broke the rules and revealed their secret. They quickly realize that their shared past was not as safely buried as they hoped.…

The Lost Girls

The Lost Girls

by Peter Lerangis

Jess’s Pick

If you like Scream, try The Lost Girls by Peter Lerangis. Kristen, the novel’s protagonist, attends an elite Manhattan Upper East Side prep school that was home to a gruesome murder years prior. They caught the killer, but now a copycat murderer has resurfaced and a number of girls have gone missing. Peter Lerangis tackles a whodunit storyline, much like the concept of the beloved slasher franchise. Will Kristen be the thriller’s ultimate “final girl” or will she just be the killer’s latest victim?

The Wicked Deep

The Wicked Deep

by Shea Ernshaw

Heather’s Pick

Hocus Pocus has become synonymous with Halloween for good reason: The Sanderson sisters are truly ICONIC. Between their sassy quips, effortlessly cool color-coordinated dresses, and unapologetically ruthless pursuit of immortality, you can’t help but love Winifred, Mary, and Sarah. If you know exactly what I mean, you’ll also want to add The Wicked Deep to your to-be-read pile. Accurately described as Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic meets the Salem Witch trials, The Wicked Deep centers on the town of Sparrow, where for a few weeks every summer, three sisters who were sentenced to death for witchery 200 years ago return to seek revenge. How? By stealing the bodies of three girls and luring boys into the harbor to drown them. And this year, only 17-year-old local Penny and a new boy in town, Bo, have a chance at stopping them....

Americanah

Americanah

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Sienna’s First Pick

I was so scared I almost started crying the first time I saw the trailer for Get Out in the movie theater. Not only was it creepy (hello, the Sunken Place!), but it also reminded me of the first time I traveled to Wisconsin to meet my college boyfriend’s parents. I was extremely nervous that they wouldn’t accept me into their family since I am an African-American woman and I was dating their white son. Let’s just say they weren’t pretending to be neo-liberals like the parents in Get Out and were unabashed Rush Limbaugh lovers. If you’re looking for a novel that explores the complexities of interracial dating in America, then you can’t go wrong with Americanah. It follows the story of Ifemelu, a Nigerian woman, who dates both Curt, a white American, and Blaine, a black American. The novel aligns with Get Out’s powerful message that race is never really a "non-issue" in any relationship.

The Immortalists

The Immortalists

by Chloe Benjamin

Sienna’s Second Pick

When I watched The Ring in theaters, I was so visibly frightened that a stranger sitting next to me kindly offered to hold my hand. If you haven’t seen it, the film is about a cursed videotape and whoever watches it dies seven days later. If you loved The Ring, then you should definitely read The Immortalists, the amazing novel that explores an age-old question: If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life? The Immortalists follows the lives of four teenage siblings, the Golds, who have their fortunes told by a psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The narrative follows how the prophecies inform their next five decades.

In the Flesh

In the Flesh

by Clive Barker

Sienna’s Third Pick

You will NEVER catch me saying “Candy Man” five times while looking in a mirror. I’m a grown woman and yet I am still terrified that once I utter the Candy Man’s name, he will come after me with his hooked arm just like in the movie. Did you know that the film is based on the Clive Barker short story, “The Forbidden”? You can find the story in In the Flesh. In “The Forbidden,” a college student doing her thesis on graffiti discovers some disturbing ones on an abandoned building that makes references to an urban legend known as the Candy Man. The story tells what happens as the girl starts to make the connection between the legend and recent murders and mutilations.

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