For me, Halloween means costumes, candy, pumpkins, and — of course — The Monster Mash. There’s no other song that’s as iconic this time of year, and even though I’ve heard it a hundred times (or maybe even a thousand), it’s still insanely catchy. Plus, I love the thought of imagining an actual monster mash taking place, with all those monsters partying together into the night.
Since it’s Halloween, let’s take it one step farther and actually imagine the Monster Mash characters sharing scary stories and maybe even their favorite book recommendations. Can’t you just picture Dracula lounging around on a daybed, diving into a good book? Or Wolfman perusing his bookshelf for the perfect scary read? On that note, here are the novels I picture gracing the bookshelves of every monster in Monster Mash:
“For my monster from his slab, began to rise.”
A Taste for Monsters, Matthew J. Kirby (Scholastic Press, September 27, 2016)
Though Frankenstein’s monster isn’t mentioned directly in the song, it’s pretty clear who’s rising up from that slab. Frankenstein always makes me think of England in the 1800s, which is why I can definitely see that monster reaching for Kirby’s book about Jack the Ripper and his victims. All kinds of monsters get explored in Kirby’s creepy historical novel, from the serial killer Jack, to the ghosts of the women he murdered, to societally-perceived monsters, like the Elephant Man. Disfigured maid Evelyn must face her own fears as she tries to decipher what it means to be human, and who exactly are the true monsters among us.
“To the master bedroom where the Vampires feast”
Undead and Done, MaryJanice Davidson (Berkley, October 4, 2016)
Monster Mash makes monsters fun, which is definitely the spirit behind Davidson’s popular Undead series. In the final novel in the series, vampire queen Betsy Taylor has her hands full: the public now knows about the existence of vampires, and all the other supernatural groups are less than pleased (and up to no good, as usual). Ruling Hell is never easy – but it is hilarious – as Betsy tries to set up a new Hell parole program and launch a vampire-positive PR campaign. This sounds like the perfect read for a vampire who’s also ready to party the night away.
“The ghouls all came from their humble abodes”
The Winter People, Jennifer McMahon (Anchor, August 30, 2016)
The best ghost stories are also the creepiest, which is something McMahon’s young adult novel most definitely delivers. The Winter People is set in a small Vermont town and follows 16-year-old Ruth, who finds the diary of a girl who went missing back in 1908. When Ruth’s mother Alice goes missing as well, the teen has to unravel the mystery of just what is happening in her town. Horror meets mystery in this lyrical, compelling novel that I’m sure any ghoul would be happy to have on their bookshelf.
“The zombies were having fun”
Feedback, Mira Grant (Orbit, October 4, 2016)
Thanks to The Walking Dead, zombies are everywhere these days, but they get a fresh spin in Grant’s Newsflash series. Feedback is the fourth book in the popular series, filled with moments that overlap with events from the first book, Feed. The story is about a man-made unstoppable virus that spreads through the world, filling humans with an insatiable desire to feed. But what makes it unique is how Grant ties in the political connotations, and the way the media affects and deals with the pandemic. This is the kind of zombie book that a zombie would be just as interested in reading.
“The guests included Wolfman, Dracula and his Son”
Magic Binds, Ilona Andrews (Ace, September 20, 2016)
I absolutely adore the Kate Daniels series, which features all kinds of supernatural beings – including animal shapeshifters and creepy vampires. In her latest adventure, Kate and her mate Curran are finally planning to tie the knot (yay!!). But of course nothing is going right, as Kate’s father is once again wrecking havoc on her life, and a witch’s prediction makes her future seem more uncertain than ever. Kate is wrestling with her own magic in this book, and we finally get to learn more about Christopher as well. Because of all the supernatural creatures gallivanting around Andrew’s future version of Atlanta, this is one book that no Monster Mash guest would miss.