Today I’m here with a new and exciting post! Amy McCaw, debut UKYA author of upcoming paranormal novel Mina and the Undead, is here to share with us a list of her favourite books. I recently read Mina and the Undead and it was everything I wanted it to be. In fact, I’ll be sharing my spoiler free review on release day, the 1st April, so keep an eye out for that. Today however, let’s dig into Amy McCaw’s 10 favourite books. Say hi to Amy!
I’m so excited to write this post because I love reflecting on my most memorable reads. I also find it incredibly hard to narrow them down, so I’ve decided to go for a mixture of all-time favourites and recent reads that I’m still thinking about.
I could’ve chosen any of Laini Taylor’s books for this list, as they never disappoint me. They’re full of rich world building, complex characters and beautiful writing, plus some of the most heartbreaking and surprising storylines I’ve ever come across.
I couldn’t decide which book by Anna-Marie McLemore to choose, so I went for the first one I read. Their writing is always stunning and lyrical, and their books have the most gorgeous elements of magical realism and inventive plots.
Lauren James is one of my favourite authors, so I was thrilled when she wrote her first book with a paranormal edge. It’s packed full of mysteries, and I love that Harriet isn’t your average virtuous YA heroine. It’s a smart, spooky book, and I hope Lauren James writes more in this dark vein.
I received a proof of this book one dreary February and it transported me to a sun-baked 1920s summer reminiscent of The Great Gatsby. It’s very different from my other favourites but just as beloved! Laura’s books are warm, dreamy and romantic – they’re the perfect pick-me-up.
This is the only middle-grade book on my list and it’s a brilliant one! The Ship of Shadows has an all-female pirate crew, a magical ship, plenty of adventure and cake, as well as the cutest pet shadow. I can’t wait for the sequel!
Last One to Die is the type of deliciously dark, horror-tinged story I’m always craving. Niamh travels to London to study drama for the summer and discovers that girls who look frighteningly similar to her are being attacked. I love the supernatural elements and the history underpinning this book. It’s so scary and such a gripping read.
As soon as I read the blurb for Harrow Lake, I knew I’d love it: the daughter of a famous horror movie director goes to the town where his most famous film was shot and someone, or something, starts stalking her every move. This book is just as good as it sounds. It genuinely unnerved me, and there are so many amazing set pieces and creepy touches.
It’s a long time since I read this book and I’m desperate for a reread, because I’ve never really stopped thinking about it. From what I remember, the story is told through police records, psychiatric reports, diary fragments and other media, and it’s brilliant how the unnerving tale is unravelled in fragments.
This book was inspired by the Frozen Charlotte dolls, which were little dolls in coffins that were actually sold to children. If that’s not scary enough, they come to life in the book. Frozen Charlotte (and the prequel Charlotte Says) are chilling, fast-paced reads that seeped over into my real life and had me looking over my shoulder for tiny blurs of motion.
I had to include a vampire book on this list, and Whiteout is one of my favourites. A group of teens are stalked by vampires on a remote ski resort and it’s a thrilling read! The creeping sense of isolation adds to the constant sense of dread as the characters are stalked through the snow.
That’s probably more books than you were expecting – sorry Amy! It’s also very likely that I’ve forgotten some crucial favourites, but this list gives a good flavour of what I like. I hope it helps you find a new favourite too!
Meet Amy McCaw!
Amy McCaw is a YA writer and blogger. She’s the author of Mina and the Undead, a YA murder mystery set in 1995 New Orleans.
Her main interests are books, movies and the macabre, and her debut novel has elements of all of these. If Amy’s not at a book event or reading, she can usually be found scribbling away in her writing room, surrounded by movie memorabilia and an out-of-control signed books collection. Unsurprisingly, she’s a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and has gone to conventions to meet James Marsters more times than she cares to admit.
Amy also loves travelling and has a particular affinity for America. She’s visited 29 states, 13 Man Vs Food restaurants and many bookish locations, including the cities where Twilight, Interview with a Vampire and Vampire Diaries were set.
Huge thanks to Amy for joining me today to share with us her favourite books. I hope you managed to find some that you enjoy too, or even had the chance to reminisce over some well loved faves. Don’t forget to check out Mina and the Undead which is published on the 1st of April!