Strange Books to Get You Ready for "Stranger Things 2"

Stanger Things 2Murderous creatures. Otherworldly powers. And kids who believe the unbelievable.

For those who watched the first season of Stranger Things, white-knuckled on their couch, here are five books that will whet your appetite for more deeply disturbing monsters—and humans—as you count down the days to Stranger Things 2.



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The Shining by Stephen King – The book, not the movie. While Kubrick’s film version is excellent, King’s original prose gets inside the head of young Danny as he watches his parents’ relationship implode during their isolation in a hotel in the mountains. Danny’s budding powers and ability to see what lurks behind the veil intensifies the slow-bubbling tension that King excels at. Weird and dark, this horror classic is a must read. If you’ve already read The Shining, pick up It.

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Alice by Christina Henry – “Beware the claws that catch” is the ominous warning on the cover, and this plunge down the rabbit hole is ferocious indeed. In Henry’s retelling, Alice’s “adventures” in wonderland leave her in a mental institution, hanging on to reality by her cracked fingernails. A fire frees Alice, the mad, murderous inmate Hatcher, and a beast of darkness that forces Alice and Hatcher to face the most awful things in their past if they have any chance of destroying it. Not a story for kids at all. Seriously.

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Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist – While the first mysterious killing is a relief for 12-year-old Oskar, who was bullied mercilessly by the victim, the pile up of more bodies makes Oskar wonder if his odd new teenage neighbor, Eli, might be involved. Creepy and gory, this story centers on Oskar and Eli’s growing attachment and is an excellent match for those with a hankering for vampire tales.

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Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury – Two preteen boys are entranced by a traveling “shadow show” that arrives in their hometown a week before Halloween, but the shadows are all too real, plunging them into a nightmare they must fight if they want to save their town. The author of Fahrenheit 451 brings clammy chills to the turning point between childhood and adulthood.

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The Call by Peadar O Guilin – Irish writer O Guilin blends the terror of being plunged into an unknown world with the eerie magic of the Sidhe. Teenagers can be Called at any moment to another land filled with grotesque, hungry monsters, and Nessa, a polio survivor, is determined to do everything she can to make it unbroken through the Call. Perfect for those who want to imagine what Eleven and Will might have gone through in the Upside Down.


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