Books that freak me out (but aren’t necessarily scary) | #TopTenTuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today is a Halloween/creepy freebie! I don’t read a lot of thrillers, nor am I easily scared by books, so I decided to adapt the topic a bit. I’m going to talk about books that freak me out, for one reason or another. Let’s talk about them.

All the Rage by Courtney Summers
This book freaked me out because it’s so real. It tells the story of a girl who was raped by her town’s “golden boy”. It freaks me out because it unfortunately happens to so many people around the world, and the way we react to it and still blame the victims terrifies me. How we refuse to put blame on the rapists, and refuse to offer support to victims. How we act like it’s the victim’s fault. It all scares me to death.

This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1) by Emily Suvada
Once again, this isn’t really a traditionally scary book. However, when I stop and think about the events that happen in this book, I find myself freaked out. This is a dystopian story in which a virus breaks out. It’s airborne, and once you are infected you turn into a zombie-like creature until you explode. It’s scary because viruses are terrifying, especially with the resistance to antibiotics they’re building up.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
This is a creepy book because it truly showcases the worst of humanity. Some of the worst, at the very least. This is about a girl whose brother killed her entire family when she was nine/ten, and has spent the past  10+ years in prison. The violence and lack of human decency in this is just… scary.

I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1) by Barry Lyga
I love this YA thriller trilogy, and I feel like not enough people have read it. It’s about a guy called Jasper who was raised by his dad, who is actually a serial killer. He subtly raised Jasper to be the perfect killer, just like he was. Can you imagine??

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
The reason this book freaked me out is because it made me put myself in the situation of the main characters just like The Secret History by Donna Tartt did. In both novels, you know that what they did is ‘wrong’. But would I really make a different choice? What would I do? It made me think about the darkness we all have inside of us, and that scares me.

Gravity by Tess Gerritsen
This is the second book about a virus on this list. That’s the stuff that freaks me out, guys. The realistic things like viruses, serial killers and humans. However, this book is also set in space on the ISS. Several crew mates have been sent to the ISS when an unknown and ‘alien’ virus breaks out. What do you do? You’re stuck in space with this deadly thing you can’t even see. How do you even get out of there??

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
This didn’t freak me out in the scared way, but the idea of it left me feeling gross and disgusted. If you haven’t heard of this book, it’s about a brother and sister who fall in love. Yeah. Ew. Forbidden is an incredible novel, even though the topic really creeps me out.

Annihilation (Southern Reach #1) by Jeff Vandermeer
Another one that freaks me out because it’s a mix of science, fantasy, and the unknown. Listen, we’ve fucked up the Earth in so many ways already. Who knows what the hell we’ll end up doing to it next. Combine that fact with this weird thing that’s happening without any explanation whatsoever, and I’m left scared.

Mindhunter by John Douglas
Like I mentioned before, serial killers terrify me. I think they scare everyone, to be honest. I’ve always been interested in serial killers and profiling (I promise it’s not as weird or creepy as it sounds), which is why I picked this book up years ago. This was written by someone who helped set up the profiling unit of the FBI, and who dealt with American serial killers. These people are horrifying. The way their minds work is just… I can’t deal with it.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
Once again, serial killer book. Look, you have to agree that they are some of the scariest people on this planet! This book freaked me out because at the time it was written they still hadn’t caught the so-called Golden State Killer. Only after decades could they figure out who had broken in to all these homes, raped all these women, and killed all these people. The idea that for decades people have been walking past someone who has done these horrific things scares the life out of me.

That’s it, 10 books that freak me out! With all of these, it’s more the ideas behind them and the content that made me feel scared or uncomfortable, instead of the books actually being meant to be scary or creepy. Have you read any of these? What scares you?

26 thoughts on “Books that freak me out (but aren’t necessarily scary) | #TopTenTuesday

  1. You make an interesting point about The Secret History. I haven’t read If We Were Villains but maybe I should check it out. And Dark Places was unnerving, Flynn’s an expert at always brings out the worst in people, it seems!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was so scared while reading I’ll Be Gone in the Dark! I’m keen to pick up Mindhunter. I watched the first episode of the Netflix series and did not like it, but I think this book will be right up my alley. Trust me, it doesn’t sound weird to be fascinated by serial killers, I totally understand what you mean 🙂


  3. Great list! I’ve heard amazing things about I’ll Be Gone in the Dark so I need to check it out, and I keep seeing brilliant reviews of If We Were Villains, too. I Hunt Killers sounds really interesting, I need to add that one to my TBR!


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