While Halloween and October have come to an end, the season of spookiness doesn’t need to. November is a month of gray skies and rich autumnal hues, and what better way to spend those chilly November nights than with a horror novel? In my opinion, the only thing better is cosying up with a queer horror novel. Luckily, I have three queer paranormal novels in mind.
My next recommendation for queer horror is “Summer Sons” by Lee Mandelo. “Summer Sons” is a queer Southern Gothic set in Nashville, Tennessee. The content warnings of this book include suicide, homophobia, violence, drug use, and racism. The story follows main character and narrator Andrew as he deals with the sudden suicide of his childhood best friend; Eddie. Andrew is haunted by both supernatural forces and his own grief as he navigates graduate school at Vanderbilt University. The ghoul of Eddie stalks his every move, and Andrew must
learn to resist him and his past. As he struggles to understand new secrets of Eddie’s, he must also dive into his own complex feelings regarding Eddie and what these feelings truly mean. For those looking for an escape from a dreary, chilly November, this novel full of the ghouls of late summer is a perfect fit.
The next novel I will be recommending is “The Taking of Jake Livingston” by Ryan Douglas. There are a few content warnings for this book that include school shooting, attempted sexual assault, suicide, homophobia, racism, physical abuse, and animal cruelty. The main character of the book is Jake Livingston, a queer Black 16-year-old boy and medium who lives in a world of ghosts and ghouls that no one else can see. Jake attends a predominantly white high school where he struggles to find true friends and succeed in school. After the sudden death of a neighbor, Jake becomes haunted by the ghost of Sawyer Doon, a school shooter. The book switches between Jake’s point of view and Sawyer’s past before he died. As the book progresses and the haunting worses, this becomes a fight for Jake’s very soul.
The last book I will be recommending is “A Lesson in Vengeance” by Victoria Lee. Content warnings for “A Lesson in Vengeance” include child neglect, suicide references, and violence. The story is set at an all-female boarding school called Dalloway School. Felicity Morrow has returned to school after a year, having taken off after the death of her girlfriend. Returning to a dorm thought to be haunted by the ghosts of the Dalloway Five, Felicity meets Ellis Haley. Ellis is a prodigy author who draws Felicity into her research for her next book, based on the Dalloway Five. Reality becomes horror and horror becomes reality as Felicity searches for the truth. Truth not only about the ghosts, but her own haunted memories and what really happened the night her girlfriend died. For those seeking queer paranormal dark academia, this book is an ideal pick for a November read.