"The 5 Best Ghost-Related YA for College-Aged, Teen Girls," by Nadia Jones

Vampires are so passé. It’s not all about ghosts now. If you’re looking for a good read to spook you just in time for Halloween this season, you might want to check out some of these great YA titles below. Some are funny, some are spooky, and some are just down right interesting. Either way, none of the titles will make you say “boo”—they’re just that good.

The Summoning is the first instalment of a three-part book series called the Darkest Power, written by newbie author Kelly Armstrong. This coming of age story follows 15-year-old Chloe Sanders who initially starts off as a normal teenager with “normal” insecurities but then realizes she has something else to worry about —she can see the undead. When family and friends don’t believe her, she is sent to a boarding house for mentally disabled and disturbed teens. Soon Chloe learns that many of her new roommates share her same special gifts—but can they be trusted?  The Summoning is definitely a page turner and creepy in its own respect.

Anya’s Ghost is actually a beautifully illustrated and written graphic novel by Vera Brosgol, an author who I praise for her witty and dark-humor style of writing. In a nutshell, Anya is a young Russian teen that feels like an outcast trying to get acclimated to her new America high school. She struggles with common teen issues such as body image and wanting to belong with the “in” crowd. In the end she longs to have just one friend. Her wish finally comes true when she falls down a well and comes in contact with the ghost of a teen who is now long forgotten. But when Anya’s new BFF says forever, she really means it.

Bad Girls Don’t Die is the first installment of a three-part series under the same name by author Katie Alender. The book’s teen protagonist Alexis becomes severely concerned for her younger sister after she becomes obsessed with one of her new antique dolls. Alexis not only notices that her young is changing inside and out, but a bunch of paranormal activities start to occur within the house as well. Alexis soon becomes determined to find out why.

The title is a bit gruesome but foreshadows the intense ghosts and monsters author Kendare Blake attempts to introduce in Anna Dressed in Blood. Its male teen protagonist Cas Lowood comes from a lineage of ghost killers. With the help of his witch mother and special-skilled cat, he battles evil forces on a regular basis. One eerily evening, however, he is sent to vanquish a vicious murdering ghost named Anna Dressed in Blood, a name bestowed to her after she was murdered in a now blood-stained white gown in 1958. She kills all who crosses her path, but for some strange reason she chooses to spare Cas’ life.

Lastly but certainly not least is Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama. This book combines mermaids, ghosts, and a good mystery all-in-one. Similar to Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid a beautiful mermaid falls in love with a male human and trades in her fins for a pair of legs. But there’s one huge difference: a curse is placed upon future generations in her family. Women who fall in love have an untimely death. Will Hester, a great, great granddaughter of the mermaid, see the same fate when she falls for a boy named Ezra?

Nadia Jones is a freelance education writer for www.onlinecollege.org, a website that specializes in online education. Nadia also enjoys covering an array of education-related topics that help college-bound teens expand their minds such as offering book listings. She welcomes your comments.