7 Atmospheric Reads: The Spooky, the Magical, and the Mysterious + Make Your Own

There are so many cool novels that came out/are coming out that feel really atmospheric.

I know when I say this most people jump to the sound of “spooky, mysterious, enchanting” but even more than that, I think it applies to any sort of novel with a really strong setting and environment that just engrosses you in that part of the story and can help you fall in love with it!

Some of these I’ve read, some of these are on my TBR, and all of these are books I recommend you pick up! They sound so magical, and they also have awesome covers!

(Plus, I have a fun surprise at the end, hehe!)

So sit back, relax, and enjoy these recs! I include 3 words I’d use to describe each book, just for fun!

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw


Okay, so I definitely really enjoyed The Wicked Deep last year, and it was very Pacific Northwest and I loved that setting!

If I summarized this in three words, I would say witchy, foggy, and spooky! The witches and the foggy, PNW setting were all so spooky and atmospheric, and made this book (and its huge twist) so magical (in a witchy way) and enticing, I couldn’t put it down!

I defintiely recommend you add The Wicked Deep to your TBR if you want a spooky, contemporary read + witches and a dash of romance and foggy drownings.

Read my review here!

The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees


AHHH, I have the DRC of this and am so excited to dive in! I’ve heard so many amazing things about the spooky forest-y goodness of this book (and that it might not be good as a late night read if you’re easily scared . . .)

Three words I’d describe The Waking Forest with based on first impressions would be twisty, magical, and conspiracy because I think big things are happening in the waking forest!

I’m defintiely excited to open this up soon and relish in the treacherous deadliness of this book! Fingers crossed!

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert


I have had this book on my TBR for so long it’s been killing me.

I actually checked out the audiobook from the library spring last year, but I set it aside because I wasn’t digging the narrator on 1.4x speed, and I wasn’t willing to listen on normal speed, so I ended up putting it aside.

Later, I finally bought this book and now it’s sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be pulled out and read. I know. We’ll get there, someday. But the words I’d describe The Hazel Wood as, based on first impressions and that chapter I read, would be angry, dark, and twisted.

Oops, am I sensing a theme? Who knows! But I am excited to pick this back up again, hopefully before it sits on my shelf unread for longer.

Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale


This is the only non-spooky book on the list but it was one of the first books I thought of when looking at atmospheric reads.

Small Town Hearts is beachy, summery, and romantic and I get all the summer beach in Maine vibes and I LOVE it! Not only do we get the awesome bi main character we deserve and sweet summer romance, but it’s just so atmospheric and Maine I can’t get over how much I love this book?

Plus, the lighthouse and the coffee shop called the Busy Bean and the whole entire town is just magical and summertime and something I can’t get enough of. Do not hesitate to add this one to your TBR!

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth


Is it considered cliche if I say that this book gives me SERIOUS Narnia vibes?

But like, better. I love love loved Laura E. Weymouth’s portal fantasy, The Light Between Worlds (also we have exciting news in February that you should watch for) and it was so rich, poignant, and evocative. It was extremely moving and such a delight to read.

Sisterhood, war, feeling like you don’t belong–this book has EVERYTHING and you must must MUST add it to your TBR. It’s so atmospheric in a Narnia-way that I can’t describe, but know that this book is amazing.

Read my review here!

Wilder Girls by Rory Power


Okay, please let us revel in the magic that is BOARDING SCHOOL.

I love boarding school books. They’re so uniquely atmospheric in the way that they’re kinda like high-school on steroids, but in Wilder Girls, it’s like high school–and then throw in some horrifying quarantine.

Yeah, I know.

I’m excited (it’s also f/f!!!) and it sounds so wonderful and I have an ARC and am ready to read and just am 100% pumped for this book! I would say, from first glance, that this book would be described by horror, misleading, and vicious. We will see how it turns out . . .

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman


Naturally, I’ve heard a million and one amazing things about this book and it sounds so mysterious, beastly, and fearsome that I can’t wait to dive into my DRC!


I am all for this type of almost glow in the dark spookiness and beasts and all sorts of mysteries and am very excited to have my April blown apart by so many amazing books! Christine, just shove a stake through my heart now I am not ready to handle this awesomeness.

Now, for some more fun things . . .

Alright, so obviously we can see that some of these books’ titles seem a bit structured, so I thought I would poke a little fun on that and make a Create Your Own Atmospheric Read: Book Title Generator!

So have at it, and let me know what YOUR book title is! No need to divulge any personal information (i.e. birthday)!

Plus, I made an Instagram stories template as well, if you’d like to download and share that!

So go wild and have fun with these! My book would be called Above the Condemned Graves, which sounds soooo creepy I am all for it!

Let me know if you liked this, and I’ll try to share more interactive stuff at the end of posts 😉

What books would you add to an Atmospheric Reads list?

Also, quick footnote, I would really love if more books with these types of vibes were published by POC! Not that these books aren’t great + super exciting, but I’d love to see it expand more so if you have any recs in this subset, please let me know!

28 thoughts on “7 Atmospheric Reads: The Spooky, the Magical, and the Mysterious + Make Your Own

  1. I got Above the Sunken Souls which sounds like a great title for a a dark atmospheric YA fantasy with sirens/mermaids or something about ghosts.

    All of these are on my TBR and sound so amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes omg what about mermaids who were spurned by their lovers and died, and now their souls haunt the sons of their ex-lovers??? and yes I am so excited to read some of these!!! they’re all so awesome I love!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE ATMOSPHERIC BOOKS SO MUCH!!! I’d have to say The Accident Season is one that I would personally add to this list – like it’s so atmospheric and creepy, i love it so much! Also YES boarding school books are just so much fun? Like we need more of them and Wilder Girls sounds so awesome, I wasn’t even interested in it before but now i’m like I NEED. I got the devouring wood which is cool (very similar to the devouring grey…talking of. that cover is gorgeous. i read a sampler in 2018 and it was SO GOOD and i can’t wait for it to be released) And Yes! The Wicked Deep was so good and plot twisty and full of witches and magic! I loved it (apart from the insta-lovey romance). I’m definitely looking into the other books mentioned here, they look like so much fun!!! This was such an awesome post! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oooh, I just looked The Accident Season up and it sounds amazing!!! and yes I love boarding school book wilder girls is like boarding school but on an island and with a disease and it sounds horrifying but amazing!!!

      and oooh, that sounds like such a cool book title!!! omg thank you for this comment this made my day <333

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a GREAT list, Vicky, I adore your recommendations always, they’re so on point ❤ I read and enjoyed The Wicked Deep and I have to say that the atmosphere of it all overall WAS one of the best things about this book for sure. I have The Waking Forest on my TBR and can't wait to get my hands on it, it sounds so unique and I can't wait to hear what you think of it 🙂
    The Hazel Wood was atmospheric for sure, I personally enjoyed the first half better than the second, but I hope you'll enjoy it all 😀
    I LOVE your little atmospheric read book title generator, that's SO cool! I would be Within The Hallow Deep and…. that's an atmospheric title for sure haha! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. omg thank you, Marie!!! the atmosphere of TWD was so awesome–the fog!!! and omg thank you! I hope I enjoy The Hazel Wood as well!

      within the hallow deep sounds very cool maybe it’s a new WIP title ahahaha

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Vicky I’m so in love with this list! There are so many books I want to read or have read and loved that are on it. I LOVED The Hazel Wood and absolutely cannot wait for the sequel. I’m also super excited for The Waking Forest since it was comped to Pan’s Labyrinth. And don’t even get me started on how excited I am for Wilder Girls–mysterious plagues and boarding schools? *my heart* okay I’ll stop rambling now sorrry!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. awww, thank you so much, Mel! and yes omg there are so many good books on this list I can’t wait to hear what you think when you read them!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “A Dark Sea”

    Well that certainly leaves things wide open, doesn’t it? It feels like something right out of a Seanan McGuire book, like Rolling in the Deep or Into the Drowning Deep. DO NOT GO TO THE MARIANA TRENCH!

    You’ve got some amazing reads ahead of you, that’s for sure. I loved The Hazel Wood and The Light Between the Worlds (that last one was kind of sad, too). I kind of want to look into the audiobooks for both, now that I think about it, because I enjoyed the physical words so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I looooved the Book Title Generator, is so much fun! Mine was Within the Wild Deep. Sounds interesting and I should probably come up with a story to fit this title.
    I totally agree with The Wicked Deep. It was super gloomy and whimsical. I really wish I had read it around Halloween time, because I feel like it would be perfect for that time of year, as I’m not a fan of horror. Soundless, by Richelle Mead would also fit the category in my opinion. I know this book is a bit controversial, but I actually really liked it; it read like a fairytale and had a very interesting mysterious village setting. The Raven Boys is a cliche answer, but I loved how that book really transports you into a new world. 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG thank you!!! I had so much fun with it–within the wild deep sounds awesome!

      and yes! I totally wanted it during Halloween. ooh, I’ll have to check out Soundless and the raven boys has been on my TBR for so long *cries*


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