The Most Anticipated Horror Books of Summer 2024

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The Most Anticipated Horror Books of Summer 2024

Summer is here, and with it comes the promise of long hours kicked back in a beach chair, or chilling by the pool, or just sitting under a fan in the air conditioning with a book in our hands. There’s really no wrong way to do summer reading, as long as you’re having a good time, which means you can do summer reading like I do: In the dark, after everyone else has gone to sleep, with a horror story in my hands.

This year’s summer offerings in the horror genre are both plentiful and thrilling, ranging from intriguing debuts to new novels by the masters of the form. We’ve got new Stephen Graham Jones, new Paul Tremblay, new Chuck Tingle, new Gabino Iglesias, books about horses, books about conversion camps, books about Hollywood, and so much more, all wrapped up in fearful little packages. There’s more than enough to fill a summer.

So, let’s get into it. Here are 15 horror books we can’t wait to read between now and Labor Day. 

Horror Movie Paul Tremblay

Horror Movie by Paul Tremblay

Release Date: June 11 from William Morrow

Why We’re Excited: Paul Tremblay has played with the boundaries between entertainment and reality before in his masterpiece breakthrough, A Head Full of Ghosts, so we couldn’t be more excited to see what he does with this particular premise. Horror that challenges the form of the novel by inserting filmmaking into the narrative is big right now, and I can’t imagine anyone I’d rather see tackling the phenomenon next than Tremblay. 

Publisher’s Description: In June 1993, a group of young guerilla filmmakers spent four weeks making Horror Movie, a notorious, disturbing, art-house horror flick.

The weird part? Only three of the film’s scenes were ever released to the public, but Horror Movie has nevertheless grown a rabid fanbase. Three decades later, Hollywood is pushing for a big budget reboot.

The man who played “The Thin Kid” is the only surviving cast member. He remembers all too well the secrets buried within the original screenplay, the bizarre events of the filming, and the dangerous crossed lines on set that resulted in tragedy. As memories flood back in, the boundaries between reality and film, past and present start to blur. But he’s going to help remake the film, even if it means navigating a world of cynical producers, egomaniacal directors, and surreal fan conventions—demons of the past be damned.

But at what cost? 

Horror Movie is an obsessive, psychologically chilling, and suspenseful feat of storytelling genius that builds inexorably to an unforgettable, mind-bending conclusion.

Cuckoo Summer Horror Books 2024

Cuckoo by Gretchen Felker-Martin

Release Date: June 11 from Nightfire

Why We’re Excited: Gretchen Felker-Martin’s fearless, powerful Manhunt is one of the best horror novels of the 2020s so far, so seeing what she does with a story of evil buried in the dark history of a conversion camp is very high on our list of must-reads for the year. Like Manhunt, we expect something incisive, provocative, and propulsive, along with all-new scares from one of the genre’s rising stars.

Publisher’s Description: Something evil is buried deep in the desert. It wants your body. It wears your skin.

In the summer of 1995, seven queer kids abandoned by their parents at a remote conversion camp came face to face with it. They survived―but at Camp Resolution, everybody leaves a different person.

Sixteen years later, only the scarred and broken survivors of that terrible summer can put an end to the horror before it’s too late.

The fate of the world depends on it.

Incidents Around the House Summer Horror 2024

Incidents Around the House by Josh Malerman

Release Date: June 25 from Del Rey

Why We’re Excited: I had the good fortune to read an early advance copy of Incidents Around the House, and I’m just going to tell you now: This is the scariest novel I’ve read all year, maybe in the last five years, maybe more. It’s Malerman at his best, taking us inside the head of a little girl faced with an impossible nightmare, and it’s unforgettable and unrelenting. Don’t miss this book.

Publisher’s Description: To eight-year-old Bela, her family is her world. There’s Mommy, Daddo, and Grandma Ruth. But there is also Other Mommy, a malevolent entity who asks her every day: “Can I go inside your heart?” 

When horrifying incidents around the house signal that Other Mommy is growing tired of asking Bela the question over and over, Bela understands that unless she says yes, her family will soon pay.

Other Mommy is getting restless, stronger, bolder. Only the bonds of family can keep Bela safe, but other incidents show cracks in her parents’ marriage. The safety Bela relies on is about to unravel. 

But Other Mommy needs an answer.

Incidents Around the House is a chilling, wholly unique tale of true horror about a family as haunted as their home.

Teleportasm Summer Horror 2024

Teleportasm by Joshua Millican

Release Date: June 25 from Shortwave

Why We’re Excited: The title alone makes me excited for Teleportasm, the latest installment in Shortwave’s “Killer VHS” series of horror stories, but beyond that, there’s just so much conceptual fun to be had here. Analog horror meets sci-fi meets something else entirely when the book gets into the realm of a trend? I can’t wait to dig in.

Publisher’s Description: Four friends unearth a unique VHS tape that, when viewed, causes short-distance teleportation with euphoric after-effects, inadvertently launching a perilous trend.

As copies of the original tape are made, the results become less predictable and ultimately gruesome due to analog generational decay. Despite the danger, some will risk everything for just one more trip.

The Eyes are the Best Part Summer Horror 2024

The Eyes Are the Best Part by Monika Kim

Release Date: June 25 from Erewhon Books

Why We’re Excited: Speaking of killer titles, there’s The Eyes Are the Best Part, a book that’s been building buzz for months now thanks to a very provocative description from the publisher. Monika Kim’s novel promises to give us the story of a family coming apart and a young woman at the center of it all who can’t stop dreaming of her own peculiar hunger, and it all sounds squirm-inducingly seductive.

Publisher’s Description: Ji-won’s life tumbles into disarray in the wake of her Appa’s extramarital affair and subsequent departure. Her mother, distraught. Her younger sister, hurt and confused. Her college freshman grades, failing. Her dreams, horrifying… yet enticing.

In them, Ji-won walks through bloody rooms full of eyes. Succulent blue eyes. Salivatingly blue eyes. Eyes the same shape and shade as George’s, who is Umma’s obnoxious new boyfriend. George has already overstayed his welcome in her family’s claustrophobic apartment. He brags about his puffed-up consulting job, ogles Asian waitresses while dining out, and acts condescending toward Ji-won and her sister as if he deserves all of Umma’s fawning adoration. No, George doesn’t deserve anything from her family. Ji-won will make sure of that.

For no matter how many victims accumulate around her campus or how many people she must deceive and manipulate, Ji-won’s hunger and her rage deserve to be sated.

A brilliantly inventive, subversive novel about a young woman unraveling, Monika Kim’s The Eyes Are the Best Part is a story of a family falling apart and trying to find their way back to each other, marking a bold new voice in horror that will leave readers mesmerized and craving more.

Pink Slime Summer Horror 2024

Pink Slime by Fernanda Trias

Release Date: July 2 from Scribner

Why We’re Excited: Another book I’ve been hearing a ton of buzz about, Fernanda Trias’s Pink Slime heads to its American publisher after earning acclaim around the world. Now, this genre-bending, ambitious novel about a woman trying to survive a future in which everything seems to be falling apart is almost in our hands in a new hardcover edition, so everyone can see what all that buzz has been for. Keep an eye on this one. It promises to be a major contender for Best Of lists come the end of the year.

Publisher’s Description: In a city ravaged by a mysterious plague, a woman tries to understand why her world is falling apart. An algae bloom has poisoned the previously pristine air that blows in from the sea. Inland, a secretive corporation churns out the only food anyone can afford—a revolting pink paste, made of an unknown substance. In the short, desperate breaks between deadly windstorms, our narrator stubbornly tends to her few remaining relationships: with her difficult but vulnerable mother; with the ex-husband for whom she still harbors feelings; with the boy she nannies, whose parents sent him away even as terrible threats loomed. Yet as conditions outside deteriorate further, her commitment to remaining in place only grows—even if staying means being left behind.

An evocative elegy for a safe, clean world, Pink Slime is buoyed by humor and its narrator’s resiliency. This unforgettable novel explores the place where love, responsibility, and self-preservation converge, and the beauty and fragility of our most intimate relationships.

Bury Your Gays by Chuck Tingle

Release Date: July 9 from Nightfire

Why We’re Excited: The author of Camp Damascus is back with another thrilling horror novel, this one set in the midst of a cynical Hollywood where a rising star is faced with not just a horrible choice, but the haunting specter of his genre movie past. Tingle has proven he’s more than capable of playing with classic horror tropes to fresh new effect. Now, we get to see him turn that lens on horror movies.

Publisher’s Description: Misha knows that chasing success in Hollywood can be hell.

But finally, after years of trying to make it, his big moment is here: an Oscar nomination. And the executives at the studio for his long-running streaming series know just the thing to kick his career to the next level: kill off the gay characters, “for the algorithm,” in the upcoming season finale.

Misha refuses, but he soon realizes that he’s just put a target on his back. And what’s worse, monsters from his horror movie days are stalking him and his friends through the hills above Los Angeles.

Haunted by his past, Misha must risk his entire future―before the horrors from the silver screen find a way to bury him for good.

I Was A Teenage Slashe Summer Horror 2024

I Was a Teenage Slasher by Stephen Graham Jones

Release Date: July 16 from Saga

Why We’re Excited: My personal pick for the absolute most-anticipated horror book of summer is yet another riff on the slasher genre from Stephen Graham Jones, this one rooted in his own horror obsessions as well as his West Texas upbringing. We’ve rooted for Jones’ final girls, but will we root for his killer? Can’t wait to find out!

Publisher’s Description: 1989, Lamesa, Texas. A small west Texas town driven by oil and cotton—and a place where everyone knows everyone else’s business. So it goes for Tolly Driver, a good kid with more potential than application, seventeen, and about to be cursed to kill for revenge. Here Stephen Graham Jones explores the Texas he grew up in, the unfairness of being on the outside, through the slasher horror he lives but from the perspective of the killer, Tolly, writing his own autobiography. Find yourself rooting for a killer in this summer teen movie of a novel gone full blood-curdling tragic.

The Dissonance by Shaun Hamill

Release Date: July 23 from Pantheon

Why We’re Excited: Like A Cosmology of Monsters before it, Shaun Hamill’s The Dissonance promises to plunge us into a world full of fantasy wonders and endless horrors, a world that’s our own but twisted, that’s bright and exciting yet endlessly frightening. It sounds like one of the most ambitious genre books of the year, and we’d expect nothing less from Hamill. 

Publisher’s Description: “You can never go home again,” the saying goes—but Hal, Athena, and Erin have to. In high school, the three were students of the eccentric Professor Marsh, trained in a secret system of magic known as the Dissonance, which is built around harnessing negative emotions: alienation, anger, pain. Then, twenty years ago, something happened that shattered their coven, scattering them across the country, stuck in mundane lives, alone.

But now, terrifying signs and portents (not to mention a pointed Facebook invite) have summoned them back to Clegg, Texas. There, their paths will collide with that of Owen, a closeted teenager from Alabama whose aborted cemetery seance with his crush summoned something far worse: a murderous entity whose desperate, driving purpose includes kidnapping Owen to serve as its Renfield. As Owen tries to outwit his new master, and Hal, Athena, and Erin reckon with how the choices they made as teens might connect to the apocalyptic event unfurling over the Lone Star State, shocking alliances form, old and new romances brew, and three unsuccessful adults and one frightened teen are all that stand between reality and oblivion.

From one of the boldest, most brilliant voices in modern fantastical horror, The Dissonance is a thrilling and beautifully written story of magic and monsters, forgiveness and friendship.

Summer Horror 2024 So Witches We Became

So Witches We Became by Jill Baguchinsky

Release Date: July 23 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Why We’re Excited: You had me at “a YA Feminist spin on Stephen King’s The Mist.” That’s just one of the compelling things promised by Jill Baguchinsky’s novel about survival, friendship, and seizing power whether you like it or not. I’m excited to see where this book takes such a juicy concept, particularly with such powerful underlying thematic content to play with.

Publisher’s Description: For high school senior Nell and her friends, a vacation house on a private Florida island sounds like the makings of a dream spring break. But Nell brings secrets with her—secrets that fuse with the island’s tragic history, trapping them all with a curse that surrounds the island in a toxic, vengeful mist and the surrounding waters with an unseen, devouring beast.   

Getting out alive means risking her friendships, her sanity, and even her own life. In order to save herself and her friends, Nell will have to face memories she’d rather leave behind, reveal the horrific truth behind the encounter that changed her life one year ago, and face the shadow that’s haunted her since childhood.  

Easier said than done. But when Nell’s friends reveal that they each brought secrets of their own, a solution even more dangerous than the curse begins to take shape. Reading like a YA feminist spin on Stephen King’s The Mist, So Witches We Became is a diverse, queer horror about female friendship, the emotional aftermath of surviving assault, and how to find power in the shadows of your past. 

Step into your witchy power or be swallowed by the curse–the choice is yours.

House of Bone and Rain by Gabino Igelsias

Release Date: August 6 from Mulholland

Why We’re Excited: The award-winning author of The Devil Takes You Home returns this summer with his next novel, another chronicle of transformative grief and the dark journeys we take in its wake. Part coming-of-age story, part revenge tale, part horror novel, House of Bone and Rain is going to be a must-read for a number of reasons, not least of which is simply seeing how Iglesias manages to pull off the casting of another dark spell on us all. 

Publisher’s Description: For childhood friends Gabe, Xavier, Tavo, Paul, and Bimbo, death has always been close. Hurricanes. Car accidents. Gang violence. Suicide. Estamos rodeados de fantasmas was Gabe’s grandmother’s refrain. We are surrounded by ghosts. But this time is different. Bimbo’s mom has been shot dead. We’re gonna kill the guys who killed her Bimbo swears. And they all agree.

Feral with grief, Bimbo has become unrecognizable, taking no prisoners in his search for names. Soon, they learn Maria was gunned down by guys working for the drug kingpin of Puerto Rico. No one has ever gone up against him and survived. As the boys strategize, a storm gathers far from the coast. Hurricanes are known to carry evil spirits in their currents and bring them ashore, spirits which impose their own order.

Blurring the boundaries between myth, mysticism, and the grim realities of our world, House of Bone and Rain is a harrowing coming of age story; a doomed tale of devotion, the afterlife of violence, and what rolls in on the tide. 

The Unmothers Summer Horror 2024

The Unmothers by Leslie J. Anderson

Release Date: August 6 from Quirk Books

Why We’re Excited: A horror debut with a folk horror hook, The Unmothers leads off with a chilling image, then builds on that with what sounds like feverish ambition. This one sounds like a book that’s got everything I love: Secretive small towns, wild witchy rumors, generational trauma, and then some. 

Publisher’s Description: Marshall is still trying to put the pieces together after the death of her husband. After she is involved in a terrible accident, her editor sends her to the small, backwards town of Raeford to investigate a clearly ridiculous rumor: that a horse has given birth to a healthy, human baby boy.


When Marshall arrives in Raeford, she finds an insular town that is kinder to the horses they are famous for breeding than to their own people. But when two horribly mangled bodies are discovered in a field—one a horse, one a human—she realizes that there might be a real story here.

As she’s pulled deeper into the town and its guarded people, her sense of reality is tipped on its head. Is she losing her grip? Or is this impossible story the key to a dark secret that has haunted the women of Raeford for generations?

Unbearably tense and utterly gripping, this atmospheric tale of female rage, bodily autonomy, and generational trauma hails the arrival of a masterful storyteller.

Clown in a Cornfield 3: The Church of Frendo by Adam Cesare

Release Date: August 20 from HarperTeen

Why We’re Excited: Adam Cesare’s Clown in a Cornfield has everything you could want from a slasher novel involving small town teens navigating a massacre, but what’s most exciting about this series is how devoted Cesare is to building on what came before. Clown in a Cornfield 2 presented an even bigger, even more brutal twist on the first book’s story, and now Clown in a Cornfield 3 is finally here to cap off the trilogy with a bang. And knowing this books, it could quite literally be a bang.

Publisher’s Description: Quinn has just survived yet another bloody run-in with the murderous clown Frendo, but somehow still she knows this won’t be the last. Tired of being hunted and seeing innocent people hurt, Quinn believes the only way to beat the horror is to take justice into her own hands–and stop the Frendo followers herself. Little does she know that this path will take her across cornfields and state lines, to where she will have to face the most dangerous and bloody menace yet: True believers.

It’s an all-new tale in this terrifying trio series about the villains inside us all, from the master of slashers and suspense, award–winning author Adam Cesare.

Sacrificial Animals by Kailee Pedersen

Release Date: August 20 from St. Martin’s Press

Why We’re Excited: Another debut novel, inspired by the author’s own experience as an adopted child who moved from China to Nebraska as a girl, Sacrificial Animals sounds like a heady blend of generational brutality and folk horror intrigue. The promise of a new arrival on the horror scene is always exciting, and it feels like Kailee Pedersen could be a particularly thrilling new addition.

Publisher’s Description: The last thing Nick Morrow expected to receive was an invitation from his father to return home. When he left rural Nebraska behind, he believed he was leaving everything there, including his abusive father, Carlyle, and the farm that loomed so large in memory, forever.

But neither Nick nor his brother Joshua, disowned for marrying Emilia, a woman of Asian descent, can ignore such summons from their father, who hopes for a deathbed reconciliation. Predictably, Joshua and Carlyle quickly warm to each other while Nick and Emilia are left to their own devices. Nick puts the time to good use and his flirtation with Emilia quickly blooms into romance. Though not long after the affair turns intimate, Nick begins to suspect that Emilia’s interest in him may have sinister, and possibly even ancient, motivations.

Crypt of the Moon Spider by Nathan Ballingrud

Release Date: August 27 from Nightfire

Why We’re Excited: Nathan Ballingrud is one of the most spellbinding genre writers (in any genre) working right now, so we’re thrilled to hear that he’s launching a new trilogy that blends science fiction, fantasy, and horror into a heady mix of fear and mythic energy. Crypt of the Moon Spider is a perfect title, and the promise of reading Ballingrud as he dives headlong into an invented world is too much to resist.

Publisher’s Description: Years ago, in a cave beneath the dense forests and streams on the surface of the moon, a gargantuan spider once lived. Its silk granted its first worshippers immense faculties of power and awe.

It’s now 1923 and Veronica Brinkley is touching down on the moon for her intake at the Barrowfield Home for Treatment of the Melancholy. A renowned facility, Dr. Barrington Cull’s invasive and highly successful treatments have been lauded by many. And they’re so simple! All it takes is a little spider silk in the amygdala, maybe a strand or two in the prefrontal cortex, and perhaps an inch in the hippocampus for near evisceration of those troublesome thoughts and ideas.

But patients aren’t the only ones with trouble on their minds, and although the spider’s ben dead for years, its denizens are not. Someone or something is up to no good, and Veronica just might be the cause.

Matthew Jackson is a pop culture writer and nerd-for-hire who’s been writing about entertainment for more than a decade. His writing about movies, TV, comics, and more regularly appears at SYFY WIRE, Looper, Mental Floss, Decider, BookPage, and other outlets. He lives in Austin, Texas, and when he’s not writing he’s usually counting the days until Christmas.

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