10 Book and costume pairings for Halloween

book and costume pairings

‘Tis the season! Wait, wait. Put the yuletides away, I’m talking about the time of year when we get to put questionable decorations in our yard and scaring children is no longer frowned upon. Yes spirits, I speak of Halloween.

Not only do we get to put our imaginations into full gear to find the perfect costume to wear in public, but fall is also an amazing time for new book releases as well. With this in mind, we paired costumes with the best new book releases of the season.

Dress up like royalty in Well Met by Jen Deluca

It’s been a good year for a royal obsession. Game of Thrones gave us a final season to talk about, Princess Charlotte started school and Prince George professed his love of ballet. Not to mention our own American princess gave birth to her own tiny prince. Young or old, good or evil, the options for royal costumes is definitely at an all-time high. So what better book to read this season than Well Met by Jen DeLuca.

A laugh-out-loud rom-com, Well Met is a must-read for any royal lover. Set against the backdrop of a local Renaissance Faire, this book explores the idea of who we are when we wear a costume, and the idea that costumes may help us become our true selves. A perfect read for the season of costumes and especially for the reader looking for her happily ever after.


Dress up like a superhero in The Institute by Stephen King

Superheroes have been popular costume choices since comics blasted onto the scene in 1939. But, leave it to 2019 to add a bit of a bite to the normal superhero genre. With shows like The Boys and Umbrella Academy, along with all things Marvel, adding a dark facet to our beloved heroes is the new norm. The Institute by Stephen King is here to give a twist to the twist!

A dramatic story, embracing the classic battle between good versus evil, with a supernatural edge, of course, The Institute will keep readers turning pages well into the witching hour. No Halloween list would be complete without at least one King book, but The Institute takes our love of heroes mixed with King’s prowess for weird and elevates it to extraordinary heights.


Dress up like a villain in The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

The office costume day would not be complete without a resident villain. Love ’em or hate ’em, villains have made a serious dent in literature. With countless dark retellings, the abundance of morally gray characters, along with villains as the protagonist, the options for this costume to book pairing were seriously endless. Until I came across The Dutch House by Ann Patchett.

It is a story full of suspense, involving an (evil) stepmother and a set of siblings fighting for their rightful inheritance. Greed can basically be a character in this novel. But more than cookie-cutter villainy or a classic fairy tale brought into the modern age, the depth and nuance weaved into the story captures the struggle we have with love and forgiveness as well, forcing us to face the villain we all really fear: the one we recognize in real life. The Dutch House is a story that will stay with readers long after its end.


Dress up as a witch from The Furies by Katie Lowe

If you make a list of Halloween costumes and a witch isn’t on it, did you even make a list at all? No, the answer is no. There is no shortage of witch options in both the costuming world and the wide array of book releases. For a variety of reasons, The Furies by Katie Lowe enthralled me.

Equal parts thrilling and spellbinding, The Furies will possess readers the moment they pick it up. A novel set in a boarding school surrounded by murder with a history entrenched from the actual witch trials, this book screams all things spooky and mysterious.


Dress up like it’s the ’30s like The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

For those who don’t want to celebrate entirely in fantasy, there is any number of historical eras and larger-than-life personalities to embody. And the world of fiction shines bright in this field as well. Choosing a single book in this genre felt impossible until I found The Giver Of Stars by Jojo Moyes.

I’m not gonna lie. This book had me at “horseback librarians.” Set in the era of the Great Depression, this book covers all the bases of fierce, feminist and all things historical. An interweaving story of five women, there is bound to be a character for any reader to love and connect with in The Giver Of Stars.


Bring sexy back and dress up like a movie star from Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

We all know, for any given costume, there is an option to sexy it up. The same can be said for any genre of fiction. Give us a story, and there’s an author dying to add some spice to the mix. The writing duo Christina Lauren is definitely feisty and their newest book, Twice in a Blue Moon has pizazz and more.

I adore that this book is about second chances and takes place on a Hollywood set. Those two things make this story feel magical and is absolutely perfect for any reader wanting to bring a touch of flirt to their soiree. Sassy and full of hope, Twice in a Blue Moon will bring a smile to all the hopeless romantics wishing for more treats than tricks.


Dress up like an occult character from The Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Enjoy popping out of coffins? Already testing your fog machine and stocking up on dry ice? Is your house the one that makes children cry before they step foot over the property line? If you answered yes to any of these, you’re probably ravenous to get your hands on Leigh Bardugo’s adult debut, The Ninth House.

This book is dark and full of delicious terrors. Take a haunted house, add two parts magic, one sprinkle of nefarious, stir in a heavy helping of danger and you get this murderous little occult gem. Not for the faint of heart, The Ninth House intrigues and horrifies, often at the same time, ensuring that while it’s a weighty read (480 pages), readers will fly their broomsticks right through it.


Dress up like a skeleton in space like in Gideon the Ninth by Tasmyn Muir

Would it even be Halloween if we didn’t include skeletons? Obviously not. The fates agree, because they gave us an out-of-this-world debut featuring, you guessed it, skeletons. OK, so the skeletons are more side characters, because, hello, they can’t talk. But still. I present Gideon the Ninth by Tasmyn Muir.

I honestly don’t know how anyone fond of the season of the dead, would not drop everything when given a book about lesbian necromancers in space. Go ahead, I’ll wait while you order it. A mystery with a serious bite, this book is definitely one to sink your fangs into. A gorgeous execution of lyrical prose with sharp humor and a haunting pulp fiction quality, Gideon the Ninth is a debut not to miss.


Dress up as your favorite character from The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Calling all politicos, trendsetters and purveyors of shock. Whether it’s satirical or a conversation starter, it feels like current events lately are open for many avenues of interpretation. Wrap all these costume choices into one book by grabbing The Testaments by Margaret Atwood.

The long (looooooooonggggggg) awaited follow-up to Atwood’s explosive introduction to Gilead is finally here. Expansive and provocative, The Testaments picks up in Gilead 15 years after The Handmaid’s Tale ended. Told in three perspectives, our view of this regime is chilling in its reality. With references to pop culture, current events and the possibility of a future that could still happen, The Testaments is one of the scariest and most relevant books readers can pick up this Halloween.


Dress up like a rockstar in Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz

We all know that one person who takes the term “party like a rockstar” to a whole new level. Though, usually this time of year, it generally means dressing like a rockstar. There were a ton of books that rocked my soul and had characters that were larger than life, but only one book got stuck on repeat: Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz.

Time travel, murder and punk rock. It’s basically the perfect book. A mind-bending story with a war stretched across timelines, this book is explosive in all the best ways. I’ll never say no to a book featuring the ’90s alt-rock scene, and in true rockstar style, this book pushes boundaries and defies expectations. Future of Another Timeline is out of this world, blasting onto the scene and refusing to give up the stage. It’s a rocking good time for sure!

*Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links. These picks are editorially selected, but if you purchase, She Reads may get something in return. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. 

Jena Brown

Jena Brown is a dedicated YA bookstagrammer, reviewer and writer. Collaborating with multiple publishers and a vast lineup of authors, Brown is on a mission to spread the word about the best books every YA fan should be reading.

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