inspiration / reading / writing


I do feel I need to qualify this heading- there are SO many wonderful books out there that wear the ‘gothic’ badge. Not just the obvious classics like ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’, but those with gothic elements- ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Rebecca’ spring to mind, as well as many, many more modern takes on the genre. Narrowing it down to just five is near to impossible, so for the purposes of this blog my list is aimed at teen readers. All are fantastic books- and best read alone by candlelight!



1.The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge


The Lie Tree

The brilliant Costa- award winning tale of a girl whose eccentric father is hiding a world-changing secret…

2. Darkmere by Helen Maslin


Part-historical, part modern-day, this fantastic tale takes us on holiday with a group of mismatched friends to a ruined castle…

3. Dead Romantic by CJ Skuse


At the lighter end of ‘gothic’ this is a great romp of a book about the ultimate search for the perfect boyfriend…


4. My Swordhand Is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick


A rich, atmospheric story drawing on classic European vampire myths. Many of Sedgwick’s stories have that ‘gothic’ feel- if you’re new to his books this one is a great place to start.

5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


No list-however short- is complete  without this book. Classic ‘gothic’ it combines horror, psychology and that sense of giving a voice to the underdog.


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