92 books like All the Bad Apples

By Moïra Fowley-Doyle,

Here are 92 books that All the Bad Apples fans have personally recommended if you like All the Bad Apples. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Savage Her Reply

Celine Kiernan Author Of Resonance

From my list on supernatural books written by Irish women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a weird kid. Often accused of ‘thinking too much’, I cut my literary teeth on Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Phillip K Dick, and Shirley Jackson. Raised on their dark milk, I grew up wanting more than hollow scares and mindless eviscerations. Don’t just give me a scary story, give me a scary story that resonates, one that raises a lens to our world, our history, the rules we’re asked to live by. Unsettle me, make me think. Most of all, give me characters worth my precious time. These are the kind of stories I endeavor to write and the ones I most enjoy reading. I hope you enjoy this small selection as much as I have.

Celine's book list on supernatural books written by Irish women

Celine Kiernan Why did Celine love this book?

The Children of Lir is one of Ireland’s best-known myths. Over the years it has been more than a little sanitized, and as a consequence almost entirely relegated to a children’s beloved fairytale. With her rich, poetic prose and unflinching honesty, Deirdre Sullivan brings the story right back into the adult sphere. Her characters emerge, flawed and seething, from the magical fog of myth to hurt and help each other, and to drag the enthralled reader with them through aeons of vengeance, loyalty, and, eventually, peace.

I can’t stress how beautiful this novel is. An epic poem almost, it satisfies my hunger for beautiful prose, and for thematic depth and emotional resonance. If you love gorgeous writing as much as I do, you will love this one.

By Deirdre Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Savage Her Reply as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

A dark, feminist retelling of The Children of Lir by the author of the multi-award-winning Tangleweed and Brine

'No-one else writes like Deirdre Sullivan. She is lyrical, poetic and thoroughly intoxicating.' Juno Dawson, author of Wonderland

'Unsettling, haunting, and darkly lyrical, Savage Her Reply is a beautiful thing.' Louise O'Neill, author of After The Silence

A retelling of the favourite Irish fairytale The Children of Lir. Aife marries Lir, a chieftain with four children by his previous wife. Jealous of his affection for his children, the witch Aife turns them into swans for 900 years.

Retold through the voice of…


Book cover of The Boughs Withered: When I Told Them My Dreams

Celine Kiernan Author Of Resonance

From my list on supernatural books written by Irish women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a weird kid. Often accused of ‘thinking too much’, I cut my literary teeth on Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Phillip K Dick, and Shirley Jackson. Raised on their dark milk, I grew up wanting more than hollow scares and mindless eviscerations. Don’t just give me a scary story, give me a scary story that resonates, one that raises a lens to our world, our history, the rules we’re asked to live by. Unsettle me, make me think. Most of all, give me characters worth my precious time. These are the kind of stories I endeavor to write and the ones I most enjoy reading. I hope you enjoy this small selection as much as I have.

Celine's book list on supernatural books written by Irish women

Celine Kiernan Why did Celine love this book?

Reminiscent of Ray Bradbury at his very finest, this absorbing collection of supernatural tales has it all: fascinating characters, palpable atmosphere, and delicious, chewy plots. McHugh brings the uncanny into the every day, most often through the experiences of women, and often using a distinctly Irish lens. From the Irish countryside, in all its windswept, boggy, or tangled forms, to modern office life, this is a glorious kaleidoscope of experiences that feel real even as the surface of human experience is punctured to expose the void beneath.  Each story in this collection has a lot to offer, and - another thing this writer has in common with Bradbury - you’ll find yourself returning time and again for rereading 

By Maura McHugh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Boughs Withered as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Boughs Withered is the debut collection from accomplished Irish author Maura McHugh. It includes twenty tales - four of them original to the volume - which represent the best strange visions from an award-winning writer of fiction, non-fiction, comic books and plays. Among the featured stories is "Bone Mother", which was adapted into the award-winning stop-motion animated short film by See Creature in Canada.

In her horror and dark fantasy stories, Maura McHugh explores her love of the uncanny, delves into the eerie past, and evokes weird landscapes that might just co-exist with our own.

"These stories [are] made…


Book cover of Things in Jars

Tonya Mitchell Author Of The Arsenic Eater's Wife

From my list on historical fiction books with gothic vibes that will give you the creeps.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved Gothic fiction since I was a teen, though back then, I didn’t know it was Gothic. I just liked the creepiness, the often-isolated heroine, and the things-aren’t-what-they-seem murkiness of the stories. One of my first reads was Jane Eyre, which has remained a favorite. Though I didn’t like history in school (too much memorization!), I read several historical fiction books from different eras that fascinated me. These things, combined with another genre favorite—mystery/thriller, led to my first book. It turns out that all those things I’d gravitated to in my decades of reading became the things I most wanted to write about - mystery/thriller historical fiction with elements of Gothic. 

Tonya's book list on historical fiction books with gothic vibes that will give you the creeps

Tonya Mitchell Why did Tonya love this book?

Nobody does characters like Jess Kidd. Every person in this story is bizarre—a monster, misfit, or malefactor—yet not one feels contrived. I adored Bridie Devine, a small, rotund, pipe-smoking detective who begins to see the same ghost everywhere she goes.

Bridie’s quarry is a strange girl who’s been kidnapped and might (depending on who you ask) have supernatural powers or be a “lovely grotesque” who’s caught the eye of collectors. I fell in love with Kidd’s imaginative Victorian London, where nothing is as it seems, and evil lurks around every bend.

By Jess Kidd,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Things in Jars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

London, 1863. Bridie Devine, the finest female detective of her age, is taking on her toughest case yet. Reeling from her last job and with her reputation in tatters, a remarkable puzzle has come her way. Christabel Berwick has been kidnapped. But Christabel is no ordinary child. She is not supposed to exist.

As Bridie fights to recover the stolen child she enters a world of fanatical anatomists, crooked surgeons and mercenary showmen. Anomalies are in fashion, curiosities are the thing, and fortunes are won and lost in the name of entertainment. The public love a spectacle and Christabel may…


Book cover of The Treachery of Beautiful Things

Celine Kiernan Author Of Resonance

From my list on supernatural books written by Irish women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a weird kid. Often accused of ‘thinking too much’, I cut my literary teeth on Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Phillip K Dick, and Shirley Jackson. Raised on their dark milk, I grew up wanting more than hollow scares and mindless eviscerations. Don’t just give me a scary story, give me a scary story that resonates, one that raises a lens to our world, our history, the rules we’re asked to live by. Unsettle me, make me think. Most of all, give me characters worth my precious time. These are the kind of stories I endeavor to write and the ones I most enjoy reading. I hope you enjoy this small selection as much as I have.

Celine's book list on supernatural books written by Irish women

Celine Kiernan Why did Celine love this book?

Beneath the surface of this beautifully written old-style fairytale there lies a compelling examination of free will. This thematic depth adds a delicious, chewy meat to what is already an enjoyable romantic read. I loved the characters here. Jenny’s repeated struggle to overcome the fairytale roles that are imposed upon her, and the properly dark consequences of failure in the fairy realm, make this an excellent YA romance adventure that's hard to forget.

By Ruth Francis Long,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Treachery of Beautiful Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

A darkly compelling mix of romance, fairy tale, and suspense from a new voice in teen fiction

The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she's lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some…


Book cover of Plain Bad Heroines

Natalie Lund Author Of The Wolves Are Watching

From my list on YA to give you chills.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a small town full of ghosts. They broke plates in a doctor’s office-turned-restaurant, feuded in a house built by twins, emerged from cornfields to stand in our headlights, and turned headstones blue in a cemetery where tombstones protruded from the ground like jagged teeth. The stories that surrounded me while I was a teen still bleed into my writing. And as reader, I gravitate toward books that are atmospheric, rich in moments of magic or the unreal, and riddled with stories of the past and long-forgotten.

Natalie's book list on YA to give you chills

Natalie Lund Why did Natalie love this book?

I’m cheating a tad here because this novel is not labeled YA, but it features teenagers and young adults, significant queer representation, and a plot that teen-me would have devoured as quickly as adult-me did. In the past timeline, two students at the Brookhants School for Girls fall in love, create a secret club based on Mary MacLane’s memoir, and are stung to death by yellow jackets. The present timeline follows actresses, Harper Harper and Audrey Wells, as they film a movie based on the story of the girls—as well as the deaths that came after—at the site of the abandoned and supposedly cursed school. I was haunted by the hum of yellow jackets even after I closed the book.

By Emily M. Danforth, Sara Lautman (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Plain Bad Heroines as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Brimming from start to finish with sly humour and gothic mischief' SARAH WATERS

'Beguilingly clever, very sexy and seriously frightening' GUARDIAN

'Atmospheric, sexy, creepy...totally addictive' KATE DAVIES, author of In At The Deep End

'A gloriously over-the-top queer romp' I PAPER

_________________________________________________________________

'It's a terrible story and one way to tell it is this: two girls in love and a fog of wasps cursed the place forever after...'

BROOKHANTS SCHOOL FOR GIRLS: Infamous site of a series of tragic deaths over a hundred years ago. Soon to be the subject of a controversial horror movie about the rumoured 'Brookhants curse':…


Book cover of Crane

Julie C. Gilbert Author Of Money Makes It Deadlier

From my list on sassy or determined female leads.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a multi-genre writer who loves hearing the characters’ voices and getting their stories out there in the world. A lot of my characters are shaped by their gifts, whether they have supernatural ones or not. The things that happen to them shape who they are and how they react to future events. I exist on sarcasm, sass, and hot tea, so many of my characters do too.

Julie's book list on sassy or determined female leads

Julie C. Gilbert Why did Julie love this book?

Ireland Crane’s under a curse. If she doesn’t sort it quickly, she’ll be doomed to become the Headless Horseman. 

Ha. Maybe I just have a type. This woman’s personal life is also a bit of a mess. The stakes couldn’t be higher. If she fails, she’s doomed to become a monster.

By Stacey Rourke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Crane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Horseman is unending,
his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse,
you become the legend.

Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep.

What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?

Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling…


Book cover of The Sleeper and the Spindle

Molly Greeley Author Of The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh

From my list on well-known stories retold with female characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

“All stories have two sides,” my fifth-grade teacher said to us one day. “Sometimes, they have more than that.” She told us to rewrite a scene from the book we were reading from the perspective of a different character. What was meant to be a quick writing exercise turned out to be the start of my lifelong fascination with retellings. I love that retold tales show the fundamental truth that everyone has a story, no matter how peripheral they might seem in the original. I’ve written two Pride and Prejudice continuations, and my forthcoming novel is a historical retelling of Beauty and the Beast. 

Molly's book list on well-known stories retold with female characters

Molly Greeley Why did Molly love this book?

I first read this book to my daughter when she was seven years old, and we’ve read it together multiple times since. I love Gaiman’s take on these two mashed-up classic fairy tales—not only does he allow a normally passive princess to be the hero and choose her own future, he completely subverts reader expectations about the outward appearance of good and evil. This was the first time my daughter had been confronted by this kind of subversion in a book, and it blew her mind in the best possible way.

By Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sleeper and the Spindle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

The bestselling, award-bedecked Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell are reunited in this irresistible fairytale reboot, with vibrant red ink adding lustre to an amazingly beautiful book. 'Suffused with joy and melancholy ... It is absolutely a retelling for our age, but also for ages still to come' Guardian Weaving together hints of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty with a shimmering thread of dark magic, this twist on classic fairytales will hold readers spellbound from start to finish. On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine…


Book cover of Stalking Shadows

Robyn Tocker Author Of What We Didn't Say: An Ever After Tales Collection

From my list on fairy tale retellings for the young at heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved fairy tales since I was a little girl and watched my first Disney movie. Over the years, I’ve read many fairy tale retellings, as well as the original versions. I love how writers can see a story like Beauty and the Beast and find ways to make an almost completely new story, but still hold true to the original concepts of the fairy tale. Fairy tales connect us to our childhood and when we read these new versions, it lets us relive a part of our childhood. Not many books can do that! 

Robyn's book list on fairy tale retellings for the young at heart

Robyn Tocker Why did Robyn love this book?

Beauty and the Beast is my favourite fairy tale, so not only do I read every retelling I can get my hands on, but I’m quite particular about how I rate them. Stalking Shadows exceeded all expectations. I loved how she changed the genders of her Beauty and Beast (or Beasts). I love when women are allowed to be beastly and monstrous. Panin also didn’t shy away from talking about tough subjects in her book, another reason I loved it so much. I especially liked how she tackled racism and Lord Sebastian’s experiences as a biracial child growing up in the village.  

By Cyla Panin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stalking Shadows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A gothic YA fantasy debut about a young woman striving to break her sister's curse and stop the killing in her small French town—now in paperback

Seventeen-year-old Marie mixes perfumes to sell on market day in her small 18th-century French town. She wants to make enough to save a dowry for her sister, Ama, in hopes of Ama marrying well and Marie living at the level of freedom afforded only to spinster aunts. But her perfumes are more than sweet scents in cheap, cut-glass bottles: A certain few are laced with death. Marie laces the perfume delicately—not with poison, but…


Book cover of Splintered

J.L. Jackola Author Of Adrift

From my list on where romance is as significant as world-building.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a reader, I have always been partial to fantasy—the sweeping worlds, the heroics, the adventures, and the characters. I grew up immersed in fantasy, and as I began my writing journey, I remained immersed in it. I love being transported to another world and escaping the mundane of life, exchanging it, if only briefly, for a life of excitement and magic. I am a fantasy romance writer at heart, and my writing personifies my love affair with both fantasy and romance. To me, romance is just as tantalizing as world-building. My books consist of powerful romances that weave perfectly with the magical world in which they bloom.

J.L.'s book list on where romance is as significant as world-building

J.L. Jackola Why did J.L. love this book?

Splintered is an Alice in Wonderland-based story.

I don’t typically read fairytale-inspired books, but this one was so beautifully crafted that I couldn’t put it down. The fantasy world-building is reminiscent of a Tim Burton film with vivid imagery and characters.

Alyssa is the great-great-great granddaughter of Alice. She worries her fate will leave her in an institution like others in her family until she finds herself in Wonderland.

This series has two romances—one between Alyssa and Jeb, and one between Alyssa and Morpheus. Jeb is her love in the human world, but Morpheus offers his own temptation. As the series progresses, she is torn between the two men and their two worlds, both feeding different sides of her.

There is no shortage of fantasy creatures and happenings in this series, nor is there a shortage of romantic sparks.

By A. G. Howard,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Splintered as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

A descendant of Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 16-year-old Alyssa Gardner fears she is mentally ill like her mother and predecessors until she discovers that Wonderland is real and, if she passes a series of tests to fix Alice's mistakes, she may be able to save her family from their age-old curse.


Book cover of Don't Date Rosa Santos

Sonora Reyes Author Of The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School

From my list on young adult about queer people of color.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Sonora Reyes, author of The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School. As a queer Mexican-American, I’ve only ever written (and probably only ever will) write stories about queer characters of color like myself. Growing up, I never had access to books that represented people like me, and it fills me with so much joy to see all the representation that exists today. I write for the queer kids of color who desperately need to see themselves in fiction. I write for my teenage self. For the kids who think they’re alone. For the kids who want to see joy in their own stories. And, most importantly, for myself, as I am today.

Sonora's book list on young adult about queer people of color

Sonora Reyes Why did Sonora love this book?

Don’t Date Rosa Santos is one of the only books I’ve ever been able to read more than once (I’ve read it three times!). It made me laugh and cry and hug the book to my chest. I still am not over this book, and may never be! It’s my all-time favorite comfort read. 

By Nina Moreno,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Don't Date Rosa Santos as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

For fans of Gilmore Girls and To All the Boys I've Loved Before, this effervescent love story from debut author Nina Moreno will sweep you away.

Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea—at least, that's what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you're a boy with a boat.

But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call…


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