99 books like Within These Wicked Walls

By Lauren Blackwood,

Here are 99 books that Within These Wicked Walls fans have personally recommended if you like Within These Wicked Walls. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Mexican Gothic

D.L. (Destiny) Soria Author Of Thief Liar Lady

From my list on fantasy by Latine authors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a half-Mexican author who grew up in a tiny Alabama town, where I spent my summers playing with sticks in the woods and exploring such distinguished careers as Forest Bandit, Wayward Orphan, and Woodland Fairy Princess. After college, I ran away to New Zealand for seven months and only pretended to be a character from Lord of the Rings on special occasions. Nowadays, I live and work in South Carolina with my clingy (and, unfortunately, non-magical) cat. 

D.L.'s book list on fantasy by Latine authors

D.L. (Destiny) Soria Why did D.L. love this book?

I’ve always loved a good Gothic novel, but Moreno-Garcia raised the bar with this book.

Part mystery, part romance, part haunted house story—this novel runs the gamut from eerie to enchanting. The menacing secrets of High Place, set against the backdrop of glamorous 1950s Mexico, drew me into an intriguing plot that was as captivating as it was frightening. 

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Mexican Gothic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The award-winning author of Gods of Jade and Shadow (one of the 100 best fantasy novels of all time, TIME magazine) returns with a mesmerising feminist Gothic fantasy, in which a glamorous young socialite discovers the haunting secrets of a beautiful old mansion in 1950s Mexico.

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemi. You have to save me.

When glamorous socialite Noemi Taboada receives a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging to be rescued from a mysterious doom, it's clear something is desperately amiss. Catalina has always had a flair for the dramatic, but…


Book cover of Iron Widow

Robyn Dabney Author Of The Ascenditure

From my list on women who challenge the patriarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up as a total tomboy in the early 90s, I naturally gravitated toward traditionally male-dominated sports, jobs, and hobbies throughout my life. Despite encountering instances of sexual harassment and sexism along the way, I had strong role models and books with fierce main characters to turn to for support. I have always been passionate about women claiming their power, which is why I love writing about and reading stories that center on this theme.

Robyn's book list on women who challenge the patriarchy

Robyn Dabney Why did Robyn love this book?

This book was a wild read in the best way, with its fierce protagonist and thought-provoking social commentary.

The author’s portrayal of protagonist Zetian’s unhindered feminine power, combined with the powerful feminist themes of the book, made this story a gripping, inspirational read. With elements like female fighter pilots, rich Chinese-inspired world-building, and a refreshing polyamorous romance, Iron Widow delivers a story that is a testament to feminine rage and empowerment and refuses to follow the rules. 

By Xiran Jay Zhao,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Iron Widow 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?

An instant #1 New York Times bestseller!

Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid's Tale in this blend of Chinese history and mecha science fiction for YA readers.

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn't matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.
 
When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it's to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister's death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through…


Book cover of A Light in the Sky

Asiel R. Lavie Author Of The Crossing Gate

From my list on debut young adult fantasy/science-fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by fantasy and sci-fi books since childhood – ever since I read Harry Potter and my parents took me to Disneyland Park. My parents had a giant library, and they used to encourage me to buy books and read them. I enjoy reading books that mix genres with unexpected twists and turns, and I am always on the hunt for a good story to enjoy and review.

Asiel's book list on debut young adult fantasy/science-fiction

Asiel R. Lavie Why did Asiel love this book?

The world is a brilliant mix of the typical fantasy story and advanced technology with futuristic settings. I love it when the author mix fantasy with technology. You can sense some dystopian vibes too- The Hunger Games came to my mind while reading, and this is an extra reason why I was totally into this book. 

By Shina Reynolds,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Light in the Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2022 Gold Medal Winner in the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards for Teen Fiction

2022 Gold Medal Winner in the Readers' Choice Book Awards for Teen Fiction

2022 Gold Medal Winner in the Readers' Favorite Book Awards for Young Adult -Mythology/Fairy Tale

2022 Award Winner in the Young Adult category of the American Fiction Awards

2022 Runner-up in the Maxy Awards (Middle Grade - YA Winner)

2022 Finalist in the SPR Awards

2022 Award-Winning Finalist in the Fantasy: Epic/High Fantasy category of the American Fiction Awards

2021 Finalist in the IAN Book of the Year Awards (Fantasy)

 
Red Queen meets The…


Book cover of The Binding Tempest

Asiel R. Lavie Author Of The Crossing Gate

From my list on debut young adult fantasy/science-fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by fantasy and sci-fi books since childhood – ever since I read Harry Potter and my parents took me to Disneyland Park. My parents had a giant library, and they used to encourage me to buy books and read them. I enjoy reading books that mix genres with unexpected twists and turns, and I am always on the hunt for a good story to enjoy and review.

Asiel's book list on debut young adult fantasy/science-fiction

Asiel R. Lavie Why did Asiel love this book?

I was hooked from page one and finished reading the book in just a few days. Although this is a complicated story, the description was vivid and clear. The plot was fast-paced and full of actions that will keep you on the edge of your seat most of the time.

By Steven Rudy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“The expert combination of immersive storytelling, strong characters, and well-woven mixture of speculative and steampunk elements makes for an unforgettable experience.”
– The Prairies Book Review

Heroes only get better with age.

Forty years after The Great War that overthrew an Empire, a former war hero, Ellaria Moonstone, has discovered a new threat to the World she helped save.

When the Peace King of the Free Cities goes missing, Ellaria uncovers a plot to overthrow the tenuous republic. Fearing that a powerful being called a Sagean Luminary has returned to claim the throne, Ellaria sends for help from old allies…


Book cover of Beasts of Prey

Asiel R. Lavie Author Of The Crossing Gate

From my list on debut young adult fantasy/science-fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by fantasy and sci-fi books since childhood – ever since I read Harry Potter and my parents took me to Disneyland Park. My parents had a giant library, and they used to encourage me to buy books and read them. I enjoy reading books that mix genres with unexpected twists and turns, and I am always on the hunt for a good story to enjoy and review.

Asiel's book list on debut young adult fantasy/science-fiction

Asiel R. Lavie Why did Asiel love this book?

This book is brilliant! The blurb alone was enough to hook me, and I couldn’t put it down until I reached the last sentence! The story was interesting, and the world-building was vivid, and the magic system was so interesting. Give it a shoot, you won’t regret it! 

By Ayana Gray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beasts of Prey 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?

In this blockbuster fantasy series, perfect for fans of Firekeeper’s Daughter and Iron Widow, fate binds two Black teenagers together as they journey into a magical jungle to hunt down a vicious monster.

“Rich in magic and mythos, Beasts of Prey is a feast for all the senses.” —Renée Ahdieh, New York Times bestselling author of The Beautiful

An Instant New York Times and Indie Bestseller

There’s no such thing as magic in the broken city of Lkossa, especially for sixteen-year-old Koffi, who indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, knows the fearsome creatures in her care and paying off her…


Book cover of Dread Nation

C.M. Lockhart Author Of We Are the Origin

From my list on Black girls who aren’t all that nice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Black woman who writes stories about Black girls who aren’t all that nice. And, to me, that means writing stories where Black girls are at the forefront of their stories and given the space to be whoever they are, wholly and without minimizing their character to make them fit into neat boxes next to others. I do this because being able to take up space as you are is, oftentimes, a privilege. And I want to make sure the stories I write offer that space to every reader who picks up one of my books.

C.M.'s book list on Black girls who aren’t all that nice

C.M. Lockhart Why did C.M. love this book?

I would not be a writer had I not read this book. It was the first time I saw a Black girl be the main character in a fantasy novel, and she doesn’t limit herself to playing by the rules.

Jane McKeene is a troublemaker with a smart mouth, but she’s fearless against the shamblers (zombies), resourceful, and her complicated friendship with Kate was something I loved every minute of.

By Justina Ireland,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Dread Nation 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?

Trained at Miss Preston's School of Combat for Negro Girls in both weaponry and etiquette, Jane McKeene is poised for a successful career protecting the wealthy from the encroaching plague of walking dead. But when families begin to go missing, Jane uncovers a conspiracy that pits her against some powerful enemies. Sent far from home, Jane will need all her resourcefulness, wit and strength of character to survive.

A powerful, compelling tale of a young girl's journey through a hostile world, Jane McKeene is an unforgettable protagonist, and Dread Nation is an unforgettable book.


Book cover of The Ivy Tree

Muna Shehadi Author Of The First Wife

From my list on knocking you off your ass-umptions.

Why am I passionate about this?

People either love or hate surprises, but in a book, done well, they’re always welcome—whether we race to the last page to find them or they hip-check us along the way. I started my career writing comedy romance—comfort reads but with few surprises. Now in my novels, I make sure to give readers plenty they don’t expect, whether it’s a character who isn’t what s/he seems, a contradictory situation gradually made clear, or a jaw-dropping twist. Pulling off a successful surprise is one of my favorite parts of writing—therefore my love of books that take me somewhere I didn't expect.

Muna's book list on knocking you off your ass-umptions

Muna Shehadi Why did Muna love this book?

This is the only book I reread regularly (life is short, so many titles!) because it is gobsmackingly brilliant. The story is about a woman visiting an English country town who’s mistaken for a former resident and convinced to take that person’s place. It’s beautifully written, with great characters, typically compelling plot, but the twist! I gasped out loud the first time and have never failed to get chills on every reread. You don’t see the surprise coming, and yet it is absolutely logical and perfect. I keep trying to find someplace where Stewart trips up or gives it away, and there’s nothing. I bow down.

By Mary Stewart,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Ivy Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mary Stewart, one of the great British storytellers of the 20th century, transports her readers to rural Northumberland for this tale of romance, ambition, and deceit - a perfect fit for fans of Agatha Christie and Barbara Pym.

'There are few to equal Mary Stewart' Daily Telegraph

'Mary Stewart is magic.' New York Times

Whitescar is a beautiful old house and farm situated in Roman Wall country. It will make a rich inheritance for its heirs, but in order to secure it, they enlist the help of a young woman named Mary who bears remarkable resemblance to missing Whitescar heiress,…


Book cover of Sawkill Girls

Erica Waters Author Of The River Has Teeth

From my list on girls battling monsters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Maybe I’ve just watched too much Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I love stories about girls facing down terrifying monsters and coming out triumphant. These are often the kinds of books I like writing too, whether those monsters are ghosts, serial killers, or amorphous supernatural entities. As a writer of supernatural thrillers for teens, I know how empowering and cathartic it is to watch a character who has been through tough experiences face down her fears and fight for all she’s worth.

Erica's book list on girls battling monsters

Erica Waters Why did Erica love this book?

Sawkill Girls is so scary that I couldn’t read it before bed. In fact, I wouldn’t even bring it into my bedroom! But it’s also gorgeously written—eerie and atmospheric, with the most immersive worldbuilding. Its monster is terrifying, but the main characters—all girls—are so, so powerful. This is one of my top YA novels of all time. 

By Claire Legrand,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sawkill Girls 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?

"Reader, hang on for dear life. Sawkill Girls is a wild, gorgeous, and rich coming-of-age story about complicity, female camaraderie, and power." -Sarah Gailey, author of River of Teeth

"An eerie, atmospheric assertion of female strength." -Mindy McGinnis, author of The Female of the Species

FIVE STARRED REVIEWS

NAMED ONE OF YALSA'S 2019 BEST FICTION FOR YOUNG ADULTS

A BRAM STOKER AWARD NOMINEE

A LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD NOMINEE

From the New York Times bestselling author of Furyborn comes a breathtaking and spine-tingling novel about three teenage girls who face off against an insidious monster that preys upon young women. Perfect…


Book cover of The Dead and the Dark

Amelinda Bérubé Author Of Here There Are Monsters

From my list on young adult supernatural horror.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been terrified, fascinated, and delighted by scary stories my whole life, and my very favorites dabble in the speculative and supernatural: ghosts, monsters, magic, and worlds beyond our own. Give me all your haunted houses, your warped realities, your inexplicable horrors intruding on the everyday world. These fantastical elements are fraught with the power of nightmares and fairy tales, and that makes them the best tools we have to get around our news-hardened, cynical safeguards and explore what truly frightens us.

Amelinda's book list on young adult supernatural horror

Amelinda Bérubé Why did Amelinda love this book?

With a dash of sapphic romance and a heartbreaking final twist, this book imagines a sinister, sentient darkness lurking in a small town and egging its residents on into terrible acts. It cuts right to the core of a troubled family and the petty resentments that have built up between them. I totally cried.

By Courtney Gould,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Dead and the Dark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Imagine Riverdale crossing streams with Stephen King's The Outsider and you'll get a sense of this gripping supernatural mystery...Gould's debut begins as a snappy paranormal yarn and unspools into a profound story about the complex interplay between grief, guilt, and identity." - Oprah Daily

Courtney Gould’s thrilling YA debut The Dead and the Dark is about the things that lurk in dark corners, the parts of you that can’t remain hidden, and about finding home in places―and people―you didn’t expect.

The Dark has been waiting―and it won't stay hidden any longer.

Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing,…


Book cover of What We Harvest

Erica Waters Author Of The River Has Teeth

From my list on girls battling monsters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Maybe I’ve just watched too much Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I love stories about girls facing down terrifying monsters and coming out triumphant. These are often the kinds of books I like writing too, whether those monsters are ghosts, serial killers, or amorphous supernatural entities. As a writer of supernatural thrillers for teens, I know how empowering and cathartic it is to watch a character who has been through tough experiences face down her fears and fight for all she’s worth.

Erica's book list on girls battling monsters

Erica Waters Why did Erica love this book?

Action-packed and fast-moving, What We Harvest is one of those books that you can’t put down. A horrible (sentient?) blight infecting crops, animals, and people is a terrifying foe, and at times this book is brutal. But its main character and her friends are the most resilient, resourceful crew I’ve encountered in a long time. I rooted for them so hard.

By Ann Fraistat,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What We Harvest 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 Wilder Girls comes a nightmarish debut guaranteed to keep you up through the night, about an idyllic small town poisoned by its past, and one girl who must fight the strange disease that's slowly claiming everyone she loves.

Wren owes everything she has to her hometown, Hollow’s End, a centuries-old, picture-perfect slice of America. Tourists travel miles to marvel at its miracle crops, including the shimmering, iridescent wheat of Wren’s family’s farm. At least, they did. Until five months ago.
 
That’s when the Quicksilver blight first surfaced, poisoning the farms of Hollow’s End one by one. It…


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