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YOU NEED THE YA HORROR 400 IN YOUR LIFE

When Tony told me he was working on a book on his YA novel reviews, my first thought was, "Perfect. His knowledge of YA horror is bottomless." I also told him I would do whatever I could to help promote. Naturally, we promoted on our social media accounts, but I wanted to do more. This is long overdue, because I've been struggling with how to do it and what to say. I wanted to get it right.

On one hand, Tony is a writer (and a damn fine one) for Horror DNA. So, naturally, there would be those that think it's nothing but nepotism. I immediately dismissed that fear. There's nothing I can do about it. Sure, I'm going the extra mile because he's a staff member, but the quality of his work speaks for itself. And I can't control what others think.

Listen, I don't know anyone who has more experience than Tony when it comes to YA horror. In addition to the countless reviews he's done for us and other sites, he's also a school librarian. The man has his finger on the pulse of YA horror.

I'm really excited about both Tony and his book, The YA 400: An Almanac of 400 Teen Horror Novel Reviews Published Between 2008-2024. When I was growing up (long before I started telling kids to get off my lawn), YA horror wasn't really a thing. I was an adult by the time authors like R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike blew up the YA horror genre, and my books of choice generally had to go through my mom for approval before I could read them (thank GOD she was cool about it).

What Tony has done here is invaluable in getting teenagers interested in reading. Not only has he read all of these (obviously), he, as mentioned, because of his job, knows what young adults are looking for.

If you are someone with kids who like to read, this is a no-brainer. If you like to read, this is a no-brainer (I mean, have you read YA horror? Heck, Charlie Gibson's The Enemy series can enjoyed by an adult as much as a teen). Heck, if you don't like to read, you should request your library carry it at the very least so more people can have access to it. It's not just a book of reviews, it's more than that. It's something important that may introduce a young mind to the glorious world of horror literature. You can't go wrong with that.

Bottom line? Buy it. We need more readers in this world, and The YA 400 is a fantastic introduction for them.

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Praise for Tony's YA and adult horror reviewing has been universal from authors, other horror websites and school librarians. Here are some comments:

“So many books. Mountains of books. With more and more pouring out each month. Where do you start? Where is the overview that will lead you to your kind of story? Well here's one, from a receptive and patient reader, whose passion for the genre powers him through a multitude of books each year. Tony has put the hours in, thousands of them, and his knowledge of the modern field is encyclopaedic. His detailed thoughts are always worth reading, so let his experience guide you.”
ADAM L. G. NEVILL (author of The Ritual and Last Days)

“Tony’s commitment to connecting young readers to the horror genre is unmatched. In my work on award committees, his recommendations always add to my reading lists, and our conversations about books and their authors never fail to impress me with his deep love for stories, the people who create them, and the readers who devour them.”
MICHAEL THOMAS FORD - Shirley Jackson Award and Bram Stoker Award finalist

“Tony Jones brings his knowledge and passion as a librarian and one of the horror genre’s best reviewers to The YA Horror 400, to create a treasure trove of information on the most chilling, addictive, and fun reads in Young Adult and Middle Grade horror. Tony has long championed the horror novels in this space and I can’t think of a better tour guide through these genres. This is exactly the sort of book I wish I had when I was younger, but now I look forward to reading this with my own daughter!”
RICH DUNCAN - Founder of The Horror Bookshelf/ Co-host The Ink Heist Podcast

“It’s in the YA field where Jones has blazed a trail, with his work on the Young Blood Library at the Ginger Nuts of Horror lifting up horror for younger readers long before it achieved mainstream appeal and when, arguably, it was looked down upon by writers in the adult horror sphere. Today, he has reached a point where it is hard to think of a greater authority in this area.”
KEV HARRISON – This Is Horror (website) and author

“I don't know anyone with a more extensive knowledge of YA fiction in general, and the horror genre in particular, than Tony. We are both on the shortlisting committee for a book award, and he comes up with so many brilliant titles that the rest of us would otherwise have missed. Horror fiction really is not my genre, so as a librarian in a boys’ school I rely on Tony’s Young Blood reviews to make sure that I’m up to date on the best scary reads for teens.”
TAMSIN FARTHING – School Librarian

“In a school with busy teens it can be a challenge to stay up to date with all genres of fiction and to remain relevant and useful in our recommendations to our students. The advice from Young Blood has been incredibly helpful, the students (and staff) trust the recommendations and have explored writers and subgenres that we would not have thought of. The best example I can give to show its value is that our reluctant teen boys are reading again. To a librarian that is value beyond measure.”
MAZ EVANS – School Librarian

As well as 400 reviews the 410-page almanac also features a host of other sections. Including:

• 90 original author contributions from those featured in the book: 90 of the world’s best YA horror authors support Tony’s review of their work with their own short piece. The who’s who range of outstanding authors include Kevin Brooks, Kayla Cottingham, Gabriel Dylan, Kathryn Foxfield, Frances Hardinge, Phil Hickes, Amy Lukavics, Amy McCaw, Cliff McNish, Bryony Pierce, Amy Plum, Rory Power, Melinda Salisbury, Darren Shan, Deirdre Sullivan, Erica Waters, JS Wills, Cat Winters and many more.
• 25 interview excerpts with authors featured in the almanac by Tony, hosted by Ginger Nuts, this also include distinguished adult horror authors. Some of those featured are Alden Bell, Alex Bell, Adam Cesare, John Connolly, Michael Thomas Ford, Frances Hardinge, Dave Jeffery, Dawn Kurtagich, Peadar Ó Guilín and many more.
• 40+ subgenre top tip recommendation lists: each section has an informative opening commentary, Tony’s top three tips and a full list of recommendations for every section. A small sample of the 40 sections include, Haunted Houses, Dreams and Nightmares, Coming-of-Age Horror, Dystopian Landscapes, Curses, Folklore, Mental Health, Environmental Terrors, Historical Horror, LGBTQIA+ Representation, Revenge, Science Fiction Horror, Short Stories, Survival Horror, Thrillers, Social Media/Technology, Pandemics, Witchcraft, Zombies and Accessible Adult Horror Fiction.

The YA Horror 400 is supported by an extensive range of appendices aimed at librarians, horror fans, those interested in expanding their interest in YA horror, or parents looking for tips for their children. This includes:

• Fear Factor Analysis: a closer examination at the books which scored 8/10 or higher.
• A Teenage Horror Fan Writes: an eighteen-year-old horror fanatic ranks her top 25 novels of The YA Horror 400.
• The YA Bram Stoker Award: an evaluation of the Horror Writer’s Association annual teen award.
• Best of the Last Decade: Tony’s top 100 YA horror novels of the previous decade.
• YA Horror in the Mainstream: a look at YA horror novels which have made waves in the book prize scene beyond the horror genre.
• Teens and Book Clubs: provides many tips in getting teens engaged with reading, using Tony’s senior book club as an example.
• Older Recommendations: Tony provides further lists of older YA horror novels to explore.
• Adult Horror Recommendations: If you are looking to expand your horror collection beyond the basics of Stephen King, this is an excellent place to start. This features many of Tony’s personal favourites published over the last decade.

This almanac is an essential resource for readers and fans of YA horror and supernatural fiction, presented in a modern and easy-to-read format, to help discover the best reads in the dynamic and evolving teen horror genre. It is also a valuable one-stop-shop for librarians and others working in education keen to develop their knowledge of this explosive genre.

The fact that ninety leading YA horror authors were willing to contribute to The YA Horror 400 illustrates the high regard the industry has for Tony’s reviewing and the Young Blood section of The Ginger Nuts of Horror.

About the Author
Tony has been a school librarian since 1994 and over that period has worked in three different secondary schools. He is passionate about encouraging children to read and believes the perfect book is out there for every child. A lifelong horror fan, Tony began reviewing horror novels around 2016.

The final testimony is a tongue in cheek quote one of Tony’s favourite ever authors:

“Tony Jones is a First Ballot Hall of Famer”
SCOTT SIGLER– New York Times No 1 Bestselling Author

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Steve Pattee
US Editor, Admin
He's the puppet master. You don't see him, but he pulls the strings that gets things done. He's the silent partner. He's black ops. If you notice his presence, it's the last thing you'll notice — because now you're dead. He's the shadow you thought you saw in that dark alleyway. You can have a conversation with him, and when you turn around to offer him a cup of coffee, he's already gone.
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