Columns > Published on July 10th, 2020

The Ladies of Horror BookTube

Readers can discover new books in a variety of ways. Reviews of horror fiction can be found on social media platforms like Instagram (#bookstagram), Twitter, Facebook and even TikTok. Pick up one of several magazines focusing on Horror, like Rue Morgue, SCREAM, or Fangoria and there will be a section with horror book reviews. But perhaps the most interactive and personal way readers can enjoy book reviews is BookTube—readers talking about books on YouTube. As a woman writing horror fiction reviews myself, I am well aware of the growing sisterhood. So many more women have stepped forward in the last five years loudly and proudly voicing their love for horror fiction. We've heard from the menfolk for many, many's time to turn up the volume and amplify the voices of women who are passionate about horror.

1. Marie McWilliams

About: Marie prides herself on being a lover of the dark and macabre as well as just being an all around "weirdo". She reviews horror fiction, unboxings of subscription services, gives writing advice and helpful bookstagram tips. 

What I like: Marie is from Belfast, Northern Ireland and has a beautiful accent. Her aesthetic is gothic but with a touch of whimsy. I find her personality to be authentic and not performative like some BookTube hosts tend to be. Marie has a prolific #bookstagram account as well so she brings a certain level of that community to her videos that I particularly enjoy.

2. The Shades of Orange

About: Rachel is from Canada. She has a well-rounded approach to the horror genre, reading from a variety of horror sub-genres. Her videos range from recommendations to reviews and wrap-ups to book hauls.

What I like: Readers will feel informed on everything the horror genre has to offer. Rachel has an eclectic taste, showcasing books from the indie and mainstream markets. Her voice is soothing and sophisticated. Every time I watch one of her videos, I am always in awe of her level of professionalism. She's almost like a TV journalist in that she doesn't fall into that "Um and Uh" trap so many other hosts trip over.

3. Harpies in the Trees

About: Mers lives in Berlin. Her channel is unique in that she dresses up in elaborate costumes or employs her photoshop skills to make herself look creepy. You should definitely check out her Instagram too.

What I like: Mers does horror book reviews, unboxings of subscription services and book hauls but she also has some unique features that set her apart, like original short movies and some haunted/abandoned building tours. Mers has a very unique style and personal taste in books. I love that I can watch her videos and never know what to expect. Her content is a reflection of her personality and I love that.

4. Howling Libraries

About: Destiny is passionate about books. She reads from a variety of genres but horror is her favorite. She is a book reviewer on several platforms but just recently started her BookTube account.

What I like: Some BookTubers seem unnatural in front of the camera but Destiny is authentic and carefree, She has the perfect voice for TV/Radio and articulates her thoughts on books so well. Her wrap-up videos are full of recommendations and books to add to your ever-growing TBR. It's Destiny's welcoming and friendly personality that make her videos so engaging. She makes you feel like she's just hanging out with friends talking about books.

5. Marcy Reads

About: Wrap-ups, book hauls, TBR stacks, Marcy makes sure to cover all the classic BookTube content, but viewers will stay for her personality.

What I like: This channel is for readers who love a good laugh. Marcy is hysterical. The way she talks about books is infectious. She's passionate about the books she loves and the books she didn't enjoy, so either way you'll come away with some strong feelings about what Marcy reads. 

6. Hey Little Thrifter

About: Alex loves vintage/retro horror and collecting paperbacks. She has an impressive collection and is super knowledgeable.

What I Like: Alex has a beautiful accent and speaking voice that I find to be comforting and relaxing. My favorite videos are the ones where Alex talks about her favorite horror films. I find that she watches films and reads books that are off the beaten path enough that most people will get book or movie recommendations from her that they haven't heard before.

7. Jordaline Reads

About: Jordaline is an avid horror reader/collector. Her videos range from TBR lists, recommendations, wrap-ups to reviews.

What I like: Jordaline knows her shit. She reads a lot of books and she organizes a ton of challenges to get readers to join in on readalongs. She reads mainstream and indie fiction so she gets props from me for introducing her audience to a wide variety of what horror has to offer. I also just love Jordaline's personality. She's confident, authentic and hilarious. 

8. That's What She Read

About: Stephanie is a prolific BookTuber and the host of the podcast, Books in the Freezer. I'm fairly certain that Stephanie has taken a break from BookTube content while she adjusts to mom-life after just having a baby but, I'm confident she will be returning to it and there is plenty of content there to get caught-up on while you wait.

What I love: Stephanie is a joy to watch. She has an expressive face that communicates *exactly* how she is feeling about what she's saying about a book. I love her dry sense of humor and she has great taste in books. Her podcast is current and up-to-date so definitely check that out as well. 

It's my encouragement that if you identify as a woman and you love to talk about horror fiction, consider starting up a BookTube! There's a supportive community of readers there who love to welcome new voices. The BookTube sisterhood seems to be a gracious group of women who enjoy collaborating on video content and doing shout-outs of one another. Check out these already established BookTubers and think about how you could lend your own, unique voice to this growing trend in book reviews!

About the author

Sadie Hartmann, “Mother Horror” reviews horror fiction for Cemetery Dance Online and Scream Magazine. She is a co-owner of a curated, horror fiction book subscription company called Night Worms. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, kids and Frenchie.

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