They Had It Coming: 13 of The Best “Good for Her” Horror Books

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Mara Franzen

Staff Writer

Mara (They/Them) has accidentally on purpose made their entire life about books and stories. Mara graduated with a B.A in creative writing and theatre and is halfway through an MFA in Creative writing. In addition to writing for Book Riot, Mara also has written for The Independent Book Review, Wargamer, and The Other Half, to name a few. They also work as a fiction editor with The Minison Project. Nearly all of their published articles can be found here.

If you are a fan of the horror genre you’ve probably heard of a type of horror story dubbed “Good For Her” Horror. If you’ve never heard of this sub-genre don’t worry, you’re still in the right place.

Good For Her Horror has only recently gained a name, but it’s been around for a long time, and not just in books. Movies like Alien and Ready or Not are great examples of the genre in film. But of course, the core of this horror classification is a woman getting revenge on those who wronged her. This could be premeditated or it might be her fighting her way out of a horror situation. A lot of movies and books with “final girls” fall into this category. If you get to the end of a horror story and think “good for her,” you’ve just found the sub-genre!

This sub-genre is wonderful and isn’t going away anytime soon. There are tons of truly amazing books out there that fit into this category. While I can’t fit every single one into this list, I’ve picked out some great ones. Here are the 13 best Good For Her Horror books.

(If you really want to set the mood, I recommend playing the Chicago soundtrack in the background while you read.)

Cover of Bunny

Bunny by Mona Awad

Samantha has made it into the esteemed MFA program at Warren University. She strives to be her best, but finds herself as odds with a group of girls who call themselves the Bunnies. When she’s invited to their party, Samantha finds herself at the party despite her deciding she didn’t want to go. As she’s drawn more into their world where darkness is hiding around every corner, and Bunnies start to get deadly.

This is a delicious horror and magical realism work that will pull you down the rabbit hole, and won’t let you go.

Book cover of Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado

Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado

Raquel’s crush Charlize’s cousin has gone missing, and the two of them decide to team up to get to the bottom of the disappearance. As they investigate, they come across an urban legend called the Echo Game, and that perhaps this isn’t your everyday missing persons case. As things take a turn towards the supernatural, the two of them must decide to either play the game, or risk losing their family forever.

Get ready for a wonderful YA supernatural horror book that will have you looking over your shoulder.

Cackle by Rachel Harrison book cover

Cackle by Rachel Harrison

In this delightfully quirky and spooky thriller, after Annie’s long time boyfriend dumps her, she’s looking for a fresh start. She picks up and moves to a small town where things move much slower than her busy Manhattan life. Then she meets Sophie, who the towns people whisper about. Annie begins to notice strange things about Sophie and begins to wonder if Sophie just might be a witch. But that’s just silly isn’t it? Suddenly Annie finds herself swept up in a story that feels like it could only come from a twisted fairy tale.

Book cover for Carrie

Carrie by Stephen King

One of the original Good For Her books. In it, we meet young Carrie who has always been bullied for being different. But Carrie has a secret: she’s telekinetic. When the bullying starts to be more than she can bear ,she’s going to get her revenge. No matter what.

This dark and twisted modern classic has been scaring readers for years and show’s no signs of stopping.

Drive Your Plow Over The Bones of the Dead cover image

Drive Your Plow Over The Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk

Janina is one of the few people to winter over in the small cabin community outside of Warsaw, Poland. She spends her time reading the stars and taking care of the cottages that stand empty over winter. Then her neighbor is found dead, and more bodies are discovered soon after. It seems to be the work of some kind of supernatural animal. But that can’t be it? Can it? Far from civilization, Janina must face these woods on her own.

The Final Girl Support Group book cover

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

Lynnette survived a massacre, so she’s done her time as the final girl. She attends a support group for women exactly like her, but then of course things go wrong. One of the women from the support group is found dead. Murdered. Someone who knows about the group is coming for them, one by one. But they’ve all done this before, and this time they have each other. Whoever is after them has no idea what they’ve started.

Goddess of Filth cover

Goddess of Filth by V. Castro

Five best friends host a seance. It’s all fun and games until one of their friends starts speaking in a language there’s no way she would know. As time passes, the quiet one in the group starts behaving strangely. Is she just going through a new phase, or is there something far more sinister at play?

Goddess of Filth is a horrifying book about possession, friendship, ancient history, and all things that go bump in the night. This is a book you don’t want to skip.

A graphic of the cover of Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Her Body and other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

This debut short story collection has everything. Romance, horror, obsession, magic, and science fiction. Each of these stories wrestles with feminism across genre and experience. The women in these stories are fierce in different ways, and it highlights how some “good for her” horror is just about a woman making it through the day.

This debut collection is one I’m sure you’ll be reading over and over and over again.

Cover of Juniper and Thorn

Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid

This fantasy take on gothic horror is a delightful and spooky story. A kingdom is slowly letting go of magic and leaning towards using technology instead. Marlinchen and her sisters are the last true witches, and are desperately trying to cling to the little power they have. Then a monster begins to prowl through the city at night, and it’s up to Marlinchen to stop it, save the city, and maybe in the process, find a balance between technology and magic.

A retelling of The Juniper Tree, this is a fairytale you won’t want to miss.

cover of Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, featuring a Latine woman in a red dress holding a yellow flower

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-garcia

Another delicious gothic horror tale tells the story of Noemí, who receives a letter from her cousin begging for rescue. She sets off to the remote house to try and figure out what’s happening to her cousin. Upon her arrival, she realizes she may have just walked into a lion’s den, and she has few allies in the large family home of her cousin’s in-laws. As she works to figure out how to secret her cousin away, secrets are revealed that might just bring about Noemí’s downfall.

Book cover of Never Saw Me Coming

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

Chloe is a psychopath, participating in a study with seven other psychopaths. Each of them is required to wear a watch that tracks their heart rates and motions. When one of the participants of the study is found murdered, the perpetrator could literally be anyone of them. Chloe decides to take on the case and solve the murder. Is it one of her classmates? Those running the study? Or is it someone outside, hunting them down and wiping them out one by one?

Vera Kurian writes with such a strong voice, you want to root for a character intent on murder.

cover of Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

This young adult horror novel takes place at a summer camp on Sawkill Island. It’s fun to tell scary stories around the campfire, but some of them just might be true. Girls have gone missing from this island for years, and no one is sure where they go or even how they are taken. Three reluctant friends — Marion, Zoey, and Val — come together to try and understand what’s happening. Are these disappearances just coincidences? Or is there really a monster hiding in the woods waiting. And watching.

cover of they never learn by layne fargo

They Never Learn by Layne Fargo

Scarlett Clark is an English professor and also a murderer. Every year she finds the worst man on campus and brings his life to an end. But the school is opening an investigation, and Scarlett may finally be caught. Carly is a student just trying to make it through. But, when her roommate is sexually assaulted at a party, Carly is out for revenge. These two women’s stories intersect as they each go after men who use their privilege to pray on women. This book is the epitome of Good For Her Horror.

Looking for more horror reads? Check out this list of some great recent horror releases. And be sure to check out this list of YA horror books written by women.