Best Gothic Romance Books, Movies, and More

6 Books, Movies, And More For The Gothic Romantic At Heart

For those who love a little bit of creepy with a little bit of romance.


For those of you who never quite grew out of your emo phase and especially thrive when fall/Halloween comes around, this list is for you. I don't really consider myself an "emo kid" anymore, but I definitely went into that phase when I was younger. However, I don't think that part of me completely died and instead grew into an appreciation for things macabre, darkly romantic, and generally spooky. I know I'm not alone in this regard so please if that kind of stuff resonates with you as it does with me, check out this small compilation of things I think you'll particularly enjoy.

1. Book: "The Book of Lost Things" by John Connolly

Ok, so not really a romance but definitely has that creepy air of original fairy tales so just hear me out. I'll be honest, it's been a while since I've read this book, but I still attribute it to being one of the books that really refined my taste and turned me more towards material with Gothic attributes, so it felt wrong to leave it out. It has all the unintentional horror of a Grimms' Brothers fairy tale that is just enough to leave you feeling generally unsettled in the best way after you put it down.

2. Movie: "Crimson Peak" (2015)

From one of my favorite directors of all time, Guillermo Del Toro's "Crimson Peak" combines horror movie qualities with the elements of classic Victorian romance to bring you a film perfect for those who like a bit of horror with their romance. With a wonderful a cast and a set both breathtaking as it is haunting, it's easy to fall in love with this story (and Tom Hiddleston even more) while being creeped out at the same time.

3. Podcast: "Lore" by Aaron Mahnke

I'm not a super big podcast person, but I make an exception for this one. "Lore" is an extensive collection of all the chilling stories and folktales littered throughout history brought together in one place. Each episode has a general theme and stories that you can't help but think about extensively. Plus, Mahnke's voice is just one of those made for telling spooky stories. Not all of the episodes have that gothic romance vibe, but many do and they're all still interesting.

4. Movie: "Bram Stocker's Dracula" (1992)

If you ever went through a phase of vampire obsession, be prepared to have it reawakened (if it ever actually died) after watching this movie. Gary Oldman makes an incredible Dracula that feels so much more like the Victorian novel it was born from. It doesn't get much more Gothic and romantic than a vampire saying stuff like "I have crossed oceans of time to find you".

5. TV Show: "Penny Dreadful" (2014-2016)

You can almost say this is the dream mashup of all Victorian-era gothic romance/horror books. With classic characters such as Dorian Gray and Victor Frankenstein trying to navigate a London plagued by the paranormal, you can expect a really cool show. Plus, it's on Netflix so it's perfect for fall binge-watching.

6. Book: "This Dark Endeavor" by Kenneth Oppel

A YA series that details the origin behind Victor Frankenstein, this is an intriguing series. I won't say it's amazing, but it definitely immerses you in a gothic atmosphere just as Mary Shelley's original does. There is a sequel too, which I personally find even better than this first installment

Hopefully, there was something here that caught your interest. This list definitely wasn't as long as I wanted it to be and I hope to add a second part sometime soon. Until then, check some of this stuff out and get yourself in the perfect mindset for the spookiest season of the year. Now if only it would get below 80 degrees outside...

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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