Deb’s Top YA Thriller Recommendations


I am a sucker for YA Mystery/Thrillers with diabolical teenagers. I am not sure exactly what that says about me.

Every now and again, you need a good thriller. If you are like me, you may not enjoy novels that are too graphic in a violent or sexual nature. That is the good thing about YA (young adult) Thrillers. You get all the suspense and chills without the “details”.

I have many YA Thrillers on my Read List; however when readers ask for recommendations, these are my usual go to recommendations.

To date, Kara Thomas has not let me down. She can do no wrong with her amazing books that keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing until the end. I have read all three of her YA Thrillers; Little Monsters, The Cheerleaders, and The Darkest Corners (which was my favorite so far). Her books are very gripping. I could not wait to see what happened next. Although you knew certain things, stories, and characters were sketchy, you never expect the end!!!!!

Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger was both Impressive and Disturbing. I do not have a vast understanding of Twitter. That does not take away anything from the subject matter. The main point of this novel, You don’t always know who you are talking to on the internet. There is both light and dark in this novel… mental illness, romance, heartache, fame, paranoia, true crime, and more. The main focus was predictable but the END, I didn’t see that coming. The ending was a complete blindside and makes the entire novel worth reading.

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas is one of the first books I will recommend when asked for a YA Thriller. I hate comparing books but I would have to say that this reminded me of Mean Girls meets Single White Female. This book has Lifetime Movie status. I immediately got sucked in and couldn’t put the book down until I was finished. I actually GASPED at the end.

Sadie by Courtney Summers was very interesting to me. Not many books leave me speechless. I listened to the audiobook and I HIGHLY recommend it. Although its an excellent book, I feel like the audio version gives it that extra boost to smack it out of the park. Especially for those who enjoy pod casts, this is a must for you. This book touches on addiction, mental illness, love and loss, regret, molestation, poverty, and predators. I have read a few novels in the past by Courtney Summers and have enjoyed them, but this, this one just had IT. I felt like I was with Sadie every step of the way and felt every figurative and literal punch in the gut she did. This is one of those books that will stick with you for a long, long time.

Don’t Look Back by Jennifer Armentrout was probably one of the books that started my obsession with YA Thrillers. Fabulous!!! This book, while I had my suspicions, had me on the edge of my seat. From start to finish, I was captivated by the story. It was suspenseful, creepy, a little scary and just very well written.

While my book genre of choice is Cozy Mysteries, I do enjoy many other genres. Non Cozy Mysteries, Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Fantasy, and Suspense/Thrillers are all in my library. However; when I occasionally hit that reading funk, a good YA Thriller always does the trick for me.

Do you enjoy YA Thrillers? Have you read any of these books? Do you have a go to author or genre of books?

Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab

Book Two of the Cassidy Blake Series

Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake, #2) 4 STARS

I found this series by chance and felt like I just needed a break from my regular reads. It was exactly what I needed. The books are short, one sitting reads but jam packed with entertainment.

Cassidy Blake is just your everyday teenager, well except that her parents are paranormal inspectors who have actually never seen a ghost, they just write about them. The irony of the situation is that ever since her near death experience, Cassidy has been able to not only see ghosts, but communicate with them. As a matter of fact, her best friend Jacob is the ghost that saved her life.

In the first installment of the series, The Blakes have been offered a television deal to visit and report on the most haunted cities in the world. Their first stop, Scotland. While there, Cassidy meets someone with the same abilities who teaches her why she has them and what to do with them.

In this, book two, The Blakes travel to Paris. While exploring the catacombs, Cassidy seems to have inadvertently released a ghost, well not just any ghost, a poltergeist. With the poltergeist getting stronger and causing mayhem throughout the city, she has to find out what she can do to get this ghost to respond to her and move it along.

Very entertaining story. This was written for a younger age group but there is enough history and suspense to keep you entertained at any age.

I enjoyed this story through audiobook format. I am looking forward to wherever Bridge of Souls, book 3, brings us. Expected publication is some time in 2020.

Sadie by Courtney Summers

“Forgettable people in fly over states”

Sadie (Hardcover) 5 STARS

I am not sure where to even start. Not many books leave me speechless, but this one….

I listened to the audiobook and I HIGHLY recommend it. Although its an excellent books, I feel like the audio version gives it that extra boost to smack it out of the park. Especially for those who enjoy pod casts, this is a must for you.

Forgettable people in fly over states… this is Sadie’s life in a nutshell. No one cares about a dead or missing girl from the trailer park in Nowheresville, USA. No one cares until a reporter and pod caster brings this story to life for the world.

A dead body and then a missing girl a year later. Could this be a serial? It may be thought to be, until the trail shows Sadie out for vengeance for the death of her sister. Will she ever find the answers that she is looking for? More importantly, will she survive on the road she is taking to find the answers?

This was excellent. I haven’t really listened to pod casts but I think I may start. This book touches on addiction, mental illness, love and loss, regret, molestation, poverty, and predators. I have read a few novels in the past by Courtney Summers and have enjoyed them, but this, this one just had IT. I felt like I was with Sadie every step of the way and felt every figurative and literal punch in the gut she did. This is one of those books that will stick with you for a long, long time. #bookhangover

Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper, Book 3) by Kerri Maniscalco


A cruise ship, elitists, power, fame, a carnival, magic and a killer… This book has it all.”


Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #3) 5 STARS

Holy Hell, that is what this book is like living in. I have been on board with this series since I first heard about the upcoming release of book 1, Stalking Jack the Ripper.


Like most people, thanks to the internet and the ID channel, I am truly fascinated with serial killers and murders. I have been a fan of the mystery of Jack the Ripper for quite some time. Admittedly, Stalking Jack the Ripper was not my favorite book in the series. I was actually a tad disappointed in the story; however, I fell in love with the characters and that is what compelled me to continue on with the series. The books in this series have gotten progressively better and more disturbing in a good way.


Its like Ms. Maniscalco has entered the deepest, most disturbed parts of my mind and pulled out the characters that I have had an unhealthy relationship with over the years and developed fantastic stories around them for my entertainment.


This book makes you question so much of your own mind and morality. What are you willing to risk for temptation and adventure? What kind of bargain are you willing to strike to seek what you desire?
A cruise ship, elitists, power, fame, a carnival, magic and a killer… This book has it all. I did not want this book to end. And thanks to this book, I am now researching information on yet another serial killer (I won’t give any spoilers). The lead up to book 4 was done impeccably well. I am already familiar with the Devil in the White City story, so I am impatiently waiting for book 4. I am saddened that this is listed as the last book in the series. I can just hope that she begins a new series on the same path with new core characters.

As always, the phenomenal Nicola Barber gives a fantastic performance as narrator. She makes these stories come to life and makes the already amazing books spectacular.

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus

“If Mean Girls was set in a small town, in a horror movie!!”

Two Can Keep a Secret  4 STARS

WOW!! Karen McManus does it again. If you were a fan of One of Us is Lying, you will love Two Can Keep a Secret!

This is like Mean Girls in a small town meets horror movie! When twins Ellery and Ezra leave California to stay with their grandmother in a small town in Vermont, they get more than a culture shock, they become entangled into the web of lies and secrets that this town has been carrying for many years. Someone is making sure the secrets in this town stay hidden and will do whatever they have to to keep it that way, including murder. Every so many years, a beautiful “princess” goes missing. This year is no different. With Homecoming just around the corner, someone is going out of their way to make sure history repeats itself. Are all the past events connected in some way? Is there a copycat on the prowl? As you read, you make connections and think you have it all figured out just to have the next chapter blow your mind. I did not see the end coming, at all!! The twist is shocking and somewhat disturbing.

There are a few things the author leaves a little open at the end. I am pretty sure this is a stand alone but I really need some closure on a few things.