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?

Psychological Thrillers and Its Okay To Love Them…

Have you ever read a book that is so disturbing that you felt wrong for enjoying it? Do you watch Investigative Discovery and wonder, why am I so interested in watching stories about killers and psychopaths?

You are not alone.

This past Saturday afternoon, I got sucked into the ID Channel for a few hours. I had to consciously tell myself to get up, get dressed, and get out of the house. Where did I go, Barnes and Noble of course.

With the new year starting, one of my goals is be more social. Another one of my goals is to get back to reading other genres of books that I enjoy (as I have become a reader of Cozy Mysteries primarily).

While at Barnes and Noble, I noticed the sign for their monthly book club this upcoming week. The book is a thriller, The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell. Although familiar with the author, I have never read any of her work. I thought, “how perfect!! A way to get in 2 of my goals!!”

The Family Upstairs
5 STARS

I downloaded the book on Audible and started to listen. I was hooked by chapter 4! The narrative cast is amazing. They really brought this story to life. The plot and the characters felt so real and gripping. I knew the book was a Thriller/Suspense Novel, but I really didn’t go into it knowing much more than that. I found myself almost becoming obsessed with the need to know what the heck was going to happen and how this would all play out in the end. Just when I thought I would have something figured out, a new plot or character twist would come to light and shock and some horror would overtake me.

I love a novel that has multiple story lines that eventually tie in together. This novel is told from multiple POVs and both past and present time frames. I can remember a few times where I audibly gasped at connections made.

I will not give out any specifics on the plot or characters as I feel reading this book with little knowledge of the plot was better for me, so I am granting you the same courtesy.

I had to sit after finishing it and just stare for a few moments. I honestly feel like need a shower or maybe even go to church, LOL. I haven’t read a psychological thriller in a while and this one has definitely reminded me that I love them.

I am not a fan of graphic and gratuitous violence and/or sex in my books and I am pleased to say that there is not much in this story. There is one semi descriptive scene that is necessary to plot, the rest is just alluded to or implied, thank goodness.

I will tell you that I will definitely pick up another Lisa Jewell book and I am going to research the narrating cast to see what other novels they do.

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

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.