5 YA Thrillers To Spice Up Your Summer

The sun is out. And so is everyone else. The cacophony of friendly banter filling up the streets again, the soaring temperatures, and the urge to hit the water – summer is here, in all its glory. Now is the perfect time to pick up a book (or two, or three) and hit the beach. As we experience a little respite from the pandemic, let’s roll out that towel and bask in the sun with some chilling YA thrillers.

Ready for a dark escape on a bright summer day? We’ve compiled a list of 5 must-reads with gripping storylines to keep you on the edge of your seat (or towel) and make your summer even more exciting. Pack your beach bag with some great summer reads and let’s go!

1. 14 Ways to die by vincent ralph


It’s been a decade since Jess lost her mother. Today, she is still trying to catch the criminal behind her mother’s death – the infamous serial killer, the Magpie Man. Her mother may have been the first of his victims, but she was definitely not the last. As a YouTube reality series star, Jess plans to leverage her platform and resources to aid her quest for justice. But, all eyes are on her, and probably the Magpie Man’s too. Will he catch her first? Or will she succeed at chasing down her mother’s killer?

“An unsettling but easy-to-read blend of social media savvy and gritty gumshoe work.” – Kirkus Reviews.

If you’ve read and loved One of Us Is Lying and A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder, you’re going to thoroughly enjoy the page-turning thriller 14 Ways To Die.

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2. the girl in the headlines by hannah jayne


The headlines say she killed her family. The truth? She doesn’t remember. Andrea McNulty (Andi) has a near-perfect life: she’s a high school field hockey star, a doted-upon big sister, and the beloved daughter of two happy parents. Until the morning after her eighteenth birthday when she wakes up in a hotel room, covered in blood and unable to recall the events of the previous night. The news suggests Andi’s parents were brutally attacked in the middle of the night. Her father is dead, her mother is in a coma, her little brother Josh is missing – and she is the prime suspect. Terrified and on the run, Andi teams up with Nate, the nice boy working the motel’s front desk, to find the real killer. But as the police are getting farther from the truth, the killer is getting closer to Andi – closer than she could’ve ever imagined.

“This is a propulsive story rife with true-crime TV tropes and plenty of red herrings.” – Kirkus Reviews.

Author of Truly, Madly, Deadly, and See Jane Run, Hannah Jayne comes back with another twisty thriller that’ll leave your head spinning.

Pre-order the book here:


3. the perfect place to die by bryce moore


Zuretta never imagined she’d encounter a monster. She had resigned to a quiet life in Utah. But her life takes a dramatic turn as she leaves her home to find her missing younger sister Ruby, who vanished during her trip to Chicago for the World’s Fair. Set in the 1890s, Chicago is more dangerous than she imagined. Zuretta is lost, unsure, and unknowingly playing with fire when she takes up a job at The Castle hotel – a mysterious place where her sister worked right before she went missing. But, it doesn’t take long for Zuretta to realize The Castle isn’t what it seems. Women disappear at an alarming rate and whispers creep the walls and hallways at night. Soon, she finds herself face-to-face with one of the most infamous killers in American history. Will Zuretta make it out alive?

“This novel will appeal to readers excited about an account of gruesome historical event steered by an intrepid young woman.” – Kirkus Reviews

Stalking Jack the Ripper meets Devil in the White City in this terrifying historical fiction debut about one of the world’s most notorious serial killers, H. H. Holmes. Each chapter begins with chilling quotes and unbearable suspense, which makes The Perfect Place to Die an ideal read for fans of crime and horror.

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4. Truly, madly, deadly by hannah jayne


Sawyer Dodd had it all: perfect grades, a star position on the team, and the perfect boyfriend. But every relationship has its secrets, and Sawyer’s are buried deep. Sawyer is stunned at her boyfriend Kevin’s sudden death. They say it was a car accident. But it wasn’t. And she learns about this when she opens her locker and finds a note: You’re welcome. Someone saw what he did to her. Someone knew that Sawyer and Kevin weren’t a perfect couple. And that someone – a killer – will do anything to protect Sawyer.

Truly, Madly, Deadly is a heart-pounding thriller that will leave readers chilled to the core.

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5. The obsession by jesse Q. Sutanto


Logan thinks he and Delilah are meant to be. Delilah doesn’t know who Logan is. But no one knows Delilah like Logan does, or at least that’s what he thinks. And to make sure he learns everything he can – he watches her through a hidden camera. Some might call him a stalker. Logan prefers to be called “romantic”. Delilah is keeping secrets though, deadly ones, and there’s so much more to her than meets the eye. Logan is determined to make Delilah the heroine in his twisted fantasy and he’ll do anything to get what he wants. Delilah on the other hand is done with men controlling her, and if he won’t let her go…she’ll make him.

“Set against a Northern California private school backdrop, the sensational plot is riddled with twists that come at a furious pace … A suspenseful page-turner.” – Kirkus Reviews

The Obsession is a fast-paced teen revenge-thriller from the author of Dial A for Aunties that will keep readers captivated until the very end.

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And with that, you’re all set to pick a YA chiller thriller for your perfect summer read. Go ahead and grab your copy! You can also check out the amazing giveaway hosted by Sourcebooks here for a chance to win all of these books and bookish goodies!


featured images via sourcebooks & canva