Finding the perfect beach read is different for every person. Some prefer a nice swoony romance with lots of fluff, and others might prefer a sweeping historical drama to curl up with during vacation. I have a tendency to gravitate towards thrillers in the summer, and YA fiction is bursting with excellent, heart-pounding stories to keep you on your toes. From a missing mother to a liar at an elite school to a mysterious ‘accident,’ here are four YA thrillers that would make a great beach read.
Fans of Jennifer Donnelly and E. Lockhart will be captivated by this YA psychological mystery about a girl who must face her darkest fears—but can she outrun the past?
Kelsey has lived most of her life in a shadow of fear, raised to see danger everywhere. Her mother hasn’t set foot outside their front door in seventeen years, since she escaped from her kidnappers with nothing but her attacker’s baby growing inside her—Kelsey.
Kelsey knows she’s supposed to keep a low profile and stay off the grid for their protection, but that plan is shattered when her dramatic car accident and rescue by volunteer firefighter and classmate Ryan Baker sparks media coverage.
A few days later, she arrives home to find her mother missing. Now, to have a chance at a future, Kelsey will have to face her darkest fears. Because someone is coming for her. And the truth about the past may end up being the most dangerous thing of all.
Young Adult Suspense [Crown Books for Young Readers, On Sale: May 24, 2016, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9780553537512 / eISBN: 9780553537536]
For fans of We Were Liars, The Girl on the Train, and Gone Girl, this powerful psychological thriller with multiple mysteries is set against the backdrop of the megawealthy elite of New York City. Toten delves into the mesmerizing yet dysfunctional world of those who manipulate but seem ever so charming. With its gripping pace and Hitchcockian twists, Beware That Girl will keep readers guessing until the very last line.
The Haves. The Have-Nots. Kate O’Brien appears to be a Have-Not. Her whole life has been a series of setbacks she’s had to snake her way out of—some more sinister than others. But she’s determined to change that. She’s book smart. She’s street-smart. Oh, and she’s also a masterful liar.
As the scholarship student at the Waverly School in NYC, Kate has her work cut out for her: her plan is to climb the social ladder and land a spot at Yale. She’s already found her “people” among the senior class “it” girls—specifically in the cosseted, mega-wealthy yet deeply damaged Olivia Sumner. As for Olivia, she considers Kate the best friend she’s always needed, the sister she never had.
When the handsome and whip-smart Mark Redkin joins the Waverly administration, he immediately charms his way into the faculty’s and students’ lives—becoming especially close to Olivia, a fact she’s intent on keeping to herself. It becomes increasingly obvious that Redkin poses a threat to Kate, too, in a way she can’t reveal—and can’t afford to ignore. How close can Kate and Olivia get to Mark without having to share their dark pasts?
Young Adult Suspense [Delacorte Press, On Sale: May 31, 2016, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9780553507904 / eISBN: 9780553507928]
In the tradition of Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train and E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, this gripping, addictive thriller will blow you away.
Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last 6 weeks should be. She comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident while on a school trip in Italy three days previous but was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident. Wondering not just what happened but what she did, Jill tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.
Two friends, an exotic foreign location, the potential for revenge and jealousy, and an accident that looks like it might have been murder. It didn’t matter what the truth was – what mattered was that it was fun to talk about.
A gripping and addictive read that grabs the reader and yanks them into a world where nothing is what it seems and where everyone is a suspect. You won’t believe how it ends.
Young Adult Suspense [HMH Books, On Sale: June 7, 2016, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9780544805095 / eISBN: 9780544829305]
A juicy thriller about a girl who returned from the missing. . . . Hand to fans of We Were Liars, Bone Gap, and Vanishing Girls.
Some choices change everything. Scarlett chose to run. And the consequences will be deadly.
Stolen from her family as a young girl, Scarlett was lucky enough to eventually escape her captor. Now a teen, she’s starting a summer job at an amusement park. There are cute boys, new friends, and the chance to finally have a normal life.
Her first day on the job, Scarlett is shocked to discover that a girl from the park has gone missing. Old memories come rushing back. And now as she meets her new coworkers, one of the girls seems strangely familiar. When Scarlett chose to run all those years ago, what did she set into motion? And when push comes to shove, how far will she go to uncover the truth . . . before it’s too late?