YA Thrillers
Book Discussion Books Thriller YA

YA Thrillers you won’t be able to put down


Welcome to Owl Book World! I hope everyone is doing okay and hanging in there. I know the past couple of years have been a little tough with COVID and not really being able to do anything. On the plus side, you’re probably reading a lot. Are you guys young adult fans? You must be if you’re on this post. Today I’m talking about YA thrillers which just so happens to be one of my favorite genres in this age group. Some of the books I’m going to recommend are probably some you haven’t heard while there are some you probably have.

I like to mix things up a bit and recommend books that a lot of other bloggers aren’t mentioning because they may not have heard of them yet. I always like including books that some may not have heard of because what would be the point of a recommendation list if you’ve heard all of the books?

Pretty much all of these books that I have on here are books I have read at one point or another. On top of that most of these aren’t really the same type of thriller. There’s a mix of ya crime thriller, ya suspense books, and ya psychological thriller books.

Thriller books for teens

YA Thrillers you should be reading

Pretty much all of these YA thrillers I have read at some point over the past couple of years have stood out to me. Thrillers are typically one of my favorite genres and I read them more than any other genre. If you decide to read any of these stories I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

The Perfect Place to Die

Thriller books for teens

The Perfect Place to Die is a historical YA thriller where a seventeen-year-old leaves her abusive father in order to find her sister. They are close and they were staying up to date with each other. That is up until her sister stopped sending her letters.

A part of me kind of wishes we had these types of books when I was in high school. I was a pretty shy and timid kid so the thought of traveling by myself scared the crap out of me. I always admire girls who are able to just pick up and leave. It probably doesn’t help that I don’t exactly have the motivation to just pick up and go other than wanting to travel.

The Perfect Place to Die would be a perfect book for adults as well as teens because the main character does act a lot older than she is.

When I first started this story I had no idea it was even historical fiction. It doesn’t quite read like one anyways. Usually, I don’t like historical fiction at all. I can’t get into them. But the Perfect Place to Die is completely worth checking out!

Amazon | Bookshop

The Girl in the Headlines

YA Thrillers

The Girl in the Headlines follows Andrea McNulty. One day she wakes up in a hotel with blood on her clothes and no recollection of what happened and how she got there. Andrea finds out her entire family has been hurt after watching the news. After all, she’s not really their family. But did she hurt them? She can’t help but question that. Why would she hurt them? She loves them and couldn’t imagine ever hurting them. Does she have something inside of her that’ll make her lash out? Or is someone trying to frame her?

I don’t know what it is about amnesia thrillers that always grab my attention, but I love them. The brain is a funny thing and how it will change things or make you forget altogether to protect you from the trauma.

The Girl in the Headlines is the perfect book for readers that like it when the main character forgets what happens and is ultimately blamed for the bad things that may have occurred. It kind of makes me wonder if this were to happen in the real world then would police automatically blame the one who forgot? Then again in this story, Andrea did have a lot of things pointing her way, but I would hate for them not to look more into things just because someone is the easiest to blame.

Amazon | Bookshop

The Girl who Wasn’t There

YA Thrillers

The Girl Who Wasn’t There is about a girl who is sick all of the time. She can’t get up and move around much or it drains her. One day she’s watching the world outside since she can’t go anywhere. When she sees someone being kidnapped at the house across the street no one really believes her. They and go and check things out of course but find nothing. Did Kasia imagine things? Or are the people across the street just good at hiding things?

So, I actually wasn’t a huge fan of The Girl Who Wasn’t There. That’s mostly because the main focus is on Kasia disease rather than what was happening across the street. Not that it’s not brought up throughout the story but a lot could happen in the time frame they were trying to figure things out.

I’m guessing you’re probably wondering why exactly am I adding this to the list if it wasn’t something that I actually enjoyed. Well, just because I didn’t enjoy it doesn’t mean that other readers won’t enjoy it. Everyone has different tastes (especially when it comes to ya thrillers) so I’m sure some of my readers will probably enjoy this one. This actually might be the perfect thriller for readers who have an autoimmune disease that leaves them tired a lot.

Amazon | Bookshop

The Cousins

YA Thrillers

The Cousins is another awesome ya thriller that follows Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story. They are cousins but they really don’t know each other. They met each other back when they were little but haven’t really seen each other since. Even though they are all incredibly different they do have one thing in common. None of them have ever met their grandmother. She’s a rich woman that disinherited her family a while back and she eventually became pretty reclusive.

When the three of them get an invitation to work at her resort on an island they are shocked. Why are they just now hearing from her? That doesn’t stop them from being curious about her though. On top of that their parents aren’t really giving them much of a choice about going. They want to get back in her good graces and through their children is the perfect way of doing that. But what will they do when they realize that she actually wasn’t the one who invited them there?

So I have to say that The Cousins is by far one of my favorite Karen M. McManus books. I’m not putting that lightly either because usually, I don’t really get the hype surrounding her books. Not that there’s anything wrong with them but usually I like thrillers with kind of a shocking ending and with her books I’m always let down. I think I will always suggest her books even though they may not be right for me because they might be the right book for others.

Amazon | Bookshop

The Inheritance Games

YA Thrillers

The Inheritance Games follows Avery Grambs. She has a plan for her future. She wants to make it better but she has to survive high school and get scholarships so she can go to college and get out of her town. When someone leaves her money and his estate she’s shocked because she has never met this man in her life. In order to keep the money and the house, there are some rules that she has to follow for at least a year. Can she survive a year being surrounded by the man’s family who isn’t exactly happy about the idea of her getting everything?

I think The Inheritance Games was probably one of my favorite books from last year. Typically YA thrillers are hit or miss me. That’s mostly because some of the ones I don’t like very well aren’t really logical or thought out. Granted I’m sure this one had its faults that I didn’t notice at the time but the story is pretty fast-paced and keeps your attention.

The Inheritance Games is perfect for those who are a fan of a cinderella story with a thriller twist. You’re also in luck because this is going to be a series and the sequel Hawthorne Legacy comes out soon.

Amazon | Bookshop

14 Ways to Die

YA Thrillers

14 Ways to Die by Vincent Ralph follows Jess. Ten years has passed since her mother was killed by the Magpie Killer. He still hasn’t been found and the deaths still continue to grow. Her father becomes more reclusive as the years go by and Jess decides to take action. She applies to take part in a reality show in hopes to lure out the killer. Will it work? Or is this a half-baked plan that will only get her in more trouble?

14 Ways to Die is a YA thriller that actually just came out this year. I’m so happy I was able to read this book before release day.

The story is completely worth checking out if you love stories where the main character has to take matters into his or her hands. I love that people were able to actually willing to help her out too since some of the kids that joined the reality tv show wanted to have a show of their own.

Amazon | Bookshop

The Lake

YA Thrillers

Before The Lake, I had only read a few Natasha Preston books. Even though there were a few I didn’t like, I really enjoyed this one though.

The Lake follows Esme and Kayla who were once campers at Camp Pine Lake. Now they are counselors in training and they are so excited. Kayla loves the girls that she’s helping out. They remind her of how she used to be as a camper. At least they remind her of how she was before things went bad. When Esme and Kayla did something bad they agreed to keep it a secret. And they did keep it a secret but they were never able to get over it. Now that they are back they are getting messages that are scaring them. Does someone know about their secret?

I don’t know what it was that made me enjoy this book so much but I think I always enjoy the idea of hidden secrets that eventually come back to bite you in the ass later on.

The Lake is the perfect book for those who enjoy campy books that are fast-paced and will keep you interested through the whole story. I think that it helps that the story is short and a pretty fast read.

Amazon | Bookshop

Escape Room

YA Thrillers

Escape Room follows a group of kids who decide to go to an Escape Room one afternoon. They have never done one before and they are excited about doing this one. So they are super excited and hope they are able to get through it as fast as they can. Because that’s the point right?

What do they do when they start finding clues and actually solve them but the game doesn’t progress? They try to get out but the door is locked. They try getting ahold of the attendant that leads them to their room but she either can’t hear them or just isn’t answering them. Will they be able to escape when a fire is set in the building?

Escape Room is the perfect ya thriller for those that like survival-type of stories. The story is pretty short so it’s something a lot of readers will probably be able to finish in a day. This is the type of story I can kind of see happening in real life. A lot of people are petty or just plain out crazy. So, I can see someone wanting revenge against someone and figuring out a way to do something like this.

Don’t get this movie mixed up with the movie though because it is completely different and doesn’t have anything supernatural-related in it. I can see a lot of readers enjoying this one.

Amazon | Bookshop

Where the Truth Lies

YA Thrillers

Where the Truth Lies is a ya thriller that came out this year. The story follows three different people. After a girl disappears the town’s secrets start to come to life. Just about all of the characters have a secret that they have to keep hidden from the town. The area is super judgmental even though they shouldn’t be. When a charismatic preacher is able to turn his people violent there are others who soon realize that this small town isn’t exactly the best place to live.

This is another story that came out in 2021 and I couldn’t really help but to love the story. I did kind of feel bad for some of the characters because they felt like they couldn’t talk to anyone. To be honest they really couldn’t.

This story is the perfect book for those who love small-town thrillers where crap seems to hit the fan pretty quickly.

Amazon | Bookshop

I Hope You’re Listening

YA Crime Thrillers

I hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan follows a girl who lost her friend to kidnapping when they were younger. Scary thing is that she saw the whole thing. By the time she gets to high school, she wanted to make a difference and have it where no girl (or boy) had to go through that. What happened led to her creating a true-crime podcast. that becomes popular quickly and eventually helps a lot of girls be found. But what happens when she one day gets an email from someone saying she thinks she saw her friend? Will she run down the rabbit hole in order to find her and save her?

I don’t know what it is about books that deal with podcasts but I love them. Add true crime on top of that then I will really love it. I Hope You’re Listening is such a fun book and has a little bit of the LGBTQ community thrown in there.

The story is face-paced and makes you wonder what exactly would you do if you were a little kid and see your best friend get kidnapped. I know I would be terrified and then later regret not doing anything. It does make me wonder if I would try to do anything later on even though I feel like it wouldn’t help my friend specifically. This book would be perfect for those of you who enjoy true crime.

Amazon | Bookshop

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson that’s actually a pretty popular YA thriller. That’s for good reason too.

The story follows a high school senior girl who has to do a very important project for her senior year. This project counts for a good percentage of her grade and of course, she chooses something that might not be easy to prove.

A girl was murdered a few years ago and it was blamed on the boyfriend. The main character of this story is trying to prove that he never did it and was wrongly accused.

Murder mysteries have always been one of my favorite types of books. I like to try and figure out what is going on and who could potentially do the deed. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is all over TikTok and it is completely one of those books that are pretty hyped but worth the read. I just need to hurry up and start reading the next book before the third book comes out.

Amazon | Bookshop

The Fear

The Fear is another book by Natasha Preston. The story takes place in a small town where a meme goes viral. This particular meme asks what everyone’s worst fear is. For the most part, everyone thinks it is all good and fun. That is until someone Izzy knows dies the same way they shared on social media. Can she figure out who is doing all of this?

The Fear was probably one of my favorite books of 2022 so far. Granted I was able to guess who the bad guy was. That’s okay though because the ending still ended up surprising me.

I loved it and I thought Izzy was well done as a character as well.

I really can’t wait for Natasha to come out with another book.

Amazon | Bookshop


#MurderTrending takes place in the near future where the good and honest citizens are able to watch the execution of the most dangerous criminals. It streams live on The Postman app from a prison located on an island. When Dee is lying on the ground in a haze she realizes that she is the next victim of the app. Hardened criminals getting a taste of their own medicine is one thing, but Dee refuses to play the victim for a crime she didn’t even commit. Will she and her newly claimed friends be able to prove her innocence? Or will she be killed off before they get the chance?

For me, #MurderTrending was completely new. At least when it comes to the literature world. However, the story does remind me a lot of Death Race. I’m not sure if any of you guys have watched it but they are very similar. One is for an older crowd while the other is for young adults. Since I loved Death Race it doesn’t really surprise me that I enjoyed this one as well.

Amazon | Bookshop

Thriller books for teens
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4 thoughts on “YA Thrillers you won’t be able to put down

  1. Mel

    I loved the inheritance games x

    1. Kaili

      So did I. I was hoping the publishers would do another blog tour for the second book but it’s not looking likely.

  2. ShootingStarsMag

    I liked I Hope You’re Listening, but I LOVED his book before that one. I have The Cousins which I still need to read. The Perfect Place to Die is on my wish list. I love YA Thrillers; one of my favorite authors in the genre is Kara Thomas.


    1. Kaili

      I’ll have to check it out! I Hope You’re Listening was the first book I’ve heard by him!

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