Young Adult Literature

8 YA Thrillers to Enjoy This Fall

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It’s the fall season, and with it comes the promise of snuggling up with a good book while enjoying the gorgeous weather creeping up into the holidays. For me, with a birthday in October, fall always means a lot of fun and time to celebrate life, and I also enjoy Halloween and all the spooky festivities that come with it. I always also have a few long standing autumnal traditions that I try to enjoy year after year and follow me right into the holiday season.

One tradition that I always follow is that I pick a nice thriller or two to enjoy at the time, especially during my days off from teaching around Thanksgiving. There’s something about this time of year that makes me want to enjoy a good book filled with twists and turns that will keep me on the edge as I quickly flip the pages. I adore those stories that weave a little mystery with their character development and keep us wondering what happens next. It’s usually what I am in the mood for, and I wanted to give all of you some ideas of what you could read as well so you can join me in this tradition.

I am a huge advocate of young adult books, so I’ve compiled eight that I’ve read or I am really looking forward to reading this season. So read on and get that bookshelf ready, and let your TBR get even bigger!

Cover of Ski Weekend by Rektok Ross

Ski Weekend by Rektok Ross

Imagine that you have eagerly planned a fun weekend with friends. You’ve been looking forward to it forever, and now it’s time to go. Then, suddenly, it all goes terribly wrong.

In Ski Weekend, six friends gather up in an SUV for their senior ski weekend trip, along with one of the teen’s dogs. As with all high school friendships and relationships, there’s some tension in the group. The trip comes to a halt when their SUV crashes into a snowbank, leaving them stranded. Once they decide to go outside to find help, disaster strikes again and again, and the group must try desperately to survive in this frigid and lonely environment.

The book will keep you up with its nail-biting twists and turns and moments filled with life lessons. It’s definitely a great one to dig into this season.

Cover of All These Bodies by Kendare Blake

All These Bodies by Kendare Blake

This murder mystery is one that truly had me intrigued from the start, featuring a creepy and thrilling setting and cast of characters that are not what they seem.

The novel is set in the year 1958. It’s summer, and a killer has been ravaging the midwest and instilling fear within all of those in the area. The strange thing is, the mysterious killer leaves the bodies completely drained of blood.

Newbie journalist Michael Jensen never thought he’d experience murders so close to home. They’ve also affected his father, the town sheriff. Intrigued, and hoping this will boost his future journalism career, Michael dives in to interview the quiet and elusive Marie Catherine Hale.

Hale was found at the scene of the crime where the Carlson family was killed in Michael’s town, covered in blood, making her an immediate suspect. Now, Michael must dig into what really happened that night and try to figure out if this haunting 15-year-old was a part of the murders. This novel is one that I devoured quickly, and it truly had me hooked from the start.

Cover of White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

Do you love haunted houses and psychological thrillers? Then this is the novel for you to pick up.

In White Smoke, the ever so talented Jackson tells a story about Marigold, who moves with her family from California to Cedarville in the Midwest. She feels like this might just be the fresh start that her family really needs, and honestly, their new home seems amazing.

But while the home seems perfect, suddenly eerie happenings start, such as mysteriously shut doors, lights creepily turning off, and random shadowy figures parading around the house. What is the secret that this home hides? What will Marigold discover? Will it lead to her demise? This one is sure to give you the creeps and keep you up late into the night.

Cover of This is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore

This is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore

Two teens in a small town are shaken to the core as they discover the floating body of one of their peers. The worst part is that it seems like this death was not accidental.

The two teens, Jenna Dallas and Adam Cole, are then swept into a sea of intrigue and stress, as one of Jenna’s closest friends becomes the main suspect in the death of Colleen O’Dell. But as the days pass and they dig into the situation more and more, they start to discover that there just might be more secrets hidden away at Preston Prep School, and that these secrets than they could’ve ever imagined being unearthed. Will they ever know exactly why Colleen was murdered? Who could’ve been responsible?

Filled with a whodunit feel, and with an edge of mystery and academic drama, this book will keep you interested and wanting to know what happens.

Cover of How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao

How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao

This dark academic drama is perfect for those who love a read filled with mysterious circumstances and sudden twists and turns.

In the novel, we follow Nancy Luo, whose life is turned completely upside down when her former best friend Jamie Ruan suddenly disappears and is then found dead. This leads to a ton of secrets surfacing, as she and her other three friends become the main suspects. They also start to realize that Sinclair Prep and those in it are not exactly who they seem to be.

Once an anonymous social media platform begins incriminating them, it’s up to Jamie and her friends to try to find out who is behind it all. This book has it all, from well-fleshed out characters to surprises that will keep you guessing at all times.

Cover of You'll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus

You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus

This highly anticipated YA thriller is out November 30, and I for one cannot wait to see what’s in store from talented author of One of Us is Lying.

The premise promises quite the ride. Three students at Carlton High School suffer from a bad day that leaves them reeling. They used to be close friends who drifted apart. Then, suddenly, they are thrust into a mystery when they all decide to skip school and follow a student from the parking lot who is also avoiding class to the scene of his death.

Ivy, Mateo and Cal must now come to terms with what made them drift apart, and also fess up to the fact that they all have a connection to the now dead student. But what are they hiding from themselves and each other? I cannot wait to pick this one up and enjoy it this Fall.

Cover of The Girls I've Been by Tess Sharpe

The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe

This thriller features the daughter of a con artist who finds herself involved in a bank robbery and heist.

Nora O’Malley has always followed her criminal mom’s footsteps, until one day her mother falls for one of the criminal men that she targets, and Nora decides to escape. But Nora has a lot going on, including a secret relationship with her friend, Iris, and an ex-boyfriend, Wes, who had no idea about this situation. Then, as they meet at the local bank one day to deposit fundraiser money, the three find themselves involved in a bank robbery. Little do the robbers know that who they’re holding hostage might just mean a world of trouble for them.

Filled with strong feminist characters and a great fast-paced story, this one promises a really fun ride.

Cover of The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldvasky

The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldvasky

A mysterious horror and thriller club recruits a horror and thriller aficionado with a taste for the gruesome, in a thriller filled with cliques and mysterious circumstances.

Rachel Chavez has always turned to scary movies to feel better. She is sick and tired of the kids at Manhattan Prep and honestly prefers escaping to other worlds. But, she also has some deeply buried secrets.

One day a mysterious club calls her attention and recruits her to join. But, this club celebrates elaborate pranks, pranks meant to instill fear and that are based on horror movies. Rachel is thrilled to be a part of it at first, until the group grows sinister and the Fear Tests become a little too much to handle.

Exciting and enjoyable, this one is perfect for fans of stories filled with characters that are not always what they seem.


What other recently-released young adult thrillers do you recommend we check out this Fall? Let me know your favorites @AuroraMiami. Happy reading!