Scary movies are not really my thing. For some reason, though, despite my fear of horror films, I love to read creepy books, especially creepy YA books with shocking plot twists. From chilling short stories to thrillers to psychological horror, books with terrifying themes are my go-to “guilty pleasures.” I can often be found late at night, racing to finish reading a creepy book. But before I can sleep, I have to watch something a little more... lighthearted. Otherwise, I'll have nightmares all night long.
Recently, I decided to try reading YA thrillers, because they can’t possibly be as scary as adult fiction… right? Right?? I figured that reading creepy YA books would eliminate my need to watch comedies after finishing the book, because it would probably just be mildly creepy.
I was so wrong.
As it turns out, there are plenty of creepy YA books out there that are just as terrifying (if not more terrifying) as adult fiction. And the shocking plot twists in some of these books will make it impossible to sleep. You'll lie wide awake all night long or, in my case, you'll stay up late watching comedies until you can manage to laugh yourself to sleep.
1. Choker By Elizabeth Woods
Since Cara's best friend, Zoe, moved away, she's had a tough time dealing with the mean girls at school. So when Zoe reemerges, Cara is thrilled to have her back. But when weird incidents begin to occur around town, Cara begins to wonder if Zoe is the same girl she knew before.
2. We Were Liars By E. Lockhart
Cadence's wealthy family spends every summer on their private island, but something happened during Cadence's 15 year. Something bad. The only problem? She can't remember anything.
3. Dangerous Girls By Abigail Haas
Anna, her boyfriend, and Anna's best friend, Elise, spend senior year spring break in Aruba. It's supposed to be the perfect trip... until Elise is found murdered, and Anna is blamed.
4. Vanishing Girls By Lauren Oliver
Dara and Nick are sisters, but they no longer speak after a mysterious accident scarred Dara's face. But now it's Dara's birthday, and she's nowhere to be found — and Nick is the only one who can find her.
5. With Malice By Eileen Cook
Jill Charron was terribly injured in the accident that killed her best friend while on a trip to Italy. She can't remember anything about the accident, but she is desperate to recover her memory. Because the authorities — and the media — are convinced that she killed her best friend.
6. Damage Done By Amanda Panitch
Julia Vann assumes a new identity after an unexpected incident changes her life forever. But Julia — new name: Lucy Black — learns it's not that easy to leave your old life behind.
7. Far From You By Tess Sharpe
Sophie is a recovering drug addict whose best friend Mina was killed in what everyone thinks was a drug deal gone bad. But Sophie knows the truth, and she won't rest until she tracks down the true killer.
8. The Darkest Corners By Kara Thomas
Tessa and Callie know something about a murder that occurred years ago. When Tessa returns to their small hometown after several years away, she wants answers.
9. The Girl I Used To Be By April Henry
Olivia's mother was killed fourteen years ago, and everyone blamed her father. But new evidence clears him of the charge, leaving Olivia to track down the true killer.
10. Deadly Little Secret By Laurie Faria Stolarz
Camelia is drawn to the new kid at school, Ben, but he is shunned by classmates who believe him responsible for his ex-girlfriend's death. This paranormal thriller series is full of twists and secrets, perfect for fans of creepy YA fiction.
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