The movie Heathers was a cult hit before today’s teens were even born, but the combination of a mean girl clique, a hot new boyfriend, dark revenge fantasies, and even darker humor definitely resonate in today’s YA. Here are five of our favorites that combine anywhere from a couple to all of the above elements; now all we need is the next coming of Winona.
Side Effects May Vary, by Julie Murphy
When Alice is diagnosed with cancer, she realizes she has got nothing left to lose. Which means it’s the perfect opportunity to take the revenge she has always wanted on a select few classmates. Along for the ride is her best friend, Harvey, whose love for Alice makes it impossible to say no to her sick plots. But when she surprises everyone by going into remission, she’s the one who’ll have to suffer the consequences, including potentially losing the one person who’d always stood by her side.
Some Girls Are, by Courtney Summers
Regina used to be one of the mean, popular girls, until the HBIC and her former BFF, Anna, exiled her. Now she’s not exactly popular, but she’s sure as hell still mean. Becoming friends with one of her former victims seems to be softening her edges, but it’s hard to make up for putting a guy through hell, as Regina herself is learning firsthand. Besides, getting close to someone just means giving the girls who’ve turned on her another tool for torturing both of them.
Winning, by Lara Deloza
Alexandra wants nothing more than to be homecoming queen, and there’s nothing she won’t do and no one she won’t use in order to get her prize. Lord knows she’d be a shoo-in if it weren’t for new girl Erin, who’s sweet and delightful and has swept everyone off their feet. Luckily, Alexandra’s got Sam, who’ll do anything to please the queen bee BFF she has been crushing on forever. But Erin has got something she doesn’t when it comes to Sam, and the girl who would do anything to win may not be able to compete with the girl who’ll gladly do the one thing she can’t.
Tease, by Amanda Maciel
Emma Putnam’s death is officially deemed a suicide, but that doesn’t mean Sara Wharton and her friends (well, former friends) are getting off scot free. They’re being charged with harassing and bullying the dead girl until she felt she had no choice but to take her own life. On the one hand, Sara had no idea the girl she was tangling with would kill herself. On the other…Sara isn’t exactly shedding any tears over what she did, since Emma did more than her fair share of wrecking Sara’s life before taking her own. As the story unfolds, both sides of the bullying story are revealed, as is the question of who can be redeemed, and who even wants to be.
Hate List, by Jennifer Brown
Told from the more serious perspective of the girlfriend of a shooter, Brown’s debut is unmatched. It has been five months since Valerie’s boyfriend, Nick, shot up their school. Five months of recovering from the bullet that struck her when she was trying to stop him from shooting a classmate, of mourning the guy she loved, of wondering how things took such a drastic turn, and of bearing the hate of everyone in her life, thanks to her implication as a result of the targets coming from a list she helped him create. Now Val wants her life back, or at least to survive what remains of high school with some semblance of a life intact, but is that even possible when you’re public enemy number one?