5 YA Thrillers with a Supernatural Twist

What’s better than a twisty, turny, mind-bending thriller? Or a book with elements that are not quite of this world? Get you a book (or five) that goes both, friends. Due to the nature of this post, there are necessarily some indirect spoilers ahead, so you have all been warned. SPOILERS AHOY.

The Hidden Memory of Objects by Danielle Mages Amato
When Megan’s brother Tyler died, the police said it was because of a drug overdose. But that’s an explanation Megan is not willing to accept. A talented found-object artist, Megan begins to experience strange hallucinations when she touches things that once belonged to her brother. These hallucinations are more than just visions; they’re a sort of psychometry in which Megan experiences the memories of the objects she touches. With her newfound gift, she begins piecing together what happened to Tyler with the help of two of her classmates, and a man who possesses the same strange talent. A fast-paced read through time and grief, grounded by a sister’s love for her brother.

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
This book centers on two girls. Violet is a talented ballerina with a bright future ahead of her, Amanda is a juvenile delinquent locked up for a crime. What do they have in common? Another girl named Orianna, or Ori, whose fate is intertwined with their own. Suma’s work unfolds like a puzzle box, revealing more and more and more sides to a dark, disturbing tale involving jealousy, ambition, and yes, the supernatural. Suma’s writing is lyrical, gorgeous, and lush, pulling you deeper and deeper into this deeply messed up but beautiful story.

The In-Between by Barbara Stewart
Moving to a new town was supposed to be a fresh start for 14-year-old Elanor. But after surviving a near-death experience in a car crash, things quickly take a turn for the worse. Suffering from loneliness and depression, Ellie struggles with her feelings of guilt about her mother’s death…until she meets Madeline. Madeline is everything Ellie has ever wanted to be—pretty, popular, assured—but more than that, Madeline is her friend. But is she really? Told in diary format, Ellie is an incredibly unreliable narrator, and you’re left wondering whether supernatural things are actually happening, or whether it’s all in her mind.

Liar by Justine Larbalestier
Micah is a liar. That’s the only truth we are given about her, but when her boyfriend, Zach, is murdered in a brutal, gruesome manner, she can’t help but try and tell her story with total honesty…or as honestly as she knows how. Despite the fact that we are told from the outset not to trust Micah’s stories, we can’t help but try and separate truth from fiction, fact from fabrication. She is the boy who cried wolf and no one will believe her, because her truth about the night her boyfriend died might be the greatest lie of all.—because to believe it, you’d have to believe in the supernatural. Larbalestier’s novel doesn’t give easy answers, but it’s hard not to want them anyway.

We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart
Cadence is suffering memory gaps and strange physical symptoms of unknown origin, and it all has to do with what happened the summer she can’t recall. Now, two years later, she’s returning to the private island owned by her family for the first time since that summer, hoping that reuniting with her cousins Johnny and Mirren and her friend Gat will help her remember. The four of them were known as the Liars, and have spent summer together on the private island since they were young. What begins as a mystery about what happened to Cadence turns into a slow unraveling and deconstructing of the privilege that allowed the Liars their summer idylls. The twist may not necessarily be a shock for savvy genre readers, but the twist of the heartstrings might be.

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