7 Super-Twisted YA Friendships

Survive the NightRayanne and Angela. Blair and Serena. Felicity and Jo. Brenda and Kelly. Think teen TV’s got all the juiciest tales of BFFs gone oh-so wrong? Think again. These seven awesome YA reads offer up a ferociously fun and twisted take on teenaged friendship. Just like real life!

Survive the Night, by Danielle Vega
Fresh off a stint in rehab, Casey finds herself seduced by her all-kinds-of-wrong pal Shana into hitting an up-all-night rave in a tucked away subway tunnel—one that brings up all her old vices. Things take a turn for the hellish when one of their friends, Julie, turns up as rat feed…and they find themselves being hunted through New York City’s dark and dangerous underbelly.

The Merciless, by Danielle Vega
Mean Girls meets The Exorcist? How can you not want to read that? Vega’s equally twisted debut, The Merciless, follows new girl Sofia Flores as she’s initiated into a new clique—one that might just be a cult. After all, their idea of a fun night in is torturing poor bound-and-gagged Brooklyn. If Sofia takes a chance and rats out her new pals, she might just end up next on their hit list.

Underneath Everything, by Marcy Beller Paul
A spellbinding tale of friendship gone awry, this delicious debut centers on wallflower Mattie, who stepped away from the popular crowd a year ago, leaving her sophisticated, complicated, toxic BFF Jolene in the spotlight. Now a senior, Mattie’s tired of missing things—parties, drinking games, and especially handsome Hudson, whom she gave up along with her chance at popularity. So she decides to take back what was once hers. But what will she lose in the process?

Tease, by Amanda Maciel
A deliciously complex novel with intriguing, gray-hued characterizations, Tease follows the aftermath of a suicide. Sara and her clique face the blame when the girl they bullied, Emma, hangs herself after months of hazing. But Sara had her reasons, and her mean girl pal Brielle was the mastermind. So why is it her fault, right? Heartbreaking and horrifying, Tease revels in the very teen, very fearless idea that your actions have no consequences.


Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard
While the fearful foursome of Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna hang tough in the wake of A’s antics, you gotta wonder what they ever really saw in master manipulator Alison, the nucleus who brought the girls together—and then haunted them from beyond the grave. And let’s not forget the dark mind of Mona, who followed in Alison’s worn-in Louboutins.

Delicate Monsters, by Stephanie Kuehn
Continuing her tradition of approaching darkness with aplomb, Kuehn’s startling, riveting third novel follows Sadie Su, the half-Chinese daughter of a Sonoma vineyard owner, as she returns from boarding school—where she nearly killed another classmate—to wreak havoc on their idyllic California town. She reconnects with former BFF Emerson and his kid brother, Miles. Traumatized, sick, and possibly psychic, Miles foresees a horrific outcome to the intersection of there three very troubled lives.

Tiny Pretty Things, by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
Okay, okay, so yes, this is my debut. But you can’t talk about flawed female friendships without talking about the cutthroat competition that thrives at a place like the American Ballet Conservatory, where Gigi, Bette, and June are all fighting for the same thing—and every other girl is both friend and foe. Bette is the obvious manipulator, putting on a friendly smile while stabbing you in the back. But it’s seething, simmering June who’ll get you when you’re not looking.

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