Listen closely. Can you hear it? Can you hear that sound? Doo-doo-dee-doo doo-doo-dee-doo. Those notes that make your hair stand on end can mean only one thing: Jordan Peele’s reboot of The Twilight Zone is finally here! To celebrate this revival of all things twisty, creepy, and downright uncanny, hitting CBS All Access today, we’ve gathered some of our favorite YA readalikes to get you ready.
The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik, by David Arnold
Word to the wise: never, ever let some rando hypnotize you at a party. High school swimmer and immaculate keeper of all things that fascinate him, Noah Oakman gets a little too drunk at a party one night, and it ends with the oddball son of an inventor putting him under hypnosis (maybe?). In the following days, things just aren’t quite right. His DC-loving best friend has switched allegiance to Marvel. His mother has a new scar on her face. His dog behaves entirely differently. And the story just gets curiouser and curiouser from there.
Adaptation, by Malinda Lo
Nothing good happens when the birds start acting strange. In Adaptation, they’re hurling themselves at airplanes, a sign of greater disaster to come. In a novel that’s part The X-Files and part The Twilight Zone, things are already deteriorating when debate team partners Reese and David flip their car and wind up in some kind of hush-hush military facility. When they return home to San Francisco, things are different—between them and also in the city they don’t quite recognize anymore.
Pretty Monsters, by Kelly Link
I’ll see your unsettling anthology series and raise it an unsettling YA anthology. In this collection of stories, Link paints a reality that’s just to the left of our own. Here, the real world has zombies, monsters in the woods, aliens, and handbag portals to other worlds. And there are lessons to be learned, like why you should avoid digging up the wrong grave. The experience is like looking at our own world through a kaleidoscope.
All of Us with Wings, by Michelle Ruiz Keil
Okay, this one isn’t out until June, but you’re going to love it. On the run from her traumatic past, seventeen-year-old Xochi is on her own in San Francisco, until she meets the twelve-year-old, Pallas, who’ll change everything. Xochi gets a gig as nanny to the indomitable tween genius, which allows her to move in with Pallas’s rockstar parents. It’s all going great, until it’s not: when an epic after-party and the Vernal Equinox converge, the two accidentally summon ancient creatures determined to wreak havoc and vengeance on those who’ve wronged Xochi.
Shadowshaper, by Daniel José Older
Sierra Santiago had planned on a relaxing summer. But then the walls in her Brooklyn neighborhood start to weep. Enter the Shadowshapers, a supernatural order who can conjure the spirits of artwork and to which Sierra discovers she belongs. In order to defeat those with more malevolent designs on this ability, Sierra must learn to wield her own powers and get in touch with the legacy of her ancestors.
Wax, by Gina Damico
Paraffin, Vermont, is home to Grosholtz Candle Factory. The company is known the world over, but it still holds plenty of secrets. This, Poppy Palladino finds out when she accidentally uncovers a back room full of incredibly (overly) lifelike wax figures. The mystery deepens when one of them, a wax boy named Dud, follows Poppy home. A unique blend of humor, horror, and whodunit that will satisfy your Twilight Zone cravings.
The Smaller Evil, by Stephanie Kuehn
Kuehn’s an expert at the jaw-dropping thriller, and more than one of her books could’ve landed on this list. This one, though, starts with a strange, secluded setting rife with possibility for disturbing twists. Struggling under the weight of his anxiety and illness, Arman Dukoff finds himself at a self-help retreat in a Big Sur compound. Things start weird and get weirder after Beau, the retreat leader, disappears.
The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, by Shaun David Hutchinson
Sixteen-year-old Elena has always had an unusual life, ever since birth. (To start, she was the product of a virgin birth.) But now things are starting to get really odd. By accident but out of necessity, Elena discovers she has the ability to heal people—but people start to disappear as she uses these powers. And it all seems like it might mean the end of the world, which is a lot to put on one girl’s shoulders.