#1 New York Times bestselling author Natasha Preston’s ripped-from-the-headlines YA thriller, The Cellar, has captivated readers since its 2014 debut. You can’t help but read with bated breath as the story of four girls held captive unfolds, and even once you close the book, The Cellar lingers in your mind.
If you’re looking for more like The Cellar, settle in with these twenty twisties, read-in-one-sitting YA thrillers, and suspense novels.
Sadie by Courtney Summers
Daring and dark, Courtney Summers’ Sadie pierces the chilling heart of a girl’s disappearance.
Sadie alternates between nineteen-year-old Sadie’s voice as she hunts her little sister’s killer and the podcast that tracks the clues Sadie left behind. Sadie doesn’t know that her revenge quest will soon be told to millions—and listeners wait with bated breath to learn Sadie’s fate.
Sadie will linger and haunt you long after you turn the final page.
You can find your copy here.
I’m The Girl by Courtney Summers
Courtney Summers stuns again with I’m The Girl, an uncomfortable yet unflinching exposé of the way the wealthy wield their power.
Sixteen-year-old Georgia knows she is beautiful, and she knows she deserves more than hardship. After she discovers the body of thirteen-year-old Ashley James, Georgia’s investigation steeps her deep within the world of privilege and power. With Ashley’s sister, Nora, at her side, Georgia must question everything she has ever believed about wealth.
You can find I’m The Girl here.
The Athena Protocol by Shamim Sarif
With all the ferocity of Sadie and I’m The Girl comes Shamim Sarif’s The Athena Protocol, an action-packed tale of female spies gone rogue.
Jessie isn’t supposed to shoot to kill. But when she does, it gets her booted from her organization of all-female spies before a human trafficking takedown. Now, Jessie is determined to investigate the trackers in a solo mission and dodge her former teammates’ efforts to take her down.
Be sure to pick up The Athena Protocol here.
Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson
With its ripped-from-the-headlines mystery and unflinching exploration of abuse and misogynoir, Tiffany D. Jackson’s Grown is a critical read.
Enchanted thinks she’s about to live her dream when she’s spotted by a wildly popular R&B artist, Korey Fields. But when Enchanted wakes without her memory and sees Korey’s dead body, she must clear her name and prove she didn’t kill him.
You can find this suspenseful and intense novel here.
The Black Girls Left Standing by Juliana Goodman
When a police officer kills Kattia Willet, sixteen-year-old Beau knows she must clear her older sister’s name. Beau established an anonymous tip line, but as evidence grows, Beau finds herself in more danger than she ever anticipated.
With strong themes of social justice, The Black Girls Left Standing is a bold and powerful read that provides you with plenty to consider after finishing.
Find your copy here.
All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban
A scholarship dinner goes wrong when four students are locked away with weapons and a note that has one set of instructions: choose someone to die in an hour, or else they all will. As the question of how they’re connected rises, Amber Prescott is determined to save everyone.
With a clock ticking down to a deadly end, will Amber and her classmates make it out alive? And if not, who will they choose?
Discover the stunning conclusion here.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
Tragedy haunts a small town in Holly Jackson’s A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.
Even five years after the crime, Pip sees the fallout from high school senior Andie Bell’s murder. Pip is disturbed by the crime, even more so when she examines the closed case and finds evidence that the wrong person may have been put behind bars. But Pip’s mission puts a target on her back, and soon, she finds herself as a target.
Twisty and thrilling with an unexpected ending, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is a must-read.
Find your copy here.
Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
For another small-town murder that blends past and present interests, check out Karen McManus’ Two Can Keep a Secret.
When Ellery is sent to live in Echo Ridge with a grandmother she hardly knows, her aunt’s seventeen-year-old disappearance and a homecoming queen’s murder haunt her. And when another girl vanishes, Ellery discovers that nobody in Echo Ridge is without secrets.
Suspenseful and sharp, Two Can Keep a Secret is a necessity for your bookshelf.
Check it out here.
All These Bodies by Kendare Blake
In the summer of 1958, a diabolical killer leaves bloodless bodies scattered across the Midwest. Aspiring journalist Michael Jensen finds himself at the center of the investigation when the family next door is murdered, and their daughter—the sole survivor—will only speak to him.
With a strong influence from true crime, All These Bodies is a chillingly fantastic glimpse into the morbid curiosity that comes alongside small-town murders.
Grab your copy here.
Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power
Rory Power tells an eerie tale of repeating history in Burn Our Bodies Down, a thriller set in the mysterious town of Phalene. Margot ventures to Phalene, desperate to learn of her past. There, Margot encounters a girl who could be her twin and realizes: her mom fled this town for a good reason.
With touches of horror, an unnerving series of events, and a tight pace, Burn Our Bodies down is meant to be consumed in one go.
You can find Burn Our Bodies Down here.
The Rumor Game by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra
Settle in for the juicy, private school mystery of your dreams. With comparisons to Gossip Girl, Dhonielle Clayton, and Sona Charaipotra deliver a fiery thriller about rumors that rip through three girls’ lives at an elite Washington D.C. private school.
Modern and mind-bending, Clayton and Charaipotra demonstrate the longevity of drama and the insidious delights of social media.
You can find The Rumor Game here.
Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
Genuine Fraud is a mind-bending story that begins at the end.
With a flipped plot, this novel explores the thrilling friendship between two girls, Imogen and Jule, and the tangled secrets that unite and divide them. With a breakneck pace and sharp characterization, you’ll want to read Genuine Fraud twice in the same sitting.
Pick up your copy here.
Nobody Knows But You by Anica Mrose Rissi
To dive into another powerful thriller with female friendship at its core, pick up Anica Mrose Rissi’s Nobody Knows But You.
Not even murder is enough to get Kayla to relinquish Lainie’s secrets. As the once-sunny summer camp turns gruesome after a terrible death, Kayla remains faithful and holds on to the knowledge that sometimes, the truth is not all it seems.
Be sure to grab Nobody Knows But You here.
The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera
For a thriller with a speculative twist, check out Donna Barba Higuera’s The Last Cuentista.
The story follows Petra, a girl who wants only to tell stories. But at the end of the world, Petra is forced to flee Earth alongside the other children chosen to carry on the human race. When she wakes on a new planet centuries later, she alone remembers Earth. Can she survive the efforts of those trying to erase human history?
You can find The Last Cuentista here.
The Silence of Bones by June Hur
Like The Last Cuentista, The Silence of Bones is a thriller with a dash of another genre—in this case, historical fiction.
In the year 1800 in Joseon, sixteen-year-old Seol is indentured to an inspector investigating a noblewoman’s sinister murder. Yet when the inspector falls under suspicion, Seol must choose truth or silence, as she alone might be able to clear his name. Doing so, though, might cost her everything.
Grab your copy of The Silence of Bones here.
I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys
Against the backdrop of 1989 Romania and failing communist governments across Europe, seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu longs to make a career out of writing. Under a dictatorship, blackmail forces Cristian to become a government informant. Yet even the threat of death isn’t enough to stop Cristian from risking everything to expose the truth.
From historical fiction powerhouse, Ruta Sepetys comes this thrilling tale of what it means to survive in times of hardship and surveillance.
You can find I Must Betray You here.
Surrender Your Sons by Adam Sass
Pitched as Lord of the Flies meets Lost with gay teens, Surrender Your Sons blends horror and humor to arrive at a wholly original and suspenseful novel. The story follows a group of LGBTQ+ teens as they attempt to break free from Nightlight Ministries, a sinister conversion camp. First, though, they want to expose Nightlight for the nightmare it is.
You can pick up Surrender Your Sons here.
Into the Real by Z. Brewer
Like Surrender Your Sons, Z. Brewer’s Into the Real brings queer characters and a speculative twist to the thriller genre. Set across three different worlds, three queer teens try to find where they belong, and soon, figure out that the answer might be with each other.
Gripping and contemplative, Into the Real is a treat for anyone, but especially teens who are beginning (or continuing) to explore their identities.
Grab your copy here.
Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist
Emma Berquist’s Missing, Presumed Dead pairs eighteen-year-old Lexi and Jane, a murder victim turned ghost. Jane won’t rest for good until she hunts down her killer, and she needs Lexi’s help to do it. And Lexi? She’d do just about anything to keep Jane by her side forever.
With noir undertones and a queer romance at its center, Missing, Presumed Dead is a haunting dream of a novel.
Find it here.
Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
Danger lurks around every turn in this survival-slash-thriller set in the Teton Range. Britt has prepared to backpack through the mountains, yet when a blizzard forces her to take shelter, she finds herself hostage to fugitives. Now, Britt must stay alive long enough for help to find her.
You can find Black Ice here.
At the Edge of Your Seat
Tear through these YA thrillers one by one in a reading marathon of your dreams. Even if you have to sleep with the lights on, it’ll be worth it.
Does The Cellar have a sequel?
You Will Be Mine is the sequel to The Cellar.
Should I be aware of any content warnings for The Cellar?
The novel’s premise involves the disappearance of teenage girls, and as many of these recommended novels have similar themes, take care if this topic is unsettling!
What age group should read The Cellar?
The Cellar is targeted to readers ages 14-17.
Is there a movie based on The Cellar?
According to Natasha Preston, there are currently no plans for a movie based on The Cellar.
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