I have realized that young adults will always look for a thrill. Be it in a movie or a book. But I totally understand the enthusiasm. Thrillers have it all. They are heart-exhilarating because of the suspense, fear, twists, anxiety, or dread they create. It is these aspects that make you want to stay with the content up to the end.

I live with young adults who love to read, so they always look for thriller books. They say they can relate to the books. If you are like them, the YA thriller books below will surely give you a pounding heart and delight.

Spark, by Y.C. Leung (2022)

Becky and Meghan are excited about joining the army, and they can’t wait to begin their training in September. Becky is eighteen years old, and she especially wants to get out of her rundown Langley neighborhood. Soon it will be flooded by rising sea levels.

The two head out to meet their friends Robert and Connor at the Reunion Square. However, a disaster strikes, and the friends’ lives are changed.

An enormous earthquake occurs and ignites panic, and everyone starts to run for their dear lives in fear of a tsunami. Connor and Becky are separated from Robert and Meghan. With no choice but to leave the area, Becky and Connor find Tommy, Becky’s brother, and they start heading back home, hoping that their friends are headed there too. As they are waiting, Langley catches fire, and the three must leave by car.

They head to Winnipeg, where Becky’s parents are, having nowhere to go. They find out about a deadly virus that comes with horrifying symptoms on the journey. It is tearing through the country, but they must reach their destination before the borders are closed.

Tommy undergoes a drug withdrawal episode and shares a devastating confession with his sister. Tension is rising, fear is gripping everyone, and more disasters are impending. How can they even survive?

Hotel Magnifique, by Emily J. Taylor (2022)

Jani has always dreamed of being elsewhere. She is barely getting by at her tannery job and lives a dreary life in Durc as she takes care of her young sister Zosa. She keeps up with all these disappointing situations until Hotel Magnifique comes to their town.

Like the name, this hotel is legendary, and it is packed with whimsical enchantments. The hotel also has a traveling ability, and it appears to get to a different destination each morning.

Jani and her sister can’t afford the high costs of staying, but they can be interviewed to join the hotel’s staff. Within no time, they will be whisked away to one of the most significant adventures of their lives. Once they get inside, Jani soon realizes that their contracts can’t be broken. What’s more, beneath the hotel’s glamour are dangerous secrets.

Jani’s only ally is the vexingly good-looking doorman Bel, and he helps her embark on a mission to uncover the magical mystery of the hotel. She also wants to free Zosa and other staff members who have had to work under the ruthless maître d’hôtel.

Jani’s survival will call for her to risk all that she loves, but she can’t afford to fail. Failure would only bring about a far worse fate, more significant than not going home.

The Fear, by Natasha Preston (2022)

A stupid meme, “Don’t be afraid. Be terrified,” has been going around Izzy’s small fishing town. Everyone is reposting and sharing the trendy meme, but it won’t be long before tension results. Izzy comes to terms that this meme is no joke following strange circumstances. Her classmates are now showing up dead. It is even more bizarre that they are dying in the same ways they mentioned they feared the most.

As more deaths take place, they begin to hit closer to home. That’s when Izzy decides to take action to stop the killer. But there are greater concerns and more questions. There are so many suspects.

Could Tristan have played a part in these deaths? Tristan is Izzy’s older sister’s friend, and he has been giving Izzy strange vibes. Or could it be possible that Axel, Tristan’s brooding cousin has something to do with the killings? But there is no way Axel could be involved. After all, he goes for the same classes as Izzy. He can’t be a murderer…can he?

But all these confusions will soon come to an end. Izzy will be led on a path that will take her to the responsible killer, who is also her worst nightmare.

The Summer We Forgot, by Caroline George (2022)

The Summer We Forgot is one of the best thriller books for young adults that will have you engrossed with its evocative prose and lush and lead you to ask yourself what happens when you can’t even trust yourself or if it is better to forget some memories.

Morgan and Darby have not been speaking for two years, and their friend group is now shattered. The body of Dr. Horowitz, their former science teacher, is discovered where they camped during the summer. They realize they have fewer answers, more questions, and very few memories. The students are now suspects, but they don’t remember what happened the two weeks they camped.

The now reunited friends think that the murderer lurks on the coastal highway and desperately wants to recover their memories. They must do so before the history they don't remember repeats itself.

Tension will rise as time passes fast and as the friends work together. Morgan and Darby will, however, start wondering if they can believe each other or trust themselves. Everybody has a secret in the middle of this mystery.

Gone Dark, by Amanda Panitch (2022)

This is a survival tale that follows a teenage girl, Zara, who has to lead her friends on a journey across the country. They are headed to safety on Zara’s dad's survivalist compound following a mass power failure that has resulted in a chaotic country. The US electrical grids have suffered a malware attack.

Five years ago, Zara ran from the survivalist compound to trade crossbows and skinning hides for video games and electricity. She has tried to get the tragedy that got her out behind her mind all along.

Following this power outage disaster and mayhem, Zara is left with no choice. She must depend on the skills she never imagined she would have to use. Her best bet for survival is going back to the home she abandoned. It is where their salvation hope lies. Zara will have to draw upon resilience she never knew she had, and that’s when they begin the journey in a crumbling country.

Does Zara have what it takes to see her father again and face her past secrets, or should she just hide in the dark?

Dead Girls Can’t Tell Secrets, by Chelsea Ichaso (2022)

Piper was involved in an unusual hiking accident in the past month. Since then, she has been laid in comatose. Savannah, her bigger sister, is not optimistic, and she can’t pretend to be because things are not looking good.

Piper might never wake up, and she will never know the details of her accident. Piper would never have a reason to end her life. According to Savannah, she is talented, intelligent, and has it all.

After Savannah gets a note in Piper’s locker, things get interesting. The note is an invitation for Piper to attend their school’s wilderness club meeting. The meeting is to be held on the same day and at the very place Piper fell. Chances are she wasn’t alone then. Someone probably did or witnessed something. But the question is, who would hurt Piper and why?

To find out the truth and prove that Piper’s untimely fall wasn’t accidental, Savannah joins the Survival club during their camping and hiking weekend trip. She will have to be cautious because every club member is a suspect, and they appear to have secrets about that fateful day. That’s not the end of this mess. Savannah has secrets too.

At the End of Everything, by Marieke Nijkamp (2022)

At the End of Everything is an emotional and heartbreaking book that will have you engrossed to the end. It will keep you at the edge of your seat, but you won’t want to put it down. The story is compelling and brutal about an all-too-familiar and unfortunate situation.

The Hope Juvenile Treatment Center has a truly ironic name as ironic names go. Nobody is hopeful for any of the delinquent teenagers exiled there. What’s worse, the world doesn’t even acknowledge their existence.

The guards start to act strangely, and they don’t come to work one day. Then the teenagers band together to break out of the facility.

To their surprise, there are soldiers outside. An infectious disease is spreading fast. Nobody is allowed to get out of their houses or even go anywhere without a permit. This could only mean one thing. These teens are stuck at the facility. Only this time, there is no one to watch out for them.

The facility’s supplies are quickly dwindling, and there is a deadly plague tearing through. The teenagers must decide who they can trust and work on the way to survive in this world that didn’t want them initially.

Ask for Andrea, by Noelle W. Ihli (2022)

If you are looking for a unique, well-written thriller read with a haunting vibe, Ask for Andrea will not disappoint.

What if murder victims joined forces and made it their afterlife’s purpose to haunt their murderer? That is exactly what the characters in this book do.

A serial killer, James Carson, murdered Brecia, Meghan, and Skye in cold blood. But the girls are firmly resolved on not letting this man murder any other women.

James has managed to get away with these murders, but the only thing that might not allow him to kill again is these girls. The dead girls are trying to come to terms with their deaths, and their afterlife and their ghosts are determined to ensure that James is caught.

James hunted the girls as he masqueraded as a suitable bachelor. He acted like the perfect gentleman with charm and a smile that concealed how his first dates always ended in shallow graves.

But these girls have found one another, and they are now coming after him without his knowledge. They might be dead, but they surely are not gone anywhere and won’t relax until James stops murdering people. The haunt is on.

The Silent Unseen, by Amanda McCrina (2022)

The Silent Unseen is a historical novel packed with intrigue and suspense. It depicts an entanglement of love, lies, and loyalty in the middle of a war. It is full of terror and will pull you to try to pick character sides.

The book talks about a teenage girl, Maria, who is ready to risk everything to save her brother, who has been missing.

The book is set in Poland, and the year is 1944 when Maria is trying to get home. She is done with her years of doing forced labor in Nazi Germany. Once she gets home, she finds a wrecked village but what’s more disheartening is that her parents were killed during a warfare dispute between Ukrainian nationalists and the Polish Resistance.

But to Maria’s utter disbelief, her brother Tomek commands the local Resistance unit. Maria thought he had passed on, but now he is a “silent unseen.” He is an operations agent with a daring plan for resistance against a new and treacherous for sweeping in from the East.

Tomek goes missing, but Maria is firmly resolved to find him. The only one who might help her with this mission is a young Ukrainian prisoner. He is also the last person on Maria’s trust list, but she can’t resist her growing connection with him.


Without a doubt, thriller books make excellent reads. Any young adults who want to binge-read something relatable this year will be happy to check out the YA thrillers on our list. They are worth your time.

If you are into YA books, check out our favorite YA series.

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