This post contains affiliate links. Book Riot can earn a commission when you buy through these links.
Do you love a YA book with a fast paced pace and a fascinating secret in your heart? So do we, which is why we’ve compiled this list of 15 of the best YA thriller books in various subgenres from the past few years! Escape to another place and time where every moment counts and high stakes mean some decisions are literally life and death!
Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus
Ezra and Ellery are sent to see the grandmother they barely know after their mother checks into an inpatient rehab facility. Once they arrive in their mother’s quaint Vermont hometown, haunted by their aunt’s disappearance years earlier near Homecoming, they find that history will soon repeat itself.
You’re next to Kylie Schachte
Flora has a nose for finding trouble. When she witnesses her classmate – and secret crush – Ava’s death, she is determined to find the killers of so many girls who have never received justice. But what she doesn’t expect is to uncover a conspiracy that will draw a murderer straight to her.
The cheerleaders from Kara Thomas
Five years ago five cheerleaders died in Sunnybrook under strange and mysterious circumstances. Monica’s sister was one of them. Now the school wants to remember the fallen girls, and Monica feels like she’s just bringing back old, painful memories – but she has yet to realize that it can persuade a murderer too.
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
Mary is at home with a group for allegedly killing a baby. No one could ever definitively prove she was responsible, but the evidence was piled against her. Since she was still a child herself, she is in a group home, which is not always safe. Now she is expecting a baby of her own and has to face the truth of what really happened that night, which means finally to face her mother.
The silence of the bones of June Hur
Seol is an Indented Agent at the Joseon, Korea Police Bureau in 1800, charged with assisting the inspectors in cases involving women. When a noblewoman is murdered, Seol’s curiosity overwhelms her as she begins to ask her own questions about death and the connections to the office and her own haunted past.
Fake Lamar Giles ID
Nick and his family are under witness protection, live under new names, and pretend to be normal people. Nick knows he needs to keep his head down and not draw attention to himself, but when Nick’s friend Eli shares a conspiracy theory and is then killed for what he knows, Nick can’t help but be drawn into the case.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
Jane lives in a version of the past where the civil war was interrupted by the dead brought to life. She has trained a companion all her life, a bodyguard for rich white people who can afford protection from zombies. She wants to return to Kentucky, but when people disappear in Baltimore, Jane is drawn into the mystery.
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Anna and her friends are in Aruba in the spring and have the time of their lives until Anna’s best friend is brutally murdered. Now Anna is being accused of the crime and everyone – her friends, the police, and even the media believe she is to blame. She maintains her innocence, but the truth is nowhere near as simple as she would like it to be.
Five Total Strangers to Natalie D. Richards
Mira only hopes to come home for the holidays when a snow storm ends her connecting flight and she is stuck at the airport. But then her seatmate Harper offers her a ride – she and three friends rent a car and drive the rest of their trip. Mira takes the chance, but this car full of strangers can prove dangerous as her journey is full of lies, sabotage and secrets.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
In this sci-fi thriller, Kady and Ezra have just split up when their tiny mining outpost planet is attacked. Fleeing for their lives, they are soon embroiled in a desperate race against their enemy to the nearest jump station to alert the authorities of the attack and they must find a way to work together to survive.
White rabbit by Caleb Roehrig
Rufus was looking forward to a fun party with his friends on July 4th when his half sister April calls, desperate for help. He goes by her side, together with Sebastian, his former friend. They find April full of blood and her boyfriend dead – but she has no recollection of what happened. Rufus and Sebastian have to work together on a dangerous, muggy night to clear April’s name.
Sarah Lyu’s best lies
Remy found her life pretty perfect – she had a best friend named Elise and an adored friend named Jack. But when Jack ends up dead and Elise is accused of his murder, Remy has to rethink everything she thought she knew about their relationships to see a darker truth beneath the surface.
Five midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal
Lupe has just arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to visit the family when she learns of a series of shocking murders that have rocked the city. Since her cousin is missing, she teams up with Javier, who knew one of the victims, to get to the bottom of the murders and to find out who – or what – is terrorizing the city.
When I’m done with you by Stephanie Kuehn
When Ben joins a student camping trip into the wild no one expects anyone to end up dead. But now that Ben is in custody and blamed for the tragedy, he will tell the world exactly what happened and he will not leave out any detail.
The Athena Protocol by Shamim Sarif
Jessie is part of the Athena Protocol, a top secret elite team targeting human traffickers and criminals. They have a code of honor – not murder – but when Jessie breaks that code and is kicked out, she is determined to get set free by researching a top trafficker in hopes of returning to Athena’s grace … but she has none Idea how much danger she really is in.
Do you want more great YA books? Check out our best selection of YA book clubs and even more YA thrillers. Then visit our best Mystery Book Clubs for more great and exciting reads.
Book Deals Newsletter
Sign up for our Offers & Booking Newsletter and get up to 80% discount on books you actually want to read.
Thanks for registering! Keep an eye on your inbox.
Do you want to keep up to date with the latest and YA thriller books? Sign up for TBR: Tailor-made book recommendations! TBR is a personalized book recommendation service that sends you books that you love to read. Here’s how it works: Just fill out the reader survey and let us know what you’d like more of – such as thrillers for teenagers or adults – and what you’re not keen on. Then an experienced bibliology player will read your answers and recommend three books just for you. Receive your letter of recommendation by email in around two weeks or receive your recommendations in brand new hardcover from our partner Print: A Bookstore in Portland, Maine, in around three to four weeks. Find out more and register now!