Summer is so relaxing. Sometimes it’s like, too relaxing, and you need to mix it up with an edge-of-your-seat, sweating-from-something-other-than-humidity, adrenaline-pulsing thriller. Here are a few heart racing reads for the end of your Summer list:
I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall
Think Wild meets The Revenant, except the protagonist is a teenaged girl with the spirit of a reluctant, yet badass, Katniss Everdeen. Jess, left disabled from the car crash that killed her mother, is dropped into the Canadian wilderness to live with her father, a lonely survivalist who she hasn’t seen in years. Jess most definitely Did Not Sign Up For This, but a just as she’s warming up to her dad, a secret from his past appears and suddenly Jess is alone, stranded in the woods with only one thought keeping her going: revenge. (Plus, the descriptions of the cold Canadian winter will be a welcome reprieve from the heat.)
Merciless IV: Last Rites by Danielle Vega
If you haven’t yet dug into Danielle Vega’s electric, Mean Girls-meets-Stephen King series, then boom: books I-IV of the Merciless are your summer reading assignments. If you already have, then you know why we’re so excited for MERCILESS IV: LAST RITES, Vega’s latest book about a girl whose vacation to Italy goes dangerously wrong. If you’ve been feeling bummed about not getting that Italian summer Call Me By Your Name promised, this book will make you feel better about staying home—and safe. A horror story for anyone who watched Pretty Little Liars or obsessively followed the Amanda Knox case, this fast-paced thriller ends with a twist you won’t see coming.
Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson
You know Veronica Mars, the kickass teenage PI that made us all realize: 1. we’re so here for a good high school mystery and 2. We love Kristen Bell. Jennifer Donaldson is the co-writer for the Veronica Mars books—so, yeah, she knows how to spin a story full of dangerous secrets. If you’re a fan of both, then this binge-able thriller LIES YOU NEVER TOLD ME is the right read for you.
Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen
This page-turner is like Inglourious Basterds set in a girls’ boarding school. We all know Nazis are the worst, and so does Sarah, the blonde, blue-eyed, Jewish girl at the heart of Matt Killeen’s chilling new historical novel, ORPHAN MONSTER SPY. It’s Germany in 1939, and Sarah is about to infiltrate a boarding school full of daughters of the Third Reich, posing as one of their own. Why? Well, she may look sweet, but she’s the Nazis’ worst nightmare. Full of tension, cliffhangers, and your new favorite heroine, ORPHAN MONSTER SPY is totally un-put-downable.
People Like Us by Dana Mele
It’s so much better to read about school when you’re enjoying summer vacation. In between seasons of Riverdale, get your fill of high-stakes high school drama from PEOPLE LIKE US, Dana Mele’s twisty suspense novel. Despite a few skeletons in her closet, Kay Donovan had no problem reinventing herself at the top of Bates Academy’s social hierarchy. But when a dead classmate’s body is found in the lake, a computer-coded scavenger hunt starts implicating suspects, and suddenly Kay finds herself—and her carefully constructed life—in the crosshairs of a murder investigation.