It will come as no surprise that a YA thriller author’s favourite kind of books to read are mysteries and thrillers. Strong hooks, tight pacing, red herrings and plot twists are the hallmarks of the genre, and when combined, these elements create compelling stories often described as unputdownable. Here are some Australian young adult thrillers that are well worth checking out. Read our review of Small Spaces
Wreck by Fleur Ferris
Budding journalist Tamara is caught up with a dangerous fugitive who is linked to a tragic boating accident five years earlier. This fast-paced story is full of action and features a dual narrative with both storylines as engaging as the other. Fleur’s other YA thrillers, Risk, Black and Found are also highly recommended.
Sweet Damage by Rebecca James
Laid-back Tim Ellison moves into a grand old house called Fairview and encounters the mysterious agoraphobic owner, Anna. When strange and terrifying things start happening in the house at night, Tim wonders if taking the room was a mistake. A gripping psychological thriller that will have you reading into the wee hours. Also check out Rebecca’s Beautiful Malice and Cooper Bartholomew is Dead.
Every Breath by Ellie Marney
Teen sleuths Rachel Watts and James Mycroft investigate a brutal murder in this clever and suspenseful mystery. As they follow the cold-blooded killer’s trail, they find themselves in the lion’s den – literally. There are lots of twists and turns to keep readers guessing as they try to solve the case along with Rachel and Mycroft. Two more thrillers follow in this series – Every Word and Every Move.
Mercy Point by Anna Snoekstra
Five online friends have one thing in common: they are sure they’re all adopted. When they meet in real life, though, and realise they already know and dislike each other, they decide never to speak again. But to uncover what their parents are hiding, as well as the secrets of their town, they’ll need to make a choice – keep living a lie, or come together to learn the terrifying truth.
My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
A chilling story about seventeen-year-old Che who craves as normal a life as possible while dealing with his psychopath sister.Rosa hasn’t hurt anyone yet, but Che is certain it’s just a matter of time. A sinister page-turner that will have you dying to know (and dreading) what’s coming next.
Read an extract of Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein here