Gather round, young folks, and let me tell you about a magical time from days of yore. A time when books for teens about tawdry and thrilling topics like murder, reincranation, space and time travel, drugs, and deception flowed freely. These slim paperbacks, most often found on spinning racks at local libraries and devoured by the dozens, were splashed in bright neons and shiny foils.
The king of this genre, in my humble opinion, is Christiopher Pike, who penned almost 30 books in the eighties and ninties. I spent many a night reading his books into the early morning, jumping at every noise because I was so seriously spooked. I would love to recommend his books to teens today, but Pike largely stopped publishing in the nineties, it’s woefully rare to find circulating copies of his books today. If you, or someone you love, is suffering from Pike-withdrawal (or don’t know that they should be suffering from it), hit the jump for some shiny, new murder-y fun!
The Locket by Stacey Jay
Lies, broken hearts, lovers who are meant to be together, time travel, and unexplained evil forces guiding the events that slowly build to an inevitable conclusions — all of this adds up to quite the page turner. A hefty dose of relationship woes mean that this one is definitely more suited for those who like a little more romance mixed with their timeline interruption narratives.
Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
The teens in this book were definitely cut from the same cloth as those in many of Pike’s novels: they party hard, drink heavily, and lie their faces off constantly. This makes Jane’s job of piecing together how she ended up in the hospital much, much harder. Are the threats she keeps getting real? Can she trust her memories? Can she trust her friends? Fun, and full of delicious deception, this book is an excellently quick read.
The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
Sutton wakes up in a bathtub with no memory of how she got there (stop me if you’ve heard this oneâ€¦). Things go from bad to worse when she realizes that 1) she’s dead as a doornail, 2) she’s somehow attached, as if by an invisible cord, to a twin sister she never knew she had, and 3) she was murdered. The plot only thickens as Emma, Sutton’s twin, finds herself wrapped up in the mystery surrounding Sutton’s death, and realizes that in order to solve her sister’s death â€“ and prevent her own â€“ she’ll have to take on a life completely different than anything she’s ever known. An awesome read, although be warned! This one is part of a series. You’ll want to get your hands on Never Have I Ever, book two, as soon as you can, or you’ll surely come down with a mean case of cliffhanger-itis.
— Ariel Cummins, currently reading Stay by Deb Caletti and Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick