With the much anticipated release of Tom Leveen’s Shackled this week, YE thought we’d take a look back at some other recent thrilling novels surrounding mysterious disappearances. If you’ve already devoured Shackled, maybe this list will supply you with your next must-read. Or if you’ve yet to pick up Shackled, maybe some of these books are already familiar to you and will get you primed for peak goosebump season! (Halloween is just right around the corner!!!)
Check out YE’s Top Ten List of Must-Read Heart-Racing Disappearance Thrillers!
10. Reconstructing Amelia, by Kimberly McCreight
Published April 2nd 2013 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2013) | ISBN 006222543X (ISBN13: 9780062225436) | 382 pages
In this tale of secret clubs at an elite NYC prep school, our title character doesn’t so much as disappear as she plummets to her death off of a Brooklyn high rise. But in Amelia’s mom’s attempt to prove her daughter wasn’t suicidal and find those truly responsible, she discovers that she maybe really never knew her daughter quite like she thought she did. The search for Amelia’s murderer becomes the search to discover Amelia herself. Alternating POV’s give us insight to both characters, and the author’s integration of characters’ social media into the text is innovative. We all want to know– “What happened to Amelia?” But we also want to know– “Who was Amelia anyway?”
9. Don’t Look Back, by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published April 15th 2014 by Disney-Hyperion | ISBN 1423175123 (ISBN13: 9781423175124) | 384 pages
It-girl Sam disappears with her “best” friend Cassie. While Cassie remains missing, Sam returns, but it’s her memories that are missing, memories both of the disappearance and of her life before the incident. Discovering that the old Sam was an obnoxious mean-girl force to be reckoned with, New Sam looks forward to the opportunity to start fresh, stop making frenemies, and start making friends. She doesn’t miss her old memories, but it turns out that unlocking her psyche might be the only way to uncover what happened that night, what happened to Cassie, and to prevent the attacker from doing to Sam what was done to Cassie.
8. The Vanishing Season, by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Published July 1st 2014 by HarperTeen | ISBN 0062003275 (ISBN13: 9780062003270) | 258 pages
The Vanishing Season is deft and beautiful mystery, but the book is more grounded in emotion than on thrills and chills like some of the other books on this list. After relocating to chilly suburbia in the wake of the recession, Maggie adjusts to life in her new fixer-upper home and her new snow-covered small town. The day her family moves in, a young girl is found drowned in the local lake under mysterious circumstances. Maggie and her new friends follow the frigid mystery even as the “ghost” in Maggie’s haunted home watches the trio. As a bit of a love triangle develops with Maggie and her friends, even more girls are meeting the same terrible fate. Can Maggie muddle through the ice and the snow to unlock the mystery?
7. Choker, by Elizabeth Woods
Published January 4th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | ISBN 144241233X (ISBN13: 9781442412330) | 233 pages
Sixteen year old Cara is bored and just plain lonely after moving away from her best friend Zoe. Everything feels dull without Zoe, and Cara has trouble getting in with the cool crowd at her new school. But all that changes when Zoe suddenly returns to Cara’s life, on the run from problems back home. Zoe jazzes up Cara’s previously boring existence, changes her black-and-white world to bold neon. But then things get weird when a girl in town goes missing and Cara’s crush Ethan turns out to be a suspect! Is Ethan guilty? What is Zoe running from? Who can Cara trust?
6. Wherever Nina Lies, by Lynn Wiengarten
Published February 1st 2009 by Point | ISBN 054506631X (ISBN13: 9780545066310) | 320 pages
Ellie’s charismatic older sister Nina disappeared two years ago, and everybody’s basically given up looking for her, except Ellie. Ellie gets a clue as to Nina’s possible whereabouts in the form of an anonymous drawing. So, naturally Ellie takes off on a wild roadtrip in search of her wild sister. Will Ellie find Nina? And if she does, will it be the Nina she’d been searching for.
5. Paper Towns, by John Greene
Published September 22nd 2009 by Speak (first published October 1st 2008) | ISBN 014241493X (ISBN13: 9780142414934) | 305 pages
The now infamous Margo Roth Spieglman is a quirky enigma wrapped in a feisty conundrum. After a series of end-of-high-school pranks with estranged neighbor/childhood bestie Quentin, Margo disappears with only weeks left in their senior. But no big deal, most people think, because she’s done this before. She’s off on an epic roadtrip or running with the bulls….right? Quentin doesn’t seem to think so. He follows a breadcrumb trail of mysterious clues in her wake, and the further Q goes, the more he thinks that Margo was suicidal and the only thing waiting for him on the other end of the scavenger hunt is beautiful/crazy corpse. Traveling through paper towns looking for a paper girl, Q begins to see Margo for who she truly is, and he begins to understand the true nature of unconditional friendship.
4. New Girl, by Paige Harbison
Published January 31st 2012 by HarlequinTeen (first published January 1st 2012) | ISBN 0373210426 (ISBN13: 9780373210428) | 320 pages
A modern take on the romantic mystery classic Rebecca by Daphne DuMarier, New Girl tells the story of an unnamed narrator, the New Girl, who is new to Manderley Academy only because a spot at the elite institution became vacant due to it-girl Becca’s disappearance. Our new girl falls for Becca’s ex Max…but he can’t seem to let the memory of Becca go. Becca’s presence is palpable to not just Max, but also the new girl, lingering at Manderley…like maybe Becca never left.
3. Oblivion, by Sasha Dawn
Published May 27th 2014 by EgmontUSA (first published May 1st 2014) | ISBN 1606844768 (ISBN13: 9781606844762) | 400 pages
Callie is the daughter of a reverend and a member of the Church of the Holy Promise. But events take a less than holy turn when Callie is found alone in abandoned apartment after carving “I KILLED HIM” into the bleak walls with no memory of the previous 36 hours and her reverend dad missing along with a young girl named Hannah. In the aftermath of the mysterious incidence, Callie can’t stop writing. Her compulsive writing is just gibberish, or is it? Where’s Hannah? What type of man was Callie’s father really?
2. Wish You Were Dead (Thrillogy #1), by Todd Strasser
Published September 22nd 2009 by EgmontUSA | ISBN 160684007X (ISBN13: 9781606840078) | 236 pages
An anonymous blogger posts about the most popular girl in school Lucy dying…and then Lucy vanishes. Madison Archer is Lucy’s best friend at Soundview High, and Madison watches as in the days after Lucy’s disappearance, more students disappear after the blogger posts about them. Madison is worried her name will be next. This is the first book in the Thrillogy series by Strasser where the internet and social media come with a sinister danger, a mortal one.
1. Pretty Little Liars (#1), by Sara Shepherd
Published October 1st 2006 by HarperCollins Publishers | ISBN 0060887303 (ISBN13: 9780060887308) | 286 pages
I don’t need to tell you about this one because you definitely already know. Flash back to the beginning, to when Alison first disappeared leaving her friends behind with so many little secrets and making them all in to pretty little liars.