12 terrifying YA books that will genuinely scare the crap out of you

For anyone who's anti-romance

Most Popular
12 terrifying YA books that will genuinely scare the crap out of you
GIF

A lot of YA fiction tends to go down the same road really, doesn't it? Boy meets girl, they're adorably awkward, something eyebrow-raising and a liiittle bit alarming happens - but then they fall in love all over again in some kind of quirky fashion. And don't get us wrong, we absolutely love all of that stuff.

But sometimes you just wanna read a book that makes you feel like you're gonna wee yourself through fear, dontcha? So if you're more into the darker side of YA filled with gruesome deaths, terrifying characters and other-worldly beings rather than boys with floppy fringes, then you need to check this lot out.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Here's 12 brilliant YA books that will genuinely scare the crap out of you. Promise.

1. Long Lankin by Lindsay Barraclough

Most Popular

When Cora and her younger sister, Mimi, are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Byers Guerdon, they receive a less-than-warm welcome. But what they don't know is that their aunt's life was devastated the last time two young sisters were at Guerdon Hall, and she is determined to protect her nieces from an evil that has lain hidden for years. 

2. Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead, so when he arrives in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, who still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

3. The Diviners by Libba Bray

It's 1920s New York City. For Evie O'Neill, it's escape, but the big city has a darker side. Young women are being murdered across the city. And these aren't crimes of passion. They're gruesome. They're planned. They bear a strange resemblance to an obscure group of tarot cards. And the New York City police can't solve them alone.

4. Down A Dark Hall by Lois Duncan

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Kit Gordy gets shunted to a girl's boarding school when her mother remarries, but why does the exclusive Blackwood have only seem to have four students residing there? Kit walks the dark halls and feels a penetrating chill. What terror waits around the next corner?

5. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Most Popular

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here - one of whom was his own grandfather - were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. And somehow - impossible though it seems - they may still be alive. 

6. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

7. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

But once Laia and Elias meet, they find that their destinies are intertwined and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire. In the ashes of a broken world one person can make a difference. One voice in the dark can be heard. The price of freedom is always high and this time that price might demand everything, even life itself.

8. Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her. Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a spectre trapped behind the mirror. Once is not enough, though--at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. 

9. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Jazz is a likable teenager. A charmer, some might say.But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, "Take Your Son to Work Day" was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could-from the criminal's point of view.And now, even though Dad has been in jail for years, bodies are piling up in the sleepy town of Lobo's Nod. Again.

10. Rot And Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Most Popular

Nearly fourteen years ago, a freak virus swept across the world - turning those infected into the undead. Benny Imura has grown-up never knowing anything different; his last memory of his parents was of them becoming zombies. Now Benny is fifteen, and joining his brother Tom in the 'family business' of zombie killing. 

11. Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished. A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.

12. The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman

They called it the killing day. Twelve people murdered, in the space of a few hours, their killers also all dead by their own hand . . . except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. As the town begins a descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself.

Read any of these? Got any seriously scary recommendations for us? We ALWAYS wanna know, so get in touch with a tweet to @Sugarscape please, guys and gals.

NOW READ THIS LOT TOO

The first big lineup announcement for YA Lit Con 2016 is every book lover's dream
GIF
Related Article
Related Article
GIF
Related Article

What do you think?

Bookclub
Share
Er, why is this sentence in Harry Potter different in new editions?
Curious. Very curious.
Little Mix
Bookclub
Share
Little Mix announce Our World London book signings
OOH
Bookclub
Share
Zayn Malik announces first official book
​​A picture says a thousand words tbh
Bookclub
Share
Attention awkward human beings: YA writer Beth Garrod is here to rescue us all
​​Behold, her Super Awkward Guide To Life​
Bookclub
Share
EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
Already our new favourite YA read
Bookclub
Share
Moobs and YOLO have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary
​Important​
GIF
Bookclub
Share
Exclusive cover reveal: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
Ahead of its release next Jan
Jack Gilinsky and Jack Johnson
Bookclub
Share
Fancy an exclusive Jack & Jack video?
Here's one to celebrate the release of their You Don't Know Jacks book​
Bookclub
Share
Exclusive UK Cover Reveal: Spellbook of The Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle
Oooh, wanna see?
Bookclub
Share
Q&A: Lucy Sutcliffe answers your questions about Girl Hearts Girl
Oh, and she's also picked out her Top 10 LGBT characters