Book List

10 Gone Girls of YA Noir

November 2, 2016
Isa Caban
Riveted Editorial Board

Question: Is there a rule that says you can’t treat yo’ self to eerie reads after Halloween?! Nope. Didn’t think so. If you ask me, it’s the perfect time of year for readers to slip into something darker.

Adult psychological thrillers surrounding the mysterious disappearance or murder of a young woman continue to trend in the mainstream thanks to the overwhelming success of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.
Four years later, the “Gone Girl” phenomenon shows no sign of dying down with novels like Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train and Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10 continuing to dominate the NYT bestseller list week over week.

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Suitably, more female-driven thrillers have begun to seep into the YA market, giving readers a window into the lives of more intricate female characters—girls who are deliciously cunning, unpredictable, and unreliable.

Looking to satisfy your “Gone Girl” sweet tooth? Get your fix with these 10 suspenseful YA noirs.

The Creepingby Alexandra Sirowy

Twelve years ago Stella and Jeanie vanished while picking strawberries. Stella returned minutes later, with no memory of what happened. Jeanie was never seen or heard from again.

Now Stella is seventeen, and she’s over it. She’s the lucky one who survived, and sure, the case is still cloaked in mystery—and it’s her small town’s ugly legacy—but Stella is focused on the coming summer. She’s got a great best friend, a hookup with an irresistibly crooked smile, and two months of beach days stretching out before her.

Then along comes a corpse, a little girl who washes up in an ancient cemetery after a mudslide, and who has red hair just like Jeanie did. Suddenly memories of that haunting day begin to return, and when Stella discovers that other red-headed girls have gone missing as well, she begins to suspect that something sinister is at work.

And before the summer ends, Stella will learn the hard way that if you hunt for monsters, you will find them.

Last Seen Leavingby Caleb Roehrig

Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking question he can't answer, and her friends are telling stories that don't add up. All eyes are on Flynn―as January's boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January's disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girlsby Lynn Weingarten

The New York Times bestselling “taut, sophisticated thriller” (BCCB, starred review) packed with twists and turns that will leave you breathless.

They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather’s shed. They say it was suicide.

But June doesn’t believe it.

June and Delia used to be closer than anything. Best friends in that way that comes before everyone else—before guys, before family. It was like being in love, but more. They had a billion secrets, binding them together like thin silk cords.

But one night a year ago, everything changed. June, Delia, and June’s boyfriend Ryan were just having a little fun. Their good time got out of hand. And in the cold blue light of morning, June knew only this—things would never be the same again.

And now, a year later, Delia is dead. June is certain she was murdered. And she owes it to her to find out the truth…which is far more complicated than she ever could have imagined.

Sexy, dark, and atmospheric, Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls will keep you guessing until the very last page.

Ruthlessby Carolyn Lee Adams

A spine-tingling debut about the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse in reverse as a teen struggles to retain hope—and her sanity—while on the run from a cunning and determined killer.

Ruth Carver has always competed like her life depends on it. Ambitious. Tough. Maybe even mean. It’s no wonder people call her Ruthless.

When she wakes up with a concussion in the bed of a moving pickup trick, she realizes she has been entered into a contest she can’t afford to lose.

At a remote, rotting cabin deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ruth’s blindfold comes off and she comes face-to-face with her captor. A man who believes his mission is to punish bad girls like Ruth. A man who has done this six times before.

The other girls were never heard from again, but Ruth won’t go down easy. She escapes into the wilderness, but her hunter is close at her heels. That’s when the real battle begins. That’s when Ruth must decide just how far she’ll go in order to survive.

Back home, they called her Ruthless. They had no idea just how right they were.

Vanishing Girlsby Lauren Oliver

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story perfect for fans of We Were Liars and I Was Here, about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged.

When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it's too late.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

Amy Chelsea Stacie Deeby Mary G. Thompson

When sixteen-year-old Amy returns home, she can't tell her family what's happened to her. She can t tell them where she's been since she and her best friend, her cousin Dee, were kidnapped six years ago who stole them from their families or what's become of Dee. She has to stay silent because she's afraid of what might happen next, and she's desperate to protect her secrets at any cost.

Amy tries to readjust to life at home, but nothing she does feels right. She's a stranger in her own family, and the guilt that she's the one who returned is insurmountable. Amy soon realizes that keeping secrets won t change what's happened, and they may end up hurting those she loves the most. She has to go back in order to move forward, risking everything along the way. Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee is a riveting, affecting story of loss and hope.

Pretty Little Liarsby Sara Shepard

In ultra-trendy Rosewood, Pennsylvania, four beautiful girls are hiding very ugly secrets. High school juniors Spencer, Hanna, Aria and Emily have grown apart since their best friend Alison DiLaurentis went missing three years ago. But now someone is sending them anonymous notes, threatening to reveal their darkest secrets. There's only one person who knows that much about them, but Ali's gone isn t she?

Then You Were Goneby Lauren Strasnick

Two years ago, Adrienne’s best friend walked out of her life. One week ago, she left Adrienne a desperate, muffled voicemail. Adrienne never called back.

Now Dakota is missing. She left behind a string of broken hearts, a flurry of rumors, and a suicide note.

Adrienne can’t stop obsessing over what might have happened if she’d answered Dakota’s call. And she’s increasingly convinced that Dakota must still be alive.

Maybe finding and saving Dakota is the only way Adrienne can save herself.

Or maybe it’s too late for them both.

The Vanishing Seasonby Jodi Lynn Anderson

From New York Times bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes The Vanishing Season, at once haunting and lovely, with a gut-wrenching final twist that will keep readers on their toes. It's perfect for fans of Gayle Forman, Lauren Myracle, and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Girls started vanishing in the fall.

For Maggie Larsen, the town of Gill Creek is only a stopgap before college and freedom. Until she meets Pauline and Liam. What starts as an uneventful year suddenly changes. Someone is killing teenage girls, and the town reels from the tragedy. As Maggie's and Pauline's worlds collide and change around them, they will both experience love and loss. And by the end of the book, only one of them will survive.

The May Queen Murdersby Sarah Jude

Stay on the roads. Don t enter the woods. Never go out at night. Those are the rules in Rowan's Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton's family has lived for centuries. It's an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn t care she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.

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