If, like me, you became kinda a little obsessed with cults after ripping through Wild, Wild Country last year (seriously how fascinating was Sheela, am I right?!) and you’ve run out of podcasts about mind-blowing blind worship, don’t worry – we have got a cult for you! Check out these four books about escaping cults, teenage girls who could totally grow up to be cult leaders, and realizing you might actually be the thing your cult worships:
4 Books to Read If You’re Kinda Sorta Totally Obsessed with Cults
1. The Sisterhood by A. J. Grainger
Lil is looking for her sister, who vanished without a trace. What she finds is a girl lying in the road near her house. The girl is injured, disoriented, and her arms are covered in strange markings. She claims she’s from a peaceful community called The Sisterhood of Light. But I think we all know that communities with Proper Noun Names are never quite as peaceful as they claim to be…
So, what is she running from? If Lil runs in the opposite direction, will she find her sister? And if she finds her sister, will Mella even want to be un-vanished?
2. The Great Unknowable End by Kathryn Ormsbee
Let’s be real: any town with a local hippie commune – no matter how small it is or how little seems to happen there – is bound to be in for some trouble. But weeks of pink lightning, downpours of bloodred rain, and a countdown clock mysteriously appearing above town hall are definitely outside the usual tensions-with-the-local-cult-reach-a-boiling-point variety of trouble.
It all begins the day Stella and Galliard meet. She’s an aspiring space engineer. He’s an artist who grew up inside of Red Sun. They have one thing in common: their lives are ticking down to some great unknowable end and they have to choose who they want to be when they face it.
And, you know, if they live to tell the tale, they’re gonna have a totally amazing meet cute.
3. Light As A Feather by Zoe Aarsen
Looking for the perfect game for your Sweet Sixteen? Violet’s got you covered: Make up elaborate, creepily specific stories about the totally violent ways in which each of your friends will bite the dust!
Okay, yeah, that sounded just as freaky to McKenna. And it only gets worse when the birthday girl, Olivia, dies a week later… exactly the way Violet predicted she would. If that weren’t suspicious enough, Violet effortlessly claims Olivia’s crown as most popular girl in school even though she’s new in town. It’s up to McKenna to expose the truth about Weeping Willow High’s new It Girl before anyone else meets their predestined end. Shouldn’t be too hard… right?
4. The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale
Craving a little something to feed your cult obsession that doesn’t center around a mysterious, ultra-charismatic egomaniac? Perhaps… a pair of twin sisters abandoned by their father who slowly grew into something not quite human and now feed off of human souls?
Alys was seven the first time she saw the soul eaters. When they attacked her home, she was spared and sent to a neighboring village where fear of the soul eaters and the Beast believed to be their master has turned into a kind of worship. Now, she is drawn to the forest where the twins live and can’t fight the feeling that she’s somehow connected to them. (She also, on the DL, has a gift she is keeping all the way under wraps so people don’t think she’s a witch). (So, you know none of this is a coincidence).