Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa AlbertLike mother: Years ago, tough-as-nails teen Dana invited a beguiling rich girl promising magic into her friend circle. They cast a disastrous spell, altering their lives forever.
Like daughter: 17-year-old Ivy, Dana’s daughter, cannot ignore her bizarre, gruesome, possibly supernatural encounters. When she confronts her mother, she discovers how she’s intertwined with her mother’s history with dark magic.
Author alert: Fans of author Melissa Albert’s Hazel Wood series will enjoy this creepy standalone fantasy.
Go Hunt Me by Kelly deVosThe dream: Alex is spending spring break with six friends in Romania, making her Dracula-inspired short film in Castle Prahova. Vlad Dracul, the inspiration for the original vampire tale, once called the castle home.
The nightmare: Alex is the only one who makes it out alive.
How it’s told: This creepy and action-packed tale unfolds with cinematic storytelling interspersed with the criminal reports detailing what went wrong in the menacing castle whose twisted hallways hide a cloaked stranger.
The Silence That Binds Us by Joanna HoWhat it is: A timely, moving novel tackling the rise in racism against Asian Americans, the model minority myth, loss, and healing.
What happens: Chinese Taiwanese American Maybelline Chen loses her Princeton-bound brother Danny to suicide. Criticism flares, accusing Maybelline’s parents of pushing Danny too hard. May, an aspiring writer, fights back against that criticism despite her parents’ wishes not to make waves.
What sets it apart: Complex characters, intense dialogue, and a vital message about speaking truth to power.
Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-ÍyímídéWhat it's about: Shortly after they both become prefects, Chiamaka and Devon — the only two Black students at Niveus Academy — are targeted by an anonymous texter called Aces. Somehow, Aces knows their deepest secrets, and as the stakes shift from devastating to deadly, Devon and Chi have to band together to make it through.
For fans of: Dark academia, breathtaking twists, and socially conscious thrillers inspired by the real-life menace of racism.
Grown by Tiffany D. JacksonStarring: Enchanted Jones, whose singing dreams come true when R&B superstar Korey Fields takes her under his wing.
What happens: As Korey's behavior becomes disturbing, Enchanted begins to fear the price of fame — and that's before she wakes up with Korey's blood on her hands.
Is it for you? While Grown's unflinching look at abuse and exploitation might not be for everyone, readers in search of an intense, socially aware thriller won't be able to put it down.
A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria LeeA fresh start: Felicity Morrow called her ivy-covered boarding school Dalloway home until the tragic death of her girlfriend Alex. After some time away, she’s returned to finish her thesis.
Enter: Writing prodigy Ellis Haley. She convinces Felicity to help research the Dalloway Five, alleged witches murdered centuries ago. As the two grow closer, Felicity is unsure whether she’s being haunted by past deaths or manipulated by Ellis.
For fans of: Unreliable narrators, morally gray characters, and dark academia.
The Girls I've Been by Tess SharpeWhat it is: A captivating thriller following Nora, her girlfriend, and her ex, all taken hostage during a bank robbery. Nora, the daughter of a con artist, must rely on her past in order to survive.
How it’s told: In alternating chapters detailing Nora’s previous personas, showing how she acquired the skills she uses to con the robbers.
Adaptation alert: Millie Bobbie Brown from Stranger Things is set to star in the Netflix adaptation of this heart-pounding story.
Fadeaway by E.B. VickersOne night: Jake wins the state title with his basketball team as thousands of fans cheer him on. He’s the star player, dream boyfriend, great brother, and all-around perfect guy.
The next morning: Jake has vanished. As Jake’s family, friends, and teammates reveal what they know that’s possibly relevant to his disappearance, Jake's painful secrets break through that perfect facade.
Is it for you? This thought-provoking, compassionate novel examines the impact of opioid misuse.