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What YA' Reading: Stranger Tides

What YA' Reading: Stranger Tides

Who doesn't love an island vacation? Reading one of these novels featuring scary, fantastic or ominous islands might help you appreciate more predictable locales. Let's dive in!

The Island by Natasha Preston

book cover - dark sea and island with roller coaster dominatingPaisley is one of six teen social media influencers invited to an exclusive weekend tour of a remote new amusement park called Jagged Island. The island and the park were built on the dime of their eccentric billionaire host. At first the park - built in the Gothic style and filled with scary rides and haunted houses - seems great. Paisley and the rest of the group have all their wants fulfilled by the island's staff, access to the best amenities and no lines for all the rides. Sounds perfect. Then the bodies start dropping. The teens have to work together to survive and find a way off the island.

This thriller is perfect for true crime fans looking for a fiction read, as well as anyone wanting some scares of the non-supernatural variety.

"Few authors who aren’t named Karen McManus can do YA thrillers as well as Natasha Preston."–PASTE

"Keeps the tensions high right up to the very last word."–SLJ

"Preston utilizes the uniqueness of the human-made island setting to great effect, providing an impish playfulness to the steadily escalating stakes and body count."–PW

Sky's End by Marc J. Gregson

book cover with gian serpant and person with arrowsThis fantasy novel takes place in a world made up of floating islands. Sixteen-year-old Conrad's life is shattered when his uncle usurps his father's title and takes Conrad's sister to raise as his heir. To be reunited with his sister, Conrad must enter one of the Twelve Trades and prove himself through the meritocracy that runs the world. He joins the Hunters, who defend the floating islands from giant sky serpents called gorgantauns. Conrad then enters the Gauntlet – a competition between skyship crews to see which of them can kill the most creatures.

This book is filled with detailed action and interpersonal conflict as Conrad navigates the selfish scheming of his fellow Hunters while surving thrilling encounters with huge, deadly beasts. Think Hunger Games meets Godzilla and you'll be on the right track.

"This debut YA fantasy has an intricate class-based dystopia, teeth-clenching and gory battle scenes, complex and well-developed characters with constantly evolving relationships, found family, loyalty, and a hint of romance. First in an upcoming trilogy, this book is highly recommended to readers who love fantasy and dystopia."—Booklist, Starred Review

The Depths by Nicole Lesperance

book cover teen girl peeking through flowers dripping with blood and menacing instectsAddie Spencer is forced to tag along on her mom's honeymood trip. While Eulalie Island is beautiful, it feels like a prison to her. Aside from being a thrid wheel on a honeymoon, there's something weird about the place. Addie can't shake the strange occurences that keep happening around her, and begins to suspect she has some secret connection to the island. Addie must find out the truth quickly or she may not be able to escape the island's hold.

This book is a supernatural thriller with a hint of horror. The first-person narrative is detailed, compelling and immersive as it explores themes of shared trauma and self discovery.

“This dark, lushly written story is beautiful enough to keep you completely mesmerized right up until the moment when it pulls you below the surface and leaves you gasping for air.” –Ginny Myers Sain, author of Dark and Shallow Lies


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