Best YA Books Set on a Spooky Island
This is a companion post to my post on Jen Ryland Reviews on Best Thrillers Set on a Spooky Island.
YES, there are creepy YA thrillers set on islands too!
Liar’s Beach by Katie Cotugno (2023)
Michael Linden—or just Linden to his preppy boarding school pals—doesn’t belong in wealthy, storied Martha’s Vineyard. But when his roommate Jasper invites him to spend the end of summer at his massive beachfront home, August House, Linden tries his best to fit in. Linden wouldn’t call it lying, exactly. Though it turns out August House is full of liars.
Then someone is found unconscious in Jasper’s pool, and everyone has something to hide—Jasper, his beautiful sister Eliza, their older brother Wells, and their friends. The accident is written off as just that—an accident—but Linden begins to wonder...
Enter: Holiday Proctor. Linden’s childhood friend, and the one person on the island who knows the truth about Linden. There’s nothing Holiday loves more than a good old-fashioned mystery and she’s convinced there's a potential killer on the Vineyard. The only question is…who?
I reviewed Katie Cotugno's debut, How to Love!
The Island by Natasha Preston (2023)
Jagged Island: a private amusement park for the very rich—or the very influential. Liam, James, Will, Ava, Harper, and Paisley—social media influencers with millions of followers—have been invited for an exclusive weekend before the park opens. They’ll make posts and videos for their channels and report every second of their VIP treatment.
When the teens arrive, they're stunned: the resort is even better than they’d imagined. Their hotel rooms are unreal, the park’s themed rides are incredible, and the island is hauntingly beautiful. They’re given a jam-packed itinerary for the weekend.
But soon they'll discover that something's missing from their schedule: getting off the island alive.
I reviewed The Island here; check it out!
Lord of the Flyfest by Goldie Moldavsky (2022)
Rafi Francisco needs a splashy case to put her true-crime podcast on the map. Her plan? A murder investigation, of course. She’s heading to Fly Fest, an exclusive music festival on a Caribbean island, to interview River Stone, the pop star who rocketed to fame after his girlfriend’s mysterious disappearance. And her interview is going to expose him as the killer she’s sure he is.
But when Rafi―and hordes of influencers―arrive at Fly Fest, the dreamy Caribbean getaway they were promised turns out to be a nightmare. Soon, Rafi is fighting for her life against power-hungry beauty gurus and spotty WiFi. And as the festival from hell continues with no end in sight, and Rafi finds herself growing closer to River, she begins to discover that his secrets have much bigger consequences than she ever imagined.
Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow (2021)
Luca Laine Thomas lives on a cursed island. To the outside world, Parris is an exclusive, idyllic escape accessible only to the one percent. There’s nothing idyllic about its history, though, scattered with the unsolved deaths of young women—deaths Parris society happily ignores to maintain its polished veneer. But Luca can’t ignore them. Not when the curse that took them killed her best friend, Polly, three years ago. Not when she feels the curse lingering nearby, ready to take her next.
When Luca comes home to police cars outside her house, she knows the curse has visited once again. Except this time, it came for Whitney, her sister. Luca decides to take the investigation of Whitney’s death into her own hands. But as a shocking betrayal rocks Luca’s world, the identity of Whitney’s killer isn’t the only truth Luca seeks. And by the time she finds what she’s looking for, Luca will come face to face with the curse she’s been running from her whole life.
The Cousins by Karen McManus (2020)
Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they've never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they're surprised . . . and curious.
Their parents are all clear on one point--not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother's good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it's immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious--and dark--their family's past is.
We Were Liars by e. lockhart (2014)
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
The Madman’s Daughter (2013)
Following accusations that her scientist father gruesomely experimented on animals, sixteen-year-old Juliet watched as her family and her genteel life in London crumbled around her—and only recently has she managed to piece her world back together. But when Juliet learns her father is still alive and working on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the old accusations are true. Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward, Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's insanity. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.
I reviewed The Madman's Daughter AND the sequel, Her Dark Curiosity. (Her Dark Curiosity is set in London, though.) Check them out!
Ten by Gretchen McNeil (2012)
It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie are looking forward to two days of boys, booze, and fun-filled luxury. But what starts out as fun turns twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine. And things only get worse from there.
With a storm raging outside, the teens are cut off from the outside world . . . so when a mysterious killer begins picking them off one by one, there’s no escape. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on one another, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?
I reviewed Ten by Gretchen McNeil back in 2012!