There’s nothing more satisfying and wonderfully frustrating than a great plot twist — just ask Lauren Oliver! Her latest book, Vanishing Girls, is rife with mystery and a bit of suspense, so we thought we’d ask her about her favorite literary twists. Don’t worry, we promise: no major spoilers ahead.
Below are some staples that no fan of twisty, turn-y plots or the big fat shock factor should fail to read.
The Beast in the Jungle by Henry James — This is one of the most truly terrifying books that has ever been written, despite having almost a singular (and, in fact, defining) lack of action. It’s actually a work of short fiction, and, like James’s Turn of The Screw, is a masterful work of psychological horror and one of my all-time favorite stories.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins — This book was so compulsively readable it’s a wonder I didn’t try and swallow it instead. When alcoholic divorcee Rachel witnesses an event in one of the homes she passes on a daily commute, she becomes inextricably bound up with the lives of its inhabitants — especially when the young woman disappears. The twist will have you gape-jawed and absolutely chilled.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. I’m not going to lie — I have always been a huge Agatha Christie fan. This is one of her most well-respected and most ingeniously plotted mysteries, featuring Hercule Poirot, and the conclusion will stun and delight you.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart — I have loved E. Lockhart since the days of Frankie Landau-Banks, but was thrilled when she turned her prodigious talents to the more dreamlike, lyrical and haunting — literally and figuratively — tale of a very wealthy family and their feuds, secrets — and yes, lies.
The Other by Thomas Tryon — This seminal book from the mid-20th century is the one that originally inspired Vanishing Girls — I’ve been obsessed with this book, and its central concept, since I read it as a kid. Vanishing Girls is kind of my updated spin on the themes of identity, identification and otherness that this book explores so creepily and so well.
— Lauren Oliver
Vanishing Girls is available now, so grab a copy as soon as possible! You won’t regret it! For more twisty-turny YA reads, visit our Everything YA page.