Lauren Oliver’s Favorite Twists and Turns

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.

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