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Top 5 Young Adult titles for August 2021

by Sophie Green

Looking for some new YA titles to read this summer? Take a look at our top picks packed with futuristic adventures, captivating horrors, and murderous thrillers.

The upper world by Femi Fadugba

The story of two teenagers a generation apart, connected across time by one bullet about to devastate both of their lives. 2020: Close to getting expelled and caught up in a deadly feud, the tensions surrounding Esso seem to be leading to a single moment that could shatter his future. 2035: Stripped of everything, football prodigy Rhia has just one thing left on her mind - figuring out how to avert a bullet that was fired fifteen years in the past. Everything changes when Esso gains access to a mysterious world where he can see glimpses of the past and future, and when Rhia starts understanding the physics of it. The two must work together to master the secrets of the Upper World and seize control of their own destinies before it's too late.

The upper world will be adapted into a Netflix feature film, produced by and starring Daniel Kaluuya.

As good as dead by Holly Jackson

Pip Fitz-Amobi is haunted by the way her last investigation ended. Soon she'll be leaving for Cambridge University but then another case finds her - and this time it's all about Pip. Pip is used to online death threats, but there's one that catches her eye, someone who keeps asking: who will look for you when you're the one who disappears? And it's not just online. Pip has a stalker who knows where she lives. The police refuse to act and then Pip finds connections between her stalker and a local serial killer. The killer has been in prison for six years, but Pip suspects that the wrong man is behind bars. As the deadly game plays out, Pip realises that everything in Little Kilton is finally coming full circle. If Pip doesn't find the answers, this time she will be the one who disappears.

The third title in the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series.

Wicked little deeds by Kat Ellis

From its creepy town mascot to the story of its cursed waterfall, Burden Falls is a small town dripping with superstition. Ava Thorn knows this well - since the horrific accident she witnessed a year ago, she's been plagued by nightmares. But when someone close to her is brutally murdered and Ava is the primary suspect, she starts to wonder if the legends surrounding the town are more fact than fiction. Whatever secrets Burden Falls is hiding, there's a killer on the loose, and they have a vendetta against the Thorns.

Splinters of sunshine by Patrice Lawrence

After a fun Christmas Eve decorating the tree and singing along with his mum to Queen, fifteen-year-old Spey wakes up on Christmas morning to find the ex-prisoner father he's never met asleep on the sofa. Then he receives a mysterious package in the post: a torn envelope filled with half a collage he made with his old friend Dee on her sixth birthday. Dee bounced between schools and pupil referral units until a tragedy meant she ended up in care outside of London, drawn into the world of county lines gangs. They haven't spoken for years, but Spey is sure she must be in danger. He just doesn't know where she is. There's only one person Spey can think of who might be able to help. On a roadtrip like no other, can Spey and his dad find Dee, and will they be ready to confront a criminal gang together?

The woods are always watching by Stephanie Perkins

Two girls go backpacking in the woods. Things go very wrong. And, then, their paths collide with a serial killer. Full of breathtaking action and twists you'll never see coming, Stephanie Perkins has created a masterpiece of the horror genre.

The companion novel to There’s someone inside your house which is currently being adapted into a Netflix feature film.