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NOVL BookTober Schedule and Week 1 Recs

SAY HELLO TO SPOOKY SEASON!! I’m sure this will shock none of you when you discover Halloween is my favorite holiday. And I am not the only one here at NOVL who is obsessed with the scariest season of the year. So to celebrate we are introducing NOVL BookTober! Each week in October, we’ll be reading a different Halloween-y book based on a prompt! Take a look below at the weekly prompts, and be sure to share your reads with #NOVLbooktober so we can see what you’re reading.

This first week’s prompt is THRILLERS! See below for some of our recs, and happy reading my scary little bookworms!

Thriller Recs!

How to Find a Missing Girl

by Victoria Wlosok

For fans of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, this mystery read has big Veronica Mars energy and tons of heart! Between the twisty mystery surrounding not one but two missing girls, a cast of characters you’re sure to love, and our main character’s personal struggles, this one is bound to keep you at the edge of your seat and maybe even bring a tear to your eye!

One year ago, star cheerleader Stella Blackthorne vanished without a trace. And when her devastated younger sister tries to launch her own investigation, all she manages to do is chase off the cops’ only viable lead. Then Iris’s girlfriend Heather breaks up with her only to start a podcast about the missing Stella. It’s been a year, an then the unthinkable happens again – Heather goes missing after dropping the last episode of her podcast. Will Iris be able to find out what happened to these missing girls? Or will Iris get caught in the crosshairs?


by Amelia Brunskill

Paranoia and suspicion run deep in this thriller about a cult within a cult and the lengths to which a group of girls will be pushed when one of their own goes missing. Told in verse, this story about nine girls bonded closer than sisters within the bucolic cult of Havenwood has a tense atmosphere rife with suspects around every corner and couched in poetry that will have you swooning. If you find cults as fascinating as I do, you’ll adore this one!

None Shall Sleep

by Ellie Marney

Serial killer thriller fans rejoice, we’ve got a good one! This one is for the Hannibal fans, my Silence of the Lambs girlies. In 1982, the FBI recruits two unique teenagers to interview convicted juvenile killers. Travis Bell, US Marshall Candidate, and Emma Lewis, serial killer survivor soon develop a partnership as they begin gathering insights from their teenage interview subjects. But when their work crosses the path of an active killer targeting teens, they will have to rely on the nation’s most notorious convicted teen, Simon Gutmunsson. What follows is a tense cat and mouse game between Travis, Emma, Simon and their unknown killer. But just who is the cat and who is the mouse?

We’ll Never Tell

by Wendy Heard

This juicy whodunit doused in Hollywood lore will keep you up at night as you try piece together who the real killer is before more bodies start dropping! No one at Hollywood High knows who’s behind We’ll Never Tell, the viral YouTube channel where anonymous creators trespass behind the scenes of LA’s most interesting locals. Casey, Jacob, and Eddie and Zoe are who. Now in senior year, their lives are heading in different directions, so the team decides on a grand finale for the channel: breaking into the infamous Valentini “murder house.” But things don’t go to plan, and only three teen make it out, leaving another inside bleeding out. Is his attack connected to the historic murder, or is one of their crew responsible? And who might be next to die?

And if you’ve already read this brilliant thriller? Check out Wendy’s other book, Dead End Girls!

The Naturals

by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Another killer thriller perfect for fans of Criminal Minds and those among us who still mourn the fact we never got another season of MindHunter! From the devious mind of Jennifer Lynn Barnes of The Inheritance Games fame comes this delicious story of a group of gifted teen seeking to stop serial killers in their tracks!

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people, piecing together the tiniest details to unearth who you are and what you want. Useful? Sure, but not taken too seriously. Until the FBI comes knocking. They want to recruit her to a new program to help train her to catch cold-case killers. She and her fellow trainees are known as Naturals, each with their own uncanny specialty, and when she’s sent to live with the rest of the group, she soon discovers no one is exactly what they seem. And when a killer catches the Naturals in their sights, the team will need to work together if everyone is to survive.

We Made It All Up

by Margot Harrison

If you like your thrillers subtle and strange, this one is for you! With big Twin Peaks energy, this story of toxic friendship and secret pasts will stay with you long after the final page! Celeste is the talk of the town when she moves from Montreal to small-town Montana, but the only friend she makes is Vivvy – heir to the town’s founder and social pariah. After a passion fueled incident at school, Celeste and Vivvy begin writing a fan-fiction about their real-life classmates Joss, the school hockey star, and the school stoner. Celeste finds their fan-fiction a safe place to reveal some of the darker secrets from her past, but Vivvy wants to make their fiction a reality. When they finally try, one drunken night on a mountainside, Celeste is the one who ends up kissing Joss. And then Joss winds up dead. Celeste can’t remember the rest of the night, but she couldn’t be the one who delivered the killing blow… could she?

Hollow Fires

by Samira Ahmed

This thriller from Samira Ahmed is equal parts gripping, powerful, and lyrical, and definitely for those of us who want to be hurt in the feels. Safiya Mirza dreams of becoming a journalist, finding the facts and not letting personal bias affect the story. But when she finds the body of a murdered boy, everything changes. Jawad Ali was fourteen years old when he built a cosplay jetpack that a teacher mistook for a bomb. A jetpack that got him arrested, labeled a terrorist, and eventually killed. Driven by Jawad’s haunting voice, Safiya seeks to tell the whole truth about him and those who killed him because of their hate-based beliefs.

Girl Forgotten

by April Henry

A cold case turns not-so-cold in this murder mystery about a teen podcaster and her hunt for the truth. Seventeen years ago, Layla Trello was murdered and her killer was never found, but Piper Gray is determined to sus out the truth in her true-crime podcast. But soon she starts receiving anonymous threats telling her to back off the investigation, or risk being silenced forever. 

Time Will Tell

by Barry Lyga

The past will unravel when a group of teen stumbles upon the disturbing secrets of their parents in this thriller that asks if anyone really knows their parents and the people they love. When four teens dig up a time capsule buried by their parents in 1986, they expect to find the usual 80’s paraphernalia – vintage t-shirt, old polaroids, maybe a cassette or two. What they don’t expect is a blood-stained hunting knife with a note that reads “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to kill anyone.” Switching between 1986 and today, this mystery unfolds as the sins of the past echo into today. The teens haven’t just unearthed a time capsule, they dug up secrets that someone, maybe one of their own parents, is willing to kill for.