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Dark Teen Fiction

From brooding to disturbing to downright terrifying, Richland Library's teen collection is full of books that will satisfy even hardcore horror fans. Here is a worthy list to get you started, but be warned, many of these titles deal with mature topics and include colorful language.


The Raft by S. A. Bodeen
Jessica G. Says: Darkness Factor 1: Survival story of a teen girl adrift at sea
Amazon Says: Robie is an experienced traveler. She's taken the flight from Honolulu to the Midway Atoll, a group of Pacific islands where her parents live, many times. When she has to get more...
Amazon Says: Robie is an experienced traveler. She's taken the flight from Honolulu to the Midway Atoll, a group of Pacific islands where her parents live, many times. When she has to get to Midway in a hurry after a visit with her aunt in Hawaii, she gets on the next cargo flight at the last minute. She knows the pilot, but on this flight, there's a new co-pilot named Max. All systems are go until a storm hits during the flight. The only passenger, Robie doesn't panic until the engine suddenly cuts out and Max shouts at her to put on a life jacket. They are over miles of Pacific Ocean. She sees Max struggle with a raft. And then . . . she's in the water. Fighting for her life. Max pulls her onto the raft, and that's when the real terror begins. They have no water. Their only food is a bag of Skittles. There are sharks. There is an island. But there's no sign of help on the way. less...
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The Giver by Lois Lowry
Jessica G. Says: Darkness Factor 2: There is a dark side to this Utopian society
Amazon Says: Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. Jonas lives i more...
Amazon Says: Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world.When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does Jonas begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back. less...
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Trash by Andy Mulligan
Jessica G. Says: Darkness Factor 2: Impoverished children make a living on a trash heap
Amazon Says: In an unnamed Third World country, in the not-so-distant future, three “dumpsite boys” make a living picking through the mountains of garbage on the outskirts of a large c more...
Amazon Says: In an unnamed Third World country, in the not-so-distant future, three “dumpsite boys” make a living picking through the mountains of garbage on the outskirts of a large city. One unlucky-lucky day, Raphael finds something very special and very mysterious. So mysterious that he decides to keep it, even when the city police offer a handsome reward for its return. That decision brings with it terrifying consequences, and soon the dumpsite boys must use all of their cunning and courage to stay ahead of their pursuers. It’s up to Raphael, Gardo, and Rat—boys who have no education, no parents, no homes, and no money—to solve the mystery and right a terrible wrong. Andy Mulligan has written a powerful story about unthinkable poverty—and the kind of hope and determination that can transcend it. With twists and turns, unrelenting action, and deep, raw emotion, Trash is a heart-pounding, breath-holding novel. less...
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What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Jessica G. Says: Darkness Factor 3: Two souls in every person and one of them has to go, even if that means by force
Amazon Says: Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else--two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sin more...
Amazon Says: Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else--two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren't they settling? Why isn't one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn't...  For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she's still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet...for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything. less...
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Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Jessica G. Says: Darkness Factor 4: At the age of 13, children can be taken apart and redistributed to society (with parental approval of course)
Amazon Says: In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them Connor's parents want to be rid of him becaus more...
Amazon Says: In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them Connor's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed -- but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away. In Unwind, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winner Neal Shusterman challenges readers' ideas about life -- not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive. less...
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The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman
Jessica G. Says: Darkness Factor 4: Small town goes insane and residents begin murdering one another
Amazon Says: The Waking Dark is “a horror story worthy of Stephen King” (Booklist) and “a book you won’t soon forget” (Cassandra Clare, author of the Mortal Instruments serie more...
Amazon Says: The Waking Dark is “a horror story worthy of Stephen King” (Booklist) and “a book you won’t soon forget” (Cassandra Clare, author of the Mortal Instruments series)—perfect for readers of Gillian Flynn and Rick Yancey.   They called it the killing day. Twelve people murdered, in the space of a few hours, their killers also all dead by their own hand . . . except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town.   Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander, Kansas—something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of its upstanding citizens. As the town begins a descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself.   They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town—and in themselves. “Suspense, chills, gasps—all that and a gem-like writing style that will make you shiver with beauty and horror. A book you won’t soon forget.” —Cassandra Clare, author of the bestselling Mortal Instruments series and Infernal Devices trilogy “Twisted, pulse-pounding, shocking, and very, very scary. With The Waking Dark, Robin Wasserman conjures vintage Stephen King as she peers into the dark heart of a nightmare America, where violence and evil lurk behind the golden glow of small-town life, and new terrors arrive by the hour. A superb horror story that is by turns visceral and lyrical, heartrending and heart-stopping.” —Libba Bray, bestselling author of the Gemma Doyle trilogy and the Diviners series   “This book has the combination of mystery and fright that I love. So many twists and shocks, I nearly jumped out of my chair several times! Trust me—this is a true chiller. Not to be missed!” —R. L. Stine   “A thriller dark and beautiful and—yes—achingly romantic at every unexpected twist and turn. Astounding.” —Lauren Myracle, New York Times bestselling author of The Infinite Moment of Us and Bliss   “Wild, nihilistic madness that will get true horror fans raising their pitchforks and torches in frenzied glee. Wasserman writes as if hooked up to IVs of Stephen King and John Carpenter's spiked blood.” —Daniel Kraus, author of Rotters and Scowler "Great dialogue and intriguing subplots add to the action-packed story . . . the suspense doesn’t let up until the final pages." —School Library Journal, Starred Review less...
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