by Megan Abbott (2014)
Touted as the next Gone Girl, Abbott’s latest definitely lives up to the hype. Sixteen-year-old Deenie Nash is worried – there’s a mysterious contagion plaguing the teenage girls of her town. While the symptoms include sudden violent seizures, the causes remain inexplicable, throwing the town into a tizzy of rumours and conspiracy theories, from a vaccine gone awry to a poisonous lake at the town’s borders. Inspired by real incidents that befell teenage girls in Le Roy, New York, Abbotts’ clear, supple prose slowly strips the candy-floss veil off toxic jealousies and the edgy, hormonal teenage world. Suspense and paranoia come to an effective, thrilling fever pitch that will keep you on the edge of your sun lounger with every page turn.