Editor's Note: This post was updated on May 26, 2020.
Pick one of these up for a dystopia or mystery that's not the one we're currently living in. Escape into a different world. Use Purell. Repeat.
This one's the first adult novel from the author of the “Divergent” series. You'll follow five teenagers who survive catastrophic events (and an evil villain). The survivors become known as the Chosen Ones. And from there...well, things go haywire. It's perfect for anyone looking to get lost in a world that isn’t…this one.
The author of one of our favorite dystopian novels, “Station Eleven,” is back. Her latest follows a Ponzi scheme gone wrong and a bartender who gets caught up in it. It jumps from gorgeous luxury hotel, to federal prison, underground club, and beyond. A good pick for anyone struggling to focus right now. You won’t be able to look away.
It's as creepy as the title sounds and we're here for it. In Victorian-era London, an accomplished female detective is tasked with solving a kidnapping. The catch? The missing child is suspected of having supernatural powers, making the hunt to find her a lot more complicated.
Welcome to a cautionary tale about social media. This fiction debut is like "Big Brother" meets "Ingrid Goes West," with two timelines. The first, set in 2015, is about two friends navigating internet fame. The second, set in 2051, follows reality stars who were appointed by the government (yes, the government) to film their lives. Meet, an all-too-real nightmare wrapped in an influencer bow...one you won’t be able to look away from.
Two sisters. Two paths. There’s Mickey, a police officer with a young son. And her younger sister, Kacey, who struggles with addiction. After one of them goes missing in their Philadelphia neighborhood, the other is left to pick up the pieces. It’s a family drama nestled in a police thriller that will keep you glued all the way through.
This novel solves the mystery of how to make the spy thriller feel fresh. It follows a black female FBI officer on a mission to prevent the rise of Soviet influence while also fighting for her place in a profession dominated by white men. It's written as a letter to her sons and it's a letter you'll want to save. Former President Obama thinks so too, and put it on his reading list this year.
Murders and courtrooms and unfinished books, oh my. This book takes a look at “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee, in her quest to cover a real-life Alabama murder. Lee never finished her book. This one explores why that is. It’s part true-crime, part literary tribute to one of America’s most celebrated writers.
Blessed be the sequel. Set 15 years after “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Atwood is back. So is Aunt Lydia and a lot of trouble in Gilead.
Karin Slaughter, an all-time HQ fave, is back with a new book that'll keep you up at night. In this one, a CDC scientist is mysteriously kidnapped. When an explosion hits Atlanta a month later, Slaughter's recurring characters Will Trent (an investigator) and Sara Linton (a medical examiner) become determined to get to the bottom of it all.
The novel centers on two sisters, Summer and Autumn, who live in Harlem. After Summer mysteriously disappears, Autumn sets out to find her and unravels in the process.
This one's all about the past coming back to haunt. When three lifelong friends return to Martha's Vineyard, where a woman they loved disappeared 40 years earlier, a cold case becomes hot again.
1960s Baltimore marks the spot. Cleo Sherwood is your leader and she’s trying to solve a murder—or two. Along the way, Cleo learns just as much about herself as she does about the murders case she’s investigating.
It follows a mother and her two children as she begins to hear strange things in her home. The plot takes off when mom finds herself in close corners with an intruder who looks, feels, sounds a wholeeeee lot like her. It’s “A Quiet Place,” meets Jordan Peele’s “Us,” and is giving us the spooks.
Ruth Ware—one of our favorite thriller writers—is bringing down the house. This one's about a smart house that turns scary very quickly when a new nanny comes to work there...and a child gets murdered. Maybe don't read it alone in a house but do read it for a fast paced ride.
When the owner of a fancy hotel chain dies, he leaves behind a big secret that seriously shakes up his daughter’s life. And makes her rethink her relationship status. This one--by the author of The Light We Lost—is best read at home (hint: tissues).
To give their marriage a much needed spark, this seemingly normal suburban couple turns to...murder. Again and again. Think: “Dexter” but sexier.
Brotherhood? Check. Murders? Check. Russia? Check. Corruption and betrayal? Check and check. This book has it all. It follows two brothers – one who confessed to a series of murders in small town Russia, and one in Louisiana who wants to prove his brother's innocence.
This one’s all about two friends in the American West. One of them vanishes, and the other sets out through the desert to save her. Think: missing-person novel meets emotional coming-of-age story. Oh, and the chapters are all out of order...so it's on you to put together the pieces.
This new book from one of our favorite thriller writers is about a 27-year-old guy living a charmed life. But everything changes when he gets seriously injured, moves to his uncle's house to recuperate...and the house is haunted in more ways than one.
Did you know there was an art school inside NYC's Grand Central Terminal in the 1920s? Decades later, a woman stumbles upon the remains of the abandoned school and finds a painting hidden there. Cue a quest to learn more about the mysterious artist. All aboard intrigue.
Mary Kubica knows how to do thrillers. In this one, a young woman is rebuilding her life after losing her mom. But when she applies to college, there's a problem with her Social Security number: it belongs to a girl who died 17 years earlier. Cue a literal identity crisis and a mystery that'll keep you turning pages.
About a reality show called "Goal Diggers." It's a whodunnit murder mystery that's a little bit like if "Real Housewives" and "Shark Tank" had a reality baby.
This book pairs well with its dark and twisted plot. It's about three kids who were part of a bizarre crime in the '80s. Decades later, they reunite - and surprising new details emerge.
For when you're staying in all weekend, this book keep you busy. It's about a woman who loses her memory after a car crash...which doesn't help when the cops think she was up to something shady before the accident.
Paging all fans of “The Handmaid's Tale.” This one's about three sisters who grew up fearing men and living on an isolated island. When three strangers suddenly arrive, everything they know comes into question. It’s feminist dystopia meets "The Virgin Suicides."
The author of "Atonement" is back. This one is set in 1980s London...but it's an alternate universe. There's a love triangle, ethical dilemmas, robots, and AI. Cheerio, relevant topic.
Imagine all the paths you could've taken. Now imagine a product that could let you live them out. In this book, a tech startup develops an algorithm that does just that and uses one of its employees as the guinea pig. Think: "Sliding Doors" meets "Silicon Valley."
For when you need a new trilogy... This is the first of three books about a mysterious garden and the women trapped there. Skimm HQ already can't wait to get into book two.
Imagine you're torn between two lives...in different centuries. Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" book series follows a former British combat nurse in the 1940s who time travels to 18th century Scotland. Different worlds, all the feels.
This book follows four siblings over decades after a psychic tells them when they're all going to die. You won't be able to put it down.
Imagine an all-expenses paid luxury spa retreat for women. The catch? You have to carry someone else's baby to be there. This one's like "The Handmaid's Tale" meets Liane Moriarty ("Big Little Lies" author).
Keep the detective work going with this read. It centers on a 26-year-old woman's mission to find her missing sister. In the process, she finds a lot of family secrets.
This one is about a wedding with a drama as everyone's plus one. Think: family secrets, newcomers in town, a mansion sale gone wrong, and more.
Set in northeastern Russia, the book follows one year of a police investigation into the disappearance of two sisters both under 11. Each chapter is one month into their vanishing and along the way you’ll meet witnesses, neighbors, and detectives. Plus the town of Kamchatka is a character all of its own.
Set in rural Virginia, a trial unfolds after a couple engage in an experimental medical treatment gone wrong. One day, their pressurized oxygen chamber that’s supposed to cure things like autism and infertility, explodes – and so too, does their lives.
PS: These are editorially selected, but if you purchase, theSkimm may get something in return. Thanks.
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