The best YA books about monstrous creatures in present day

The Books I Picked & Why

A Deadly Education

By Naomi Novik

Book cover of A Deadly Education

Why this book?

I would be the first person to die in a horror movie. Not from the villain. I would die from fear. I scare that easy. This is why A Deadly Education had me practically reading with my eyes squinted. And it was amazing. This book has a slight Harry Potter vibe… If Hogwarts was a prison riddled with monsters hunting the witches and wizards trapped inside. One of the best parts about this book is that it takes the “savior” and “villain” trope and turns it on its head. Not to mention the romance is one you will want to root for over and over again. You’ll find yourself up until 3 am reading this one, desperate to find out how it ends.

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Midnighters #1: The Secret Hour

By Scott Westerfeld

Book cover of Midnighters #1: The Secret Hour

Why this book?

I’ve always thought there was something magical about midnight, and The Secret Hour proved me right. Monsters, mysterious powers, and a bloody act haunt the small town in this story. The secrets are teased out slowly over the course of the book through the POVs of teenage misfits with unique abilities and backstories. Though, the more I learned about the midnight hour, the more thankful I became that this book is fiction. Hungry things come out to play while the rest of us are asleep…

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.


By Diana Peterfreund

Book cover of Rampant

Why this book?

Unicorns—white horses with horns on their heads. If that was your first thought, prepare for Rampant to turn your world upside down. These unicorns aren’t the fairytale variety. They are man-killers. Literally. I loved how this book took unicorns and made them creatures to be feared. And the best part of all: the only ones that can stop them are a group of teenage girls. Dark secrets, a forbidden romance, and girls that can kick unicorn tail. What more could you want?

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Monstrous Beauty

By Elizabeth Fama

Book cover of Monstrous Beauty

Why this book?

This book was one of the rare gems that stayed with me long after I turned the final page. Monstrous Beauty is both haunting and vengeful while it weaves together two vastly different timelines. I loved experiencing the thoughts of a killer mermaid as she fell in love with a human. Then, being flung forward over a century, to experience the life of Hester, a modern-day teenager. These two women, so different, yet so similar, are bound to each other by fate. And finding out how was one of the most rewarding and unpredictable endings I’ve ever read. (Warning: there is a scene of rape in this book).

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

This Savage Song

By Victoria Schwab

Book cover of This Savage Song

Why this book?

The. Rhymes. In. This. Book. Each monster in the terrifying world of This Savage Song comes with a warning rhyme. And they are intense. This book also has done away with the typical romance…  In the sense that there isn’t any. Just a solid friendship. Not to mention there is a monster-boy who can play the violin and a teenage girl willing to set a church ablaze to get what she wants. If you’re looking for something full of action, a twist ending you won’t see coming, and a world with a touch of dystopian, this is a read you will love.

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Closely Related Book Lists

Distantly Related Book Lists