While we don’t know exactly when Yellowjackets will return to our lives, it’s hard to go without it. Thankfully, there are plenty of books out there with similar themes that will help to keep the cravings at bay. Read on to see what we recommend!
We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry
The 1989 Danvers High School Women’s Varsity Field Hockey Team is only remarkable in its ability to lose. Their luck changes, however, when the girls pledge themselves to dark forces by signing their names in a notebook with Emilio Estevez’s face on it. They pledge their sins to Emilio and their luck changes, resulting in a winning streak the likes of which the town has never seen. But the closer they get to the State Championship, the darker their urges get until things go very wrong.
We Ride Upon Sticks has so much for Yellowjackets fans. High school sports and teen girl camaraderie combined with witchcraft and eighties nostalgia make this a fun witchy romp.
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
When a plane carrying fifty teen beauty queens crashes on a lost island, only thirteen survive. The remaining contestants must survive using their own wits, ingenuity and pageant-approved talents if they’re ever going to get off the island and get back to competition.
Check out Beauty Queens if you want to read more about the teen drama and less about cannibalism. This one is a lot lighter in tone than Yellowjackets. However, Libba Bray touches on a lot of the same themes of feminism, identity and the standards teen girls are held to.
The Honeys by Ryan La Sala
Mars always felt like a shadow beside their twin sister Caroline. After her tragic death, they’re willing to do anything to feel a connection to her once again, even returning to the prestigious Aspen Conservancy where Caroline spent her summers. Once there, Mars seeks out the beautiful and terrifying girls Caroline was friends with, dubbed the Honeys for the beehives behind their cabin. They know the Honeys have something to do with Caroline’s death. But as Mars stays at Aspen, their memories fade, and something toys with their mind. Is whatever’s hunting them the same force that killed Caroline?
The Honeys was one of my favorite books of 2022. It has a particularly unique vibe of sun-drenched horror and reads like a vivid, summer camp fever dream. Ryan La Sala writes about trauma and identity in a way that is sure to stick with you.
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
When the girls of Garner County turn 16, they must live together in the woods for a year. There, they rid themselves of the power and magical allure they hold over men. Those who survive may reenter society to marry and start a family. When Tierney James sets out on her grace year, she quickly realizes that the elements and poachers in the woods may not be the biggest threat to survival. Instead, it may be the girls themselves.
Kim Liggett does a fantastic job depicting the complex, sometimes twisted relationships between young women. The Grace Year takes the violence and psychological horror of Yellowjackets to a new level, moving them to a dystopian setting readers won’t soon forget.
What Lies in the Woods by Kate Alice Marshall
After three 11-year-old girls survive a brutal attack in the Pacific Northwest wilderness, their testimony puts away a serial killer. But when the accused murderer dies in prison over 20 years later, unwanted memories resurface. Childhood secrets and promises quickly unravel into a truth no one saw coming.
The newest book on this list, What Lies in the Woods is perfect for Yellowjackets fans. It’s full of mysteries in the dense wilderness and decades of secrets coming to light. Plenty of Kate Alice Marshall’s other books are great as well, so check them out after you finish this one.
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
When the Raxter School for Girls becomes the epicenter a strange phenomenon called The Tox, the school and its remote island are quarantined from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves. The Tox transforms the environment, mutating plants, animals and even people into twisted versions of themselves. The surviving girls must confront the horrors of the Tox, the dwindling supplies, and the escalating tensions as they realize rescue may not be coming.
Wilder Girls blends dystopian horror with coming-of-age elements. Rory Power explores identity and self-discovery in the face of a harsh reality, and characters must face their inner demons while struggling to survive against very real outside threats.
These are just some of the spooky, feminist books you should check out while we wait for more episodes of Yellowjackets. All of them are available for purchase from your local independent bookstore or Bookshop.org. Did your favorite make the list? Do you have a recommendation? Let us know below!
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