No doubt you’ve experienced that brief but palpable moment of fear upon waking in a new or unfamiliar place. Where am I? For most of us, this experience is rather innocuous, remembering not long after opening our eyes that we stayed the night at a hotel or a friend’s house or forgot that we rearranged our bedroom furniture. We are not, in fact, lost, stranded or worse … being held against our will.

The characters in these seven novels aren’t so lucky. Be it the work of individuals with sinister intentions, or tragic circumstances brought about by uncontrollable forces, these teenagers are all trapped. 

The Maze Runner
by James Dashner

The Hunger Games meets Lost in this thrilling survival saga. Thomas can remember nothing but his name when he wakes up on the elevator that delivers food and supplies to the Glade, an area surrounded by concrete walls that extend miles above the ground. Like Thomas, the other boys trapped inside have no memory of anything before waking in the Glade. And the only way out is through the limitless, ever-changing maze that lies beyond the towering walls … but no one has ever made it out alive. Then a girl appears for the first time in the elevator the day after Thomas’s arrival, bringing a terrifying message with her: “Remember. Survive. Run.”

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The Cellar
by Natasha Preston

17- year-old Summer Robinson lives in the small, sleepy town of Long Thorpe, England. Nothing ever happens there … until she’s kidnapped by a man who calls himself Clover. He takes Summer to a cellar where he is keeping three other girls: Rose, Poppy, and Violet. And after changing Summer’s name to Lily, he thinks she’ll make a beautiful addition to his family of “flowers.” On the outside, Summer’s boyfriend and the town desperately search to find her, but in the cellar, Summer and the other girls must obey Clover’s every word and bear witness the horrific abuse and unimaginable cruelty of which he is capable.

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by S.E. Keller

Waging on for over a year, the true origins of the “New War” remain unknown. Siren Eyre is trying to live as normal a life as possible amid the chaos, but when a group of unidentified, armed men storm her high school, Siren finds herself kidnapped. Now, trapped inside their nightmare compound, she meets a mysterious boy named Shadow who claims he can help her, train her in physical combat so that she may earn her freedom. But in a place as dangerous as this, Siren doesn’t know whether or not she can trust him. And yet he’s one of the only people who knows anything about the New War and why she was taken. (Read our review here.)

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Wilder Girls
by Rory Power

18 months ago, the Raxter School for Girls was ordered to quarantine on their island home as the Tox — a strange malady that alters the body in foreign, grotesque ways — set in. Trapped inside their school, Hetty and her friends are just trying to survive as they wait for the cure they were promised. Living within a landscape that has morphed into something wild and dangerous since the Tox appeared, the only girls allowed to venture past the gates surrounding the school are those tasked with retrieving supply shipments from the docks. Just as Hetty begins to learn the shocking reality of their life on the island, her friend goes missing, and Hetty will have to brave the horrors outside to find her.

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The Bunker Diary
by Kevin Brooks

Teen runaway Linus Weems was drugged and kidnapped by a stranger posing as a blind man needing assistance. He wakes up in a spacious underground bunker complete with several bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom … and a series of cameras and microphones that allow his kidnapper to watch his every move. And Linus isn’t alone for long. He’s joined by a nine-year-old girl named Jenny, and soon after her arrival, four other victims appear: a drug addict, an uptight businesswoman, a middle-aged businessman and an elderly man with a brain tumor. None of them have anything in common, except enduring torture from the man upstairs.

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The Cage
by Megan Shepherd

Cora Mason doesn’t know where she is. As she explores the unfamiliar surroundings, she finds contradictory sets of climates and landscapes — desert touches tundra, farmland touches jungle. And she isn’t alone. There are four other teenagers with her, none of whom have any idea where they are or why they’ve been taken either. But they soon learn the horrific truth that their captors aren’t human. They’re being held in an alien zoo … where they’re the main attraction. Their only link to the world outside is Cassian, the guard posted at their cage. And as he and Cora develop a forbidden attraction, she confronts the fact that her only chance at escape may mean leaving the others behind.

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by Isla Morley

In the vein of Room and The Lovely Bones, 16-year-old Blythe Hallowell has been kidnapped by a survivalist who believes he is saving her from the end of the world. Locked in an abandoned missile silo, she’s desperate to escape … at first. But as time drags on, she finds herself feeling hopeless, crushed by the reality of her situation — the isolation, her captor’s madness. Now, faced with raising a child in captivity, Blythe decides to conceal the truth in order to give her son some semblance of a normal childhood, the kind she was robbed of. And when the opportunity for escape finally presents itself, Blythe will have to confront another unfortunate reality.

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