Books

Scroll down for more information about each of my novels. Click on the title of a book to go to a page where you can read the first few chapters.



HIDDEN PIECES (HarperTeen, Summer 2018)

Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Embry thinks she’ll have to take the secret to her grave, until she receives an anonymous note—someone else knows the truth. Next comes a series of threatening messages, asking Embry to make impossible choices, forcing her to put her loved ones at risk. Someone is playing a high stakes game where no one in Embry’s life is safe. And their last move ... is murder.



THE KEY TO EVERYTHING (December 2017)

College senior Oakland Fuller has always believed in signs and soulmates, so when both a therapist and a fortuneteller say that her repeated relationship failures are due to unresolved feelings for her high school boyfriend, Seth, Oakland tries desperately to get back in touch with him. Problem: Seth isn’t responding to her online messages.

To rescue Oakland from a pathetic Christmas break of sitting in front of the computer, her best friend Morgan books the two of them on a guided excursion of Thailand. When the girls meet a pair of American soldiers in Bangkok, Oakland takes Morgan’s advice and engages in a little harmless holiday hooking up. Sergeant Tyson Banks is the perfect mix of sexy and fun. Two weeks with him might just turn out to be the best relationship Oakland has ever had.

Until the day she spots someone familiar across a crowded temple complex—it’s Seth! Somehow the boy she’s been trying to reconnect with is in Bangkok too. If that’s not a sign, then what is?

Filled with friendship, romance, bromance, and gorgeous faraway settings, The Key to Everything is a story for anyone who’s ever dreamed of finding love when (or where) they least expected it.

"The ensuing tale of grief and forgiveness is smartly paced. Stokes doesn't lean too hard on the mystery element, revealing the cold truth early enough to follow through with all the baggage that comes with it...A sobering exploration of absolution."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Stokes explores the power of social media and online shaming...The book effectively demonstrates the effects of cyberbullying." 
--School Library Journal

"The supporting cast of characters is strong, from Genevieve’s no-nonsense mother to Elliott, the boy with two dads, who works at Zion National Park. Stokes builds realistic tension with the bombardment of social media, that faceless jury so quick to judge, sentence, and execute. This tragedy wrapped in a compelling mystery will entrance readers."
--ALA Booklist

When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.

As the internet rages against Brad Freeman, condemning him in a brutal trial by social media, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house, where she can hide from reporters and spend the summer volunteering in beautiful Zion National Park. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident, or the terrible aftermath of it all.

Incredibly thought-provoking and beautifully told, Paula Stokes’s story will compel readers to examine the consequences of making mistakes in a world where the internet is always watching…and judging.


FEROCIOUS (Tor Teen, August 2017)

Paula Stokes returns to the world of Vicarious in this sequel, a high-action psychological thriller with a protagonist out for vengeance.

When Winter Kim finds out that her sister is dead and that she has a brother she never knew about, only two things matter―finding what’s left of her family and killing the man who destroyed her life. Her mission leads her from St. Louis to Los Angeles back to South Korea, where she grew up.

Things get increasingly dangerous once Winter arrives in Seoul. Aided by her friends Jesse and Sebastian, Winter attempts to infiltrate an international corporation to get close to her target, a nefarious businessman named Kyung. But keeping her last remaining loved ones out of the line of fire proves difficult, and when all seems to be lost, Winter must face one last devastating decision: is revenge worth sacrificing everything for? Or can she find a spark of hope in the darkness that threatens to engulf her?


"Reading Vicarious is like tiptoeing across a field of landmines. Blindfolded. Stokes delivers enough adrenaline to make readers beg for mercy."
- Victoria Scott, author of Titans and Fire & Flood

"A mind-bending thrill ride, with a heroine who's as smart as she is strong. Readers will love Winter!" -Lindsay Cummings, #1 NYT bestselling author of Zenith.

"A twisty thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end--I couldn't put it down!" -Kristi Helvig, author of Burn Out and Strange Skies

"Vicarious is an ambitious and mesmerizing combination of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Just like Lisbeth Salander, Winter Kim is fierce, strong, and troubled, but you'll have no trouble rooting for her all the way." -Christina Ahn, Ensconced in Lit


Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, work as high-tech stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you—for a price.

When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter is devastated. She won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the neural recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.

Great for fans of Inception and The Girl With the Dragon TattooVicarious is an adrenaline-fueled, high-tech thriller that will keep you guessing.


GIRL AGAINST THE UNIVERSE (HarperTeen, May 2016)

"Filled with equal amounts of empathy, humor, and heart, Girl Against the Universe is an empowering story about finding the courage to piece your life back together, even when it feels irreparably broken." -Tamara Ireland Stone, NYT bestselling author of Every Last Word and Time Between Us

"An irresistible and funny sports romance that's just a little bit heartbreaking." -Miranda Kenneally, bestselling author of Catching Jordan

"A compelling heroine...Teens who enjoy emotionally charged stories will appreciate this novel about resilience." -School Library Journal

“Stokes’ engaging prose and sympathetic characters serve up great lessons in acceptance for teens dealing with trauma.” -Kirkus Reviews


Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.



"Even the keenest mystery buffs will be hard-pressed to predict the book's finale, which packs quite the emotional and physical punch." -Kirkus, starred review

"Stokes continues to masterfully plant crumbs and red herrings on the road to solving the mystery... The action is nonstop in this dark, psychological thriller." -VOYA

"This thriller has plenty of appeal for teens looking for a book that will keep them guessing...this is one exciting ride." -ALA Booklist

"This story twists and turns and screeches around every corner, but still manages to be a thriller with a big heart." -Kristen Lippert-Martin, author of Tabula Rasa



For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV's How to Get Away With Murder

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.


THE ART OF LAINEY (HarperTeen, May 2014)

"Refreshingly honest, sweet and romantic...Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, but with an edge." 
-RT Book Reviews

"A satisfying and sweet story." -Publishers Weekly

"A modern mashup of classic teen movies...Stokes does a good job with the sports subplots as well as the familial relationships. Lainey is a driven athlete who focuses on her passion, which is a refreshing change of pace." -School Library Journal

"Romantic, witty, and unexpectedly deep. For anyone who has ever had their heart broken, life-plan turned on its head, and future suddenly in question, this book is for you."
-Rachel Harris, NYT bestselling author of Seven Day Fiance and A Tale of Two Centuries 


To win back the one she loves, she’ll have to go to “war” . . . 

Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with, if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?




Seventeen-year-old Micah Foster is looking forward to the return of his girlfriend, Amber, who's been away in Los Angeles recording an EP with her band. But when Amber returns home on the anniversary of Micah's dad's death, something feels different and Micah pushes her away.

Over the next week, as Micah tries to repair his relationship with Amber, he relives the events of the past few years and recognizes a pattern. His friends and family are right--he self-destructs every April, right around the time his dad died, hurting people he cares about in the process. Will Amber be this year's casualty? Or can Micah escape his past in time to fix his present?



VENOM, BELLADONNA, STARLING (Philomel, 2012, 2013, 2014)
VENOMOUS KISS, POISONOUS TOUCH, DANGEROUS HEART (The Studio, 2016)

My first three books--romantic mysteries set in Renaissance Venice--were written in collaboration with the book development team at Paper Lantern Lit. These books are quite different from the books I've written as Paula Stokes. For more information, click the FAQ tab at the top of the page. The Secrets of the Eternal Rose trilogy has been re-released through Paper Lantern Lit's boutique e-book imprint, The Studio. For more information, click here.