Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Mysterious YA Mystery

I’m a bookseller. (If you didn’t already know.) Customers regularly ask for YA dystopia, YA romance and YA fantasy recommendations, and I know just want to suggest. Twice now, I’ve been asked for YA mysteries. YA mysteries?! What are those? I’m sure they exist. In fact, I know I’ve read some. But there’s no easy answer. There’s no section or table or display (at least in any bookstore I’ve been to). So, what YA books are mysterious? Here are my suggestions:

Death Cloud – Andrew Lane

Gallagher Girls series – Ally Carter

Heist Society series– Ally Carter
Kat Bishop is a thief, as are all her friends and family. After leaving the family business for a normal high school existence, she’s pulled back in when her father is named the only suspect after a mobster's art collection is stolen. Kat has two weeks to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history, and steal her life back along the way. In this series, we follow Kat, Hale and other teenage talents through their cons, but the reader doesn’t learn how they did it until the end, leaving the mystery open so readers can attempt to solve it along the way.

Pretty Little Liars series – Sara Shepard

Shelter – Harlen Coben
Mickey’s year is off to an awful start after he witnesses his father’s death, sends his mom to rehab and is forced to live with his estranged uncle Myron. Then, his new (girl)friend, Ashley, vanishes. Following her trail into the underworld reveals Ashley isn’t who she claimed to be. Soon Mickey learns about a conspiracy that leaves him questioning everything. Coben writes adult mystery novels, but ventured into the mindset of his main characters nephew for this classic mystery YA tale.

Stormbreaker series- Anthony Horowitz

The Body Finder – Kimberly Derting

The Book of Blood and Shadow – Robin Wasserman

The Diviners – Libba Bray

The Face on the Milk Carton series– Caroline B. Cooney
She’d never paid close attention to the missing children on milk cartons, until she saw the face of an ordinary girl with pigtails who had been kidnapped twelve years before in New Jersey. Janie Johnson is shocked to realize that girl is her. Did her loving parents kidnap her? As she searches for clues, she realizes nothing makes sense. And Janie will stop at nothing to find out her real identity. This is a suspenseful tale that's (so far) stood the test of time for a YA novel, as it was originally published in 1990.

The Liar Society – Lisa Roecker

The Lying Game – Sara Shepard

The Name of the Star series - Maureen Johnson
The same day Rory arrived at boarding school in London was also the day a series of brutal murders reminiscent of Jack the Ripper broke out across the city. The police have few leads and no witnesses, until Rory spots a man now believed to be the prime suspect. But she's the only one who saw him, and she quickly becomes his next target. The Name of the Star begins a thrilling series by Maureen Johnson with elements of mystery, paranormal and romance.

The Naturals – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Unspoken – Sarah Rees Brennan

What I Saw and How I Lied – Judy Blundell
When Evie’s father returned home from World War II, the family fell back into its normal life quickly. But soon Evie realizes her father brought back more than just good war stories. Peter Coleridge, a young handsome ex-GI who served in her father’s company in postwar Austria, shows up and Evie is caught in a complicated web of lies only she recognizes. She finds herself falling for Peter and ignoring his secrets until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family and her life. This novel leans more toward historical thriller than mystery, but it has a classic-type feel in its engrossing, creative descriptions.


Are there any YA mysteries I missed? Let me know in the comments!

*Book descriptions were adapted from those on

No comments:

Post a Comment