Mystery-Thriller Young Adult Fiction
I love a good mystery. Unlike the fantasy or contemporary genres, I haven’t come across an endless range of good YA mystery novels. But there are some really fantastic young adult mystery-thrillers, be they murder mysteries, crime novels, thrillers with amazing twists or mysteries with a touch of the paranormal. Here is a list of some of my favourite YA mystery-thrillers, including some exciting new releases.
Click on the covers for full reviews.
The Naturals Series – Jennifer Lynn Barnes – Disney-Hyperion – Published 2013 -2016
Very top of my list is The Naturals series. Have you seen the TV show The Mentalist? Well, this series is like that in book form. But better. The Naturals is the first book, followed by Killer Instinct, All In and finally Bad Blood, which was released 1 November 2016. Serial killers and a team of teenagers who are naturally gifted in profiling, mathematics, emotion reading and recognising lies. A wonderful cast of characters and an intricate plot that just gets more amazing as the series progresses. Seriously, I cannot praise this series enough. Read it!!!!
Nikki Kill series – Jennifer Brown – Katherine Tegen Books – Published 2016 – ongoing
This series starts when Nikki Kill is dragged into the investigation of who grievously harmed one of her class mates. Nikki’s synesthesia, seeing colours for numbers, words or letters, makes her a good investigator. Nikki is a tough, brash, and independent character. Her investigation continues in the second book in the series, Dare You. And if Dare You is anything to go by, this series is just going to get better and better.
The Fixer series – Jennifer Lynn Barnes – Bloomsbury – Published 2015 – ongoing
Yep, back to Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Because she is awesome. The Fixer series is about Tess Kendrick, who learns that her much older sister is entangled in the world of powerful politics. When the President has a problem, he calls Ivy Kendrick and she makes it go away. But this time some very powerful people are involved in a conspiracy that involve the families of Tess’s new classmates.
The Long Game continues the series and it is even more exciting, dangerous and edge-of-your-seat crazy. Both are excellent books and the series promises to continue with more twists and fabulous suspense.
The Hidden Memory of Objects – Danielle Mages Amato – Balzer+Bray – Published 21 March 2017
Megan’s brother is dead. The police say he died of a drug overdose and Megan can’t reconcile the images she has of her fun-loving, positive brother with those from the story the police are weaving of a boy who saw no other option than to deliberately overdose in an abandoned building. Heartbroken and confused, Megan decides to do some investigating of her own, starting with the things Tyler left behind. But as Megan collects and then starts creating artwork from her brother’s things, she begins to have strange headaches and blackouts, triggering memories of her brother that she couldn’t possibly have.
Holding Smoke – Elle Cosimano – Hyperion-Disney – Published 3 May 2016
Smoke is serving time for two murders, one of which he didn’t commit. After a near-death experience, he can now move outside his body.
This is a mystery with a good dash of paranormal. I’ve not enough words to covey the supreme brilliance of this book. This book is dark and edgy and so very readable. It’s harsh and eye opening, heartbreaking and just a touch hopeful. I couldn’t put it down, intrigued by the thrilling and fast-moving plot, and addicted to the complex characters.
Take the Fall – Emily Hainsworth – Balzer + Bray – Published 16 February 2016
This is an edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting, check-over-your-shoulder, add-your-own-cliche-here kind of book. This is ultimately an epic murder mystery, with a huge list of suspects, a twist that came out of nowhere and a surprise ending. It’s dark and kind of disturbing but so easy to read.
The night Sonia was attacked in the forest, her best friend Gretchen was also attacked. Sonia survived, but Gretchen is found dead at the base of the falls. It sparks an investigation and town-wide terror as the police search for those responsible.