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The topic this week is.. a freebie!
When people ask me what my favorite genres are (and I'm a reading teacher, so this is actually something people ask me), I usually say, "Adult mysteries and YA fantasy." I find that adult fantasy can get to bogged down in politics and battles, and YA mysteries lack a certain gritty reality. However, I'm always open to having my prejudices challenged, so I do read out of my go-to standards. I feel that I've read a number of really good YA mysteries lately, and here they are. I'm not sure what it says about me and/or the experience of being a woman, but I sure love the ones where a young woman turns the tables on a killer. I'm all, "YES, MURDER HIIIIM!" I'm also noticing that this is a fantastic set of covers.
The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson.
Loved the whole Truly Devious Series, and I am delighted to report that this stand-alone novel featuring the same teen sleuth is also fantastic. This time Stevie is looking into a 1978 multiple murder at a summer camp.
Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin
I've raved about this updated McBeth story told from the point of view of a young woman who brings down the powerful.
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
This is dark. Revenge, murder, and revenge murder. McGinnis is so good at every genre she graces us with!
Spin by Lamar Giles
In a variation on the "unlikely partners forced to work together to solve a crime" trope, two girls who both considered the murder victim their best friend, but loath each other, try to get to the bottom of their friend's death--and life.
Sadie by Courtney Summers
From its creative structure to its growing sense of doom, I loved everything about this book.
Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
It's hard to pick a favorite from Roherig's mysteries and crime stories, all of which are Very Gay and manage to be both funny and scary.
Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
Jackson's brand of twists and shocks is never better than in this book about a girl who is the only person that seems to care her best friend has disappeared.
Keep This To Yourself by Tom Ryan
SO! MANY! TWISTS!
Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus
She's a leader in teen mysteries, but if I'd only read One of Us Is Lying, I wouldn't be that impressed. I really enjoyed this one though, enough that I'll take a look at The Cousins if my students every stop checking it out.
The Girl in the White Van by April Henry
I'm an unabashed fan of this Portland author and her well structured, solidly PG thrillers. I will always have a soft spot for Girl, Stolen, but this kidnapping story gets creepier, AND involves friendship, which I appreciated.