Monday, September 27, 2021

TTT: YA Mysteries


 TTT (Top Ten Tuesday) is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl .  If you want to quadruple the size of your TBR AND find a bunch of great book blogs to follow head on over and check it out!

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. 


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.

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. 


  1. I don't know any of your books and YA mysteries isn't a genre I know at all. I need to browse around here a bit for sure!
    I will post my TTT a bit later, still early morning here in SA.

  2. I love YA mysteries. Great list!

  3. You've got some really good YA mysteries there. I particularly loved Saide and Monday's Not Coming. I also liked Female of the Species.

  4. Great list! The Female of the Species is excellent and so unique. Loved Sadie too, the audiobook production was excellent.

  5. Great list. A sort of a YA mystery that I recently read and loved is The Firekeeper's Daughter.

    Good to see you here!

  6. Good work! I honestly had no idea there were YA mysteries. So call me dumb then!

  7. I loved that Roehrig book. I think it's very underrated. I am a big fan of McManus and Jackson. The Box in the Woods was soo good. We need more Stevie stand-alones. Sadie was a bit dark and bleak for me, but still, so good. I have enjoyed books by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Kara Thomas, and Holly Jackson too.

  8. "MURDER HIIIM" lol. I liked Two Can Keep A Secret, and I liked The Cousins too (although I've seen a fair amount of reviews that are less than enthusiastic about that one compared to some of her others, but again I liked it with some suspension of disbelief ha ha).

    I liked the Summers zombie books but haven't read this one.

  9. I keep forgetting to read Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus...

    My TTT list

  10. I have Sadie on hold through Libby. I hope it is available soon.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

  11. Tiffany D. Jackson's brand is excellent - everything she's done has been great.

  12. What a fun post to read! I tend to read a lot in this genre -- weirdly, snce I never think of it as a favorite, but I do find YA mysteries to be a very reliable source of entertainment, so I keep dipping back into it. Without meaning to, I even ended up reading two riffs on And Then There Were None just a few weeks apart -- Ten by Gretchen McNeil and You're So Dead by Ash Parsons (I preferred the former). I also had a really good time with The Last Witness by Claire McFall.

    Totally agree with your sentiments on April Henry; she found a specific niche and Excelled at it. Meanwhile, I just got to Sadie this year -- I had read Mind McGinnis's take on the same theme years earlier, and I thought THAT was dark, but she had nothing on Courtney Summers. I actually thought Sadie read more like an adult novel than a YA one; with minimal editing it could easily have been sold as such.

    The Truly Devious books appeal to me, but I'm very hesitant to dive into a series, so The Box in the Woods sound awesome (not just because standalone, but because a cold case? multiple murders? at a summer camp?? HECK YEAH). Will it spoil the series if I read this one first?

  13. I don't read a lot of mysteries, but I LOVED Sadie. It's such a unique book.


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