Have Some New YA Thrillers for January through May: By Teen Contributor Riley Jensen
As I’m off at college studying murder. Wait, I’m studying how to solve murder, not commit them. Anyhow, as I’m off studying murder, I thought I would share some upcoming (or recent) YA thrillers with you. I’m a big fan of YA thrillers, and here are some to add to your TBR list.
The Red Palace by June Hur
Joseon (Korea), 1758. There are few options available to illegitimate daughters in the capital city, but through hard work and study, eighteen-year-old Hyeon has earned a position as a palace nurse. All she wants is to keep her head down, do a good job, and perhaps finally win her estranged father’s approval.
But Hyeon is suddenly thrust into the dark and dangerous world of court politics when someone murders four women in a single night, and the prime suspect is Hyeon’s closest friend and mentor. Determined to prove her beloved teacher’s innocence, Hyeon launches her own secret investigation.
In her hunt for the truth, she encounters Eojin, a young police inspector also searching for the killer. When evidence begins to point to the Crown Prince himself as the murderer, Hyeon and Eojin must work together to search the darkest corners of the palace to uncover the deadly secrets behind the bloodshed.
The Night Shift by Alex Finlay
It’s New Year’s Eve 1999. Y2K is expected to end in chaos: planes falling from the sky, elevators plunging to earth, world markets collapsing. A digital apocalypse. None of that happens. But at a Blockbuster Video in Linden, New Jersey, four teenage girls working the night shift are attacked. Only one survives. Police quickly identify a suspect who flees and is never seen again.
Fifteen years later, in the same town, four teenage employees working late at an ice cream store are attacked, and again only one makes it out alive.
Both surviving victims recall the killer speaking only a few final words… “Goodnight, pretty girl.”
In the aftermath, three lives intersect: the survivor of the Blockbuster massacre who’s forced to relive her tragedy; the brother of the original suspect, who’s convinced the police have it wrong; and the FBI agent, who’s determined to solve both cases. On a collision course toward the truth, all three lives will forever be changed, and not everyone will make it out alive.
Why Would I Lie? by Adi Rule
Bitter. Angry. Paranoid.
It doesn’t matter how you label Viveca North. Her focus is on academic excellence, not popularity. She’s always tried her best to be perfect, and now that she’s a senior, it’s time for all her hard work to pay off. The early-morning runs. The constant studying. The peer tutoring. It will all be worth it when she’s named valedictorian and finally granted admission to her dream school, the elite Everett College. Too bad Jamison Sharpe is trying to steal it from her….
Or is he? Jamison doesn’t need to try to be perfect. Everything seems to come so easily to him. He’s charming, funny, and has the ability to make anyone feel special. He has his pick of glowing college recommendations and his grades are flawless. Obviously Viveca is just jealous, right?
Viveca knows something is off about Jamison. But as she investigates his past, she seems to find a web of lies and deceit that she struggles even to fathom. The further she goes in her quest for the truth, the more impossible her own dreams become.
Will Viveca be able to take down her school’s golden boy and reveal him as a fraud? Or will she—and what she believes—be silenced by labels?
Very Bad People by Kit Frick
Six years ago, Calliope Bolan’s mother drove the family van into a lake with her three daughters inside. The girls escaped, but their mother drowned, and the truth behind the “accident” remains a mystery Calliope is determined to solve. Now sixteen, she transfers to Tipton Academy, the same elite boarding school her mother once attended. Tipton promises a peek into the past and a host of new opportunities—including a coveted invitation to join Haunt and Rail, an exclusive secret society that looms over campus like a legend.
Calliope accepts, stepping into the exhilarating world of the “ghosts,” a society of revolutionaries fighting for social justice. But when Haunt and Rail commits to exposing a dangerous person on campus, it becomes clear that some ghosts define justice differently than others.
As the society’s tactics escalate, Calliope uncovers a possible link between Haunt and Rail and her mother’s deadly crash. Now, she must question what lengths the society might go to in order to see a victory—and if the secret behind her mother’s death could be buried here at Tipton.
Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf
When Najwa Bakri walks into her first Scrabble competition since her best friend’s death, it’s with the intention to heal and move on with her life. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to choose the very same competition where said best friend, Trina Low, died. It might be even though Najwa’s trying to change, she’s not ready to give up Trina just yet.
But the same can’t be said for all the other competitors. With Trina, the Scrabble Queen herself, gone, the throne is empty, and her friends are eager to be the next reigning champion. All’s fair in love and Scrabble, but all bets are off when Trina’s formerly inactive Instagram starts posting again, with cryptic messages suggesting that maybe Trina’s death wasn’t as straightforward as everyone thought. And maybe someone at the competition had something to do with it.
As secrets are revealed and the true colors of her friends are shown, it’s up to Najwa to find out who’s behind these mysterious posts—not just to save Trina’s memory, but to save herself.
The Agathas b Kathleen Glasglow and Liz Lawson
Last summer, Alice Ogilve’s basketball-star boyfriend Steve dumped her. Then she disappeared for five days. Where she went and what happened to her is the biggest mystery in Castle Cove, because she’s not talking. Or it was, at least. But now, another one of Steve’s girlfriends has vanished: Brooke Donovan, Alice’s ex–best friend. And it doesn’t look like Brooke will be coming back. . .
Enter Iris Adams, Alice’s tutor. Iris has her own reasons for wanting to disappear, though unlike Alice, she doesn’t have the money or the means. That could be changed by the hefty reward Brooke’s grandmother is offering to anyone who can share information about her granddaughter’s whereabouts. The police are convinced Steve is the culprit, but Alice isn’t so sure, and with Iris on her side, she just might be able to prove her theory.
In order to get the reward and prove Steve’s innocence, they need to figure out who killed Brooke Donovan. And luckily Alice has exactly what they need—the complete works of Agatha Christie. If there’s anyone that can teach the girls how to solve a mystery it’s the master herself. But the town of Castle Cove holds many secrets, and Alice and Iris have no idea how much danger they’re about to walk into.
Editor’s Note (That’s me, Karen): I’ve already read an advanced copy of The Agathas and it’s really good. It has a group of high school students involved in a forensic science club and I already have purchased it for Riley. A loving homage to Agatha Christie that she would love. Comes out May 3rd.
Riley Jensen is a Freshman majoring in Forensic Chemistry at Ohio University. She loves the academics and is so excited to finally be doing some amazing STEM classes. She is an avid YA reader and has been writing for TLT for almost 10 years now.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
SLJ Blog Network