A THRILLING Countdown: From TEN to One, these mystery/thrillers will keep you on the edge of your seat as you countdown until the new year
Everyone is counting down this time of year. Some people are counting down the best books, tv shows, movies, etc. of 2022. Soon we’ll all be counting down the start of 2023. But here’s a twist on the end of the year countdown for you: I’m counting down from 10 to 1 YA thrillers that start with a number at the beginning of a title. Why? Why not! I love a good YA thriller and it’s a fun way to do a little bit of RA and play on the countdown theme. So, beginning with the number ten and going all the way to number one, here’s a YA mystery/thriller that begins its title with a number.
Ten After Closing
I haven’t read this book and I needed to start with 10, so here’s the publisher’s description:
TEN MINUTES AFTER CLOSING: The first gunshot is fired. Someone’s dead. And if Winny, Scott, and the rest of the hostages don’t come up with a plan soon, they may not live to see morning.
Nine Liars is the next installment of the Stevie Bell mystery series, and it comes out tomorrow, and you won’t want to miss it. The Stevie Bell mysteries are fun and engaging reads in which the protagonist navigates friendship while solving mysteries which are set in both the past and the present. They are two for one mystery thrillers and I highly recommend them.
Eight Will Fall
This is a little more fantasy than I wanted for this list, and I haven’t read it, but I needed a title that started with eight for my countdown so here it is. This is the publisher’s book description: In a land where magic is outlawed, eight criminals led by seventeen-year-old Larkin are sent on a mission to kill an ancient evil that plagues their kingdom. Descending into an underground realm full of unspeakable horrors, Larkin and her party must use their forbidden magic to survive what lies in wait, teeth sharp and jaws deadly.
Seven Dirty Secrets
Natalie D. Richards appears on this list more than once and quite frankly, she helped inspire the list with her books that start with numbers. I find her to write fun, engaging thrillers that will appeal to teens. In this one. our main character is invited to a deadly scavenger hunt. And while I would not want to be invited to a deadly scavenger hunt, it was fun to read about.
I know seven secrets:
One caused the fall. One did nothing. One saw it all.
One didn’t care. One used their head. One played the hero.
One was left for dead.
Six Months Later
I told you there would be a lot of Natalie D. Richards on this list. From the New York Times bestselling author of teen suspense books, Natalie D. Richards, comes a psychological thriller about a girl who wakes up with everything she’s ever wanted, but can’t remember the last six months of her life. When Chloe fell asleep in study hall, it was the middle of May. But when she wakes up, snow is on the ground, and she can’t remember the last six months. Before, she’d been a mediocre student. Now, she’s on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with sports star Blake. Now he’s her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won’t speak to her. What happened to her? Remembering the truth could be more dangerous than she’d ever imagined.
I just finished listening to this and it was really a good read. A group of teens rent an RV for Spring Break and when it breaks down, they are attacked by a sniper who tells them that one of them has a secret and they need to share it. It took a lot of twists and turns and the secrets kept me on the edge of my seat. Highly recommend.
For the record, I also could have put Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards here but I didn’t want to make the list all Richards. But it is about a teen who rents a car with total strangers during a snowstorm to try and get home and well, that doesn’t necessarily work out.
Four Found Dead
Yes, this is another Natalie D. Richards title. I haven’t read it yet, though, because it doesn’t come out until May 2023. But here’s the Publisher’s Book Description:
At the movie theater where Jo works, the last show has ended. But the nightmare is just beginning.
Tonight, Tempest Theaters is closing forever, the last remaining business in a defunct shopping mall. The moviegoers have left, and Jo and her six coworkers have the final shift, cleaning up popcorn and mopping floors for the last time.
But after an unexpected altercation puts everyone on edge, the power goes out. Their manager disappears, along with the keys to the lobby doors and the theater safe, where the crew’s phones are locked each shift. Then, the crew’s tension turns to terror when Jo discovers the dead body of one of her co-workers.
Now their only chance to escape the murderer in their midst is through the dark, shuttered mall. With its boarded-up exits and disabled fire alarms, the complex is filled with hiding places for both pursuer and pursued. In order to survive this night, Jo and her friends must trust one another, navigate the sprawling ruins of the mall, and outwit a killer before he kills again.
Three Truths and a Lie
This game will be the source for our next two books. You know the game, a group of friends sit around and share truths and lies and you are supposed to guess which one is the lie. In this installment, it’s three truths and a lie. In the forest, friends gather together and play the game, but not everyone will come out of the forest.
Two Truths and a Lie
When a blizzard causes a group of teens traveling to a competition to take shelter, they find themselves in a hotel. Trying to fight off the boredom, they decide to place a game of Two Truths and a Lie. When one of the entrants seem to suggest that they really like killing people, everyone is on edge. Things get worse when bodies start piling up. What happens when you are trapped in a hotel during a blizzard and someone might be a serial killer? It’s a wild ride to find out.
One of Us is Lying
On a Monday afternoon, five teens walk into detention. Only four walk out. Can you figure out who done it and how in this locked room mystery? It’s one of the most bestselling thrillers of the past couple of years and Karen M. McManus is arguably the queen of them at this point, but if you haven’t read it yet, you should give it a try. The third installment comes out next year, One of Us is Back.
Do you have a suggested title for my countdown? Leave me a note in the comments about which titles you would add.
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).
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