15 Young Adult Mysteries to Read Now and Later

Posted by Sharon on July 6, 2020
Girls who save the world, sweeping dystopias, contemporary love stories, and high fantasy are all staples of the current young adult book landscape. But what about a good mystery?

Luckily for whodunit fans, 2020 seems to be the year of the YA mystery, with multiple smash hits already published. And there are many more enigmatic tales in store for the second half of the year as well. Call it The Sadie Effect, maybe, but today’s tales are fairly gritty, tackling issues of bullying, racism, abuse, and more.

We took a look at the recent and upcoming young adult mysteries that your fellow readers are raving about to create this list of highly rated and highly anticipated books to read now and to add to that Want to Read shelf for later.


Available now:

Read this book if you enjoy: One of Us Is Lying, high school settings, spin off–style sequels, deadly games of truth or dare, pulse-pounding thrills, complicated family relationships.

Read this book if you enjoy: the Truly Devious series, the “oh no, we’re all trapped here because of the weather” trope, Agatha Christie, Vermont, resolving cliffhangers, solving cold cases.

Read this book if you enjoy: supporting debut authors, Korean history, the 1800s, atmospheric reads, K-drama dramatics, books in which you start suspecting everyone.

Read this book if you enjoy: true crime podcasts, mixed-media storytelling, overachievers overachieving, breakout British mysteries.

Read this book if you enjoy: badass hacker girls fighting conspiracies, Veronica Mars, combating Islamophobia, slow-burn thrillers, realistic depictions of living with chronic illness.

Read this book if you enjoy: mysteries with horror elements, scary small towns, dysfunctional mother-daughter relationships, Gothic imagery, Wilder Girls

Read this book if you enjoy: band geeks solving mysteries, a tinge of the supernatural, body positivity, books that explore the nuances of consent, sisters who grow to understand each other better.

Read this book if you enjoy: girls who save themselves, amnesia plotlines, books that deal with PTSD, big twists, psychological thrillers.

Read this book if you enjoy: unreliable narrators, the “wait, why do I look so much like that dead person” trope, Rebecca, the Hamptons, multiple timelines, more amnesia plotlines.

Read this book if you enjoy: the “oh no, I joked about something bad happening to that person and then it happened and now I’m a suspect” trope, small-town drama, books with creepy dolls on their covers.

Coming soon:

Click the Want to Read button if you enjoy: girls with big dreams, flashback-style narration, books that aren’t afraid of tackling heavy topics, books that shine a light on abusive celebrity culture.

Click the Want to Read button if you enjoy: mystery plots in which the mystery isn’t the entire plot, contemporary fantasy settings, trans and Latinx representation, very stubborn ghosts, very charming characters. 

Click the Want to Read button if you enjoy: depictions of elite prep schools à la Gossip Girl or The Secret History, secret societies, teenage drama, We Were Liars.

Click the Want to Read button if you enjoy: books about the allure of cults, books about escaping the allure of cults, books set in the 1990s, books about the high school to college transition.

Click the Want to Read button if you enjoy: standalone mysteries, family secrets, the “you’ve all been summoned here because of Reasons” trope, inheritance plots, getting two books from Karen M. McManus in one year.

Which of these mysteries have you read, and which are you looking forward to reading? What other YA mysteries would you recommend to your fellow readers? Let’s talk books in the comments!

Check out more recent articles, including:
July’s Most Anticipated Young Adult Books
Meet the Authors of Summer’s Hottest Mysteries
The 36 Most Popular YA Books of the Year (So Far)

Comments Showing 1-21 of 21 (21 new)

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message 1: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah They all sound so good! Time to add more books to my ever-expanding TBR...

message 2: by ally (new)

ally Haha yes! I'm actually already reading the silence of bones!!!

message 3: by Louie (new)

Louie Yay, I love YA mysteries and these all sound great!

One really good looking mystery that came out in March is All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban.

I'm really looking foward to these books that are coming out later this year, All Eyes on Her by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, The Good Girls by Claire Eliza Bartlett, and Even If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp.

message 4: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Andrews Agreed, this sounds like a great list. Will definitely add some to my kindle TBR...

message 5: by Elisabeth (new)

Elisabeth Salsbury A pity so many of these seem to be aimed at girls, though.

message 6: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Scidmore Those all look sooo good!!

message 7: by Lori (new)

Lori You're Next by Kylie Schachte, out this week, is a terrific mystery with a kick ass girl MC.

Shrieky Noodle Flute Girl Oh well, I'm going to have a lot of reading to do at some point... :)

message 9: by Bosco (new)

Bosco The Silence Of Bones 🤩🤩🤩

message 10: by Lynn (new)

Lynn Lovegreen The Silence of Bones by June Hur is a wonderful book!

message 11: by M (new)

M A good girl's guide to Murder is so so good......
My favourite ya mystery book.

message 12: by Debby (new)

Debby A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson really caught my eyes in the first place. I want to read the book so bad!

message 13: by western (last edited Jul 23, 2020 10:03AM) (new)

western goddess Thank-you Sharon at Goodreads for this riveting list - I was prompted to pre-order the upcoming novel - Grown by Tiffany D Jackson which is available in October 2020. [ fingers crossed]

message 14: by Fadi (new)

Fadi Kharoufeh I have A Good Girl's Guide to Murder on my TBR already but many on here seem worthy of a read...

message 15: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Great list! Some of these are already on my TBR list. I'll being adding more. So many books and so little time!

message 16: by Mila (new)

Mila Cutteridge Good girls guide to murder was the best !!! I can’t wait for the sequel to be available in the US (out in the UK already)

message 17: by Sydney (new)

Sydney Scothon The cousins sound fantastic

message 18: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Blackburn So many good books to add to my oh so many books to read list!! Oh so little time!! Reading is my outlet to reality!!

message 19: by Abigael | (new)

Abigael | A City Girl's Thoughts I have The Truly Devious Series on my TBR!

message 20: by TMR (last edited Jul 23, 2020 04:54PM) (new)

TMR I neeed them all!

message 21: by Marteen (new)

Marteen Currently reading The Silence of Bones and have a couple of these on my TBR already. The whole list looks awesome!

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