The best young adult crime (because crime book lovers should start young)

Ella West Author Of Rain Fall
By Ella West

Who am I?

I’ve always loved crime books and I love writing YA so why not combine the two! It makes fun school talks (I get to do a lot – so much more enjoyable than talking to adults!), especially when you get to discuss crimes with teenagers before the teachers realise! Most of them are amazed the kids are getting into reading before they actually realise we’re discussing ways to kill people! And this is what books should be about (not necessarily violence of course) but thrilling, page turning, who did it, what happened stories. If I can get kids reading – then job done!


I wrote...

Rain Fall

By Ella West,

Book cover of Rain Fall

What is my book about?

Even if you wear a coat or use an umbrella it doesn’t stop you getting wet. This rain doesn’t just fall. It wraps itself around you, you breathe it in, the whole world becomes water, constant falling water.

Horse-mad fifteen-year-old Annie lives in Westport on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island where rainfall is measured in metres not inches. As she rides her horse along the beach, her raincoat flapping behind her, she becomes tangled up in a murder mystery. The detective who comes to town brings his teenage son and a rodeo horse that needs exercising. But this is a coal mining town and the mines are closing. Annie quickly realises that nothing is ever going to be the same again.

The books I picked & why

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None Shall Sleep

By Ellie Marney,

Book cover of None Shall Sleep

Why this book?

Ellie is an Australian writer and we share the same publisher so I’ve got to know her a little. This is her first book set in the States (us antipodean writers need bigger readerships!) and I think she’s done great. I can’t even start to imagine the research that’s gone into it to make every fact right. And the blood! I love this book. I think it’s the perfect introduction for teenagers into the world of crime fiction. Go Ellie!

None Shall Sleep

By Ellie Marney,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked None Shall Sleep as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1982, two teenagers-serial killer survivor Emma Lewis and US Marshal candidate Travis Bell-are recruited by the FBI to interview convicted juvenile killers and provide insight and advice on cold cases. From the start, Emma and Travis develop a quick friendship, gaining information from juvenile murderers that even the FBI can't crack. But when the team is called in to give advice on an active case-a serial killer who exclusively hunts teenagers-things begin to unravel. Working against the clock, they must turn to one of the country's most notorious incarcerated murderers for help: teenage sociopath Simon Gutmunsson.

Despite Travis's objections,…


The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas,

Book cover of The Hate U Give

Why this book?

This was written way before George Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests in the United States which makes me sad that the messages in this book are still not being heard. Not strictly a crime book, but a must-read for everyone. Totally heart-rendering and revealing. I promise you’ll be swept away.

The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Hate U Give as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major motion picture, starring Amandla Stenberg

No. 1 New York Times bestseller

Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize * Goodreads Choice Awards Best of the Best * National Book Award Longlist * British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year * Teen Vogue Best YA Book of the Year

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a…


We Were Liars

By E. Lockhart,

Book cover of We Were Liars

Why this book?

I never got to study Shakespeare’s King Lear at school so I missed that this is a retelling of the tragedy when I first read it. But I’m not sure if it mattered. If you want a book that makes you gasp as it reveals itself, almighty twists and turns and “OMGs” then this is it. I wish I had written it! Amazing.

We Were Liars

By E. Lockhart,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked We Were Liars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The TikTok phenomenon and #1 New York Times bestseller.

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends-the Liars-whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honouree E. Lockhart.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Don't miss FAMILY OF LIARS, the thrilling prequel to We Were Liars, published in May 2022.


One of Us Is Lying

By Karen M. McManus,

Book cover of One of Us Is Lying

Why this book?

The old death-by-peanut-butter murder! Five teens end up in school detention – only four make it out alive. The ultimate teenage who-done-it! It’s a guessing game until the very end, a total page-turner with every element a young adult novel should have. Still have to watch the TV series but I know it’ll be great.

One of Us Is Lying

By Karen M. McManus,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked One of Us Is Lying as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NOW A MAJOR NETFLIX SERIES. This stunning collector's edition of the internationally bestselling YA smash hit, ONE OF US IS LYING, contains a thrilling BONUS chapter!

Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive.

Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star Cooper only knows what he's doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad boy Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won't ever talk about any of them again.…


The Lost Man

By Jane Harper,

Book cover of The Lost Man

Why this book?

This is not a Young Adult book but it’s such a great crime book I’ve got to include it. Plus it’s set just over the ditch in Oz and it’s the perfect antidote after reading my book. In my book you’ll be drowned in the rain, in The Lost Man you get to bake in the hot, hot sun! I loved learning about life in rural Australia and, as farmers in New Zealand, how large sheep ranches are run there. I now want to visit!

The Lost Man

By Jane Harper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lost Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Two brothers meet in the remote Australian outback when the third brother is found dead, in this stunning new standalone novel from Jane Harper

Brothers Nathan and Bub Bright meet for the first time in months at the remote fence line separating their cattle ranches in the lonely outback.

Their third brother, Cameron, lies dead at their feet.

In an isolated belt of Australia, their homes a three-hour drive apart, the brothers were one another’s nearest neighbors. Cameron was the middle child, the one who ran the family homestead. But something made him head out…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in family secrets, amnesia, and murder?

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