Riot Recommendation

23+ of Your Favorite Suspenseful YA Books

Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

This Riot Recommendation is sponsored by The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis.

the-female-of-the-species-by-mindy-mcginnisEdgar Award–winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a dark and riveting contemporary young adult novel in THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES.

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it.

When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence. As her senior year in high school unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting her and two friends on a collision course that will change their lives forever. THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES is a stunning, unforgettable page-turner.

Contrary to what you’ve probably heard, YA isn’t itself a genre (it’s more of a category). This means that there is YA in every genre, from fantasy to romance to mysteries to thrillers, and many of them are seat-of-your-pants, heart-won’t-stop-pounding, ignoring-your-adult-responsibilities-til-you’re-done suspenseful.

We asked you to share with us your favorite suspenseful YA books and you answered. Here are 23+ of your favorites.


After the Woods by Kim Savage

Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

The Cellar by Natasha Preston

The Compound by SA Bodeen

Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Endangered by Lamar Giles

“Find Me” series by Romily Bernard

The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Girl I Used To Be by April Henry

Gone Too Far by Natalie D. Richards

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

“The Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins

I Am Princess X- Cherie Priest

The Island by Olivia Levez

The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

“Mara Dyer” series by Michelle Hodkin

“The Moral Instruments” by Cassandra Clare

“The Naturals” series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

“Pretty Little Liars” series by Sara Shepard

Shadowlands by Kate Brian

“Virals” series by Kathy Reichs

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart