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Get Ready to Read 10 of the Best Thrilling YA Heist Novels

Silvana Reyes Lopez

Senior Contributor

Silvana Reyes is a Mexican book blogger. She enjoys all types of sub-genres, but loves a good love story. Romance fiction is her heart and joy and you might find her screaming about book releases on her Twitter account.

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Olivia Owens isn't thrilled that her dad's getting remarried. She's also not thrilled that he cheated on her mom, kicked them out of their Rhode Island home, and cut Olivia out of her inheritance. But this former heiress has a plan for revenge. While hundreds of guests gather at the estate where she grew up, she’ll be stealing millions from her father’s online accounts with the help of an eclectic crew of high school students and one former teacher. That is, if a nosy wedding guest, an interfering (and swoony) ex-boyfriend, and greedy cousins don’t get in the way. Perfect for fans of the The Inheritance Games.

If you’re down for thrills and screams, in these next novels, you’ll find heists that take you to highs and lows you won’t expect, intriguing plot lines, untrustworthy characters, and endings that you think about even days after finishing the book. If you’re a fan of adventures, secrets, and complex challenges, you’ll want to read these thrilling YA heist novels right away.

Heists are very much something people find interesting. It’s no wonder that the Ocean’s Eleven franchise is that huge, you know? We love stories that put together ragtag groups of people who probably didn’t have anything in common and who are later thrown into this elaborate plan to achieve something that feels, quite frankly, impossible, like robbing a bank, retrieving a valuable object from the villain’s mansion, or even saving the world.

And maybe 2024 is the year of heists! We all need a little bit of adventure and thrills in our lives, right? These books will provide that without even stepping outside your door. You don’t have to join a group of misfits who have unique abilities and endanger your life in the process — but you can if you want to! Get ready for epic plot twists, found family, and highly intelligent main characters.

thieves gambit book cover ya heist novels

Thieves’ Gambit by Kayvion Lewis

The Inheritance Games meets Ocean’s Eleven in this thrilling, exciting heist novel about a thief who enters a competition in order to save her mother’s life.

Ross Quest is a master of escape plans. Planning to run away from her legendary family, a job goes wrong, and her mother’s life is suddenly in the balance. To save her, she enters the Thieves’ Gambit, a riveting competition of dangerous heists. And she’s not the only one entering. With her childhood nemesis and a handsome, mysterious guy participating as well, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Ross.

a tempest of tea book cover ya heist novels

A Tempest of Tea by Hafsah Faizal

King Arthur meets Picky Blinders in Hafsah Faizal’s newest fantasy duology, a story about an orphaned girl infiltrating vampire society with her ragtag group to save her tearoom.

Set in Ettenia, a fictional place inspired by the 1920s and Victorian London, A Tempest of Tea charms you with its action-packed, dark, and swoon-worthy story, and it will leave you wanting more!

Book cover of Little Thieves ya heist novels

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

Margaret Owen’s riveting fantasy starts with Little Thieves. A sequel is already out, with a third book coming out in 2025.

The story follows Vanja Schmidt, the adopted goddaughter of the Gods of Death and Fortune. When the time comes for her to choose a path and a god, she decides to choose herself, steal the life of the woman who she’s been serving, and become a princess. The Gods, of course, are not happy, and she is then cursed by another God for her greed. Now, time is running out, and she must break her curse to save her life.

cover image of Want by Cindy Pon Book Cover ya heist novels

Want by Cindy Pon

Cindy Pon easily enchants you with her sci-fi novel, Want, a thrilling story set in a futuristic Taipei where one ragtag group of misfits craft a plan to infiltrate high society in order to take down a corrupt corporation. While going through the mission, our main character, Zhou, meets Daiyu, the heiress of this corrupt corporation, who makes Zhou realize that maybe not everything is black and white.

If you’re into high stakes, glamorous parties, and dangerous bike rides, I’m sure that Want is the perfect book for you.

Book cover of Unseelie ya heist novels

Unseelie by Ivelisse Housman

Unseelie is a fae fantasy about twin sisters who get caught up in a heist gone wrong and find themselves being part of an eclectic group of individuals. Action-packed and full of magic, this novel is ideal if you’re looking for a character-driven story that takes you to unimaginable places.

While Seelie and Isolde are twins, they couldn’t be more different. Seelie happens to be a changeling, and she just wants to learn more about her origins. Meanwhile, Isolde is searching for a fabled treasure that might not even be real. Together, alongside some unlikely allies, they are about to unravel a mystery bigger than themselves.

Cover of Zodiac Rising by Katie Zhao best thrilling YA heist novels

Zodiac Rising by Katie Zhao (October 8, 2024)

Boarding schools, Chinese mythology, magic, intrigue, and so much more are what you can expect to find inside Zodiac Rising, Katie Zhao’s newest YA heist/dark academia novel.

In the book, you’ll get to meet four very different personalities: a vampire, a shifter, a werewolf, and a mortal. They will have to join forces and form an unlikely partnership to save the Descendants of the Chinese zodiac.

a million to one book cover

A Million to One by Adiba Jaigirdar

A Million to One is a high-seas YA heist novel that will completely enchant you with a story about a group of friends who are trying to steal a jewel-encrusted book while aboard the RMS Titanic. Following their boarding onto the Titanic, they find out that they might not have been as prepared as they thought so to complete this impossible heist, that will jeopardize everything they’ve worked for if they don’t succeed.

Book cover of Kisses, Codes and Conspiracies by Abigail Hing Wen best thrilling ya heist novels

Kisses, Codes, and Conspiracies by Abigail Hing Wen (August 13, 2024)

Join Tan and Winter in this fascinating heist novel where love and family are what’s at stake. Kisses, Codes, and Conspiracies tells the story of best friends Tan and Winter, who, after sharing a magical kiss at Prom, decide to cool it off, afraid they will mess up their friendship. Nothing goes as planned though, especially when their parents head off to Hawaii together and leave Tan’s little sister with them. Now, they have to babysit!

Things couldn’t get worse, but then Tan’s ex-girlfriend arrives from Shanghai with thugs on her heels because she stole money from her billionaire father. This action-adventure YA novel is everything you need in your life!

Beneath the Citadel book cover

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria

One of the best YA heist novels is Beneath the Citadel, a profound, intriguing fantasy book about a group of rebels who are ready to take part in the ultimate heist.

The city of Eldra is ruled by ancient prophecies. Once upon a time, a prophecy told of a rebellion, so the council quickly extinguished that flame. But there are still living people who hold rebellion in their hearts, and they’re not about to let it go to waste. This group of misfits is going to infiltrate the citadel to unveil their past and their secrets before it’s too late.

Book cover of The Thief

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The Thief kickstarts the incredible, fascinating world of The Queen’s Thief series. But before you get to know everyone, you have to go to the beginning, and Megan Whalen Turner starts it with the thief himself, Gen.

The book is a heist novel about a thief and a king’s scholar who go on a journey to retrieve an ancient treasure. Here, you’ll meet Gen, a remarkable thief, a mastermind, and an unreliable narrator who will make it hard to know if you have to root for him or not.

Want more YA heist novels? Check out this fantastic list that will provide more bookish recommendations!

If you want to read about crimes gone wrong, these books are the ones you’re looking for.