After The Big 'Pretty Little Liars' A Reveal Summer Finale, Read These 7 YA Mystery Novels To Fill The Void
So does everyone have their "A" theories locked and loaded for tonight? After six (well, five and a half) seasons of questions, confusion, second guessing, frustration, glory, and utter desperation, Pretty Little Liars fans will get what they have been waiting for: The A reveal. Not to mention, we find out just who Charles is, who is hiding under the veil as the Black Widow, and who has been playing Red Riding Hood as Red Coat. Oh, and which one of these three, or someone else, is actually A. My head is already spinning. But more than that, I'm very concerned about what I'm going to do with all my free time once the Pretty Little Liars summer finale A reveal is over. Enter: YA mystery novels that will keep my attention just like PLL does, and not take six seasons to finish. After all, this whole crazy, beautiful mess began with Sara Shepard's famous 16-book YA series.
I mean, I can't be the only one who has spent the better part of the last month perfecting my A and Charles theories by re-watching Pretty Little Liars and studying the five clue episodes creator I. Marlene King told us to pay attention to before the finale, right? Not to mention wading through reddit, Tumblr, podcasts, and Instagram for everyone else's wild theories about who Charles is — *cough* I'm going with Wren *cough* — and who is really our Big A.
The end of this mystery in Pretty Little Liars is going to leave a major mystery void in our lives. These TK YA books can help fill the hole.
Endangered by Lamar Giles
Lauren Daniels goes by the nickname "Panda" and the secret alias "Grey," but unlike "A" from Pretty Little Liars, the one with the secret alias is the heroine not the antagonist. She catches high school bullying in action with her camera and works to take down or humiliate the bullies by blackmailing them with any number of photos she has. Basically, Panda knows all, just like Mona. However, the tables are turned when Panda herself starts getting mysterious messages from SecretAdm1r3r (Kisses!) with incriminating photos of her. There are red herrings, twists and turns, and Liars style sleuthing that will keep you turning the pages.
Vanished by E.E. Cooper
Emison shippers, this one is for you. The popular threesome of Kalah, Beth, and Britney has always really been ruled by Queen Bees Beth and Britney, with younger Kalah tagging along. But when Beth and Britney vanish Alison DiLaurentis style, secrets start to come out. Kalah has a boyfriend, but she's been secretly sharing kisses with Beth, and she thinks she's in love. (I know, she desperately needs to swap stories with Emily Fields.) So where is Beth? And what really happened to Britney? If these questions are starting to sound familiar, you're probably a Pretty Little Liars fan.
Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Gretchen McNeil's Ten is based on one of the most iconic mystery stories of all time: Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians, AKA And Then There Were None. It has everything you want in a murder mystery — a deserted island, a mysterious party, a storm, a group of suspicious house guests, and a missing host. Trade in the middle aged Brits for high school Americans and add in a few love triangles (no PLL fan can be without them) and you have the makings of a popcorn whodunit you'll read in one sitting.
Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham
Pretty Little Liars never meddles in the supernatural — except briefly with Caleb's failed spin-off Ravenswood — but fans will love this amazing, whip-smart, Muslim-American sleuth Scarlett who solves mystical crimes in her hometown of Las Almas, and always with a bit of sarcasm like our girl Hanna. Scarlett is a private investigator and her next big case places her in the center of an ancient battle of evil genies, but it seems she and her family have secrets (like every family in Rosewood) that will help her solve the crime.
They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire
Every year the top 10 hottest girls at Vienna High are put on a list by the boys. (And you know Ali would have been on the top in another lifetime.) But this year, the girls on the list are dying one by one. Kenzie, for her part, can't understand how she made it to No. 5 because she has definitely never considered herself in the Queen Bee status, much more of a pre-makeover Mona. Readers get to know some of the other girls on the list, as well as the guys they attract, and we follow along as Kenzie tries to solve the character-filled puzzle (sound familiar?) and figure out just how is killing all the pretty girls.
The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer
A murder mystery centered on lots of young and older women? Check. But this takes Pretty Little Liars into an even stranger setting than Rosewood: a funeral parlor. A family of female morticians are trying to make their way in an industry dominated by men. Lily, whose mother owns the funeral parlor, is confronted by popular high school senior Erin in a graveyard about flirting with her boyfriend Matt, and the next day, Erin is found dead of an apparent suicide. Erin's death, which is looking more and more like murder, unravels the small town (something Ali would know a thing or two about) and secrets start to emerge. Uh, and not to mention that Lily is looking like the prime suspect.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Middle grade smchmiddle grade. This book is captivating. I loved reading The Westing Game in my late-20s just as much as I did in my early teens. Sixteen unlikely people show up for the reading of multi-millionaire Mr. Westing's will, and it turns out that he had set up a game to figure out who would inherit his fortunes. Family secrets, hidden relationships, crazy antics, and a whole lot of riddles and clues rush us toward the surprise finish to the mystery, and you'll want to go back and read again.
Which reminds me: Once Pretty Little Liars reveals A, we're all waking up tomorrow morning and re-watching the series from the start, right?
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