There is something dramatically wonderful about reading spy or heist books. Possibly because it’s bad to steal (tut, tut, don’t do it) and but the thrill of the chase lures us into wanting the adventure stories anyway. Dashing criminals. Masterminds. Near misses. Oh do I have the list for you.
Here are some Young Adult books that deal with heists, spies and con artists. Read them immediately. But don’t steal them, okay? Okay.
- GALLAGHER GIRLS: This is a series about a boarding school for spies — awesome clever genius girl spies, to be exact. And it’s hilarious and awesome. It is aimed at lower YA audiences, so go in expecting a lighter reader but with plenty of awesome spy gadgets and action scenes.
- HEIST SOCIETY: This is by the same author as Gallagher Girls but while they bring crime to justice, Heist Society is about committing the crime. It’s FANTASTIC. (Ahem.) The plot is clever and twisty and it features a huge cast of quirky, clever characters. It’s like the YA version of Ocean’s Eleven.
- SPY SOCIETY: This is, oddly, not any relation to Heist Society — but still good! Again, it’s for lower YA, so expect a funny, light-hearted spy adventure. It’s about highschool and first love…and stealing things on the side, and there is so much coffee. Like, this book literally drowns in coffee.
- WHITE CAT: This is a fantasy about a family of con artists who have epic powers. Mainly it features Cassel, who is probably a murderer, and almost definitely the most endearing anti-hero you’ll ever meet. The plot is so clever and trust me when I recommend you buy the entire trilogy and just binge read it. You don’t want these cliffhangers, TRUST ME NOW.
- SIX OF CROWS: Ready for some dark fantasy? (Of course you are, oh my gosh.) This is set in a fantasy world inspired by Russia where a group of uncanny criminals band together to pull off the heist of a lifetime. It’s gritty and dark and tears might be shed (by you) and magic will be used (by them) and awesome will be felt all around.
- HOW TO LEAD A LIFE OF CRIME: Again, another dark one, where there’s a school for psychopaths and sociopaths, who go to learn how to be the ultimate criminal masterminds. The plot is intense and it’ll keep you on your toes. Much things are stolen. Much agonies are shrieked.
- TRUST ME I’M LYING: Don’t trust this book. IT’S LYING. But it has con artists, scams, disguises, and masterminded evillry.
- THE RECRUIT: Technically this is middle-grade? But it’s also epic. Think of a school for orphan teenage spies called “CHERUBS”. They’re special agents and sent on all sorts of missions. The books get darker and more intense as they go on, too.
- THE NATURALS: Hello to the teenage special agents (with supernatural powers) who double as spies and detectives. This is about serial killing and it seriously gave me the shivers. I’m not easily scared, either! But when they got close to that serial killer I may or may not have squeaked. A must-read if you want a thrilling chase.