10 Thrilling Young Adult Books That Have the CRAZIEST Plot Twists

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When the film Gone Girl premiered in 2012, it was praised by audiences and critics alike for its exciting and unforeseeable twist (among other things). Then, when The Girl on the Train was released last year, it drew immediate comparisons to the Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck flick because of the way both flawlessly duped the audience into believing one thing before COMPLETELY flipping the script. Another thing both films had in common? They were both based on awesome novels that had equally shocking plots!

Gone Girl, written by Gillian Flynn, and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins are both considered “Adult Thrillers,” but that’s not the only genre that’s got it down pat when it comes to nailing a surprising plot twist. Most every novel that we know and love has some element of surprise in its ending, but the following young adult books take the cake for making readers say, “OMG, WTF?!”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Don’t worry, we’re not going to tell you WHAT exactly the plot twist of each of these books is, so you can feel free to read ahead without any spoilers.


The Maze Runner, by James Dashner

We couldn't possibly leave The Maze Runner off of this list considering it left fans completely SHOCKED when they first read the series. Basc, if you haven't indulged in these books yet, the time has come for you to FINALLY read them (especially if you're a lover of unbelievable twists and turns). P.S: We recommend this even if you've seen the movies with Dylan O'Brien.

Photo: Delacorte Press

Looking for Alaska, by John Green

You probably already know that it's basically impossible to finish a John Green novel without encountering a crazy plot twist or two. And guess what?? Looking For Alaska is no different! You may THINK you know what this book is about, but then the rug gets completely pulled out from under you. Don't get us wrong; the paperback is a classic! But what happens at the end will leave you saying, "I. CAN'T. EVEN."

Photo: Dutton Juvenile

My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult's twist really hits you in the jugular with this one. Even if you saw the Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin version, you might not be prepared for what unfolds on the page, 'cause it's TOTALLY different than the movie.

Photo: Atria

Liar, by Justine Larbalestier

We guess it makes sense that a book with the word "liar" in the title would be filled with cray-cray plot twists. Even though Micah can admit that she's a compulsive liar, when her boyfriend suddenly and brutally dies, she swears she's not the one to blame. But is she being honest with the reader? Is she being honest with herself? You'll have to read and see!

Photo: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books

Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon

Nicole Yoon's standalone novel follows Maddy, a teen living with severe combined immunodeficiency, a genetic disorder that basically prohibits her from leaving her house. Although she's used to her restrictions, when she falls in love with her neighbor, Olly, she decides she wants to venture outside of her safety bubble — literally. While the book may seem like your classic tale of a sick-lit romance, nothing can prepare you for the shocking twist that changes everything.

Photo: Delacorte Books

We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart

Not only did We Were Liars premiere to RAVE reviews, but E. Lockhart actually admitted she was inspired by Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. The YA version of GG? You can bet it's pretty frickin' CRAY-ZEE.

Photo: Delacorte Press

Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard

At first, the Red Queen series may seem awfully predictable, but a surprise twist in the conclusion of book number one changes EVERYTHING, 100 percent. The Red Queen's third novel was recently published and the fourth is on the way... and let's just say, the twists NEVER stop.

Photo: Harper Teen

Identical, by Ellen Hopkins

Warning: this book is disturbing AF, but overall a super compelling read about a "white picket fence" family and the dark dysfunction behind their cookie-cutter lives. It will for sure take you a couple days to pick your jaw up off of the floor once you finish this bad boy.

Photo: Margaret K. McElderry

Everlost, by Neal Shusterman

Neal has an impressive list of published works, but this fantasy trilogy just might be his most surprising tale ever. Two teens wake up in the realm between life and death and the events that take place while they're there are seriously shocking. This book is followed by Everwild and then Everfound, all of which are amazing.

Photo: Simon & Schuster

The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin

The Westing Game follows eight pairs of people who have been named as potentials to inherit a dead billionaire's fortune... depending on which team can solve the mysterious treasure hunt that the rich man left behind. However, each group was chosen for a reason and their tangled web of secrets slowly begins to unravel.

Photo: E. P. Dutton

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