Unreliable Narrators in YA

Sometimes the best stories are the ones where you don’t get the whole story. These fictional narrators manage to keep us guessing what’s “real”– right up to the last page.


Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert

For almost ten years, Braden has had only two things he could trust: his father and baseball. But when Braden’s dad is accused of murder– and Braden is the only witness to the crime– everything begins to blur, even the stark rules of his sport. As the trial looms closer, Braden faces an impossible choice that will test both his memory and his familial bond, neither of which are as strong as he once imagined.




The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

After waking up with no recollection of a car accident that killed her friends, Mara tries to piece her life and her memory back together. But when more strange things start happening, she realizes there is a whole lot more to the story that’s vanished from her mind– and if she could remember, it might save her life.




We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Cadence spends every summer with her family on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. But this summer, things have changed, and Cadence is not sure why. A funny look here, on odd statement there, and we readers start to wonder if she knows– she’s just not telling.





Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

After a bad accident, the once-inseparable sisters Nick and Dara become estranged. It seems like Dara is avoiding Nick, until she disappears altogether– around the same time another young girl goes missing. That’s when Nick begins to think there’s something more serious going on.




The Walls around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Three girls: two behind bars, and eventually two dead. Inside Aurora Hills Detention Center we find Amber serving a life sentence. Outside those walls, Violet has finally realized her ballet dreams with an acceptance to Julliard. Connecting the two is Orianna, Violet’s best friend and Amber’s new cellmate. This novel may just leave you with more questions than answers– chief among them: Are any of the three truly innocent?

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