Keep Me Posted!

Sign me up for the latest news from Penguin Teen, including new books, special offers, and promotions.

10 YA Characters Who Will Mess with Your Mind

SHARE

How much can you really trust the main character in the book you’re reading? If your answer is somewhere along the lines of “not much,” you’re in for a wild ride. There’s nothing better than when a book truly shocks you, and who better to take you on this ride than a narrator who’s going to mess with your mind while you read? From mind controlling vampires to straight up liars, here are our favorite unreliable narrators.

 

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. How can you trust a narrator who can’t trust her own memory?

 

A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo

Jess is Angie’s best friend, even though she wishes they could be something more. When Angie gets involved with Margot, a girl from a nearby boarding school, Jess gets brought into their circle, and discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Jess as a narrator will keep you guessing, wondering what she is up to, and just where this twisty story will lead.

 

Rosie Girl by Julie Shepard

When you start reading a book, you usually assume you can trust your narrator. But is that always the case? Rosie takes us on a journey, and it’s not until things begin to unravel that we’re forced to question if things are really as they seem…

 

Wink, Poppy, and Midnight from Wink Poppy Midnight

A hero, a villain, and a liar–but who’s who? Trying to figure that out during the course of this atmospheric read will make your head spin.

 

Arman from The Smaller Evil

When the leader of Arman’s self help retreat disappears without a word, Arman (and the reader!) must rely on the least trustworthy person he knows to figure if it was suicide, kidnapping, or murder: himself.

 

Amani from Rebel of the Sands

9780147517975

Amani is many things–a sharpshooter, a dreamer, a damn good liar–and she’ll do just about anything to get out of her dead-end town. The sheer level of Amani’s unpredictability will keep you guessing until the last page. 

 

Lissa from Vampire Academy

Vampire Academy PB

Princess Vasilisa Dragomir literally has the power to mess with your mind. Her ability to influence the thoughts and perceptions of others comes in handy during her and Rose’s antics, but can be also unsettling. Lissa might be a vampire, but the mind games she can play are definitely the scariest thing about her.

 

Sarah from Still Life with Tornado

Sarah’s existential crisis has her seeing and talking to both past and future versions of herself–talk about something that might damage your calm.

 

Adelina from The Young Elites

The Young Elites pb

Adelina Amouteru is a villain, one with dark powers and an extremely vengeful side. When you think of all the horrible things done to her in the past, who can blame her? Following Adelina’s journey might have you completely flipping your ideas on good and evil–then possibly back again.

 

Frances from Daughter of Deep Silence

Daughter of Deep Silence pb

Can you ever truly trust a narrator who has devoted her entire life to pretending to be someone else? You’ll have to make that decision for yourself as you follow Frances in her mission to seek vengeance on those responsible for the deaths of her loved ones by pretending to be her dead best friend.

 

 

 

Looking for more recommendations? Here are 9 paperbacks to pack on your next vaca!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#ShelfGoals

Read an excerpt of The Smoke Thieves 2: The Demon World

Did you hear? Smoke Thieves 2 is almost here! The Demon World is packed with all the epic adventure and intricate plot we fell in love with the first time around, and we can’t wait to see where the second installment takes us! But you don’t have to wait too long, we have an excerpt for you … Continued
See More

11 Fictional Boarding Schools We’d Like to Attend

There is something so exciting about the idea of boarding schools–at least for those of us who never attended one. Living with your friends without the watchful eyes of your parents? The dream, and the perfect setting for a book if we do say so ourselves–Hogwarts, anyone? Here’s a list of ten fictional boarding schools … Continued
See More

7 Alternate Histories to Answer Your Biggest “What If’s…”

Historical fiction is great, but sometimes you need your history with a twist. What if one thing had changed about your favorite historical time period? We’ve rounded up 7 reads that answer some of our favorite “what if’s”.   What if Victorian England ruled the future? That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston In the … Continued
See More

3 books to read if you still aren’t over Black Mirror

So season 5 of Black Mirror dropped on Netflix and it’s probably safe to say everyone was pretty excited to see Miley Cyrus as a wig-wearing popstar again (shoutout to everyone out there who still isn’t over the last season of Hannah Montana *cries*.) But then, alas, the inevitable happens. You watch. You binge-watch. You run out of episodes. So, … Continued
See More

The 5 MOST MAGICAL YA Books Getting Ready to Hit Shelves

Omg ok so we just need to talk about a few things real quick: We love magic We love new books There are new magical books getting ready to hit shelves so let’s discuss   Wicked Fox by Kat Cho Chances are, you’ve heard a few people screaming about this one already. Because it’s–get ready–KOREAN MYTHOLOGY mixed … Continued
See More

Dear Hollywood, These YA Books Are READY!

With the success of recent YA adaptation like Love, Simon, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Darkest Minds, and The Hate U Give – we gotta ask the question: why is Hollywood sleeping on these amazing books that are SCREAMING for adaptation?!   Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins Ever since To All the Boys … Continued
See More

#FridayReads: All the Bad Apples by Möira Fowley-Doyle!

This week’s FridayReads excerpt comes from Möira Fowley-Doyle’s new book, All the Bad Apples! When Deena’s wild older sister Mandy goes missing, presumed dead, Deena refuses to believe it’s true. Especially when letters start arriving–letters from Mandy–which proclaim that their family’s blighted history is not just bad luck or bad decisions…but a curse. Scroll down to … Continued
See More

Sci-Fi for People Who Don’t Like Sci-Fi

Okay, we know, we know–sci-fi often features the usual suspects: aliens, spaceships, and evil villains who wants to destroy the intergalactic world. But let’s be real: there’s also mystery, action, suspense, and of course, romance *wink wink*. Here are some great sci-fi books that’ll make you forget you’re not a sci-fi fan!   Girl Gone … Continued
See More

Summer time feels! These books will make you sob in the BEST way

If you love to have your heartstring tugged and your tear ducts in working order, you can’t miss these top 3 summer feels paperbacks!   Turtles All the Way Down by John Green   Do we even need to tell you to pick this one up? An unflinching look at OCD and the struggles mental illnesses … Continued
See More

15 Books to Read During Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month and we find that books can not only help us understand or sympathize, but can often help us talk about difficult topics. Here are 15 books to read this month to help you start a conversation and #endthestigma.   Turtles All the Way Down by John Green Aza is trying. She is trying … Continued
See More
BACK TO TOP