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Sara Shepard’s YA Books Ranked 

Sara Shepard has been a big name in YA since her debut series Pretty Little Liars released in October 2006. Since then, Shepard has released other YA series and standalones.

We’ve been reading her YA books for years and we’re excited to share our thoughts with all of you. The good news, we’ve never disliked a book from Shepard. Keep reading to see our ranking.

This post is all about Sara Shepard’s best YA books.

1. The Amateurs

The Amateurs was Shepard’s most recent series and it’s a trilogy set in the Northeast. Years ago, Helena Kelly went missing and her little sister Aerin never recovered.

Now, a group of amateur detectives, including Aerin, true crime enthusiast Seneca and their new friends Maddox, Madison and Brett, meet up in Connecticut to figure out what really happened to Helena. Too bad this group is in way over their heads and the mysterious killer is closer than they think.

For fans of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and true crime, this YA trilogy about a group of people determined to learn the truth about forgotten cold cases is unforgettable.

The trilogy takes the characters on an expedition to both figure out what happened in the past, while trying to prevent the killer from striking again. Let’s just sat Helena’s killer isn’t done yet and that leaves all of them in danger, especially Aerin.

2. Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars is a series everyone has heard of, even if they haven’t read the book series or watched the TV show. Three years ago, the prettiest and most popular girl in Rosewood, Pennsylvania, Alison DiLaurentis, went missing. Since then, her four former best friends haven’t been close.

Aria Montgomery moved to Iceland, but now she’s back. Emily Fields focused solely on her swimming. Hanna Marin changed her persona and became the new Allison. While Spencer Hastings is busy trying to be perfect at everything. The four have barely spoken, until they all start getting threatening text messages from a mystery person named A.

A means business. What starts out as creepy stalker messages, turns into dark threats. The four liars have no idea what is in store for them during the rest of their time in high school.

Pretty Little Liars is a long and addicting series. Seriously, the regular series has 16 books, with some other companion novels. However, it’s so worth it. The series is clever and the characters are worth cheering for, even if they’re morally gray. For more information, check out our blog post Pretty Little Liars: Book Vs TV Show.

3. Wait for Me

Wait for Me is Shepard’s latest YA book, which released in 2022.

Do you believe in reincarnation? Sara Shepard asks her readers to be open to the possibility.

Casey Rhodes already lives an unconventional life. At 17, she’s a sophomore at NYU and dating Marcus Coleman, one of the most eligible men in NYC. But when she starts seeing things and hearing voices, she knows she has to get out of the city to clear her head.

Casey finds the small town of Avon Shores on Long Island, where she feels she has a strange connection to the place. Something sinister has been going on for 17 years. Something that connects Casey to a girl named Becky, who died at 19 on her wedding day. But more people, including the residents of Avon Shores, might have the answers.

Wait for Me provided us with an intense experience. Seriously, it was thrilling, exciting and complex. We’ve never read a book that dealt with reincarnation, so we found that to be clever aspect of the book. We highly recommend this book and it’s our favorite of Shepard’s standalones.

4. The Lying Game

The Lying Game is another book from Shepard that got turned into a TV show. We have to admit, we actually watched the show before reading the books. We know, that’s very unlike us. If you have only watched the show, there are some major differences.

Sutton Mercer and Emma Paxton are identical twin sisters, but they didn’t know about each other until Emma sees a video of Sutton online. Desperate to escape her life, Emma reaches out to Sutton online and suggests they meet. Only when Emma arrives in Arizona, Sutton is nowhere to be found.

Emma ends up pretending to be Sutton, which is much harder than she thought. She has to fool Sutton’s family, friends and romantic interests, while trying to figure out what happened to her twin.

The Lying Game is a eight-book series with six regular books and two prequel novels. We found ourselves intrigued from the very beginning, especially since Sutton and Emma are complete opposites. The characters and the plot will keep you wanting to read more about how the twins ended up where they are.

5. The Perfectionists

The Perfectionists is Shepard’s only duology. Five very different girls have one enemy in common: Nolan Hotchkiss. In their English class while discussing Agatha Christie, they plan a way to kill him. Except it actually happens, but none of them did it…or did they

Unless Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie and Parker, figure out the truth, anyone of them could be blamed…or next.

Let’s start out by sating that despite the TV Show Pretty Little Liars: the Perfectionists, the two book series are not connected at all. The Perfectionists is set in Washington state.

While we really enjoyed reading the duology, we weren’t as interested in the characters as the other series. However, the mystery and the big twist at the end of book two, Good Girls, is jaw-dropping.

6. Influence

Influence is another standalone from Shepard and she co-wrote it with influencer Lilia Buckingham.

Delilah Rollins didn’t expect to become famous overnight. One video of her saving a puppy and suddenly everyone is talking about her. Now that she’s moving to Los Angeles for her dad’s job, she’s quickly brought into the world of social media influencers. 

In LA, Delilah meets Jasmine Walters-Diaz, the childhood star, Fiona Jacobs, the popular influencer, and Scarlet Leigh, one of the most famous people online. When a murder impacts all of LA, the girls are thrown together and question who had a motive.

This thriller about the dangers of social media makes you think twice about whether becoming an influencer is worth it.

While we enjoyed reading Influence, so far it’s our least favorite from Shepard. It took us a while to get invested in the story because we needed to be introduced to the four girls, but once it did, we were hooked. If you’re interested in the world of influencers and thrillers, pick this one up.

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