By Jennifer Jost

When most people think of books set in Las Vegas, the first thing to come to mind is probably Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. While that title certainly captures one man’s interesting experience in the Las Vegas of the 70’s, there are many other sides to this town and many other stories to be told.

Numerous authors have chosen our unique city as a backdrop for their novels, and here a just a few selections from young adult literature. :


Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz
Set in “New Vegas”, where the desert is now covered in ice, this fantastical story follows a young black jack dealer as she tries to escape to a mythical land called “the Blue”.

Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
Like many of the author’s other works this is a gritty portrait of troubled teens. The book focuses on five teens and their experiences with teen prostitution.

Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe
Seventeen-year-old Jasmine finds herself caught up in a murder mystery while vacationing in Las Vegas with her family.

Chapel Wars by Lindsay Leavitt (local author!)
After Holly’s grandfather leaves her his wedding chapel in his will, she finds herself struggling to keep it afloat while having to deal with the cute guy whose family owns the rival chapel next door.


Prodigy by Marie Lu
In this sequel to Legend, June and Day arrive in Las Vegas just as the elector primo dies, and they find themselves aligning with a group of patriot rebels.

Bad Blood by Mari Mancusi (Blood Coven #4)
The Blood Coven travels to Las Vegas for a vampire convention, and mortal Sunny and her sister Rayne tag along in hopes of uncovering the truth about her vampire boyfriend’s new blood mate.

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan
When Percy, Annabeth and Grover stop to rest at the Lotus Hotel and Casino, they lose track of time and end up staying for five days. Later in the series we find out that Nico and Bianca arrived at the Lotus Hotel prior to the beginning of World War II.


The Stand by Stephen King
Although Stephen King is not a young adult author I read this title as a teen so I had to include it! His classic tale of good vs. evil has the “good” survivors of a deadly flu virus gathering in Boulder, Colorado and the “evil” ones gathering in (where else?) Las Vegas.

Are there any that I’ve missed that you think should be included in this list? Please let me know in the comments below!

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