I Am the Cheese doesn't fit snugly into one genre category. It's certainly young adult literature, because it's meant specifically for teens, but its themes and plot are incredibly mature and complex. While it's not your typical mystery (like Sherlock Holmes), the entire book involves the unraveling of secrets, in the form of memories. Because the book is focused on the inner workings of Adam's mind, it can also be considered a psychological thriller: the conflict is mostly inside his head. Brint serves as the kind of investigator we often see in psychological thrillers (think Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs.). And I Am the Cheese also describes two quests – a physical one during Adam's bike ride, but also a mental one, into the past – which both require a great amount of effort to complete.