It can’t actually be time for a Top Ten Tuesday again?! This week is all about unique books, and it’s times like this that I’m really thankful for Goodreads, or I could spend hours trying to put a post like this together! In no particular order, the most unique books I’ve ever read are:
1. Room by Emma Donoghue: Room is a pretty good crime/mystery novel that I really enjoyed (check out my book review of Room), but what makes this story truly unique is that it is told from the point of view of 5 year old Jack. The writing style of this book had the “marmite effect” on many readers, with some believing Donoghue took an impressive risk that paid off, and others thinking that it left a lot to be desired.
2. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman: I’ve just finished a long awaited reread of book one and I want to review the whole series when I’m done (update: check out my book review of the Noughts and Crosses series). This book/series has always stood out as being unique and different to me, because it tackles racial segregation and discrimination by flipping it on its head, and it isn’t afraid to be pretty blunt about it.
3. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling: I don’t know if I can ever make a list without including Harry & Co. This book was definitely a game-changer for me, but why is it unique? How about the impeccable world-building, the magic, the character development, the friendships, the serious amount of imagination (she invented an entire world people!), the feels, the magical-fiction-inspired nuggets of real-life advice?? Literary gold.
4. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver: I’m sure there are plenty of books that fall into the category of dark, thought-provoking and almost disturbing literature, but We Need to Talk About Kevin was the first (and to date – the best) example of this that I have read.
5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth: I don’t want to spoil this for anyone as there are still so many who haven’t read it, so it will be difficult for me to explain just why this read was unique. Allegiant is definitely not my favourite out of the trilogy, and I don’t exactly appreciate the ending, but I still thought it was a good read. Roth’s brave choices make the book unique in its own right, but also the level of, “No, no, why is this happening? It’s fine. Obviously it’s fine. Why wouldn’t it be fine?! No! Seriously?!” the reader feels is a pretty unique response to have to a book.
6. Love Virtually by Daniel Glattauer: I read Love Virtually in ONE SITTING. It is a funny, fast-paced and completely absorbing novel about a love affair that is conducted entirely by email. I think that’s unique. What makes this even better is that even though it’s conducted entirely by email, the reader never misses out on what’s going on in the story, and you never feel like the email conversations are being littered with additional information just to satisfy that need. It is very, very good.
7. Adaptation by Malinda Lo: This is the first book I have read that involves aliens in some capacity, and it’s done in a pretty great MIB (Men In Black) kinda way. This is also the first book I have read that includes some form of a coming-out-figuring-out-who-you-are-and-what-you’re-into-love-triangle type scenario. I know, I’ve lived a sheltered life. Check out my book review of Adaptation.
8. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: This book/series has soo much going on. It’s not just vampires, or witches, or werewolves, it’s all of them, and I thought the idea of the Shadowhunters was a unique addition to the paranormal world. They’re not witches, or vampire slayers, but a whole new take on the “heroes” that fight evil, and who can be corrupted themselves. Check out my book review of The Mortal Instruments series.
9. The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn: I didn’t know this was part of a series, and now that I do I need to read them. This was one of the first Dystopian novels I ever read, before I even knew what Dystopia was. It has survived many book-clearouts over the years and stands out to me as being a particularly unique Dystopian because it could totally happen! If we’re being really open-minded, OK sure, anything is a possibility, but the premise of The Bar Code Tattoo (“big brother” style governments) could easily start happening sometime soon (if it isn’t already!). And that freaks me out, and makes for a really good read.
10. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks: I’m cheating a little with this one as I haven’t actually finished it yet. I’d heard that these were cult classics, I’d read reviews and I bought a collection from the Book People to immerse myself in the world of Iain Banks. And I’ve no idea how I feel about his work. This is very deep, definitely dark and seriously disturbing. It is also very intelligent, definitely intriguing and maintains an odd innocence throughout. I didn’t have the patience nor the stomach to finish it at the time (and it isn’t a very long book) but I fully intend to, if only to form a proper opinion on this novel. It was 50 shades of messed up, but intelligently messed up; you want to read on, you want to understand the story, and at the same time you are equally frustrated by the cruelty and turned off by the psychotic protagonist. Or at least I was. Definitely unique.
Books I haven’t read yet that I think are really unique, and I’m really looking forward to them:
1. S. by J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst: I have written about this beautiful book previously in another Top Ten list that you can check out here. I will get around to reading this. I will.
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: I’m a step closer to reading this as I got my hands on a copy yesterday. A novel narrated by death and raved about by many, this should be interesting.
3. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: The dark idea behind this fantasy really intrigues me, as does the use of photography in a novel to complement the story-line. I think in general I’m just beginning to really appreciate those authors that are trying to add a new dimension to their work by incorporating other forms of media.
4. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover: Which brings me on to this – a book with a specifically written soundtrack?! Yes, please! I know this is NA and it’s receiving some mixed reviews (the majority I’ve seen have been positive though) and I’m really excited to read a novel that has a specifically written soundtrack to go with it, fantastic idea, I love it!
What books do you think are unique, whether you loved them or hated them? Do you agree with any on my list? Comment below!