13 Books With Crazy Awesome Plot Twists

Every book addict loves a good plot twist.

My favorites are the ones that make me yell aloud. I’m big on shout-reading (I also squeal-read when people kiss).

I’ve rounded up thirteen books with my favorite twists, turns, and crazy awesome secrets. Some have been made into movies, so hopefully you’ve been able to avoid spoilers! Some new, some old, all amazing.

In no particular order:

Young Adult

One Of Us Is Lying is a YA mystery about five kids who enter detention, but only four come out after one has been murdered.

It’s a quick, easy read and it’s already on the NY Times bestseller list! This is so trippy! I thought about a million possibilities, but never that one.

The Maze Runner is a YA Dystopian about kids who wake up in a glade, and the only way out is through a huge maze that no one has come out of alive.

I enjoyed it SO thoroughly. Hopefully you haven’t seen the movie without reading the book, because it’s definitely worth the read! The ending alone is just amazing.

Looking For Alaska is a YA Contemporary about a kid who goes to boarding school and meets the girl of his dreams.

It’s told in two sections: before and after. I did not expect The Incident AT ALL. So crazy, so devastating.

The Lost Causes is a YA mystery/thriller about an ensemble of kids who are “gifted” with superpowers.

There’s one big twist and a lot of little ones, and one hell of a cliffhanger! I can’t wait for the next book!

The Fault in Our Stars is a YA Contemporary about two teenagers, one with terminal cancer, and another in remission.

Here’s another one that hopefully hasn’t been ruined for you by the movie. It’s hard to imagine that this could have a twist, since it’s about… you know… cancer, you just kind of assume you know what’s going to happen. I was SURE I had it all figured out, and I was ever so wrong. It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking read!

Consider novel by Kristy Acevedo

Consider is a YA Sci-fi, wherein holograms and portals show up all over the world, telling people that Earth will soon be destroyed, and that people can take the portals to a new planet.

I DEFINITELY shouted out loud with this one. SO good, SO unexpected. I love this book, and the sequel.

Adult

The Girl on the Train is a mystery/thriller about a girl who takes the same train ride every day, and one day witnesses a crime.

This one’s a little rough, the main character is really unlikeable so if that’s not your thing, keep it in mind. But the twist! Oh man! There’s a reason this book is so popular, y’all.

Haunted is a weird one, guys. I mean, it’s Chuck P, so of course it’s weird. But even for him. It’s about a group of writers who think they’re going on some kind of writer’s retreat, but the reality is much worse.

It alternates between the main story line about the people, and each of their individual short stories. All kinds of craziness takes place!

Fight Club is about two men who have never been in a fight starting a fight club.

Here’s another one you’ve probably had ruined for you by the movie, but if you’ve managed to miss it, definitely read this book! Such phenomenal writing, such bizarre amazingness, and the ending is crazy as hell.

I know, yet another Palahniuk. Diary is about a woman whose husband is in a coma, and she writes a diary to him while he’s out.

That probably sounds nice, but it’s terrible. Look how worn my copy is! I have read the hell out of this book. Definitely give it a read!

Gone Girl is a mystery/thriller about a man whose wife has gone missing, and the police are trying to figure out what has happened to her and whether he’s responsible.

Yet another movie! And a damn good movie, at that. If you’ve missed it, absolutely check out Gone Girl! I shouted many a times at this book.

Archetype is a sci-fi about a woman who wakes up in the hospital and can’t remember her life.

I’m a sucker for amnesia! And the twist in this one, holy shit. It’s such good stuff. I stayed up all night reading this one!

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Odd Thomas is a paranormal thriller about a guy named Odd who sees/helps dead people.

Now, there’s a movie about this one too, but in my opinion it does the book ZERO justice. Please read the book. The big event the whole book leads up to is a surprise, and there are two or three other little moments that make you yell.

 

What about you?

What’s your favorite plot twist in a novel?



The Sunday Post | Weekly Wrap-Up #6

I’m linking up with The Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

This week was better! I’m starting to feel better.

Inge at The Belgian Reviewer had me on her blog for a BFF post, so check it out!

Comic-Con was a blast! Thanks for everyone who wished me well. I got my Wednesday Addams on, and got to see Nathan Fillion, Catherine Tate, and James Marsters, so it was pretty great.

This will never happen again, so I took a screenshot!

I managed three reviews again this week! (click on the picture to see the review):

These Things I’ve Done, a heartbreaking YA contemporary which I adored.

The Lost Causes, a YA mystery/thriller about kids with super-powers, which I also really enjoyed.

And All the Wrong Chords, which I was unfortunately pretty meh about.

These Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips All the Wrong Chords book

I have all the ARCs. I am really excited about Mask of Shadows, a fantasy with a gender fluid MC. And I think, unfortunately, I’m going to DNF The Beautiful Ones. I just cannnnooottt get into it.

I hope everyone is having an incredible week, and I can’t wait to read your posts!



The Lost Causes novel

The Lost Causes: Not Cliche, Super-powered Teens

The Lost Causes by Jessica Koosed Etting & Alyssa Embree Schwartz

Published by Kids Can Press, expected September 2017

Genre: YA, Mystery, Thriller

Pages: 344

The Lost Causes has so many of my favorite tropes wrapped up in one book. I’m such a sucker for ensemble casts, like three or more main characters and I’m in. I love teen powers as long as it’s not “This one kid is the chosen one!” And I love friendship stories, especially unlikely friendships! This book doesn’t disappoint.

 

The Lost Causes Novel

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

They’re the kids that no one knows — or no one wants to know. The rich depressive, the OCD chick, the hypochondriac, the drug abuser, the athlete with anger management issues. All chosen for intensive group therapy because they’re out of other options. They’re lost causes, the therapist tells them. She promises this support group will help them heal. 

There’s only one problem. She’s not a therapist. And that water she offers? It contains a dangerous serum that gives each of the kids a psychic power. 

Suddenly, they can think clearly, speak to ghosts, see the past, even move objects with their mind. Their earlier problems have vanished, but their new freedom comes with a price. 
Sabrina, Gabby, Z, Justin and Andrew are to help the FBI solve the grisly murder that has rocked their small town. Their new powers will help them uncover clues and follow leads that have eluded the authorities. Their outsider status gives them the perfect cover. 

But the same traits that make them top investigators also make them vulnerable. As they close in on the murderer, they expose a much larger conspiracy that puts them directly in harm’s way and makes them wonder who — if anyone — they can trust.

The Lost Causes nvel

Are so fun! This to me has a Heroes vibe (before the show became unbearable), or even more accurately, Misfits (also before it became unbearable). I LOVED Misfits, and this is like a book version of that! So cute.

I also think the powers given to the kids are cool. I was surprised by one being able to see ghosts, for example. It seems almost out of place, even for a story about kids with powers. But I think it works really, really well here.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Are so great. I love them all. Each of the five self-titled “Lost Causes” has their own distinct background and reason for being a kid whose parents have given up on them.

I thought the kids would blend together, or become too much like set archetypes, but they all broke the mold pretty quickly! I knew their names/backstories/powers within the first few chapters, which for me says a lot because I have trouble keeping it straight with ensemble casts unless everyone is really different.

The teens feel so realistic. They often behave in annoying but so teenager-y ways and I love it.

I rooted for both romances in the story, even squealing out loud when one came to fruition.

I LOVE stories about friendship, and I especially adore stories about unlikely friendships. It’s my favorite thing about shows like Misfits, and it was what saved One Of Us Is Lying for me. Here, I really enjoyed watching the kids get to know each other. There isn’t cattiness or jealousy among the girls, because they’ve wanted a friend so badly and now they have each other. I love it.

Also worth noting, especially the farther we go along, we get a humanization of the villains, and I always find that so spectacular. I love having an antagonist I simultaneously hate and feel bad for.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

The pacing is spot on. I started the book this morning and finished this afternoon, taking breaks here and there to play with my dog and talk to my kiddo, but the book was never far away, and I would have been truly disappointed if I’d had to walk away from it for any prolonged time today. The kids really draw you in, and the plot unfolding holds interest.

I think the powers are written really well, especially the ghost scenes which are nice and creepy! I would have been freaked out if I’d been reading at night, and that’s really all I want from a ghost scene.

The end was tied up a little too neatly for me, but then the last few sentences are a cliffhanger so yay! I would love to read another in this series.

The Lost Causes novel

Is really cool, I didn’t see it coming. Really, it’s a series of twists and turns and it’s so delightfully unsettling. I love not knowing who to trust, and I love that for the last third or so of the book, I was totally out of my element with no idea what to expect!

And the cliffhanger especially, oh boy. I am so stoked for whatever is coming.

Is that considering I didn’t know what to expect (books like this can really, really go either way), I really enjoyed this! I read it more-or-less in one sitting.

Also, it’s not important to me, but it may be to you, this is a decently clean read for a YA about misfits. No cursing, no sex. There is some reference to drug use, but only very early on.

The Lost Causes novel

*Note: My reviews are full of opinions. I may love a book. May want to marry it like the kid in the commercial for Peanut Butter Crunch (1999 was a great year for cereal and commercials, look it up). I may say a book is the best thing to happen to me since I started shaving my big toe. None of these things mean it is objectively good. I recognize that. Many times throughout my life, I have given a book I swore to be a life-changer to a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/balloon animal artist. Shaking, quietly weeping, I’d hand it (and my heart) over. Only to find out several weeks later that for them the book was good, maybe even great, but not the life-giving, soul-renewing magic I’d purported. You may not like a book I recommend. Sue me.

**Please don’t sue me, I just write here.



 

These Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips

These Things I’ve Done: My Favorite Contemporary of 2017

These Things I’ve Done by Rebecca Phillips

Published by HarperTeen; scheduled for August 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Pages: 352

So much of how I feel can be summarized into one thought:

It is really special when a book tells you from the very beginning exactly what’s going to happen, and still makes you cry when it happens.

These Things I’ve Done ends the first chapter by telling you exactly what part Dara played in Aubrey’s death, and still, reading about it killed me. In the best way possible.

This book is so. Damn. Good. Y’all!

These Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips

All the Wrong Chords Book

Before:
Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable.

After:
It’s been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn’t racked with guilt over her role in her best friend’s death. Dara thought nothing could be worse than confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it isn’t half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey’s brother, every day. Not just because he’s a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she’s betraying her best friend one final time.

All the Wrong Chords Book

One thing I find happening more and more as I read more YA is that I shout a lot. Seriously. I yell, probably two or three times a week, “TEENAGERS DON’T ACT LIKE THIS!”

Part of the magic of These Things I’ve Done is that Dara, our narrator, acts exactly how a kid in her position would. Now, I haven’t been in her situation. But her grief feels so real and natural and I was pulled right in. I felt it with her, and that’s what I need from a narrator. Dara isn’t always exactly likable, which to me is perfect, because who the hell would be? It’s just such a perfect depiction of pain and regret.

Ethan, Aubrey’s brother, is so great. He’s a perfect balance to Dara, because while he’s suffering the same loss, he chooses to handle it the exact opposite way. Their interactions are beautiful, in both the After and Before timelines.

We also get a lot of fun secondary characters like the members of Ethan’s band, who provide some lighter pages, which I love. I love a book that’s sad and then funny and then oh now it’s sad again but then look some comic relief and oh now I’m crying. Dara’s parents and brother, both together and individually, have their own character arcs so that’s wonderful.

I will say between Dara and Aubrey there’s some of that thing I hate where two main female characters deal with jealousy because one is prettier than the other, but it didn’t drive me nearly as crazy here because Dara isn’t particularly annoying about it.

All the Wrong Chords Book

Is gorgeous! I don’t say this often, but I feel here that every word is necessary. It’s never overly flowery, never the kind of rambling that makes me accidentally skip lines. It’s clear and concise but totally beautiful.

The chapters alternate between a current and past timeline. In the current, Dara has just moved back home after a year away following Aubrey’s death. In the past timeline, we watch the relationship between Dara and Aubrey adjust to Aubrey’s new boyfriend. We also get to get a feel for the dynamics between Aubrey and Ethan, and Dara and Ethan, before the incident. I tend to be really critical of alternating timelines, as it can go horribly awry, but it works here. We’re way more affected by Dara and Ethan’s grief because we’ve seen the Before picture.

It starts with a slow burn, building and acclimating you to the world. But about halfway through, it becomes irresistible. At the halfway point, I had to keep reading. The best compliment I can give a book (and its author)!

Me, for most of my free time today ^

Thanks so much to HarperTeen for advanced access to this book in exchange for an honest review!

*Note: My reviews are full of opinions. I may love a book. May want to marry it like the kid in the commercial for Peanut Butter Crunch (1999 was a great year for cereal and commercials, look it up). I may say a book is the best thing to happen to me since I started shaving my big toe. None of these things mean it is objectively good. I recognize that. Many times throughout my life, I have given a book I swore to be a life-changer to a friend/girlfriend/boyfriend/lumberjack. Shaking, quietly weeping, I’d hand it (and my heart) over. Only to find out several weeks later that for them the book was good, maybe even great, but not the life-giving, soul-renewing magic I’d purported. You may not like a book I recommend. Sue me.

**Please don’t sue me, I just write here.



All The Wrong Chords book

All the Wrong Chords

All The Wrong Chords by Christine Hurley Deriso

Published by Flux; scheduled for December, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Pages: 204 (ebook)

Wellll I broke my streak of super happy reviews, but that’s okay! Three in a row was great, and I’m thankful, and this one is not the end of the world. I think it’s time for another pro/con list!

All the Wrong Chords book

All the Wrong Chords Book

Scarlett Stiles is desperate for a change of scenery after her older brother, Liam, dies of a drug overdose. But spending the summer with her grandfather wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Luckily, Scarlett finds something to keep her busy–a local rock band looking for a guitarist. Even though playing guitar has been hard since Liam died, Scarlett can’t pass on an opportunity like this, and she can’t take her eyes off the band’s hot lead singer either. Is real happiness just around the corner? Or will she always be haunted by her brother’s death?

Pros:

All the Wrong Chords Book

I really liked every secondary character! Scarlett’s grandpa is awesome. Her best friend, Varun, is hilarious and I love their texting throughout the book. Her sister is great, the band members are great. You get it. Everyone is awesome. Except Scarlett, but we’ll get to that in the cons.

All the Wrong Chords Book

Is really easy to get through. It’s not a super long book, and it doesn’t feel like it. It’s a very quick, simple read.

All the Wrong Chords Book

I love any story that works music into it. I really like that Scarlett uses the band to help her with her feelings about her deceased brother.

All the Wrong Chords Book

I think it is portrayed very realistically, though, that said, I haven’t lost anyone as close as a brother to death. Everything associated with grief, like the sense of guilt and the “what if” and the heartbreak, that all felt very natural and realistic to me.

Cons:

All the Wrong Chords Book

Ohhhh Scarlett. I am conflicted, because Scarlett does get better as the book progresses, and her decisions become much better toward the end also. Scarlett has some of my least favorite fiction “girl behavior” though.

  1. Scarlett is endlessly jealous of her sister’s looks/way with guys, though it’s mentioned several times that they’re often mistaken for identical twins?
  2. Scarlett ignores everyone and alienates her friend/sister to try to get closer to a guy who is clearly garbage.
  3. She treats the other band members poorly with the shitty guy, in order to establish some sense of camaraderie.

Her entire relationship (using the term loosely) with Declan is awful and painful and full of red flags she chooses to ignore. Now, I know, teenagers do this. We all choose people who are wrong for us (see 90% of everyone I’ve ever been involved with) but she becomes obsessed with Declan despite his ignoring her to hit on her sister, his constant dgaf attitude about their band, his actively treating her poorly, and his trying to get her to move faster physically than she wants to. NOT OKAY.

Again, people do this. We like the wrong people. But I thought back while reading this to some of my worse relationships, when I was my least rational, and I could at least always say things like:

“Well he’s a really charming alcoholic.”

“I know she’s mean but she’s really funny!”

“Okay yeah he lies a lot but he’s also really brilliant.”

My point is, they had good qualities. I’m sorry, but Declan has zero good qualities. She’s obsessed with him based solely on his looks, and lets it mess up everything for her for more than half the book. I can’t say that I’ve ever been so attracted to someone’s appearance that I’ve been willing to overlook character flaws in EVERY OTHER CATEGORY. Is this a thing? Maybe it’s just me, and please let me know if you’ve ever been so hot for someone that you didn’t care that they had nothing else going for them.

This made it really unrealistic for me, as you can see, and it made it hard for me to connect to Scarlett.

All the Wrong Chords book

So, this quote from Scarlett really upset me:

“I’m being overly critical, right? Of course any normal guy is going to try to push things physically as far as he can. How many dudes are dying to “talk” in the middle of a make out session?”

Ooooookay. So, we have our narrator asserting the idea that a lot of young women have: “normal guys” can’t help themselves around us. They cannot control their impulses. They are mindless, vagina-seeking zombies, who want us for sex and only sex. This line of thinking disrespects everyone. That she attributes his fucked up behavior to his being male infuriates and disgusts me.

Even if she comes around to eventually seeing that Declan was a shit show, she doesn’t ever acknowledge that he put her in a bad situation, where she felt uncomfortable. She made this excuse and many others for the behavior, but never addressed it as a legitimate problem.

We. Cannot. Have. Narrators. We. Like. And. Want. To. Root. For. Contributing. To. Rape. Culture.

This makes me crazy.