Top Ten Tuesday • Most Unique Books I’ve Read

top ten tuesday bannerTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read

(maybe the MC was really different, maybe it was the way it was written, a very unique spin on a genre or topic, etc)

Pantomime1. Pantomime by Laura Lam

The protagonist, Micah, is an intersex teen. This isn’t a gimmick, it’s an integral part of the plot, and the subject is dealt with very tactfully. Micah is an interesting and multifaceted character and one of my favourite YA protagonists.

Know Not Why2. Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson

Aside from being one of my all-time favourite books, this one is unique because of the writing style, which is funny and light-hearted and always brings a smile to my face when I read it. It’s also a LGBT book but it contains no explicit sex and generally it’s a very positive book.

Murder on the Orient Express3. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

I’m a huge fan of the queen of mystery, and I think this is one of her best stories. The solution of the mystery is almost impossible to guess, but unlike other writers Agatha Christie doesn’t cheat (much) or hide evidence, so you could in theory guess who did it before the detective. Also, the suspects are cut off from the rest of the world, but instead of being locked in a country house or stranded on an island, they’re on a train!

A Song of Ice and Fire4. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

It’s not the violence and it’s not the sex, because let’s be real, there’s nothing unique about that and Martin’s depictions of sex are usually appalling and/or cringeworthy. It’s the fact that when other writers have “multiple POV characters” they usually mean two or three; Martin has a couple dozen POV characters, plus hundreds of other characters, and they all play a part in his story. The scope of the books is mind-boggling.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland5. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

It may have had countless parodies and retellings, but they can’t match the spirit of the original, the poems and calligrams, the book’s overall tone of… being nonsensical for the sake of it. Also, in a time of moralistic children’s books, Alice is quite a free-spirited protagonist.

Stargirl6. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

I admit that I read this in middle school so my memories are a bit fuzzy, but I remember that the titular Stargirl was a unique character, she was different and free-spirited and had an appreciation for the little things in life. The book was also written in an odd, almost-poetic style that stuck with me.

Dirty Little Secrets7. Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu

This book is about the daughter of a hoarder. When her mother dies, the daughter tries to throw all the junk out of the house so people won’t find out about what kind of person she was. The action is all compressed in the 24 hours after the mother’s death, but as the daughter goes through the piles of junk she finds items that spark flashbacks about her mother. It’s one of the best and most effective uses of flashbacks I’ve ever seen.

How I Live Now8. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

The writing style in this book is weird, but in a god way. It’s written in a first-person stream of consciousness, with random capitalization, and sometimes there’s no quotation marks when people speak. This usually bothers me, but after a while it started feeling natural, as if this was how the protagonist had written down her story, and it made sense.

Discworld9. Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

Let’s play a game, it’s called “how many Top Ten lists can I put Pratchett on. No, seriously, Pratchett has a very unique style and sense of humour and his Discworld books are the best example. The exterior is a layer of nonsense and generic fantasy setting, but the questions he asks are always on-spot and thought-provoking.

Captive Prince10. Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

Possibly the only explicit M/M romance where I cared about the plot beyond “when will the two leads get together”. A really well-written book about court politics and intrigues, where the plot is not just an excuse for the two leads to hook up. This book might be more along the lines of “unique M/M romance”, but I like it enough that I’ll put it here since I can’t think of another book to fill the last spot on the list.

What do you think about the books on the list, are they unique or do I simply need to read more?



9 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday • Most Unique Books I’ve Read

  1. I have a very similar list. It is ‘how many different media outlets can I mention Terry Pratchett in.’ So far the answer is every website I have ever visited. Ever.

  2. Ohhhhh a surprising number of LGBT books on this list. I approve :D

    I’ve heard about Pantomine from a couple of different people now and everyone has said it’s not gimmicky. I’m quite curious. (And just realised I’ve never read a book containing an intersex character before, which probably says terrible things about diversity in fiction/ my personal reading habits now I stop and think about it.)

    • I was complaining the other day about LGBT books being either pwp or totally depressing, so I wanted to highlight the books that went outside of schemes.

      Same, I can’t think of any other book with an intersex character — I’d read more of them if I could find any, I stumbled into Pantomime by accident.

  3. I have never read any Agatha Christie books, but after seeing several of her novels on a couple of lists now, i think i need to give one a try!

    • She’s definitely one of the best in her genre, I would have listed more of her books with a twist ending but just putting them on the list spoils that there’s some kind of twist. I hope you’ll like her if you decide to try one of her books (they’re usually all good, even the “normal” detective ones).

    • I saw you have And Then There Were None and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd on your list, they were the other books I considered. And the Mousetrap! One could make a list just of Agatha Christie books with twist endings.

  4. Pingback: What’s Up Buttercup • April Edition | Words in a Teacup

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