It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, a feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Of The Most Unique Books I’ve Read. I’ll be doing a variation by splitting up the list into two sections: five unique books I’ve read and five books that are on my TBR right now.
But first, what makes a book unique? If you’re a writer like me, you hope and pray that someday the words ‘unique’ and ‘original’ will apply to your work. We all want to write (and read) something that’s never been done before and is completely new. But it’s a lot harder than it sounds. Why? Because EVERYTHING HAS BEEN DONE BEFORE. Or so it seems. I’m still not sure if I believe in truly unique books.
So what makes a book unique IMO? To me, a book is unique if I haven’t read anything like it before. You might’ve read hundreds of books with the same theme, plot, similar characters, etc. and that’s fine, but if I haven’t read anything like it before, I’ll consider that book to be unique TO ME.
Having said that, let’s get straight into it.
Five Unique Books I’ve read
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
This book tells the story of WWII through the eyes of two kids on both sides, German and Allied. I’d never read a book where 1) one of the protagonists is blind and 2) the path of two children from opposite sides in WWII cross. Anthony Doerr handled both so well and writes such beautiful prose that this book became an instant favourite of mine.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Perks is the first book I read where the author didn’t shy away from mental illness. He ignored the stigma and made talking / writing about mental illness more accessible.
I truly think that without the success of his book, we wouldn’t be seeing so many good (and extremely valuable) representations of mental illness which I imagine have helped a lot of readers around the world.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
This book plays with the idea that not everyone is a hero who slays dragons or saves the world. Most teenagers just want to graduate school and figure out what to do with their life, which is exactly what Mike is doing. I thought it was really interesting and unique to read about main characters who would’ve been minor characters in other books.
Just think about Harry Potter for example. What did Seamus’s life look like? Dean’s? These characters are all connected but Seamus and Dean were no main characters. Most of the time, “minor characters” are simply struggling with everyday problems and I love how Patrick Ness developed that idea into a book.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I’m kind of cheating with this one because I haven’t actually read it yet. But I’m halfway through and I can already say with certainty that this book deserves to be on this list. It’s an important book – capital I – inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.
I’ve never read a book that’s so true to life, so contemporary and real without being non-fiction.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Before Harry Potter, I hadn’t read any fantasy (and I still don’t). The whole concept of magic schools, dark wizards trying to rule the world, and wise headmasters serving as the hero’s mentor were completely new to me. I think that’s partly why I found it so fascinating. It was like a whole different universe had revealed itself to ten-year-old me.
Five Unique Books on My TBR
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
I’m so excited for this one because 1) I’ve never read a book with Indian protagonists before and 2) it’s a romantic comedy about an arranged marriage, which is usually a theme that doesn’t include comedy.
City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson
A book about the struggles of a refugee from Congo. “After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. When her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.”
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
I watched the first episode of the Netflix show just yesterday and I’m completely hooked. I knew about the book of course but somehow I’d never found the time to read it. But I’ve always thought it to be an interesting concept. For those of you who don’t know…
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a box with 13 cassette tapes on his porch. The tapes are recorded by Hannah Baker, who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah Baker has thirteen reasons why she committed suicide and she’s revealing them all to Clay Jensen.
Forgive me, Leanord Peacock by Matthew Quick
In a way, this book is similar to Thirteen Reasons Why. But instead of having Hannah revealing her reasons after the incident, we have Leonard Peacock who reveals his reasons before the incident. “Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol. But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.”
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Another book with a very contemporary feel. The story focuses on “Frances, who meets Aled, the genius behind her favourite podcast. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.” If I’m not wrong, this book features a bisexual (Frances) and an asexual (Aled) protagonist who have a completely PLATONIC relationship. Hallelujah.
What are some of the most unique books you’ve read? Are you doing Top Ten Tuesday? Feel free to share your thoughts and links in the commen section!
See you soon,