Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

I knew this topic would be difficult because I’ve read so many books that are unique and special for different reasons, and even now I am still having an internal debate about which ones I’ve included on this list. I had to leave off some of my personal favorites that are very unique and for the first time I am including some honorary mentions at the end of my list. It was just so difficult to pick only 10! So, without further ado:

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1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: I actually read this in high school, which was probably good since I might never have picked it up or fully understood it otherwise. It is by far the most unique book I’ve ever read, mostly because of the incredible scenes Marquez creates using magical realism. It’s unlike anything else I’ve ever read and some of the scenes and characters are so striking I still vividly remember them. Sadly, Marquez was recently hospitalized (read more here), and hopefully he will be feeling better soon!

2. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: This book is incredibly haunting. This qualifies as a dystopian, but since it’s an adult dystopian it is nothing like Hunger Games or Divergent. The terrifying society and the desperate situation of the narrator really stick with you.

3. The Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff: The most unique thing about this is the character of Buruu, a thundertiger, and the fact that he can telepathically communicate with a human girl, Yukiko, so that he really becomes a character as well-rounded as any of the humans in the book. I absolutely love their connection and for me, aside from the creative futuristic setting, their unique thundertiger-human friendship is the best part of the book. My review here.

4. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon: As I read this book, I remember thinking the premise was one of the most unique I had read in a very long time. I’m going to repeat my summary from my review of this one: In a future world where people with clairvoyant abilities are common, a teenage girl with rare powers discovers her world is secretly protected from terrifying man-eating monsters by a powerful race from another world.

5. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: This is a series that features the most unique fairy-tale retellings I’ve ever read. Set in the future, it’s almost hard to immediately see all the fairy tale elements in the books, but it’s all there and even the details are well-thoughout and relevant. My review of the first two books here.

6. Across the Universe series by Beth Revis: This futuristic YA scifi is unique in my opinion because of it’s ability to bring up really heavy ethical/moral questions. It is incredibly creepy, at times disturbing, and one of the most unique YA books I’ve read. Period. My review here.

7. The Arrivals by Melissa Marr: This one is not a particular favorite of mine, but it deserves a spot on this list because I’ve never read another book with a premise quite like this one. People are randomly plucked from their time and sent to another dimension with monsters to basically act as vigilantes. They can come back to life after they get killed in this alternate universe and the only thing they have in common is that they have all killed someone in their past. My review here.

8. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge: This is another fairy tale re-telling, but I included it mainly because of the setting. The island that the characters live on was separated from the rest of the world during Greek and Roman times, and has been stuck there since, ruled over by a capricious demon lord. The sky is the color of parchment paper. For some reason that description really stuck with me. In general, I just thought the atmospheric setting of this book and the intertwining of some Greek mythology into the Beauty and the Beast story was really unique.

9. Angelfall by Susan Ee: I was not prepared to be as impressed with this book as I was. I expected a typical YA, angel love story-type plot, and this book is so much better than that! The story begins after the apocalypse has already started and angels have begun destroying people and cities. But as you find out throughout the book, the angels are mean, nasty, and not very heavenly at all. In fact they behave much like humans with politics and back-stabbing – one of the angels even says he’s agnostic! The creepy, disturbing scenes at the end of the book were also unexpected and really pushed this book into something really unique.

10.  The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black: The idea of vampires being consigned to Coldtowns, and then using reality TV to lure humans into these Coldtowns, was a very unique take on a vampire story and one that I loved. My review here.

Honorable Mention: in an effort to shorten this post, I’m not going into detail for these books but just linking to the Goodreads summary. Definitely look into these, they are all unique and I’m still debating whether or not I should’ve had some of these as my top ten.

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Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi

Skylark by Meagan Spooner (My review here)

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White (My review here)

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

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13 comments

  1. I keep meaning to start Incarnate but I never seem to. There are just too many series out there. I completely agree with you about The Lunar Chronicles. A very unique series. You’ve just reminded me that I need to read Cruel Beauty at some point too! Great list!

    1. Incarnate was really interesting and I liked most of the book but thought the end was a bit rushed, so I haven’t picked up the next installment yet. Cruel Beauty is a really great book, again kind of a rushed ending, but that didn’t ruin it for me at all.

  2. Several of these are on my wishlist, though right now I only have Across the Universe in hand. I’m afraid though that The Lunar Chronicles has been SO hyped up to me at this point that it might not meet my expectations… we shall see.

    1. I hate when I get too excited for a book and then there’s no way for it to live up to expectations. Although, Lunar Chronicles is one of my all-time favorite series, so you might still be alright! 🙂 The second book, Scarlet, is my favorite of the series so if Cinder isn’t quite up to your expectations then at least give the second book a shot. I think the action and plot really ramp up in the second and third books.

  3. I had the Handmaid’s Tale listed this week as well – it’s one of my favourite books of all times. 🙂 Across the Universe was also amazing – the whole concept and the characters blew me away. I still need to read Cinder and the Bone Season though, I’ve heard so many good things about them. Amazing list!! 🙂

    1. Yes, definitely read Cinder and the Bone Season. The Lunar Chronicles is one of my all-time favorite series and I can’t wait for the next book after the Bone Season since the ending isn’t exactly a cliff-hanger but leaves a lot unresolved.

    1. Yeah, Handmaid’s Tale was kind of a disturbing read and definitely left me feeling really unsettled, especially with that open ending. I wish I’d had a chance to read it in school so I would have had people to discuss it with!

  4. I’ve been dying to read The Handmaid’s Tale for SO long now. Some day soon I’m going to have to bite the bullet and tackle it! I’ve heard it’s uber creepy though. Great list!

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