Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (5)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created/hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. You can find out all the important stuff here.

Top Ten Most Unique Books

A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Every chapter in this book is different, it's almost like reading a group of interrelated short stories instead of a novel, but it's definitely a novel rather than a group of short stories (something that was argued about at length during the class the book was set for!) I mean, sure, lots of books have chapters with different styles, different narrators, different voices, but this book takes it to a whole other level. There is a chapter told entirely through Powerpoint presentation slides. And yet it still totally works as a narrative.

Rant by Chuck Palahniuk
This book is unique for two reasons - first of all its fascinating take on time-travel which I won't talk about too much here for fear of spoilers, and secondly its style. The synopsis describes it as an oral history. Essentially, it's a bunch of different people giving their versions of what happened, in my head it was like they were being interviewed for a TV show. It's mad, but it works. I loved it, the style more than the story here if I'm honest, so much so that I've been toying with the idea of doing something similar for years, I just haven't come up with a suitable plot yet!

Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
If I'm honest, I could probably fill this entire list with Palahniuk's books, but I've restrained myself to just these two. This is actually my favourite of his, and it's utter madness. Seriously, I don't even have words to discuss it. Suffice it to say, nothing happens in the right order and you can't trust anything that you see or hear. Just don't read the last chapter. You absolutely do not need it. Seriously. Rip it out of the book before you start (that's how much I hate the last chapter - I am condoning book destruction)

Speechless by Hannah Harrington
How many main characters do you come across that can't speak? Chelsea's lack of speech is self-imposed, she decides not to say another word after sharing a piece of gossip that almost got someone killed, and she gets around it by writing things down for people, but it was still a really interesting read. 

The Wasp Factory by Ian Banks
This book is insane. Seriously. I can't even. It continues to give me nightmares. Not very often, true, not like the first couple of years after I read it when I would have nightmares several times a week and also think about certain parts every time I closed my eyes, but still. It's stayed with me. And it's insane. I don't know what else I can say about it, frankly. It's just the strangest thing I've ever read.

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
This is an excellent book that not enough people have heard of. There's just something very special about it, which I didn't expect. Hell, I didn't expect to like it, I have no idea why I bought it. It's a Western, something I've never read, and it made me care about a horse. Seriously. I hate animals, horses terrify me, and I cried my eyes out over poor Tub. My eyes are watering just thinking about it now.

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
I have read a lot of vampire books. A lot. Like, more than is probably healthy. This one had the most interesting take on them, it looks at what we consider vampirism as a parasite, people infected are parasite positives or peeps. Not only is it a fresh take on vampires, it also has a distinct format - the book alternates chapters between the story and some hideous informative pieces about parasites. Which I loved.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
This is the only book about time travel that's ever made me cry, but that's not why I've picked it. It's just such an interesting take on the idea of time travel - that it's something genetic, something that can't be controlled, something that is both a blessing and a curse. Okay, perhaps that last one isn't the most original idea, but all together they make up one of the most heartbreaking and original books I've ever read.

Pivot Point by Kasie West
Addie can see into her future - when faced with a choice, she can search both outcomes before making her decision. Her parents are splitting up and she has to decide whether she'll stay with her mother in their special compound or move with her father to the normal world. The book jumps between the two potential realities and is essentially two stories in one, but they overlap cleverly and - perhaps most impressive - neither one is boring. I genuinely didn't have a preferred one. I'd get to the end of a chapter and be annoyed that we were switching back to the other story, regardless of which one I was on at the time. I know that probably sounds mad, but damn does Kasie West know how to end a chapter!

All My Friends are Dead by Avery Monsen and Jory John
Yeeeeah, so I was struggling to fill this last slot. I genuinely thought of nine books really quickly and then couldn't come up with a tenth. So I was browsing through the books I've read on Goodreads and spotted this one. It's essentially a picture book for grown-ups - though I guess it might appeal to kids, too - and that's not something I've seen very often. Also, it's awesome and you deserve a copy.

So, that's my list. What are the most unique books you've ever read? What makes a book unique to you?

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