You’ll be thinking about the story for several days after you finish reading!
We forget some books immediately after we finish them.
But there are some special books we keep going back to, trying to piece together the links and foreshadowing in our heads, wondering how we missed the end revelation that now seems so obvious.
This post is a collection of five such books that will literally blow your mind.
If you pick up any of the books on this list, you’ll experience an emotional roller-coaster ride because the climax is so different from what you expect. These books have some crazy plot twists and unexpected elements that will make sure the story stays with you long after you finish reading them.
(Note: The links mentioned in this article are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase these books through them, it will help me earn a small amount — at no extra cost to you. Thanks!)
1. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
It’s a short read and the story feels pretty normal. The start is slow, but the plot picks up pace in the middle. I felt this was a pretty character-driven story until I read the last page.
I kid you not, but when you read the last chapter, your entire perception of the book will change.
Lots of things you’d ignored earlier will suddenly make sense, and the story will take on depths you hadn’t imagined.
I’ve gifted my boyfriend only one book so far (he isn’t a reader) and it’s this! If you’re a book lover, this is a book that should definitely be on your shelf.
Fair warning though: don’t read a review (or even the back blurb) of the book before you read it. If you have even a tiny idea of the setting and theme, the story probably won’t be as amusing. I’d dived in blind, and am so glad I did, for this is definitely one of my favorite books of all time.
“The story of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is very difficult to describe. Usually we give some clues about the book on the back cover, but in this case we think that would spoil the reading of the book. We think it is important that you start to read without knowing what it is about.” — The first line of the Goodreads blurb.
2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Ten strangers trapped in a little house on an island far away from civilization. The only thing they have in common is that they were invited by a millionaire who’s nowhere to be seen.
A mysterious rhyme is spotted hanging in every corner of the room, but the panic starts to mount when the people start dying out one by one according to the sequence mentioned in the cryptic rhyme.
One thing’s for certain: before the weekend is out, there will be none left alive. But the question remains: if everyone has to die and they are the only ones on the island, who’s behind all the murders?
I’ve read several murder mysteries, but none as unexpected as this one. The plot is so gripping, that even after the last chapter is done, you’ll be left wondering how someone managed to pull off all the crimes. It’s only in the epilogue where your questions will be answered.
This book is truly a breathtaking journey.
3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
This dystopian fiction novel was published in 1932. But the way the author has described the futuristic World State and its genetically modified, mass-produced citizens living in an intelligence-based social hierarchy makes it feel as if this book could have been written yesterday!
Readers who aren’t familiar with speculative fiction might have read 1984 by George Orwell, a book that’s considered to be the counterpart of Brave New World. The difference between the two can be best summarized in the words of Neil Postman, “Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley fears that what we love will ruin us.”
I read this book because my favorite writer, TJ Klune, mentioned in one of his posts that this book has the best climax of all time. And I’m so glad I did, because more than just the story (which is AMAZING), this book made me imagine and introspect in a way very few books have.
4. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
A boy who is also a crow. A man who can talk to cats. A town where it’s normal to see fish raining from the sky. Jack Daniels and Colonel Sanders come to life and walk the streets at night.
This is definitely one of the weirdest books I’ve read. As someone who isn’t too familiar with magical realism, this book took me by surprise. The premise is that a boy called Kafka runs away from home to search for his long-lost mother. At the same time, there’s a brutal murder, and the identities of both the victim and the killer are unknown. As the threads come together, Kafka finds himself in the middle of it all, finally finding out the truth about his past and discovering something magical about his future.
Much as I found the world strange and unfamiliar, I was also drawn to its characters and deeply invested in the story. This book left me in a trance. Long after I turned the last page, I found myself thinking about the story, often lost in a limbo that made it difficult to discern what’s real and what’s simply happening in my head.
5. The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
Every now and then I come across a book (or a series) so fabulous, that I stay up for the entire night to finish an epic scene. Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn is one such series that took my breath away. If you’re a lover of fantasy fiction, this is a trilogy you absolutely mustn’t miss.
The story follows Vin, a young orphan girl, who learns to survive on her own in the streets. She has something — a power? — that allows her to influence people’s decisions. But she does not know how to use it and can barely manage to work her magic on a select few. Then, she meets Kelsier who teaches her that she can do much more than control minds. As she learns to use her powers better, Vin also finds herself in the middle of a plot that will change the future of the entire planet.
The first book happens at break-neck speed, and the second takes the story forward perfectly. By the third book, all the threads are tied up, leading to a spectacular climax. Sanderson plays the foreshadowing game so well, that I got answers to questions I myself didn’t know I had.
I’d strongly recommend this series to all lovers of YA fantasy. Go ahead and read it. You won’t regret the decision.
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