Top Ten Tuesday: Ten books to read if you’re in the mood for shocking twists

Top 10 Tuesday new

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Ten Books To Read If You Are In The Mood For X… which means lot of room for individual interpretation… which makes checking out other bloggers’ lists so much fun.

My spin on the this week’s topic is all about the big shockers. When’s the last time you read a book that made you gasp with a sudden game-changing reveal? Or something that made you have to go all the way back to the beginning to see how it all looks different now that you know what you know? Or even (see #1 below) something as basic as assuming a certain character is the THE most important character, only to see him/her killed off in the very first book in a huge series?

My ten books with the biggest game-changing shockers — those “what did I just read???” moments — are:

1) A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin: You know what I mean, right? That heartbreaking moment when the character you love DOESN’T get a last-minute reprieve from the executioner? Damn you, GRRM, for killing off the people I expect to win! And he just keeps doing it and doing it and doing it.


For the rest, I’m not going to include any comments. Because even knowing that there’s a twist, or knowing what kind of twist it is, can really take away from the impact of that OMG! WTF! moment.

2) We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (review)

We Were Liars

3) Everything, Everything by Nicola Joon (review)

Everything Everything

4) The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler (info)

basic 8

5) Fingersmith by Sara Waters (info)


6) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (review)

Gone Girl

7) Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (review)

Code Name Verity

8) Hater by David Moody


9) The Uninvited by Cat Winters (review)

The Uninvited

10) Then and Always by Dani Atkins (review)

Then and Always


Have you read any books with mind-blowing twists? Please let me know in the comments! And if you’ve written a TTT post this week, please share your link and I’ll come check it out. Thanks!

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60 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Ten books to read if you’re in the mood for shocking twists

      • Just had a thought about the book that had a twist that left me stunned – John Irving’s Last Night at Twisted River. Honestly felt like I’d been punched in the guts.

        • Ooh, great to know! It’s been on my TBR list for a while now… now I’m curious enough to actually get a copy. And now that you mention John Irving, I’d say that’s true of so many of his books. Garp, Hotel New Hampshire, Owen Meany… he is definitely mean to his characters!

  1. Gone GIrl is soooo twisty, I love it — definitely didn’t see that one coming at all! I also enjoyed Everything, Everything but I wonder if the twist ‘cheapens’ the whole book, in a sense, i.e. it provides an easy way for the author to solve the problems and let the character do what she wants instead of actually dealing with it.

    Here’s my TTT. 🙂

  2. Gone Girl is one I want to read- I love twisty! Several of these look good. And yes Game of Thrones- that one was shocking. It took me a long time to realize he wasn’t going to explain it away somehow. 🙂

    • I know what you mean about GoT. I kept waiting for there to be some way out, because that character just couldn’t be… you know. Oh, so heartbreaking!

  3. Well Game of Thrones certainly fits in the shocking twists category haha. Nice picks this week! I read We Were Liars a little while ago but I found that one very predictable. It just seems to be me that thinks that though.
    My TTT

    • Oh god yes, GoT did some major damage to my soul! And then book 3 came along and chopped me up into pieces all over again. Those books are brutal… but I love them.

    • The nice thing about a lot of these books is that I didn’t set out to read a book with a book twist, so the impact was huge and unexpected. Code Name Verity is such a beautiful book.

  4. Great choice of topic! Both We Were Liars and Gone girl have such good twists I really didn’t see coming! I’m also currently watching the GoT Tv show, and still can’t get over the deaths of some of my favourites!
    My TTT

    • Oh, I know, it’s so hard to watch some of those scenes on TV! It breaks my heart to see what happens to some of the characters, particularly the ones I’ve come to love.

  5. I’m currently reading We Were Liars (only on the first few chapters) and I didn’t know there was gonna be a “what did I just read…???!?” moment!!! Will definitely be looking out for that moment in the book ☺️

    • Uh oh, I wish you didn’t know that in advance — sorry! Still, I think you’ll enjoy it — will look forward to hearing what you think.

  6. Absolutely to We Were Liars, Fingersmith, and Gone Girl. I’ll have to check out the others. I keep wondering if Gone Girl will hold up on a second read. I really like the way she writes, and I’ve read both of her other books twice, but neither of those hinged on such a big reveal.

    • I still haven’t read her other books. I’ve heard that they’re really good, but I haven’t been in the mood to tackle anything that dark. Are they worth giving a try?

      • Yes, they definitely are. Both protagonists are sarcastic (in a funny way), but they’re also dark. I read them back to back (before Gone Girl) one summer and didn’t find them all that dark because of that, but on re-reading them I realized they are pretty dark.

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