As an avid reader, there comes a time every now and then when I’m reading a book, and I feel like there’s nothing left that could possibly surprise me. I’m sure you can relate… Plot twists become predictable and stories begin to blend together… So when I stumble upon something new and different, it’s quite refreshing!
Today I thought I’d share some books that I found to be wonderfully weird and caught me totally off guard:
STRANGE THE DREAMER BY LAINI TAYLOR
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
Welcome to Weep.
I’m sure you’ve seen this book all over the place a few months back when it was released and with good reason too! This book is packed with fantasy elements, sublime writing technique and a dreamy plot that makes for the ultimate palette cleanser. I adored the characters too and found that it was totally different to what I was expecting going into the book.
Being somewhat of a newbie when it comes to the high fantasy genre, I felt that this book was nothing like anything that I’ve read before and really enjoyed the world building by Laini Taylor.
My full review for Strange the Dreamer can be read over here.
Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It’s a big day. Things go wrong. It’s intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches…
Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It’s a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won’t come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.
On the surface, there’s nothing strange about Release… But if you read enough Patrick Ness books, you’ll know that this is just not true. In truth, I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it had all the elements for a wonderful YA read: a sweetheart narrator, a kick-ass bestie and enough weirdness to throw me for a total loop. Even though the element of magical realism confused me, I enjoyed it nonetheless since it added an interesting dimension to the story.
My full review for Release can be read over here.
THE RAVEN BOYS BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
I haven’t completed this series yet but I’m two books in already and I love it SO much! It’s hard to imagine that I almost gave up on this series because I found it difficult to get into the first book. But once I got the hang of Maggy Stiefvater’s writing style it was a no brainer – I was hooked!
The Raven Boys has such a unique storyline and it is a series driven by the characters in the book; all of whom are complex and relatable. As you go deeper into the book you realize how strange and different the story is, and in turn, how these elements make the story such a rush to read.
THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS BY RUTH HOGAN
Bone china cup and saucer-Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.
Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidentally left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.
Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.
Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.
As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?
I remember reading this book in April and how much I enjoyed the sheer creativity of Ruth Hogan’s storytelling abilities. As someone who appreciates good writing technique, I was blown away with what she managed to pull off so incredibly well in her debut novel. The Keeper was captivating and hilarious, whimsical and deep – I truly believe that there is something in it for everyone to enjoy.
Read my full review of The Keeper over here.
What are some weird and wonderful books that you read and enjoyed? And do you often find yourself worrying that you’ll run out of good, unpredictable reads?