The best books with a killer plot twist

Melyssa Williams Author Of Shadows Gray
By Melyssa Williams

Who am I?

I adore a good plot twist! Honestly, if I have figured out where a book is going I am going to wander off, bored and depressed and a little hungry. There is nothing better for me than to read a well-written tale, think I know exactly where the author is taking me, then BAM I am hit upside the noggin with a twist I never saw coming. I try to incorporate some killer plot twists in my own writings (book 2 especially has some very shocked readers), because I love them so.

I wrote...

Shadows Gray

By Melyssa Williams,

Book cover of Shadows Gray

What is my book about?

Sonnet Gray has problems, and not just those of a typical 18-year-old. Her family is one of the Lost; time travelers who have no power over their journeys. Hopelessly old-fashioned and yet more modern than most girls, Sonnet speaks several languages and takes care of her motley crew back home by working in a coffee shop and playing guitar. Over time, the Lost leave behind those they love and pick up new characters along the way. In twenty-first-century America, Sonnet meets Emme, a Lost young woman with a questionable line of work, Luke, a mysterious photographer, and Israel, a young doctor. But no one can take the place of Sonnet's sister, Rose, who was left behind as a baby in the fifteenth century. The ghost of her beckons from each time and place; but what's real and what isn't? Is Rose Gray trying to contact her before it's too late?

A ghost story with a sci-fi, Gothic romance twist, Shadows Gray will keep you up at night, wondering: is the redemptive power of love enough to change history? 

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The books I picked & why

We Were Liars

By E. Lockhart,

Book cover of We Were Liars

Why did I love this book?

A middle-aged woman reading young adult fiction is a tricky tightrope walk. Too much romantic angst makes me cringe, selfish teenagers make me bananas, and they tend to be predictable. Not so with We Were Liars! I read this little book all in one sitting and while I may have guessed some of the ending, it was still so deliciously creepy and sad and unforgettable! The aunties were great characters and the writing is top-notch. I definitely recommend going into this one a bit blind: don’t read too many reviews or it may give away the stellar plot twist. A great book for a mom/daughter to read and discuss.

By E. Lockhart,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked We Were Liars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The TikTok phenomenon and #1 New York Times bestseller.

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends-the Liars-whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honouree E. Lockhart.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Don't miss FAMILY OF LIARS, the thrilling prequel to We Were Liars, published in May 2022.

The Thirteenth Tale

By Diane Setterfield,

Book cover of The Thirteenth Tale

Why did I love this book?

I have read this book several times and it’s the kind that swallows you whole. You’ll find yourself consumed into the weird and almost gothic story of Vida Winters – the enigmatic and eccentric millionaire writer with a missing “tale” – and Margaret, the journalist who is hired to uncover all the secrets of her strange life. It’s creepy and shadowy and unique and totally compelling, and you’ll never figure out where it’s going until you’re there: wide-eyed and all-in.

By Diane Setterfield,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Thirteenth Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Simply brilliant' Kate Mosse, international bestselling author of Labyrinth


Everybody has a story...

Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten.

It was once home to the March family: fascinating, manipulative Isabelle; brutal, dangerous Charlie; and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But the house hides a chilling secret which strikes at the very heart of each of them, tearing their lives apart...

Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield's past, and its mysterious connection to the enigmatic writer Vida Winter. Vida's history is mesmering - a tale of ghosts, governesses, and gothic strangeness. But as Margaret succumbs to the power…

The Night Sister

By Jennifer McMahon,

Book cover of The Night Sister

Why did I love this book?

I picked this up for a dollar at a thrift shop years ago. I took it to the bath with me, intending to just read the first chapter. I'd never heard of it, nor the author, and I don't typically buy books I haven't read. Before I knew it, I'd been in the tub for two hours and I was past the halfway mark of this novel. I got out, freezing cold, with pruney toes and blue lips, scared to stop reading and scared to keep reading. I kept thinking, "Ah-ha! I got it! I know where this is going!" And then. You don't know jack.

The premise of the run-down motel, the leaning tower, the knowledge that something bad happened in the past, the not-quite-right sisters, the gory modern-day murders, the letters to Hitchcock ... it all makes for a page-turning yarn that gave me delicious creeps. Memorable and unusual, with a nod to Grimm's fairy tales, Hitchcock, and classic murder mysteries like Shirley Jackson and Agatha Christie.

By Jennifer McMahon,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Night Sister as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author Jennifer McMahon (The Winter People) comes an atmospheric, gripping, and suspenseful tale that probes the bond between sisters and the peril of keeping secrets.

The Tower Motel was once a thriving attraction of rural Vermont. Today it lies in disrepair, alive only in the memories of the three women—Amy, Piper, and Piper’s kid sister, Margot—who played there as children. They loved exploring the abandoned rooms … until the day their innocent games uncovered something dark and twisted that ruined their friendship forever.

Now, Amy stands accused of committing a horrific crime, and the…

A Head Full of Ghosts

By Paul Tremblay,

Book cover of A Head Full of Ghosts

Why did I love this book?

A scary book that makes you flip pages very quickly. The protagonist is eight years old, which is a stroke of genius (it made everything less gimmicky and more real, and thus more terrifying because you're seeing it through the eyes of a child). It takes a bit to pull you in; probably due to the blog entries that at first, you don't know why you're reading. At the end, when you're nearly done, you might find yourself disappointed: I know I was, just for a split second, because it felt ... contrived, not genuine, and left me thinking, rats, I was hoping for a more satisfying conclusion ... but wait for it: you fell right into Tremblay’s trap. He may in fact be a genius.

By Paul Tremblay,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A Head Full of Ghosts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The lives of the Barretts, a suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents' despair, the doctors are unable to halt Marjorie's descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show.Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie's younger sister, Merry. As she recalls the terrifying events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets…

Odd Thomas

By Dean Koontz,

Book cover of Odd Thomas

Why did I love this book?

“The dead don’t talk … I don’t know why.” So begins the wonderful tale of a boy named Odd, who is a master fry cook, his soul mate, Stormy Llewellyn, dead Elvis, and a gathering, otherworldly evil that is about to invade California. I adore Koontz and I’ve read the first installment of the Odd series several times. Now that I know the crazy twist at the end, you’d think I would get bored or not cry … that is not the case.

By Dean Koontz,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Odd Thomas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet Odd Thomas, the unassuming young hero of Dean Koontz’s dazzling New York Times bestseller, a gallant sentinel at the crossroads of life and death who offers up his heart in these pages and will forever capture yours.

“The dead don’t talk. I don’t know why.” But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Sometimes the silent souls who seek out Odd want justice. Occasionally their otherworldly tips help him prevent a crime. But this time it’s different.

A stranger comes to Pico Mundo, accompanied by a horde…

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