Top Ten Tuesday: The Most Unique YA Books I’ve Read

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

This list is a mixture of everything from middle-grade fiction to one story I’d only recommend for older teens. I never thought I’d be talking about some of these books in the same Top Ten Tuesday Post, but that’s the beauty of asking for unique suggestions!

1. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Yes, there’s a monster creeping around in this book. No, this isn’t a scary story. In fact, it probably won’t be anything like you expect it to be at all. That’s why I like it so much.

2. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally. There aren’t many teenage girls out there playing high school football. This part of the plot alone was enough to catch my eye.

3. Annie Gomez and the Gigantic Foot of Doom by Jay Cutts. Not only is the title a lot of fun, the idea of the main character using a secret weapon but still failing to stop the bad guys is almost unheard of!

4. Stolen: A Letter to my Captor by Lucy Christopher. Gemma is kidnapped and taken to Australia by a young, handsome man who has clearly been planning this crime for a long time. The idea of a kidnapper being kind and gentle really weirds me out. I still don’t know what I think of this story, but it definitely is unique.

5. El Deafo by Cece Bell. This was such a fun spin on superhero stories. There have definitely been times when I’ve wished I could hear quiet conversations on the other side of a building!

6. Paradox Love by Dorothy Gravelle. Sometimes happily ever after ends when you’re 17. Romances don’t generally start with one of the main characters dying, so I couldn’t wait to see what happened after that.

7. Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan. Being unique isn’t a bad thing. The main character in this book is exactly the kind of person I would have wanted to be friends with in middle school!

8. Push by Sapphire. Imagine being 16 years old, illiterate, and pregnant with your second child. Precious has everything stacked against her, but she’s determined to find a way to make a better life for her and her baby. This should only be read by high schoolers due to its mature content.

9. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I loved graveyards when I was a kid. Growing up in one, though, would have been an entirely different story.

10. The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys by Chris Fuhrman. First of all, the cover for this book is amazing. I also love the fact that the main character makes fun of everything and everyone…even himself!


  1. Counting by 7’s is one I wanted to read last year and didn’t get to. Also The Dangerous Lives of Alter Boys looks SO COOL. I have never heard of it or seen that cover before. I love a main character that doesn’t take things too seriously.

    • I’m glad you liked my recommendations.

      I can’t agree enough about the cover of The Dangerous Lives of Alter Boys. It was awesome.

      I hope you get to read Counting by 7’s soon!

  2. I just put El Deafo on my wishlist this week.

  3. I haven’t read the Push novel but I saw that movie with Gabourey Sidibe a few years ago and it was really impactful.

  4. I LOVE A Monster Calls. Such a good book!

  5. A Monster Calls has been on my TBR forever, but I keep procrastinating it because I know it’ll be sad… Even though I also heard so many good things. And I heard so many good things about Stolen as well!

    • Yeah, I have a few books on my TBR pile that I’ve been putting off because I expect them to be sad as well. I think you have to be in the right frame of mind to get into that kind of story sometimes, but it’s really worth it once you do.

  6. I have not heard of any of these books before now. I’ll have to check some of them out.

  7. I have not read any of the book mentioned in your post this week.

    Here’s a link to my TTT post for this week:

    • I always find it interesting when that happens! It’s often given me a whole bunch of new books to add to my TBR pile. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Stolen was a really interesting book to me. I saw a lot of people shipping the two characters which is awful because it’s a realistic portrayal of Stockholm’s syndrome. I think it’s absolutely necessary and the ending is chilling. I’ve also seen A Monster Calls on several lists here; maybe I will have to read it after all!

    • Kaeley Q Scruggs, I wonder if some readers have no idea that Stolen is showing how Stockholm Syndrome works? Seeing people ship the two main characters in that book weirds me out as well.

      You definitely should consider reading A Monster Calls. The storytelling in it is excellent.

  9. I haven’t read any of these, but some of the titles sound like fun.;)

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed Catching Jordan as well!! And Stolen is on my TBR, but I might be avoiding it because the concept is so odd and hard to wrap your head around.

    • It’s nice to know you enjoyed Catching Jordan!

      Stolen is one of those books that you have to be in the right mood to read. It talks about some heavy subject matter for sure.

  11. I can’t believe that I forgot to put A Monster Calls on my list! That’s such a unique story and concept. Wonderful list!

    • Thank you, Lori. There were a few titles on other TTT lists this week that made me wish I’d remembered to include them. You’re definitely not alone in that. 🙂

  12. Never hard of any of these books but the titles are all pretty eye catching.

  13. Catching Jordan (and all of Kennealy’s books?) look cute and fun! And Counting by 7’s is new t ome, but looks worth checking out. Thanks for a great list!

  14. I’ve been wanting to read A Monster Calls so I could watch the movie and because I’ve heard such awesome things about it!

  15. I ADORED A Monster Calls – it was so beautiful and heartbreaking and REAL. The movie was good, as well, but didn’t live up to the book, to be honest. Have you seen it? 🙂

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

    • No, I have not seen the movie yet. It is pretty close to the top of my to-watch list, so I think I’ll get to see it soon.

      The book is really good, though.

  16. A Monster Calls is really unique – I feel like every Patrick Ness book is which is why I love them so much. My friend made me buy The Graveyard Book so hopefully I’ll be able to read it this year!

  17. Great TTT! I’ve seen The Graveyard Book on a few lists for this week’s topic- thinking it’s one I will HAVE to get to! Thanks for stopping by my list 🙂

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