When it comes to real life, the last six months have brought just about all the crazy twists that I can handle. Like, seriously, I don't need any more surprises. Boring is good! Boring is fine. Boring is preferable to waking up in the middle of the night in a blind panic because something in my subconscious pulled a trigger, reminding me that this country is currently in the hands of a megalomaniacal bigot who misspells three-letter words. So, yeah, I'll take boring over a World War III-starting tweet storm any day of the week.
But when it comes to fiction? Bring on the twists. Perhaps it's even because reality has lately been so fraught that I have found myself seeking out novels that are best described using the following word: mindfuck. It actually feels like a relief to be completely absorbed in a twisted world far removed from our own, one whose labyrinthine plots keep me engaged and distracted for at least a little while, allowing me a total escape from the problems that exist off the page.
Care to see what I mean? The following 10 books are so full of twists and turns, that you'll find yourself totally enthralled, fervently flipping pages, and wildly surprised by the realization that, yes, sometimes fiction is still stranger than truth.
Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach
This debut novel is a stunner; I devoured it in one weekend, so entranced was I by the voice of the ultra-complicated narrator. Ava Antipova has returned from studying in Paris to the family vineyard in New York's Finger Lakes region, where it seems that her identical twin sister Zelda has died in a fiery blaze, though Ava has her doubts thanks to the emails that she is still receiving from Zelda. I mean, with a setup like that, what could this book possibly be other than a totally twisted masterpiece? Dolan-Leach's facility with building and sustaining suspense throughout the book is truly stunning; the plot's high tension never wavers, and even though I had my suspicions about the truth behind the book's main mystery, there were so many plot turns and twists that I was still nowhere near prepared for the utter jaw-drop of an ending.