Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Unique

I've heard it said that there is no such thing as an original story. It's said that stories are just recycled again and again, told in different ways.All stories do fall into certain categories. The hero with a quest to defeat evil story. The love story. The inspirational story. The dystopian. The, "who did the crime?"  Etc...Etc...So, yes, if you're going by the theme, stories are all recycled. BUT--sometimes they are recycled in a way that is so original that the story reads like nothing I've ever read  Below I've listed some of my favorite unique premises.

Every Day by David Levithan: This is a love story about A, a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life. There's never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached.  Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It's all fine until the morning A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because, finally, A has found someone he wants to be with. Day in. Day out. Day after day.

What's left of me by Kat Zhang: Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else--two souls woven together in one body, taking turn controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But, as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren't they settling? Why isn't one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away and their parents begged for more time. Finally, Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except she wasn't...

Unwind by Neal Shusterman:  In America after the Second Civil war, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life armies came to an agreement: The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, a parent may choose to retroactively get rid of a child through a process called "unwinding." Unwinding ensures that the child's life doesn't "technically" end by transplanting all the organs in the child's body to various recipients. Now a common and accepted practice in society, troublesome or unwanted teens are able to easily be unwound.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen year old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting--he's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It's ancient. It's wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth.

To me, most story premises are not this unique. In fact, these were the only four I could come up with. Do you know any others? And which concept here catches your attention the fastest and makes you want to read the book?


  1. Hmm interesting. They all seem to have some unique ideas. The first one reminds me some of Quantum Leap, but not exactly. It seems the one most likely to grab my attention, though that Unwind seem intriguing. Curious how they work the concept.

    It seem as they say that nothing is original anymore, but I agree with the new takes/perspectives on each having the potential to be fresh if done right.

    I just saw the trailer for a movie called The Purge (or just Purge) coming out, that looked like an interesting concept as well.

    Have you read all of these selections above? Which was a fav, if so?

  2. Amanda Hocking's Switched series is another one. Trolls are usually thought of as stupid and ugly but she gave that thought a huge twist. What's Left of Me is a book I really want to read and the concept caught my eye before it even came out. Great choices.

  3. I've seen several reviews of A Monster Calls and it sounds really unique.

  4. All the reads sound interesting, so many books and so little time...

  5. Jak--I haven't heard of the Purge, I'll definitely check it out. And yes, i have read all of those. My favorite was definitely Unwind. Some of the best pacing I've ever seen in a book and I have yet to meet anyone who didn't love it. The only one I wasn't overly impressed with was "What's Left of Me." Although the concept was really cool, in a lot of other ways it read like your standard dystopian. That was a little disappointing, but it's still a neat idea.

    Sheena--I tried to read those and I couldn't really get into them. did you like them?

    Alex--A Monster Calls was really thought-provoking and sad. Very moving story.

    Cathrina--thanks for stopping by! I love how many books are out there!! :)

  6. Tam, thanks for adding more books to my list! lol