I didn’t see that coming! New classics with a (plot) twist

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Do you love books with a “gotcha!” moment that makes you flip back through the pages to figure out if you should have seen that coming? Do you enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out what the twist is going to be if you know in advance that a book has one? Do you groan a little when someone reveals the secret of a book you haven’t had a chance to read yet?

Luckily, some of the best books written in the 21st century so far are not only compelling and well-written, they have a little extra surprise.

Atonement

On a scalding hot summer day in the years between the World Wars, 13-year-old Briony and her family prepare to welcome home her older brother, Leon. As she awaits Leon’s arrival, Briony amuses herself by observing the activity of everyone on the family estate. When she witnesses and reports a crime, it will have a catastrophic impact on her life and the lives of those for whom she cares most through the carnage of World War II to the close of the twentieth century.

 

The Kite Runner

Two motherless boys grow up in Kabul in the early days of the Soviet invasion. Amir is the son of a wealthy businessman. Hassan is the son of Amir’s household servant. Despite their differences, they are friends. When Amir betrays Hassan, the childhood hurt causes lasting devastation that will haunt Amir through the years.

Life of Pi

Pi is the sixteen-year-old son of a zookeeper. Raised in Pondicherry, India, he has a curiosity about the many faiths of the wider world. When Pi’s family boards a boat to emigrate to Canada along with their menagerie, they are shipwrecked. Pi awakens, stranded in the ocean, sharing a lifeboat with only a hyena, an orangutan, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger called Richard Parker.

Never Let Me Go

When she was a child, Kathy lived at a private school in the idyllic English countryside. Isolated at Hailsham, she and her fellow students were taught to believe that they were special and would play important roles in society. Now 31 and successful, Kathy rarely thinks of her time at Hailsham, until she is reunited with two friends from her childhood. As Kathy rekindles her relationships with Ruth and Tommy, they revisit happy scenes of children playing and learning together at Hailsham. They also recall more confusing scenes that, with the wisdom of hindsight, will reveal the truth about their pasts and determine their futures.

The Thirteenth Tale

Margaret is surprised by a letter from Vida Winter inviting her to visit the famous author and write her biography. Despite the novelist’s popularity, Margaret has never read any of her numerous books. Considering whether or not to accept the request, Margaret begins to read her father’s rare copy of Miss Winter’s Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation and is intrigued when she realizes the book only contains twelve stories.