Skip To Content

    People Shared The Best-Executed Plot Twists In Books And Wow, Just Wow


    We recently asked members of our BuzzFeed Community, "What is the greatest plot twist ever executed in a book?" and, WHEW, they delivered some real shockers. Here are just a few of the most "WTF" plot twists ever executed in literature:

    WARNING: This post does contain SPOILERS for some of these books. Please proceed with caution!

    1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

    G.P. Putnam's Sons

    "The last chapter had me holding my breath, throwing my book across the room, rereading paragraphs. My jaw genuinely dropped."


    2. Verity by Colleen Hoover

    Independently Published

    "You spend most of the book thinking Verity is a completely terrible person and that maybe what happened to her is karma...only to find that the whole thing was a writing exercise and she's not actually injured. That whole book was just one giant 'What. The. Fuck?!' moment."


    3. Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

    Wednesday Books

    "That twist came out of NOWHERE!"


    4. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

    Gallery Books

    "I never got the big reveal of 'Redrum' in The Shining because I already knew what it meant before I read the book, but in the sequel, the night Abe’s cries because she knows Sept. 11, 2001 is coming was CRAZY. I couldn’t figure out what was happening and then when they reveal the towers falling and she stops crying, I screamed out loud! I also screamed when you find out Danny is Abra’s uncle, but not near as shocked as I was about the earlier twist."


    5. Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson


    "My favorite plot twist ever is in this book. Quick summary: The protagonist, Christine, was in an accident and she has amnesia and completely forgets who she is. Her husband, Ben, has to remind her everyday, BUT there is a MAJOR plot twist you don’t see coming. I don’t want to spoil the book in case anyone is planning to read it, but OH MY GOD is all I can say. To be honest I’ve read this book years ago and to this day, it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read."


    6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

    CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

    "It's a classic, but the major twist when it turns out Rochester had been married the whole time to a mentally ill woman he was conned into marrying and was keeping her in the attic. It gives me chills every time I read it. It's one of the classic plot twists and one of my favorites."


    7. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

    William Morrow Paperbacks

    The reveal at the end of this blew my mind. It really changed how I view the concept of narration, and it prompted me to consider other people’s stories with a bit of skepticism instead of blind trust."


    8. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart


    "The whole time she flashes back from the past to the present and, through it all, she’s spending the summer with her cousins and a family friend. Then you get to the end to find out that her cousins and family friend have been dead the whole time! It was an amazing read! It was like nothing I’ve ever read before."


    9. Defending Jacob by William Landay

    Delacorte Press

    "I read it years ago and I'm still not over it. The ending wasn't a traditional plot twist — you knew there was something wrong with Jacob, and as each chapter went by, you started to figure out he was probably guilty — but his mom losing it at the end and trying to kill Jacob and herself? I did not see that coming."


    10. In the Cut by Susanna Moore


    "An amazing modern-ish murder mystery noir that tackles female sensuality/sexuality, instead of the woman being the fatale in the detective’s life. I will not give away the ending, but everybody needs to take my word for it and read it for themselves!"


    11. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

    Washington Square Press

    "Each chapter is written by a different member of the family, except for the oldest sister. At the end, after the younger one wins the court case, you're expecting the oldest to die...but then the last chapter is written by the oldest. This is why I hated the movie. They changed the best part of the book and made it LESS dramatic."


    12. The Giver by Lois Lowry

    HMH Books for Young Readers

    "As a kid reading this book, it was the first time I'd really experienced the kind of plot twist that flips the whole narrative on its head. That utopia-dystopia archetype is the foundation of so many huge YA books and series that came after it. It's not an original idea (stories like Brave New World or 1984 come to mind), but the story was so accessible for kids. A masterpiece!"


    13. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

    Delacorte Press

    "This has to be one of my favorites. The whole book, you're trying to solve who killed Simon, and it turns out he killed himself. The whole book was written so meticulously, that readers wouldn't even have guessed the real killer."


    14. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

    Knopf Books for Young Readers

    "I started reading this book knowing it was going to be sad but — as I was reading it — I thought the saddest part is already over. Then you find out that everyone got bombed and Liesl was the only survivor! I cried."


    15. The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

    Graydon House

    "I'm not going to spoil it, but when the plot twist happened I WAS SHOOK. The worst part was, I was reading it in class, so I had to keep a straight face."


    16. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

    Harper Perennial

    "The format of the book leads you to think that Eva is writing letters to her estranged husband and has lost custody of their daughter after their son commits a school shooting. However, the big reveal is that both the husband and daughter are dead all along, having been murdered by Kevin. This results in your copy of the book being thrown across the room while you gasp for air."


    17. Home Before Dark by Riley Sager


    "I'm not going to spoil it because it JUST came out, but you spend the whole book wondering if there are ghosts and how what is happening can possibly be explained. Perfect for people who like supernatural stuff!"


    18. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

    William Morrow Paperbacks

    Hands down. It's so intriguing the entire way through and then the twist HITS you at the very last second and turns the entire freakin' book on its head. I finished it on a bus and immediately restarted it because the twist changed everything, and I was still fascinated enough to go back and reread the whole book again."


    19. And finally — Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling


    "When we find out more about Sirius Black and Harry’s parents. It was an emotional roller coaster for me, and after I sat there for half an hour just taking it all in."


    Now it's your turn! What's your absolute favorite plot twist in a book? Share yours in the comments below! SPOILERS WELCOME!

    Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.