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32 Books That Will Make You Say "WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK"

"My jaw was on the floor."

We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which books have the most jaw-dropping plot twists. Here's what they said.

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1. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

A journalist returns to her hometown to investigate the abduction and murder of two young girls, all the while continuing to process her own childhood traumas.

"Everyone thinks Gone Girl is Gillian Flynn’s most twisty turny book... wrong. Sharp Objects by far the most delightfully disturbing of her writings! The last chapter will leave you with your jaw on the floor."


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2. Identical by Ellen Hopkins

"One of the most shocking plot twist I had ever read. This books tells the story of SUPER dysfunctional twin sisters and their father. The twist caught me so off guard that I had to flip back to the previous pages to make sure that I wasn’t misreading anything!"


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3. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Something happened two summers ago, but Cady can't remember what. Will the close-knit friends she's grown distant from after a terrible accident come clean about night things changed forever?

"The biggest twist I’ve ever read that is actually a good twist that I didn’t guess ahead of time."


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4. Salem Falls by Jodi Piccoult

This twisty-turny novel inspired by The Crucible examines trauma, corruption, and the nature of truth.

"I don't know about 'best' twist, because it was horribly screwed up, but my jaw literally dropped open at the last couple of lines."


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5. Beautiful You by Chuck Palahnuik

The author of the mind-blowing Fight Club is at it again with this bleak and shocking tale that examines the fucked-up recesses of one man's mind.

"Actually any of his books have crazy twists. It starts off like 50 Shades of Grey and gets so dark and insane sooooo fast. My jaw was on the floor for the majority of the book."


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6. In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Nora and Clare lost touch 10 years ago, but when she accepts an invitation to Clare's hen do, things take a dark, dark turn.

Recommended by kathyc457934e5f

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7. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty


Upper-class Australian mothers duke it out in this pithy domestic drama that will leave you full slack-jawed by the end.

"I was shocked. It was like 2am and I said I’d read one chapter before I went to bed. My jaw literally dropped and I ended up finishing the book that night."


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8. Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

Eight years after her kidnapping, Julie rings the doorbell at her parents' home. But something doesn't add up...

"I can usually predict the endings of books but this one completely took me by surprise. I had to read the ending over and over again!!!"


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9. The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket)

This hilarious true-crime satire will still keep you on the edge of your seat and blow your mind by the end.

"The ending was so surprising—while still making complete sense, in that this-is-so-well-written-all-the-pieces-are-coming-together kind of way—that I could not pick up my jaw from the floor for a good 10 minutes."


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10. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Set in post-WWII Barcelona, this literary thriller centres around an obscure book discovered in a secret "cemetery for books" at the heart of the city.

"I literally threw the book down and yelled "holy sh!t" when the plot twist hit....mind blown!"


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11. More Than This by Patrick Ness

Seth drowned. But he woke up. And now he's stranded is some parallel universe that looks exactly like the town he left, except it's empty.

"After finishing this book I just sat and stared into space contemplating life for a solid half hour. It just makes you question eveything you ever knew. I love all of his books but I would even say this might be my favourite book ever and considering how many books I read that is insane."

–Rachel Ireland

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12. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Set amidst the French Revolution, this classic keeps you guessing through cases of mistaken identity and fake-outs.

"There is so much in the book, that every time I read it I find something new that foreshadows the ending but the first time I read it I was not prepared for the plot twist!!"


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13. Defending Jacob by William Landay


A lawyer finds out his own son in linked to a murder case he's prosecuting. Is everything as it seems?

"One of my favorites, because I never saw it coming!"


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14. Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

In this epic fantasy, a queen allows herself to be held captive to protect her people. But there's more to the arrangement that meets the eye.

"The first two books in the trilogy were so amazing and the world Johansen created was so intriguing. Then the ending of the last book completely surprised me. Crazy plot twist, 10/10 recommend if you like fantasy/dystopian shit."


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15. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Piccoult

Anna was conceived for the purpose of donating blood and organs to her sister, but she takes fate into her own hands to sue her parents for the rights to her own body. What follows is truly shocking.

"The twist made the book and the message that much more profound. Still upset that the movie changed it."


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16. The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

"This book wraps you up from the first chapter. You're always wondering what's next, who's next. When you find out why Maya was taken by the sociopath only called the Gardener it will blow your mind! Maya is an enigma from the beginning & her endgame will leave you reeling for days."


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17. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

US Marshal Teddy Daniels is on a quest to find an escaped murderer at a remote asylum. But another mission begins to haunt him...

"I'm still not completely sure what really happened??‍"


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18. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

In this classic Christie murder mystery, a man is murdered following the death of his troubled wife's overdose. Who's to blame and why?

"I had to read the ending two times to believe it."


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19. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Maddie has been too sick to leave the house for her entire life. But now that she's in love, is it worth the risk?

"It's YA, and absolutely not the type of book you'd think would have a huge plot twist at the end, which just makes it even crazier."


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20. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

A divorcee becomes increasingly embroiled in the life a seemingly perfect couple...but are things as idyllic as they seem?

"About halfway through you think you have the plot figured out, but then the last chapter!! One of the best twists ever."


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21. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera


Aaron can't cope with the grief he feels after his father's suicide, and he's confused about his feelings for his new friend Thomas, so he starts to think having his memory erased is the safest bet. Is he willing to forget who he is to move on?

"When I started reading the book I thought I knew what the ending was going to be, but, when I got to THAT plot twist, I was as shocked as I was amazed by it."


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22. Beauty by Susan Wilson

"It's a Beauty and the Beast sort of spin-off, modernized and in the '90s. It's. So. Good. The twist is crazy and not related to the real Beauty and the Beast so you never see it coming."


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23. Trust No One by Paul Cleave


An aging crime writer receives an early Alzheimer's diagnosis, and begins to have vivid memories of actually committing the crimes he wrote about in his books.

"I read this in the car on a road trip and I remember just staring at the back of my Dad's seat in shock. The best book I have ever read! I absolutely recommend it."


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24. Mosquitoland by David Arnold


Mim runs away from her dysfunctional home with her remarried father on a quest to return home to her ill mother, and learns some interesting life lessons in this twisty road trip novel.

"Half the book is letters, but they're not to who you think they're to. You don't even know the character they're to exists."


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25. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters


Sarah Waters' masterpiece follows the strangely linked lives of two women in Victorian London.

"Fingersmith has the most intricately crafted plot twists of any book I've ever read. The midpoint plot twist made my jaw drop the first time I read it, and the second half of the book continues to spiral with several revelations about how tightly wound Sue and Maud's lives are to each other. Bonus plot twist: finding out what Maud's uncle does for a living. I wouldn't have guessed it!"


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26. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Ishiguro's beautiful and poetic coming-of-age love story is not what it seems at all.

"Holy fuck I read that shit in one sitting and lost my shit for weeks."


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27. You by Caroline Kepnes


Set in New York City, this thriller gets you deep into the mind of a stalker, and you won't be able to update Facebook page without shuddering ever again.

"I haven’t been able to pick up another twisty book again because of it. It’s messed up and it left me reeling and it gave me nightmares. So yeah, it’s a great book!"


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28. The Giver by Lois Lowry

This dystopian YA classic follows Jonas as he trains for the most revered and feared job in his community: to house the terrible histories that the rest of society has been allowed to forget.

"I read it in elementary school as required reading, and it left my nine year old self shook. I think it was the first book I ever read that had a legitimate 'plot twist.'"


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29. Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline

"A father and son are driving and get in a hit and run accident while the son is driving. The whole time you’re wondering how they will get away with it, if you even want them to, and then there’s like three unexpected twists at the end that completely change everything you thought you knew about the story. It’s so good."


30. Sophie's World by Jostein Gaardner

"The book starts off normally enough, with a young girl receiving philosophy lessons in the post. Then it gets weirder and weirder until you have no idea what is happening, and feel compelled to keep reading to work it all out. The reveal doesn't come until right at the end, and when it does you want to go back to the beginning so you can read it all again with the new knowledge of how it's actually all working."

–James Liddell

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31. Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris


Set amongst the backdrop of a boys' grammar school, Gentlemen and Players examines boyhood and toxic masculinity.

"The reveal made me immediately want to re-read to look for the tip-offs."

–Erin Romanov

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32. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Ani FaNelli is an incredibly successful and enviable woman, but no one knows about her past, and she intends to keep it that way.

"An ending that will make you literally GASP – I couldn't stop reading this book because I was so anxious to find out what happened – I was shocked by the ending and I loved it."


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