Top 5 Wednesdays: Top 5 Genre-Bending Books

I really wish the topics for the new month would be released a little earlier so I’d have some time to plan the out a bit! As soon as I saw this week’s topic, I knew I would struggle with it. I had no idea how to tell if a book was “genre-bending” or even what exactly that means. To me, genre-bending means a book that contains elements of multiple different genres and can’t easily be classified into just one. Based on the other posts I’ve seen for this week’s topic, it seems like this is on the right track. Even with that definition in mind, it was still pretty tough to find books that fit.

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

29995315This series was one of the only clear examples I could think of, blending fantasy, sci-fi, and a bit of romance with these fairy tale retellings. These books are futuristic versions of popular fairy tales set in a dystopian world featuring cyborgs and androids, a race of people living on the moon who have special powers, and a plot to overthrow the evil Queen who wants even more control. I first heard about this series through multiple vlog channels, and avoided it for quite a while because I thought it was overhyped. I finally decided to give it a chance, and I was so glad that I did! It is a bit predictable in places, but a thoroughly enjoyable read.

2) Monstress: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu

29396738I have to say this was one of the most complicated and confusing graphic novels I have ever read. This book is a graphic novel set in an alternate Asia, focusing on a girl named Maika, who is linked to a powerful monster, and who wants to uncover the truth about her mother and her past. The artwork features steampunk elements, which are not so obvious in the story itself. The book contains some very complex world-building that seems very dystopian, and is also quite unique since the vast majority of the characters are women. I found the book a little hard to follow because it throws you straight into its world without much context, but it is definitely beautifully illustrated and the pieces I managed to grasp from the story seemed great.

3) The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

25812109I’m not sure if this one is really genre-bending, but it is definitely much darker than your typical YA contemporary book. For some reason, Goodreads has it tagged as a mystery and a thriller, although I’m not sure it can qualify as either. Possibly a thriller, but even that I think is a bit of a stretch. This book focuses on a teenage girl named Alex, who has taken revenge on the man who murdered her older sister, and gets away with it. Alex attempts to keep her dark side under control during her senior year of high school. Alex was an interesting character, but I also found her unrealistic and it kind of ruined my immersion in the story. The ending was powerful and the book in general does a great job of challenging attitudes toward rape, sexual aggression, and how women treat each other. It’s quite an ambitious YA book.

4) The Pendragon Series by DJ MacHale

833710It seems like fantasy and sci-fi are the two most common genres that get blended together, and it is especially evident in this series. The Pendragon series is primarily a fantasy series about a young boy named Bobby Pendragon who is a Traveler, expected to travel across various alternate worlds which are each reaching a “turning point.” In each of these worlds, Pendragon battles the villainous Saint Dane, who wants to push each world into chaos. Across all the worlds, Pendragon encounters a variety of ethical issues that contain elements of fantasy, sci-fi, or sometimes both. It is a very underrated series and it blends the two genres together so seamlessly that I originally did not even think of it as a mix.

5) Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

714902This series is not necessarily advertised as anything other than a dystopian, but I would classify it as a blend of romance, dystopian and even historical fiction. Many of the scenes in this book are ripped straight from the history books, with the races reversed. This book is set in an alternate world where the dark-skinned Crosses are the ruling class, and the light-skinned Noughts who were once their slaves. The book focuses on Sephy, a Cross, who falls in love with her childhood best friend, Callum, a Nought. It’s tough to consider a book that uses real historical events as a true dystopian, but it definitely has some of those elements. The first book in the series was excellent, and the second was strong but not quite as interesting as the first. I would still love to see how the trilogy ends.



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