Books that defy genre or are hard to place in a certain category.
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
This book is set in a world/time period that doesn’t exist and has never existed, but there’s no magic at all, and I don’t want to call something “fantasy” when there are no mythical creatures or magic whatsoever. But it’s not historical fiction either.
A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo
Half of this book is a dark contemporary about unrequited crushes and toxic friendships, and it’s told in first person; the second half is a thriller, and it’s told in third person. It feels like two different books together, but it works, and I love it. It’s my favorite YA thriller.
American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Is it real? Is it magical realism? Most of the book feels like a contemporary about immigration – a really good one, I loved seeing America from Fabiola’s PoV – but then… magic?
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
This is my favorite book and I still don’t know if it’s science fiction or a fantasy in space with a really complicated magic system based on science. When I say that the line between fantasy and sci-fi is blurred (especially in adult fiction) I mean it.
Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente
What is this book? It’s a mystery, it’s told trough mixed media, it’s non-linear, it’s alt-history, it’s set in space (but not our space!), it’s set in an alternate universe where the planets of the solar system have their own ecosystems with weird animals and plants, it’s a transcription of a film, or many of them, it’s decopunk and it’s totally incomprehensible and beautiful.
What are your favorite genre-bending books?