There’s nothing that makes me nerd out more than novels that have unique formats. Okay, except maybe when hardcovers have cool designs under the dust jackets. But I can’t help but get all heart-eyes over books with illustrations or different formats from the traditional paragraphs of prose. And I’m sure you’ll agree that reading over a hundred books a year makes those novels that are a little different from the rest really stand out.
So today I’m going to share some of my favourite books with unique formatting with you! If you’re looking for something that stands out from the rest, here are eight of my favourite ones to add to your enormous TBR!
THIS SERIES IS INCREDIBLE. Honestly, it’s not only changed the way I read sci-fi, but it’s broken down my expectations of what novels have to be and dared to do something unseen in YA before. I didn’t read sci-fi before picking up Illuminae, but the way it was made so accessible and easy to read through the documents and chat logs and surveillance footage made it something I instantly fell in love with. If you haven’t had a chance to pick up Illuminae, you won’t be able to fully comprehend just how stunning the formatting and typed illustrations are in this series just from my words. SO TRUST ME. This is a series not to be missed out on.
WOW. This book is utterly beautiful. I didn’t know that this was a book with unique formatting, with staining on the pages that slowly transformed this book from the typical white pages to white text on black ink… and IT WAS SUCH A GOOD SURPRISE. I loved how the darkness crept in from the margins to mirror the slowly deteriorating mental state of the main characters, and it was just so well done. But that’s not all — there was also a few documents and reports scattered throughout the narrative and I LOVED how these provided more information into what was going on and provided more background knowledge that was integral to understanding the two protagonists.
HOW CAN I PROPERLY EXPRESS MY LOVE FOR THIS SERIES?! I mean, I love it mostly because of Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell, but I also adored how there were letters and documents throughout both Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula that added so much to the story. It was almost like we were solving the crimes right alongside Audrey Rose. IT WAS JUST A PERFECT ADDITION TO AN ALREADY PERFECT NOVEL AND I ADORED IT. If you haven’t had a chance to pick this series up yet, please do so! I can’t wait to get my hands on the third instalment.
Although I didn’t love this book as much as I hoped I would, undoubtably one of my favourite things about it was how it was told through a journal format with text-style speech. I’ve always loved books that incorporate instant messaging and texts and whatnot, so it was interesting to see how so much use of this style of storytelling changed the whole vibe of the novel. It also meant that while this is quite a big book, I also flew through it really fast as there wasn’t a lot of text on each page. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a unique novel with a college setting.
AJSKFWKDFNW THIS NOVEL IS PERFECTION. I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself. I know I fangirl a lot about this book, but if you haven’t picked it up yet, you might not know that it’s not just told in common prose. There are also snippets of the podcast transcripts in it (which GIVE ME ALL THE FEELS, as well as being referenced to in later chapters) and there are Facebook messages and this book is just a work of art. PLEASE PICK IT UP AND FANGIRL WITH ME.
I just… HOW. HOW DO THEY MAKE THE WORDS GO LIKE THAT?! <— literally what I ask every author ever. I’m honestly just so impressed by how the words mimicked what the characters were feeling or thinking, and it helped me understand them and really get inside their thought processes more. IT WAS JUST AMAZING. I’m stunned. Please resurrect me. Even though this was only a three-star read for me, the unique formatting was definitely what saved this book from being completely lost in the Mediocre Books Pile.
Speaking of works of art… THIS BOOK, PEOPLE. It’s about a girl who creates a webcomic, so there’s snippets of the comic inserted between some of the chapters and they’re gorgeous. I feel like this book wouldn’t be the same if it talked about the protagonist’s art and her webcomic and never showed it. IT WAS JUST SUCH A GREAT ADDITION. Seriously, if you love Radio Silence, there’s no question about whether you’ll enjoy Eliza and Her Monsters.
I’m currently rereading this series in preparation of Restore Me, and I’ve forgotten how much I loved the way it’s written! There are strikethroughs that show that the protagonist, Juliette, is really thinking as opposed to what she should be thinking or saying, and I felt like that allowed me to connect and understand her a lot more than I would have ordinarily. And even though I hadn’t read this book since I was probably 13 until now, the first thing I recalled about this series was loving the unique way it was written. THAT PROVES THAT UNIQUE FORMATTING MATTERS. It makes books memorable, even six years after I first picked it up.
Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? What are some of your favourite books with unique formatting? Do you have any recommendations for books I should pick up? I’d love to know!