10 Unsettling Books That Will Make You Wish You Never Flipped Open The Cover

God & Man

1. The Apartment by S.L. Grey

“I was so sure I was right, until I realized I was wrong: my life in a fucking nutshell.”

After a couple uses a house swapping website to take a well-needed vacation, they end up inside of an apartment that unsettles them. An apartment that ruins their life and steals their future.

2. Silent Child by Sarah A. Denzil

“There’s a big difference between being fine and being well.”

In this thriller, a woman’s son goes missing and just when she’s about to put her life back together, when she’s married to a new man and pregnant with a new child, that missing son returns — with broken bones and a story he refuses to tell.

3. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

“I am a cutter, you see. Also a snipper, a slicer, a carver, a jabber. I am a very special case. I have a purpose. My skin, you see, screams. It’s covered with words – cook, cupcake, kitty, curls – as if a knife-wielding first-grader learned to write on my flesh. I sometimes, but only sometimes, laugh. Getting out of the bath and seeing, out of the corner of my eye, down the side of a leg: babydoll. Pull on a sweater and, in a flash of my wrist: harmful. Why these words? Thousands of hours of therapy have yielded a few ideas from the good doctors. They are often feminine, in a Dick and Jane, pink vs. puppy dog tails sort of way. Or they’re flat-out negative. Number of synonyms for anxious carved in my skin: eleven. The one thing I know for sure is that at the time, it was crucial to see these letters on me, and not just see them, but feel them.”

Camille is a reporter who gets forced back to her hometown to cover a story about murdered teenagers, and ends up learning more about herself — and her sick, twisted family — than she ever wanted to know.

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

“There are memories I am better off without. Things better lost forever.”

Imagine waking up with no memory of the past decade of your life — and no memory of the man in bed next to you with a matching wedding ring. A man that you’re not sure if you love, or even trust.

5. The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

“Religion seems to have twisted the idea of God into a way to control people.”

When Riley was a little girl, her sister committed suicide. At least, that’s what her parents made her believe. Now, she’s finding out the dark truth that her family hoped would stay hidden.

6. The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

“We all have demons inside us, voices that whisper we’re no good, that if we don’t make this promotion or ace that exam we’ll reveal to the world exactly what kind of worthless sacks of skin and sinew we really are.”

Imagine being stuck on a cruise, even after witnessing a woman getting thrown overboard. What would you do? Who would you tell — and who would you trust?

7. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

“They will be judged, by the police and by everybody else. Serves them right, leaving their baby alone.”

When a couple spends the night eating dinner with their neighbors and leaves their baby sleeping alone in the crib, something unspeakable happens. Something that they’re never going to recover from.

8. World War Z by Max Brooks

“The monsters that rose from the dead, they are nothing compared to the ones we carry in our hearts.”

This novel will make you doubt your own humanity, question whether you’re inherently good or evil. It contains interviews with people that have been through the zombie war and made it out alive — barely.

9. The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti

“There is endless psychological research on evil people. But in my experience the average sociopath has no idea they are wrong. They’re born this way, not made.” 

Do you ever really know the people in your life, even the ones that are closest to you? Even the ones that kiss you goodnight?

10. Welcome To Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

“Sleep is confusing. Dreams are baffling. The concept of transitioning from one perceived reality to another is a tolerated mess.”

If you want to read a fantasy that’s unsettling and humorous at the same time, pick up this book based on a podcast with the same name. It will make you laugh, make you cringe, and make you think about whether or not your existence matters at all. Thought Catalog Logo Mark 

Holly is the author of Severe(d): A Creepy Poetry Collection.

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