Top 5 Tuesday || Books Where Something Went Wrong

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You have to have something go wrong in order to make something go so wonderfully right. Right?

I’ve found over time that books where something went wrong early on tend to have the most punch later. More than that, though, I love seeing exactly how wrong it can get, how skewed the plan can become. It’s more fun to watch it spiral out of control than it is to proceed as normal, right?

And thanks to Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads, the new host of Top 5 Tuesday, we’re going to dig into that today! Give her a warm welcome to hosting before we start, and then get ready for my favorite examples of bookish disaster!

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Truly Devious Cover

Needless to say, someone being murdered at a secluded boarding school is pretty high up on list of “worst things that could go wrong.” Both for the victim and everyone else now trying to watch their back in case a murder comes after them next.

But that’s part of what makes Truly Devious what it is. Stevie’s project to solve the disappearance of Alice Ellingham starts off rooted in the past, but it twines in so closely with the present that she has to put all of her brainpower toward both crimes.

And at the end of the day, I love a good murder mystery.


Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery of Thorns Cover

“Library comes to life and effectively contracts magic book rabies” definitely counts as something going wrong. Although, from a reader’s perspective, it’s so right. I completely adored how the attack on Summershall kickstarted the entire book, and how it established Elisabeth as a force to be reckoned with even when she isn’t completely sure of what she’s doing.

Plus, we’re talking sentient libraries. It’s the perfect way to take such a charming concept and put an ominous spin on it.


The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd Jones

The Bone Houses Cover

I know the topic is things that have gone wrong, but take a moment. Appreciate that cover. Marvel at how right it is.

And now we can move on!

The core of The Bone Houses is Ryn’s struggle to protect her family, especially with zombie-like creatures encroaching on her town. And when the attacks grow worse, she’s forced on the run to get to the bottom of everything. The very worst happening to her sets her on the path to discovery and closure, and I loved every minute of this book!

Maybe zombies were never supposed to get so close to Ryn’s home. Maybe that definitely counts as something gone wrong. But it leads to things so right, too!


The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange Tree Cover

When an ancient evil dragon reawakens, hellbent on destroying the entire world, I think it’s safe to say that something went very wrong. Just not for the dragon.

(And it makes it a hell of a lot more interesting watching the characters try to make it all right again! Trust me when I say you should read this one, despite the length. Without spoiling anything, which I’m trying so hard to avoid, it’s great.)


Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon

Gravemaidens Cover

All Kammani wants to do is become an accomplished healer and provide for her family.

All the universe wants to do is hit her over the head with Murphy’s Law until she gives in.

With her father absent from her life, her sister in danger of being buried alive under the guise of royal honors, and a deathly ill king only she can heal, Kammani has so much on her plate to deal with. Anything that can go wrong already has, and it’s a tense ride to the finish. Plus, I love that Kammani rallies against it all anyhow. Despite the odds, she’s ready to fight for everything she loves, and it makes her such a great character!


So what are your favorite books where something went wrong? Or what’s the absolute oddest thing that’s ever gone wrong in a book you’ve read? Let’s chat!

9 thoughts on “Top 5 Tuesday || Books Where Something Went Wrong

    1. MEEGHAN, PLEASE READ THEM especially Sorcery of Thorns omg. And I’m glad we’re on the same page! 😂

    1. I’m so glad you agree! Technically, the almost-end of the book fits things going wrong too, but the opening is just SUCH a satisfying example for this topic!

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