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Survive or die: 11 books that prove two heads aren’t always better than one

Going solo, yo!


Supposedly there’s safety in numbers. That having two heads working on something has to be better than one. It’s logical, sure, until you remember that humans are not Vulcans. That means we’re not logical and we’re capable of absolute chaos.

We’re probs better off on our own in some situations. Take Cyra from Veronica Roth’s newest book, her brother is an absolute arse to her. Abusive, manipulative, and a world away from the supportive, reliable type we might expect.

It does, however, make for good reading though. Here’s a stack to add to your TBR…

…as if it’s not already piled too high. But hey, you can never have too many books, right?

If we’re talking manipulative, sneaky siblings, maybe we should start with this fan fave:

1. ‘And I Darken’ by Kiersten White

Lada and Radu have a good sister-brother relationship until he starts to feel threatened and even jealous of her presence. In fact, it seems he’s jealous of her whole being. She’s definitely more trousers than skirt, and he… well, he’s got a silent assassin side to him that we just don’t trust.

Lada is 100% better off on her own. She slays.

2. ‘Three Dark Crowns’ by Kendare Blake

Three sisters heir to the throne. Triplets. All with different talents and specialities. When they turn 16 they gotta fight for it. Yikes. Oh to be an only child eh?

3. ‘Sisters Red’ by Jackson Pearce

This one is more a conflict of the heart. There’s no denying these sisters love each other and will do anything to protect each other. But their aspirations and dreams and heart wishes don’t necessarily match up which means… HEARTACHE AND PAIN AND FEELS ARE AHEAD!

4. ‘BZRK’ by Michael Grant

Conjoined twins plotting some kind of crazed utopia… Yeah. Maybe if they were literally one head instead of two things might not have escalated quite that far. But heck! Then it wouldn’t have been such a rip-roaring read. Bravo, Mr Grant, bravo.

5. ‘Crush by Eve Ainsworth

A bit of a curveball but still an important part of the list. Following the story of Anna and her relationship with Will. Things soon turn a bit darker and Will wants Anna for him and him alone. A complex tale of love and manipulation.


QUIZ: What is your “currentgift”?

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6. ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’ by April G. Tucholke

Two swoonworthy brothers, both very different, both waiting to capture your heart and also that of the protagonist, Violet. River is mysterious, he’s got that sauve kind of danger that you just want to eat for breakfast. But… Was Violet better off without him? Let’s be real. Probably. We <3 Neely forever.

7. ‘Red Queen’ by Victoria Aveyard

Yes this may be the story of Mare, but where would it really have taken us without the conflict between Cal and Maven? Two brothers who obvs don’t see eye to eye. It’s this that kept most of us gripped and NEEDING the second book STAT.

8. ‘Soulprint’ by Megan Miranda

So this is a world where your soul has a print, and it can worked out if your soul has been sorta recycled from a criminal. And then you can be put on a watchlist, or in some cases, imprisoned, just in case. Alina is serving time for her past-self. But when a group of people bust her out, including one mysterious character called ‘Dom’ things get complicated.

She was prolly better off figuring it out on her own tbf.

9. ‘Shadow and Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo

You know who we’re talking about here, doncha? The Darkling when partnered with Alina (ooh look! Another Alina!) are a force to be reckoned with. Two heads were most definitely NOT better than one in this case. But we do love The Darkling. Ohhh yes. Bardugo is a boss.

10. ‘Red Rising’ by Pierce Brown

Maybe not so obvious here because where would Darrow have been without his friends? But it is proof that emotional ties and broken friendships can cause more than a little heartache. Cut ’em loose or face betrayal. That ending of ‘Golden Son’… OUCH!

11. ‘Carve the Mark’ by Veronica Roth

Cyra is the sister of a harsh tyrant who happens to be her brother. He also doesn’t hesitate to use her “currentgift” to his own ends. Rude. And cruel. There is no sibling harmony here, and yep, you guessed it, she’s much better off without him. ‘Carve the Mark’ is as brutal as the title suggests! Have you got your copy?

Which is your fave book on this list? Tell us in the comments below!

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Written by Sarah Clare

Sarah is the Lead Writer and Design Queen here at Maximum Pop! Sarah holds an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University, and a BA in Creative Writing with English Literature from Marjon (BIG UP THE MARJON MASSIVE!). Sarah joined MP! after seeing an advertisement for writers on Instagram – because where else would a design master find their dream job?

Sarah is currently working on an expose on Draco Malfoy in her spare time. But not if his father hears about it.

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