Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects

This week's Top 10 Tuesday prompt wants to know which books stand out the most for us personally, as a reader, when it comes to those tougher issues.  I believe that a book can be a learning tool, as well as a healing tool.  I know for me, personally, I've encountered a few stories that really struck a chord.  Though the tough issue books may be hard to swallow, I still understand and respect their importance in literature.

Be sure to check out The Broke and the Bookish for more details on this awesome weekly feature.

1. HARMONIC FEEDBACK by Tara Kelly [add to goodreads] - this was my first book I read about a character with Asperger's and I thought it was so beautifully done.  I felt very connected to Drea's story and found myself cheering her on, urging her voice to be heard.  Tara Kelly's writing is one not to miss.

2. SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by Trish Doller [add to goodreads] - I wasn't sure I could relate to a story about a young man returning from a foreign war, suffering from PTSD.  But Doller did such an exceptional job of placing me inside Travis' head that I truly felt his pains and struggles.

3. EASY by Tammara Webber [add to goodreads] - I really respected the way this author took a tough subject, such as rape, and showed how to be strong against it - both physically and emotionally.  The lessons Jacqueline learned in the self defense class she took still linger in my mind.

4. UNBREAK MY HEART by Melissa Walker [add to goodreads] - I'm usually not a fan of books that deal with cheating, especially when the MC is doing the cheating.  But wow did this story change my mind!  Walker really took us inside the mind of a young girl who made mistakes, and I ended up feeling for her in the end.

5. THE SURVIVAL KIT by Donna Freitas [add to goodreads] - This book spoke to me personally, since I know firsthand what it's like to lose your mother -- especially during such crucial years of your life.  The story was heartbreaking to read, but the message within it had a beautiful layer that eased that raw sort of pain.

6. LIVE THROUGH THIS by Mindi Scott [add to goodreads] - Wow. Everyone needs to read this book.  Abuse of any kind is never easy to encounter in a story, but Scott wrote this particular story with such beauty and grace that I never once felt uncomfortable.  If anything, I felt the need to reach out to Coley and tell her, she WILL live through this nightmare.

7. THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson [add to goodreads] - Grief is a hard pill to swallow in any story, but Nelson's interpretation of grief in this one took on a lyrical beauty that I have yet to experience in another book.  The raw, aching so hard you can't breathe emotion that comes with losing a loved one is truly expressed in this novel.

8. RAW BLUE by Kirsty Eagar [add to goodreads] - Another tough subject, such as rape, is portrayed in this story, but it's not told from the first page as it is in Easy.  The incident is slowly revealed through Carly's character as she attempts to move on (or run away?) with her life.  The slow build of this heartbreaking story truly had me feeling for her.  It's so beautifully done.

9. SPEAK by Laurie Halse-Anderson [add to goodreads] - Apparently books dealing with rape speak volumes to me, and this book was LOUD AND CLEAR in my head.  I respect this author for many reasons, but this particular work expresses the importance of speaking up when you are violated.  Something that so many can take away from this.

10. THINGS I CAN'T FORGET by Miranda Kenneally [add to goodreads] - I added this book to my list for personal reasons.  I cannot always identify with a character who has a close relationship with their religion, and so for me, reading this story was a challenge.  I really admire Kenneally for administering a story about the struggles and confusion a young teen has when facing the demands of society that causes them to question what they believe in.


  1. Great list! I have only read three of these, but I am definitely interested to read the rest.

  2. Some ones on here that I really need to add to my TBR pile! I added Easy too - such a fantastic book.

  3. I was thinking about having a religion category for mine too! I would also have put "Small Town Sinners". And yes, great with the Mindi Scott addition. That's definitely a tough subject and she tackled it so well.

  4. Can you believe I haven't ready ANY OF THESE! It is obvious that I avoid books on these topics..... but thanks to your goodreads links-- I added 4 of them!!!

  5. Speak is so amazing! One of my favourite books of all time. My TTT!

  6. Something Like Normal was certainly a revelation to me when I read it. I didn't think I would enjoy it initially, but it seriously was a good read. I thought the portrayal of the situation was very authentic!

  7. I agree with so many of these, but especially with Speak. I'm not sure I've read any books that dive into religion so I should definitely check out Miranda Kenneally's.

  8. I want to read Speak, but I'm afraid I won't be able to handle it — books dealing with rape tend to derail and freak me out.

    Here's my TTT for the week. Happy reading!

  9. i agree w unbreak my heart! loved the setting for it too. YES to the sky is everywhere. it seems to be quite popular today and with good reason! i also need to read miranda kenneally books sooon. i know estelle loves em.

  10. Great list! We had a bunch of the same picks. And I'm definitely going to check out Raw Blue and Unbreak My Heart. Thanks!

    My TTT list

  11. You've added quite a few to my wish-list. Just got in Harmonic Feedback. I'm looking forward to it.


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