Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

I’M SO EXCITED I’M BACK TO DOING THESE! It actually required the CAPS. I’ve been away at school for so long and so busy that these have been impossible because I wasn’t able to visit all the blogs that visited me. But now I’m home and finals are over and I’M BACK!

This Top 10 list is probably the weirdest, most eclectic list I’ve ever put together, mostly because I’m not ashamed to admit I usually avoid books entirely about tough subjects. These are most certainly not all young adult books, and some of them are historical fiction because why cheat halfway?

whiteoleander1. White Oleander by Janet Fitch

I was given this book at way too young an age, but the details of the story stuck with me. This book is a visceral showing of the foster care system, neglecting mothers, violence and sex. I honestly can’t believe I finished it.

2. Beloved by Toni Morrisonbeloved

This is a classic for a reason. It makes this list because I didn’t expect it to affect me as much as it did. What do I know about slavery or rape or killing my own children? Nothing, thank God. But this book made my stomach churn and my eyes water and left me thinking, hard.

Who I Kissed3. Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler

Look, a young adult book! When I heard the premise of this book–that the main character kills a boy with a kiss because there was peanut oil in her lipstick and he was allergic–I wasn’t sure it was going to go over well with me. I wasn’t sure it would work. But there is a real dealing with of grief throughout this book, both in terms of the main character, the victim’s family and even the main character relating this to her dead mother. It worked much better than I thought.

4. Nerve by Jeanne RyanNerve

I didn’t read this for handling of tough subjects, but I got it. Throughout this story, the main character deals with peer pressure, how far you’ll go for fame – and what happens when a room full of teens are given guns and told only one survives. My stomach was rolling with the action, and it stuck with me long after.

League of Strays5. League of Strays by L. B. Schulman

I’m still not sure how I feel about this book, but one thing’s for sure: this is one of the more candid, stomach churning pictures of bullying I’ve allowed myself to read.

6. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarryPushing the Limits

The levels of adoration I have for this book are limitless. Despite the fact that this is billed as a contemporary romance, it really is so much more. The themes of family, love (besides relationship!) and healing after a huge traumatic incident are really strong and truly touching.

Code Name Verity7. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Technically, this is historical fiction. Personally, I think this is about so much more. I mean, the tagline is “I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.” This book deals with the bonds of friendship and the horrors of war all in one. I mean, the book OPENS with the main character being interrogated by the Gestapo. I very rarely cry for books, but this is one of those times.

8. The Last Song by Nicholas SparksThe Last Song

I know that these books are pretty cookie cutter and all, but this book had such a personal bent for me that by the end of the book I was bawling my eyes out. I still can’t read about the character of the little brother without sniffling.

mistress of rome9. Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn

Okay, this is historical fiction, so I’m kind of cheating. I mean, these “tough subjects” are somebody’s life. However, what I was struck by was a rather smaller part of the book, which is the physical and sexual abuse that Thea goes through at the hands of the Emperor. It was striking in how little it was underscore.

10. Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-Uccistreams of babel

I had almost forgotten about these books before I went looking for ones to fill this list, and now I’m struck with the need to read them all over again. These books are striking examples of what happens when you find yourself at Death’s door, when your mother overdoses and leaves you to die on your own and just about love in the face of death in general. Both it and it’s sequel just floored me.

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Top Ten Books/Authors I’m Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

So, this topic could just roll into one of my typical squealings about the same amazing books, but I want to make this one a little bit more serious. Like, actually books and authors that had an impact rather than books I just read and loved. So here we go!

1. Nancy Drew series

I cannot remember a lot of the books I read as a kid. Still, I remember these with clarity. I couldn’t stop until I rented out each book one by one from the library and finished the entire series. I guess you can say this is when I became a serial reader.

2. Tamora Pierce

A few years ago, she would have made this list just for inspiring me to become a writer and how much I love these books. Now that I’ve spent some time with her–two summers in a row!–I can also say that I am thankful she’s an awesome person and I’m so glad for all the things she’s taught me.

3. Christopher Paolini

Though I eventually grew out of his books–I never even read Brisingr–I have a lot to thank this guy for. I was 12 when I heard his story, and it was at that moment that I actually believed that I, at 12 years old, could write a novel myself. Eragon was also the book that got my brother into reading, FINALLY, and gave me someone to share my reading passions with.

4. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

There are few books that drive me to tears. This is one of them. I’m very thankful that a book as powerful as this exists.

5. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

This is the first major book I ever requested and received, even if it was only from NetGalley. I’m ever so thankful for that opportunity and the ones that followed.

6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

There are few books that can make me laugh and cry every single time I read them. This one tops that list. It not only makes me fall in love with it every time I read it, but it also reaffirmed my faith in contemporary YA romance as a genre.

7. Cassandra Clare

I am thankful that Cassie is a wonderful person who is awesome and makes me laugh. I am thankful that she writes amazing, amazing books. I am thankful that even my brother likes these books, so we can share them and have quote-wars over the best quotes from the series.

8. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

No book of Sparks’s has ever hit me the way this one did. It reminded me of how much I love my little brother, and the cancer storyline hit way too close to home. I am thankful that I have a book so close to my heart.

9. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

Not for the reasons you might think! Yes, I grew up with them, but they weren’t the books that defined my childhood. Instead, they gave me close moments with my brother, before he could read, where I would sit and read to him. There is nothing like having a cute child in single digits run up to you with a book and ask if now is reading time.

10. The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer

For giving me faith that if she can be published, so can I.

Top Ten Books I’d Recommend As Good Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

It should probably be noted that my idea of a beach read is, uh, anything. Even if it’s dark and dangerous and depressing. That said, I’m going to TRY to give you guys what it is you’re looking for. I think. Uh. Well, here we go! (All title links go to Goodreads)

1. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

I have not posted my review of this one yet, but GUYS. One of the best contemps I’ve EVER read. Seriously. It’s a little lacking on the fluffy, fun side but … I don’t care. I reread this one any day.

2. The Selection by Kiera Cass

There are few books that are total and utter mind candy, sparkly and airey. This, this is one of them. And I loved ever second of it.

3. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Gorgeous cover. Gorgeous read. And not too heavy to cart around. (Did I mention ONE OF MY FAVORITES EVER?) 😛

4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Alright, so, this one will try to take you away to France, but c’mon. Would you rather just be on a beach or on a beach IN PARIS? Be truthful now. (Plus, there’s a reason my review includes so much squealing.)

5. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

A quirkier, spunkier read I’ve rarely come across.  Plus, the last book comes out in August, I do believe. It’s a PERFECT time to read or reread this series.

6. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

SHH, we’re sneaking in a non-YA read. That’s pretty okay with me. I LOVE THIS BOOK. UNRESERVEDLY. Perfect summer read right here.

7. Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot

Oh man, I’d almost forgotten about this one. How, I do not know. Thank you, Goodreads. This might literally end up being my beach read!

8. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

HELLO HOTNESS. My favorite Simone Elkeles book of all time right here. A staple of any summer.

9. A Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotson

A CLASSIC. I adore these books, and adored even more the decision to rerelease them with new, gorgeous covers. My old ones were falling apart.

10. A Match Made in High School by Kristen Walker

Seriously, sometimes you have to enjoy a book for its cuteness. This is one of those times.

Top Ten Books Written In The Past 10 Years That I Hope People Are Still Reading In 30 Years

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This one is a hard one! Let’s see if I can get to 10, shall we? (Any links go to my reviews.)

1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

OHMYGOD GUYS. If you haven’t read this yet, what in the world is wroooong with you? Just plan on it sometime. 😛 This, as Rae Carson said over Twitter, is rather “as YA as my coffee table” beside the fact that it has teenage narrators, but it is just so amazing. I laughed. I cried. I cried some more. And loved it so much.

2. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

Not one of his books has touched me in such a way as this one. I was literally bawling my eyes out towards the end, but I COULDN’T STOP READING. I just had so much love for this story.

3. Annie John by Jamaica Kinkaid

This is one of the few classics I have ever really liked, and the only one from my readings for school this year that I think should have been kept in the cirriculum. The teenage angst in this book is almost picture perfect, pulsing off the page. (Like my alliteration? Yeah, I’m using big words!)

4. Countess Below Stars by Eva Ibbotson

Another classic I enjoy for being a classic. I love Eva Ibbotson books in general, but this one has always been my favorite.

5. The Divergent series by Veronica Roth

Few dystopians feel, to me, like classics. This would be numero uno. Plus, they are just freaking amazing, and that alone should require much reading in the next 30 years.

6. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

Yeah, yeah, I know, this is probably on EVERY list you’ve stopped by today. I don’t care, because that’s how true it is!

7. Any and all books by Cassandra Clare

What? If, 30 years from now, they don’t know how to have fun, then they are really screwed up. No set of books makes me laugh as hard as EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE.

8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

If someone can manage to capture falling in love, being in love, the troubles of love, etc, so perfectly, they should at least be honored with a really long shelf life for their work!

9. Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

Classic historical fiction right here, which really takes a new view into the lives of two of the most memorable queens in Egyptian history. Any lover of historical fiction at any time should read these.

10. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

What? I’m a Sparks fanatic. You can’t tell me this isn’t a powerful novel in its own right about a very real thing in American culture. So READ IT, FUTURE.