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Top Ten Tuesday: Tough Subject Books

I’m pretty drawn to tough subject books. I scoured my Goodreads lists and narrowed it down to these FIFTEEN tough subject books instead of ten. (Bonus reads!) Obviously I didn’t follow the rules very well. Some of these were harder than others, but they all have aspects of them that really open your eyes to […]

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October 8, 2014 - 11:19 pm

Alexa S. - These books do cover some tough subjects! I do think it’s important though, because sometimes people feel so alone in these situations – and these books might remind them that they aren’t alone. I got reminded of a few titles I’ve been meaning to check out, so thanks for putting the list together!

October 6, 2014 - 8:02 am

Nicole @ The Quiet Concert - I too am drawn to tough subject books and thought i’d read a decent amount of them so I’m surprised that I’ve only read two on this entire list (but good surprised as I have more recommendations). I definitely want to read Rites of Passage since I’ve been seeing that around a lot lately and it has a military theme which we don’t get all that often. When You Were Here is also at the top of my list. Thanks for sharing!

October 3, 2014 - 8:35 am

Jamie - SO spot on for the ones out of this list I’ve read! Rites of Passage had me LITERALLY shaking it was so hard to read how she was treated and just knowing they were getting away with that crap. OH MY GOD. I still feel a fit of rage coming on thinking about it. Loved that book so hard though! Some Girls Are was really hard too..I remember being physically shaken by it. I was reading it on vacation (in the bathtub and literally finished the whole thing — after being in a house with my sister’s kids for a week I just wanted to escape haha) and I just remember thinking how scared I was for Genevieve to grow up. Because this bullying thing, to me at least, seems way worse than when I was a kid…unless Ijust didn’t see it or experience it.

September 30, 2014 - 8:39 pm

Magan - Amanda, I DEFINITELY AGREE. I had never had to sit a book aside like I did when I read Room. (Well, until I read Live Through This. That one was a doozie for me.) Glad you enjoyed it, but also glad you understand why it was uncomfortable for me. 🙂

September 30, 2014 - 8:38 pm

Magan - Sue, I haven’t read any books by Ellen Hopkins yet. I should fix that. A few times I’ve looked for them at my local library, but they had them out of sequence and I haven’t remembered to put them on hold. :-/ Thanks for the suggestion!!

September 30, 2014 - 7:10 pm

BookCupid - Great compilation, read a lot of these books.
My TTT

September 30, 2014 - 5:39 pm

Amanda - Room is on my list too. It was such a powerfully written book, but I have rarely felt so uncomfortable the whole time I was reading.

September 30, 2014 - 2:57 pm

Sue - I’ve read Room and Live Through This, both excellent books. I think the toughest book I have read was Tricks by Ellen Hopkins, have you read any of her books? All tough subjects but written in verse which for some reason makes such an impact.

September 30, 2014 - 11:38 am

Magan - Chrissi, I hope you give Rites of Passage a go! It’s FANTASTIC. The buzz isn’t publisher-generated. It’s well-deserved and so worth the read. I really hope that you find some great books from this list, even if they’re not always easy to read! 🙂

September 30, 2014 - 11:37 am

Magan - Oh, Cait. I completely understand. Tease was difficult because the MC was just so, so unlikeable. I wanted to hate her. Rites of Passage is one of my absolute favorite books this year. I hope you’ll give it a try. It’s hard, yes, but OH SO VERY GOOD. (And incredibly well-written!)

September 30, 2014 - 11:36 am

Magan - Brianna, it was so uncomfortable. I completely agree. I put it aside for a long while and stopped reading it. (Only to realize that if I had read about 6 more pages, BIG things would have happened and my anxiety would have decreased severely.) There are some tough books on this list, but for sure amazing ones. I hope you’ll give a few of them a try!

September 30, 2014 - 11:34 am

Magan - Cassie, it’s so true. Even as someone who is a Christian (though I don’t believe everything was as black and white as the MC’s community wanted her to believe), it was such a difficult read for me. I remember cringing and just really aching for her as she tried to figure out what she believed. A tough read, yes, but I hope also encouraging for those who read it and are working through their own dilemmas.

September 30, 2014 - 11:02 am

Cassie @ Happy Book Lovers - Small Town Sinners was one of the hardest books to read for me. Ever. I have never come across people like this in real life, so it was hard for me to understand the religious community and all the activities they did. I feel like those shouldn’t be allowed, especially as a community event people must participate in. But the hardest part was reading it from the MC’s point of view and listening to her thoughts about gay marriage and abortions, and that those vastly disagreed with my own opinions. I’m glad I read it, but it was still really hard for me to get through. I think it made a really good point and did well exploring the topics from a different point of view than I would normally read, and by the end, everything made sense. But that will always stick out to me as being a difficult book to get through.

September 30, 2014 - 10:41 am

Brianna - I’ve only read Room. Clearly, I avoid books with difficult subjects. I didn’t love Room. I thought it was strange and unrealistic. Not that kidnapping is unrealistic, but the whole premise just weirded me out.

September 30, 2014 - 6:42 am

Cait @ Notebook Sisters - I really find books about bullying super hard to read too. 🙁 I mean, usually they’re good and they have such strong messages and they need to be said! But I tend to avoid them…I couldn’t read Tease. I WOULD like to try Rites of Passage but … not yet. >_<
Here’s my TTT!

September 30, 2014 - 12:46 am

Chrissi Reads - I didn’t think Rites of Passage would be a book that I wanted to read, but the buzz around it is really making me want to read it! I really want to check out most of the books on your list!

Estelle: Roomies by Tara Altebrando + Sara Zarr

Roomies by Tara Altebrando ( web | tweet ) and Sara Zarr ( web | tweet ) Publication Date: December 24, 2013 Publisher: Little Brown Pages: 288 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: summer before college, California, New Jersey, college roommates, technology Format read: Paperback ARC from Novel Sounds. (Thanks!) Summary: The summer before college, two strangers […]

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February 3, 2015 - 8:01 am

Young Adult Books & After High School - […] Roomies by Tara Altebrando & Sara Zarr | Something Like Normal by Trish Doller Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard | When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney […]

December 27, 2013 - 11:34 am

Estelle's End of the Year Survey (So Long 2013), Estelle - […] Jones How to Love by Katie Cotugno Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy Openly Straight by Bill Konisberg Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu Someday, Someday, Maybe by […]

December 8, 2013 - 9:24 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - YES. I’m so glad you are book pushing this one because it pushed me to pick up the egalley before I might have.
I actually did not have a similar experience before leaving for college at all but there are just SO many relatable situations in this book that I found myself in it anyway. (You know.. I went AWAY junior year so I knew one of my roomies and at least kind of knew the other — drama to follow which is too much for a comment haha). ANYWAY. Yes! this was just so wonderfully written and I just love love love the college experiences even before college starts. It was interesting to see this written solely in the between time versus heading over into actual college time as well.

December 6, 2013 - 4:23 pm

Alexa Y. - Your review has convinced me YET AGAIN that I need this book in my life STAT. It sounds like just the kind of book I’d enjoy, particularly since I’ve had my own roomie experiences too. I seriously have nothing more to say but I WANT THIS NOW.

December 5, 2013 - 7:09 am

Amy @ bookgoonie - What an important relationship that tends to be glossed over in other NA books.

December 4, 2013 - 8:29 pm

Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books - I’m glad this book was able to touch you pretty profoundly, Estelle! I feel like it will do the same for me – my summer right before college was also crazy, mainly because my family moved halfway across the country, so while I didn’t experience the traditional summer before college, this one was also fraught with new changes and challenges. Honestly, this sounds like the perfect intro to college book, and I’m hoping to get a lot out of it myself.

December 4, 2013 - 1:08 pm

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - I am so excited to read this one and you’ve made me even more excited! Although I have a little resentment towards it since I tried to get one of the several hundred NetGalley ARCs but missed out (stupid chemistry lab strikes again), BUT even though I didn’t get the ARC NetGalley still has it on my shelf and I got an email this morning reminding me to read it!

December 4, 2013 - 12:25 pm

Rachel - So I was an idiot and let my egalley expire because I didn’t think I’d like this one after my whole Fangirl experience. But oh my gosh, your review makes this sound so so good. This book sounds so relevant to my life right now with me graduating in the spring and everything. I’m DEFINITELY putting this on hold at the library.

December 4, 2013 - 12:00 pm

Lisa - A book that makes me feel right at home and is super quoteworthy? COUNT ME IN.

December 4, 2013 - 9:54 am

alice-jane - I loved this book as well. It was so easy to relate to both of the characters, whether it was through their dependence on their high school friends as they transitioned into college, or their ease with talking to each other over email about things they didn’t really talk to their friends in real life about. I enjoyed reading their emails to each other and hopefully Altebrando and Zarr do another collaboration because I definitely enjoyed Roomies.

December 4, 2013 - 9:34 am

elena - by book gods, i assume you mean me to which i say U R WELCOME. 😉

i agree with this so much: how easy it is to confide in a stranger through email, and how easy it is to doubt the genuineness of the person on the other side. i luckily have never had reason to doubt any of my friendships online though and i’m v thankful about the people i have met. (welp, that is until i found out you’re secretly a middle-aged man)

LOVE!

December 4, 2013 - 9:10 am

Maya - I’m glad to hear how much you enjoyed Roomies! I had a copy in the post last week and thought it looked great, and I’ll definitely be reading it soon. Lovely review!

May 2013 Young Adult Book Releases

Holy almost-summer, Batman! HOW IS IT MAY? Hello warmer weather and lazy days lounging outside with a good book! Let us know which of these May 2013 young adult book releases you’re looking forward to most! ↔ MAY 1 The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr Goodreads | Amazon | Magan’s Review Description: Lucy Beck-Moreau once […]

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May 5, 2013 - 10:00 am

Lena @ Addicted 2 Novels - So many good books being released in May. So many beach reads, so little time!

May 4, 2013 - 9:50 pm

Rachel - Sometimes I honestly wish I could pause all these new releases so I can catch up and be ready for them. I want to read almost every May release, excluding September Girls because I will never put myself through the torture that is that book. I’ve already read/own a lot of these, but I really can’t wait for Five Summers to come out. That totally looks like a me book.

May 4, 2013 - 5:49 pm

candy - I never really paid much attention to mentions of The Rules for Disappearing bc for a teen mom’s perspective it sounds like a book about a teen running away,which can be a scary thought for a mom.But now that I read the Description here,I want to read it.I also love this idea of the Author being from Louisiana like me.Thanks for posting about theses books.I also want to read Golden and Parallel.

May 3, 2013 - 5:07 pm

Annie - Oooh, May seems like an amazing month! I’m definitely going to grab Winger as soon as it comes out! Marked it on my calendar! 🙂

May 3, 2013 - 1:37 pm

Leticia (@osoordinary) - Reboot!Reboot!Reboot! Can’t wait to read it! Also, I won an ARC of Parallel so I’m excited to read that! It’ll be my first parallel universes book and I’m newly interested, after having just completed the Fringe TV series! = )

May 3, 2013 - 11:45 am

Alexa Y. - Oh Lord, there goes all my cash! (Just kidding.) (Not really.) Seriously, there’s a ton of good stuff on here! My favorite, without a doubt, is Golden because I loved that book so.

May 3, 2013 - 10:36 am

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - Holy almost-summer, Batman is right!! My wallet is soooo suffering this month, that’s for sure. I’ve already read a few but there are sooo many more I can’t wait to read! 🙂

May 3, 2013 - 8:51 am

Bookworm1858 - So many good titles-I want to read almost all of these and the only ones I’ve picked up so far are Reboot, The Rules for Disappearing, and The Book of Broken Hearts. I can’t wait to get these other ones!

May 3, 2013 - 6:39 am

Hannah @ Matter Loved Dust - Some of these have different UK release dates so I picked up ‘Invisibility’ yesterday which I’m excited to start. Also really looking forward to ‘The Originals’ and ‘Winger’!

Magan: The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr (website | twitter) Publication Date: May 7, 2013 Publisher: Little, Brown Pages: 320 Target audience: Young Adult Keywords: teen proteges, young pianists, parental pressure, older crushes Format read: ARC provided by Publisher. (Thanks!) Summary: After completely abandoning piano and not playing for eight months, Lucy begins pondering if she […]

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September 30, 2014 - 12:01 am

Fifteen Must-Read Tough Subject Books - […] The Lucy Variations — uncomfortable relationship with an adult, parents dictating every move […]

May 3, 2013 - 6:01 am

May 2013 Young Adult Book Releases - […] | Amazon | Magan’s Review […]

April 18, 2013 - 12:28 pm

Magan - Lori — YOU HAVE TO READ MORE SARA ZARR!

April 17, 2013 - 7:49 am

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr - HOBBITSIES - […] Books Rather Be Reading Girl to the […]

April 12, 2013 - 6:38 am

Lori (@Loriimagination) - The only Zarr book I’ve read is How to Save a Life and I really need to fix that. This one sounds so, so great.

April 10, 2013 - 9:18 pm

VeganYANerds - I am so glad you loved this as I’ve read a few reviews that mention it not being Sara’s usual brilliance. Lucy’s life sounds complicated and I feel sorry for her lack of a normal childhood.

I’ve been saving How To Save A Life, but I think I should read it asap!

April 10, 2013 - 4:56 pm

Alexa Y. - I very much want to read this book, because I feel like I could find it easy to relate to on so many levels. I haven’t read any Sara Zarr yet, but I will remedy that, I promise!

April 10, 2013 - 4:26 pm

shoesforall - Your review has made me even more excited to read this book. I can’t wait for May!

April 10, 2013 - 3:12 pm

Cynthia - Yes, yes I want to swim in Sara Zarr’s word again!! Will definitely get this one, I love her writing and it sounds like a great story.

April 10, 2013 - 2:40 pm

Andrea @Cozy Up With A Good Read - I don’t read many contemporary YA novels and I wasn’t absolutely certain about this one, but it sounds amazing. I love that the family is such a large part of the book and I’m interested in everything that Lucy learns about herself throughout the book. It sounds like Sara Zarr has a way with words and I will definitely check out this book (and HOW TO SAVE A LIFE). Thanks for the beautiful review!

April 10, 2013 - 11:39 am

Rachel - I tend to avoid books that involve piano because I played it for many years when I was younger and prefer not to remember that period of my life, but I can totally relate to Lucy so I might actually read this one. I didn’t really like How to Save a Life (I think it was me and not the book), but I’m willing to give Zarr another chance because I know a lot of people love her books.

April 10, 2013 - 9:14 am

Bookworm1858 - I used to study piano (but with zero intention of ever doing anything professionally) so I always like books with music in them and this sounds really cool and dramatic. I liked Once Was Lost a lot so I hope to like this one as well.

April 10, 2013 - 9:13 am

Rachel @ hello, chelly. - I really want to read this one! I can already tell that I’ll be able to relate.. my parents put a lot of pressure on me to play the piano while I was growing up. Basically forced me to take lessons until I was about 16. Funny thing is, I only started to love it AFTER I was finally able to quit haha. So I’m definitely interested to hear Lucy’s side of things. Anyway, awesome review 🙂

April 10, 2013 - 8:13 am

Anna - GAHHH! I have a galley of this one, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t get it to load on my Kindle! Can’t wait to read it.

April 10, 2013 - 4:55 am

Maria - I can’t wait to read this book! (I have too of course. A whole month?! Gah!!!) But I still have Once was lost/What we lost left, which is good because I don’t want to be out of Sara Zarr books to read. Her writing is beautiful.

Magan: Shelve It — April 7, 2013

Hey, hey friends! Happy Sunday! Thanks for stopping by for today’s Shelve It! It’s been a while since I’ve splurged on books. Have you seen all the amazing deals for the kindle and nook? Holy moly — so many good books are half off or cheaper right now. Take advantage of this, guys! Estelle and […]

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April 10, 2013 - 9:26 pm

VeganYANerds - Ooh, I hope Going Bovine is good, I have liked the last couple of Libba’s books that I’ve read!

And I too like both covers of Once Was Lost, I own the original – I hope you like it 😀

April 10, 2013 - 6:02 pm

Paige - I read Being Friends With Boys not long ago and I enjoyed it a lot, I know she has another book out I’m hoping to read that soon 🙂 I hope you enjoy everything you got this week.

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April 8, 2013 - 6:09 pm

Leah @ The Pretty Good Gatsby - You know what, I actually really like the redesign! I’m usually pretty indifferent toward them (at best), but this one is simply lovely. I think it’s the font that does it for me.

HA! Thank you for reminding me that I really need to write my review for You Look Different.. I read it last month and while it definitely wasn’t bad, it was pretty bland and not very memorable. It made for an enjoyable afternoon read though. Hopefully you’ll like it a bit more than I did!

While I absolutely adore my local library, I’m WEEPING over their complete lack of Jennifer Echols! NOT A SINGLE BOOK. I’ve only heard the highest of praises in regards to her book and now it’s looking as though I’m going to have to dive in & buy them. I need to find out what I’m missing!

April 8, 2013 - 10:51 am

Dana - Awesome haul. I won’t be buying anything for a while because my review backlog is insane but I’ll be adding to my Goodreads TBR list for sure! Hope you enjoy all your books!

April 8, 2013 - 8:50 am

Ginger @ GReads! - I’ve tried to read Abbi Glines and just couldn’t do it. I’ll be curious if you feel the same or end up liking her stuff. Yay Sara Zarr! I know how much you love her 🙂

April 8, 2013 - 1:37 am

Alexa Y. - I stopped myself after I bought three books off the Amazon sale (although I’m fairly certain I’m buying more soon). I got Being Friends with Boys as well, yay!

April 7, 2013 - 10:38 pm

Bookworm1858 - Awesome haul-I am looking forward to reading most of these too especially You Look Different in Real Life. Not sure about the redesign for Once Was Lost as I really liked the original.

April 7, 2013 - 9:43 pm

Amanda @ MarvelousCatoReviews - I actually bought Going Bovine recently, as well! I have been dying to read it, so I’m excited to finally have it in my collection.

April 7, 2013 - 4:30 pm

Laura @ the Booksmartie - Oh, I love all These contemporaries here – haven’t read one in a while 🙂 Also, I like both covers for Sarah Zarr’s books, but I prefer the orig!inal title…it was more Special, I think

April 7, 2013 - 1:21 pm

Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads - Awwww, but it’s always lovely to see your pretty face in your vlog, books or no books 🙂

Estelle’s Shelve It >> 2/3/2013

I’m pretty sure I did a Shelve It last year on Super Bowl Sunday (which fell on my birthday…) Oh my absolute favorite day in the world. Things are so tremendously different this year: new city, new place to live, an iPhone, my husband’s team is not actually playing tonight, and the half time show […]

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February 10, 2013 - 11:11 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - I got approved for Someday, Someday, Maybe as well – and I’m so excited to read it. I’ve loved Lauren Graham ever since Gilmore Girls, so I hope I love her as an author, too. 🙂

February 6, 2013 - 11:04 pm

elena - HEY SEXY LAAAADY, please read that in Psy’s voice. Also, I would totally eat chocolate too if it was in my desk. Glad you’re enjoying Wild Awake. HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR BOOKS!!

February 4, 2013 - 4:18 pm

Alexa Y. - I ditched the Super Bowl for Target last night, since I wasn’t particularly rooting for either team. Teehee.

Anyway, I hope you end up liking Unearthly! It really is a great series, and the angel thing is pretty interesting.

February 4, 2013 - 1:18 am

Bookworm1858 - I’m bummed about the Super Bowl outcome 🙁 but don’t really care too much. Looking forward to a great week of reading and hope the same for you 🙂

February 3, 2013 - 11:13 pm

Henry Circle - Three things: 1.) I love Sarah Zarr,too! Sweethearts was sweet and sad. 2) I want your cat. What a big cuddly baby! 3.) You are so pretty! If I looked like you, I would just make a huge banner of my face to put on my blog! lol Great vlog!

February 3, 2013 - 10:16 pm

Cynthia - Ahhhhh… I really hope you like Unearthly. I loooved it, it’s the only angel series I’ve kept up with. Your kitty is the cutest!!! =D

February 3, 2013 - 7:40 pm

VeganYANerds - I don’t get or care about the Super Bowl either, but then I’m an Aussie 😉

And yay, you went with Pepper, such a cute name for her! And I have to deal with Molly trying to knock over my camera each week, too!

Yay for Once Was Lost, I hope you like it. I have one more of Sara’s to read (not including her new release) – How To Save A Life.

HA! I love that you ate the chocolates already 😀 So glad you loved the package and that we’re psychic for sending each other polish + earrings!