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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!

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.