top ten books dealing with tough subjects

tttTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovelies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Speechless by Hannah Harrington: Yep, this is one of those books that dealt with so many tough issues in the most subtle way while still being effective in its message. It made me think about what a horrible person I used to be, heh.

2. Saving June by Hannah Harrington: I read Saving June last year and that sense of “lost-then-found” still lingers. It’s amazing how Hannah Harrington can write stories that make you feel like you lost your own sister along with the protagonist! PAINFUL.

3. Fracture by Megan Miranda: I don’t know what exactly to put Fracture under because it sure wasn’t about those intuitive tough subjects (abuse, grief, suicide etc.), yet it still weighs my heart with stones and set them in a heavy tone… OH THAT ACTUALLY RHYMES. Okay, maybe it was the life-and-death elements (that’s an awfully tough subject) but really, this book should be used in Philosophy Classes.

4. Just One Day by Gayle Forman: Paris and romance aside, Just One Day was a story of a girl finding her identity. HER identity, and that to me was a subject that was personally difficult. Sometimes, life just gets so damn busy that you never get a chance to stop and find out what defines who you are. Guess I found it.

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: This. was tough. I don’t even think I need to explain! All that skewered concepts of Hunger Games and thinking about all those kids who died trying to survive while others watched on with entertainment MAKES ME SICK. And… Rue </3

6. Delirium by Lauren Oliver: Yeah, Delirium has its cheesy fluff but it has its moments too.

7. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro:  This is definitely the best “tough subjects” book I’ve read! It was beautiful and amazing and haunting because I’ll never want to think about the pain these children have to go through.

8. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: My last year’s school text and well, it was tough to read. I mean, all school texts are tough to read but this was exceptionally tough because by the end I was just an emotional mess thinking about Boo Radley and all that discrimination and GAAH. Makes me so broken and mad.

9. The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston: Just read this and I thought it was good in dealing with all the sadness and loss that a teen faces when she has to build false identities over false identities to protect her family.

10. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith: Weird choice. I KNOW. But besides the cute love story, Statistical Probability was also about Hadley coming to terms with her father’s new wife, and Oliver dealing with… Okay, I won’t be giving that away so JUST GO READ THEM!!

What “tough” books made it onto your list?


29 thoughts on “top ten books dealing with tough subjects

  1. WAH I’ve actually read a lot of them!! How about The Night Circus! and the fault in our stars!!!! and Everneath!!!

    • Hahaha of course you read a lot of them– we share the same taste ;) Uhh I didn’t find The Night Circus to have a very “tough subject” and I haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars or Everneath!! *mentally kicks self*

  2. Oooh! Speechless and Saving June I’ve been waiting for forever to go get them from my library grrr….. But those 2 I think deal with some of very prevalent issues for teenagers these days. Great choices!

    • Speechless was up on Netgalley a while ago and I got lucky with Saving June at the library! Honestly, I should have toughened up and just bought them. THEY WERE SO GOOD. I thought all those prevalent issues thing would be cliched and fake but oh no, never doubt the genius of Hannah Harrington!

  3. I just read My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi, and it definitely falls into this subject. It’s a must read for dealing with tough issues for teenagers. It explores what others are too afraid to talk about.

    • I’ve been wanting to read that one!! Heard so many great things about it. STDs are unexplored topics in YA, maybe because we feel uncomfortable discussing them? But there really needs to be more awareness of these tough issues, and here’s where this week’s TTT books come in!

    • When I first read that for school I was all “YUCK. Nothing good ever comes out of school texts!!”


      As I read and reread To Kill A Mockingbird, every page felt so real, every characters came to life, and every plot twist was clever. All the racial tension and discrimination through the eyes of innocent children was a big blow to me, so glad to know it was your favourite too :)

  4. I just bought The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight this past weekend, so THANK YOU for not spoiling it for me!

    • WHOOP hope you’ll enjoy it! It isn’t those kind of books that you’ll love at first read (it’s actually quite slow-paced) but I assure that the cute love story grows on you and makes it unforgettable :)

  5. Great choices! I love Delirium, TKaMB, THG, & Just One Day[one of my favorites!]. None of those were particularly tough for me to read, but I see why they might be for other people. I have a few of the others on my TBR list.

    Here’s my Top Ten!

    -Kait @ The Reading Vixens

    • I guess they touched topics that mean a lot to me! To me, Delirium was MORE than a love story, it carried with it the defiance against blind compliance, and courage to stand up for your belief, really loved it :)

  6. There are a ton on your list that I really need to read already. I own so many of them, now I just have to find the time to read. I never really thought about Rules for Disappearing being a tough read, but now maybe I’ll try to get to it sooner. Thanks for visiting my TTT.

    • I expected The Rules for Disappearing to be a thriller, with all the mystery and whatnot going on but it turned out to focus more on the emotional growth of the MC, really interesting book!

    • I didn’t expect to love Hadley and Oliver’s but sometimes I just can’t help looking back and thinking “That was so cute!!” I’m keeping them as my favourite companion on rainy days.

  7. Aw, awesome list. <3 Enjoyed a lot of these books :) Speechless was pretty amazing ;) Thank you for sharing. <3 Psst, hih, I always always peek at book endings before starting the book (A) happened a lot that the ending sucked :p so know I always peek. Sometimes it means I won't read the book, but I'm okay with that :)
    Thank you for commenting on my mailbox. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina’s Books

    • HAHAHA we’re such self-spoilers. Especially when there are mysteries or (urghh) love triangles going on, I just HAVE TO peek at the ending!! If it didn’t satisfy me, I’ll just be like “meh” and chuck the book aside.

  8. I’ve only read four of these (Fracture, Hunger Games, Delirium, and Statistical Probability). I’ve also seen Never Let Me Go the movie, which was devastating. Some issue books that would be on my list are: Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder , Exposed by Kimberly Marcus, and Girl, Stolen by April Henry.

    • I haven’t seen the Never Let Me Go movie but the trailers was what made me pick up the book in the first place! Not sure if I can handle picturing all those children on movies, I’ll pretty much flip and rage on in the theatre. Going to look out for those books too, I’m adding so many heavy books onto my TBR from this weeks TTT haha!

  9. Haha the way you describe the emotional response to tough reads is PERFECT. I know for sure that Never Let Me Go tore my heart up. It was so haunting and sad and just ugh. What a great read.

    I like how diverse your list was! You’re probably one of the few people I’ve seen that acknowledge that The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight also had some really heavy subplots. More than the fluff, those tough part really broke my heart!

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