T5W: Books With Hard Topics

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Hey, guys!

So, this is my first ever Top 5 Wednesday post, and man, did I pick a doozy. Before we get into that, if you didn’t already know, Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey, but as of April 1, the new host is Samantha from Thoughts on Tomes.

Also, if you’re interested in partaking in these every Wednesday, there’s a group on Goodreads where all the topics are posted.

Now that we got that out of the way, back to what I was saying. So, the topic this week is “Books With Hard Topics.” By ‘hard’ topics, it just means any book that discusses a difficult topic such as rape, mental health, illness, etc. Going through my books, it made me realize how much I tend to skip over books with a difficult subject, and I didn’t think I had enough for a Top 5. I picked four, and originally, I was going to include a television show that deals with hard topics, but when I typed out what kinds of hard topics this week’s “challenge” entails, I remembered that I do have a fifth book, and it’s probably one that everyone on the face of the Earth has read — but I never finished.

So. Jumping right in, we’ll get straight to No. 5 on the list:

5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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So, this is the book that everyone and their mother has read. If you somehow don’t know this story, it’s about a teen girl named Hazel who, despite having had what the book calls a “tumor-shrinking miracle” that bought her a few years, she’s never been anything but terminal. She meets a fellow cancer kid at Cancer Kid Support Group, and their story goes from there. This is the book that I never finished, and the one that I only just now remembered I even had. I started reading it at one point, got about halfway through, and then someone on the Internet spoiled the ending for me, and I haven’t been able to pick the book back up ever since. I enjoyed the much that I did read, but I just don’t know if or when I’ll be able to see it all the way through to the end. And I have no intention of ever seeing the movie, because Shailene Woodley is one of those actresses that I just cannot stand for some reason, and that’s all I’ll say about that. Moving on…

4. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

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So, it’s been a good long while since I’ve read this one, and I was only able to read it through one time, but when I saw the topic for this week’s T5W, this book is never far from  my mind. The details are a little fuzzy, though, but I do remember that this book deals with domestic abuse. This book is told from the point-of-view of Caitlin, a girl who’s got a missing sister, a withdrawn mother, and a so-called “lackluster life.” In comes Rogerson Briscoe, and he’s dark, brooding, and mysterious. We later find out that he’s also dangerous, but once Caitlin and Rogerson start dating, she seems to find herself in a semiconscious dreamland where “nothing is quite real.” Rogerson’s abuse of Caitlin, we learn, is the result of his father’s abuse of him; something that Caitlin, at one point, witnesses firsthand. Eventually, she realizes that being with Rogerson is a bigger problem than being without him, and it all comes out in the open in a very public way.

3. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

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So, this one, I haven’t actually read. I got this book from one of the Uppercase subscription boxes that I was subscribed to for awhile, and while I’ve vaguely heard of Sophie Kinsella (I know now that she wrote Confessions of a Shopaholic), her name didn’t ring a bell at first. Anyway, all I know about this book is that it deals with anxiety disorder as a result of an unpleasant incident. Her family’s there to help, and she’s making “slow but steady progress” with her Dr. Sarah. “Then enters Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, and she’s energized. She’s able to talk through her fears with Linus in a way that she’s never been able to before, not even with Dr. Sarah, and eventually a sweet romantic connection develops between them, one that not only helps Audrey, but her entire family.” Those last few sentences are from the book, not me. As I said, I’ve yet to read it.

2. Some Boys by Patty Blount

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This one’s probably the toughest book I’ve ever read, so far. Because I know that some people need trigger warnings, I’ll just say this: this book deals with rape. More on that: Grace accuses Zac, the school’s golden boy, of rape, and everyone at school turns against her, even her best friends. So, when she meets Ian (whom she already knows, somewhat), she’s afraid that he’ll reject her just like everybody else. Except he doesn’t. But then he kind of does. The boy that Grace accuses is Ian’s best friend, and he has a hard time imagining someone he knows doing something horrible like rape. The story is told between two points of view, Grace’s and Ian’s, and we find out pretty early on that Ian actually found her after her rape happened. It gets frustrating the farther along you read, because Ian flip-flops a lot between thinking Grace is a liar, yet knowing deep down that she’s not. Most of the negative reviews I’ve seen are because of Ian, and while I understand it, I think it’s pretty realistic of today’s society. Anyway, I think everyone should read this at least once in his or her life. Maybe it’ll give you a fresh perspective.

AND FINALLY…

1. Tricks by Ellen Hopkins

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This author I’m expecting to see a lot on people’s Top 5 lists. She’s pretty known for tackling hard topics. I’ve never read any of her books, but when I was browsing around Barnes & Noble one day (I was hanging out until it was time for me to go see Deadpool), I was looking at all the new teen fiction books that were there, and I saw her name on several spines. “Traffick” is what grabbed my attention first, and after searching for this one in particular, B&N didn’t have it. Anyway, from the back of the book: Five teenagers from all over the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some poor. Living their lives as best they can, but all searching… for freedom, safety, family, love. What they don’t expect, though, is all that can happen when those powerful words “I love you” are said for the wrong reasons. This book (as are all of them by Ellen Hopkins, I think) is told in prose, so this will be a first for me. Not just as a novice when it comes to Ellen Hopkins, but when it comes to books told in prose, as well. I’m half dreading and half looking forward to reading this one when I can. If you haven’t already, maybe you can, too.

So, there you have it! My Top 5 Books With Hard Topics!

That wasn’t as difficult as I thought it’d be, to tell the truth. That was actually kind of fun. I now know why these are so popular on BookTube. So, tell me: what are some books that you have that deal with difficult subject matter? Leave a comment down below and I can’t wait to read them!

See you soon!

Sarah

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3 thoughts on “T5W: Books With Hard Topics

  1. Geronimo Reads

    I love Sarah Dessen. It’s been a while since I’ve read her books and I’ve been slowly starting to collect them all so I can reread them. I just got Dreamland a couple of days ago so maybe it’ll be my first reread.

    Liked by 1 person

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