14 May 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Tough Issue Books


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. I heart lists!

Almost every contemporary novel I read is an 'issues' book.  It's not that I don't enjoy happy, fun books, but I find issues books to be so compelling that I just can't step away from them....


1) Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Here I am, flogging this book again! But I loved this book so much, despite it covering not just a tough issue, but a very taboo one - incest.  Suzuma took what could have been a nausea-inducing storyline and managed to make me care very much about the characters, which I didn't think was possible.

2) Gemma by Meg Tilly

This will probably be my most intense book of 2013, due to it's graphic story of child abuse and paedophilia.    But with such a fabulous protagonist in Gemma, I was completely captured by this book.

3) A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer

I read this book years ago, but it still sticks with me.  The author's horrific childhood made me so incredibly angry, but his determination to make a better life for himself really had me cheering him on.

4) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I don't often read books about cancer, as it is a topic that strikes very close to home.  However, John Green took something that could have been incredibly difficult and injected the characters with so much life and passion and personality that I couldn't help but love it.

5) Room by Emma Donoghue

I know I mentioned this book recently, but it's definitely a tough issue book that I loved, particularly as it was told through the naive yet sweet perspective of Jack.


6) Life is But A Dream by Brian James

Mental Health is one of those literary issues that I always feel drawn to, and Life Is But a Dream really captivated me and I loved the characters.

7) We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

I remember reading this book on a summer holiday (yeah, I don't do 'beach reads' the normal way) and I was completely captivated, appalled and saddened.  I really wish I had time to read it again, because despite the darkness of it, it was so beautifully written.

8) Fault Line by Christa Desir

It's not released until November, but this book was so intense, disturbing and different from what I expected.      It really felt like the author knew her stuff with this one.


9) By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Ann Peters

Probably one of the most intense books about bullying and suicide that I've read.

10) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I debated whether to include this book because it's so much more than an issues book - there's a whole bunch of other happy, uplifting things too, but one of the main characters dealing with his disability.  And because I loved it so damn much.

Does anyone else feel weird when they say the enjoy/like/love 'issues' books?   Not that there's something weird about liking them, but that using those words seems a little 'awkward'? 


21 comments:

  1. Before this week's list I'd not heard about Forbidden. It sounds like it'd appeal to me in a way that Flowers in the Attic did all those years ago. There are another few books on your list that I'd not heard of before but am now eager to check out.

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    1. I read Flowers in the Attic for the first time last year, and although Forbidden was much better for me, there are definite comparisons!

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  2. I've only heard of a few of these...probably because I literally just started reading books like this late last year. I've wanted to try out Forbidden because it has such a taboo topic and it's something I know will make me uncomfortable. I just haven't had the chance...I'm pretty sure my library system doesn't have it.

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    1. I'm sure there are more than a few libraries that wouldn't have it. It's very well done though!

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  3. A child called It breaks my heart every time. Yet I continue to reread it! amazing story.

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    1. I read it years ago, but it still sticks with me.

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  4. A Child Called It was one of the hardest books to get through. It was absolutely horrifying.

    I totally agree with you about Forbidden. I didn't think I was going to like the characters or feel for them as much as I did but I was totally engrossed in the story. The ending was especially heartbreaking, but really, what other way could it have ended?

    Bekka
    Pretty Deadly Reviews

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    1. It couldn't have ended any other way except tears!

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  5. Oh my, I haven't read a single one of these. Again, I'm reminded I have to read The Fault in Our Stars. All the other novels you mentioned sound really interesting, too, though :)

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    1. The Fault In Our Stars is so good, you should get onto that ;)

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  6. Okay, I've never heard of this Gemma book, but I think I need to check it out. Also, I want Fault Line like burning now, because both you and April have recommended it. Not sure that I want to read A Child Called It, though, because of my natural disinclination to memoirs. :/

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    1. Gemma was INTENSE - there was a few times I nearly stopped listening because it was so shocking. But the narration is amazing.

      I'm a bit scared that other people won't like Fault Line but I was so impressed with it.

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  7. I generally don't read books like these not because of the topics but I just don't really find contemporaries all that exciting to read. Although I must say Flowers in the Attic is one that really stays with me to this day and that book would definitely fit perfectly on this list.

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    1. This is why I have to read contemporary books with issues ;)

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  8. Ooh Room is one of my favorite books! What a great story! I really want to read Forbidden it's been on my TBR list for SO long!!

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  9. Ha ha, I love any chance to put Forbidden on my top ten lists too - and it's definitely on this week's. Great book. Absolutely loved Room too.

    I have a few of these already, unread, but I see more that I'm going to have to get hold of, like Gemma and Fault Line.

    I know A Child Called It is quite famous - I've definitely heard of it - but I never really knew what it was about, before. I'll have to check it out.

    My TTT.

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    1. I can highly recommend Gemma on audio - not sure I would have liked it quite so much in paper.

      Yay for another Forbidden fanatic :)

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  10. I saw the movie adaptation of We Need to Talk About Kevin, and I've been meaning to read the book ever since. I'm glad to hear you liked it (and yes, I feel uncomfortable using words like that to describe books like this, too!).

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  11. I don't do a lot of issue books, but TFioS made my list. I'm reading it right now and it's destroying me, but in a good way. :)

    Great list!

    Ems
    My Top Ten

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  12. I was so glad to see Me Before You on your list. It is a big issue book but like you said it is also much, much more. Such an amazing book!

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