Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Top Five Wednesday : Books with "Hard" Topics (ie mental health, sexual assault, illness, etc) (#T5W April 13th)

Hello book-lovers!

It's Wednesday, and that means it's time for another Top Five Wednesday.

Top Five Wednesday was created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey. Recently, though, Sam at Thoughts on Tomes has been announced as the new host for Top Five Wednesday.
There's a link to the Goodreads group > here < if you want to join.

This week's topic is Books With "Hard" Topics. Basically, books dealing with mental health, sexual assault, illness, etc. Trying to come up with this list made me realize how few books I've read that deal with these topics. That's mostly because I subconsciously avoid reading these kinds of books all the time. (I avoid a lot of these subjects for personal reasons).

Room by Emma Donoghue

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world, but to Ma, it is the prison where she has been held captive for seven years. But Ma has created a life for Jack, although she knows it's not enough for either of them. So she comes up with an escape plan, one that involves Jack's bravery and a lot of luck. She doesn't realize how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.
I loved that it wasn't just about captivity but about the psychological impact upon release too. This book made me cry, a lot. (As did the movie). 

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

I read this book back in high school, so some of the details are a little fuzzy. I believe this is Laurie Halse Anderson's debut novel (but I could be wrong). The story follows Melinda as she starts 9th grade. Everyone, even her friends, won't talk to her. Because she called the cops at a party during the summer, everyone hates her. Something happened to her at the party, but you don't find out until the end what it was. It is a bit of a spoiler, but I think it's important to know this going into the book. This book deals with rape.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This book is pretty hit-or-miss; from what I've seen people either love it or hate it. I really liked this book when I read it (I was 17) and it felt like a very important book to me at the time. This is a story of Hannah, a teenage girl who commits suicide and leaves behind a series of tapes addressed to people who she finds responsible (more or less) for her decision. The story is told in dual perspectives - Clay, one of the people she addresses her tapes to; and Hannah as we listen to the tapes. 
This book made me take step back and realize that every action I take affects someone else, positively or negatively. 

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Yes, another Laurie Halse Anderson book. This book hit incredibly close to home for me. (I won't go into that though).
This book follows Lia, a high school senior who struggles with anorexia. She’s been admitted a couple times to a hospital to overcome her disorder, but the struggles she faces with her family, the death of her once-best friend, and the ghosts that haunt her lead her to destroying herself and attempting to wither away to nothing.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodie Picoult

I read this when I was 15, and I don't think I was old enough to fully understand this book. This book follows 13 year old Anna who is looking to be legally emancipated. Why? Anna was product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis. She was conceived to be an exact bone marrow match for her sister Kate; who has been fighting Leukemia since childhood. What really hits hard is the ending, which I won't spoil (it is different from the movie). This book deals with some important ethical issues, along with dealing with a serious illness, while following one family's struggle for survival at all cost.


  1. Wonderful list! I haven't read any of these books but I've only watched My Sister's Keeper. I shall read this one since you've mentioned it has a different ending. :)

  2. I agree with My Sister's Keeper. That is such a hard book to swallow.