Tuesday, May 14, 2013

TTT: And They Call It "Tough-y" Love ... (Hee Hee)


It's Tuesday, which means it's time for more bookish list-compiling.  Love it!  Before we get to this week's topic, though, let me give a shout out to our lovely hosts over at The Broke and the Bookish.  Be sure to click on over there to get all the details about this fun meme.  If you haven't joined up, do it now!  It's a good ole time, I promise.

So, today's topic is: Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects.  "Tough" is defined as issue-y type things (suicide, grief, abuse, etc.).  Since conflict is an essential ingredient in every story, most books deal with "tough" things.  These ten, though, are the ones that popped into my mind when I read the prompt: 




1.  The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams—If you've ever been asked how many wives your dad has (and if you're Mormon, you probably have), you know what an uncomfortable subject polygamy can be!  Still, it's a fascinating topic.  In this novel, Williams explores it in a forthright, but sensitive way.  The Chosen One is such a haunting tale that I still get the shivers just from glimpsing its cover!  



2.  The Fault In Our Stars by John Green—What can I say about this one?  It's about kids with cancer.  It's sad, yes, but also irreverent, funny and touching.  






3.  Unwind by Neal Shusterman—I love Shusterman because he's such a master at examining tough issues in new and interesting ways.  Unwind is a discomfiting story about what would happen if parents could "unwind" (basically, retroactively abort) their teenage children.  Lots of people pooh-pooh this book because it's too far-fetched—the way I see it, it's not meant to be "realistic," but symbolic.  To me, it's a very illumination examination of the divisive issue of abortion.  Not to mention an original, fast-paced action/adventure story.


4.  Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler—I just finished this fantastic novel about a white woman who falls in love with a black man.  It's set in Kentucky in the late 1930s, a setting that's definitely not conducive to an interracial friendship, let alone a romance.  Calling Me Home is a heart-wrenching story about racism, motherhood, redemption, and loving someone against all possible odds.  Made me cry.  A lot.  




5.  Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand—War stories are always difficult to read.  Especially those that detail the abuses suffered by innocent people at the hands of the "enemy."  Unbroken is no different.  It's a difficult read, but an incredible true story of one American soldier's battle to survive.  



6.  Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum—Another WWII story.  This one's a little bit different, as it's the (fictional) story of a non-Jewish German civilian's experience during the war.  It's heart-wrenching, but totally absorbing.  



7.  After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick—Like The Fault in Our Stars, this is another novel about kids with cancer.  And yet, it's funny, real and unique.  I wasn't wild about the ending of After Ever After, but I did enjoy the rest of the book.  P.S.:  I found out after reading this one that it's actually a sequel to Drums, Girls &  Dangerous Pie, which I probably should have read first.  Oops.



8.  The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez—Although the ending of this one didn't quite satisfy me, I enjoyed the novel quite a bit.  It's the story of a teenage preacher's daughter who's struggling to deal with the pregnancy of her needy younger sister.  Genuine and real, this one touched me for lots of reasons.



9.  How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr—Another teenage pregnancy book, this novel spoke straight to my (very) tender adoptive mother's heart.  It's a beautiful, authentic story about the true meaning of family.  



10.  Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick—What's a tougher issue than cancer?  How about zombies?  Or, heck, why not do both?  In Bick's apocalyptic zombie fest, the heroine is hiking out to her favorite spot in the mountains to end her own life before cancer does it for her.  Then, the world ends, giving her a startling epiphany: She doesn't want to die after all.  Ashes is an exciting zombie-licious page-turner that kept me reading fast and furious to see what would happen next.

So, what do you think of my choices?  Have you read any of them?  Which "tough issue" books do you recommend?  


27 comments:

  1. Oh I LOVED Ashes! I really need to read the others in the series! I've never read a book about teen pregnancy... not sure that I want to. No idea why.

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  2. Ah good ones. I still remember feeling haunted after The Chosen One. And you should definitely read Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie - it was so, so good.

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  3. Wow Ashes sounds intense! Great list. Also, thanks for stopping by my TTT.

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  4. Some interesting books in your list I never heard of. Still need to read How to Save a Life, good to see it on a list like this because it means the story is touching :) Thanks for sharing.

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  5. The only one of these I've read is The Fault in our Stars, which is a beautiful but heartbreaking book. So many people are raving about Unbroken, though I'm a bit afraid of it. And I really want to read How to Save a Life. Great, thoughtful list.

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  6. The only book on this list that I've read is Unwind, which I actually didn't finish. Not that it was a bad book or anything – in fact, I loved it! It was just too intense and creepy for my tastes, but I might go back and read it again at a later date. I mostly just read for entertainment or education, so I tend to avoid more intense and 'tough' books. Though, there are a few on this list that I would really love to read.

    My Top Ten.

    ~Lynette @ Escaping Reality – One Book at a Time

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  7. The Chosen One was such a good book! Difficult to read, honestly it made me a little sick, but I liked the ending. How To Save A Life is on my TBR; it looks really good. Thanks for stopping by my TTT. :D

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  8. I haven't read any of these but I have been wanting to read Unbroken and The Fault in Our Stars. Thanks for stopping by my TTT! :-)

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  9. Great list! The Chosen One looks really interesting, and Unwind has been on my TBR list for a while.

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  10. I have heard of Ashes before, but your description really makes me want to read it! great list. ~daphne

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  11. Oh goodness, Unwind. That is one CRAZY way to deal with abortion, but at the same time, I love it. Although I personally don't know why there is a sequel, it ended pretty well in my opinion.
    Great list & thanks for stopping by my TTT! (:

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  12. Lots more for my TBR pile..thanks a lot, lol!

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  13. Unbroken is great! Also, it seems I'm really going to have to get around to reading The Fault in our Stars sometime.

    Ender's Game doesn't start off in the most interesting way, so you have to WANT to read it to really get through the beginning. Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. Yay! I've read one on your list (opposite of you from my list). I've read Unwind. I almost put it on my list, but because it's more speculative fiction than real fiction or non-fiction, I didn't think about it.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  15. Ooh Unwind. *shivers* I was not a fan of that. But it did deal with some tough issues for sure. I'm reading How to Save a Life next! Can't wait for that. A number of family members love Unbroken, so I'll have to read that at some point too. Grea tlist!

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  16. I haven't read any of those, but they sound really interesting! The Fault in Our Stars has gone to the top of my list now that I've seen it on so many peoples' TTT lists. :-)

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  17. So many books on here I am not familiar with. Ashes sounds really unique and I am super into Zombies right now. Will have to give that one a try.

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  18. You don't know how much I love your picks! I'm TBRing most of these. The Chosen One was almost read, but I had too many other books at the time. Call Me Home sounds FANTASTIC as does The Space Between Us. Great list! Thanks for stopping by my TTT :)

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  19. Oh, I certainly agree with TFioS and Unwind. The Chosen One is on my TBR and so is Ashes. I think How to Save a Life will join them too...

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  20. Oh how I love TFioS. Absolutely love it. I hope you do read The Upstairs Room!

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  21. Lots of titles here I haven't read, though we have a few of these on our shelves at the store where I work.

    I'm in the middle of The Fault in Our Stars right now. I'm a little hesitant to keep reading, as I know John Green's going to make me cry by the end.

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  22. I haven't read any of these titles. I've have heard of some of them though. Everyone keeps urging me to read The Fault in Our Stars but it is so popular, everyone just loved it and I'm a little afraid I may not feel the same way about it... So I don't know if I'll read it...
    Thanks for sharing and for stopping by my TTT!

    Kar @ Pause Time

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  23. I have seen How To Save a Life on several lists. I think I will need to check it out! Interesting list. I haven't read most of these, but they sound good.

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  24. These sound like beautiful books- shame on me for not reading any of them! I plan to read The Fault in Our Stars soon.
    Esty

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  25. I haven't read any of these, but they're all going on my wishlist. I love your post title and that you included a zombie book!

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  26. I got to meet Sara Zarr last week at a conference in Niagara Falls (right before Storymakers) and she was great fun. Smart and friendly. I can't wait to read her new book, THE LUCY VARIATIONS. She's on tour right now. She did a reading and set it to music and it was terrific. (Missed you so much this past weekend!)

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  27. I haven't read any of these either, but The Chosen One looks really interesting. Definitely going to add that to my TBR list!

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT Susan!

    Jessica@Lovin' Los Libros

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