Top 5 Wednesday (9) | Books with “hard”/serious topics

top 5 wednesday

It’s been a while since I’ve done a T5W but I felt like I could answer this topic, so yay. Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey @ gingerreadslainey. If you want to join Top 5 Wednesday take a look at the Goodreads group!

The topic of today is “Books with “Hard” Topics (ie mental health, sexual assault, illness, etc). These are in no particular order. 


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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I finished this one last week as part of a readalong with Trang from @bookidote. I still need to write the review, but it’s coming soon. You probably all know what this is about already, but for those who don’t it deals with the struggles of a quadriplegic man who used to lead a very big life. It deals with depression and the much debated issue of assisted suicide. 

Room by Emma Donoghue

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You probably all know about this too, but it’s about a young girl who was kidnapped at 19  and put in a soundproof shed. The book is narrated by her five year old son, who was born in the room and doesn’t know any different. It’s deals with various dark and serious issues that comes with such a kidnapping; rape, isolation, desperation, etc. It’s a good book and a good movie too. 

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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This is a book about a 10 year old boy with a severe facial deformity that cause him to feel like an outcast, like people look at him like a monster. There’s also bullying involved. At the end of the day it’s an uplifting story though. 

The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler

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Who doesn’t love a good teen murder drama? I sure do, that’s why I’m reading Dangerous Girls as we speak. Anyway, The Basic Eight explores teen murder, as well as drug and alcohol use and sexual assault. If you like really unreliable narrators and character driven stories you might want to check this out. 

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

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Here’s some literary/historical fiction for you guys, but it is also labeled as a YA coming-of-age story on Goodreads. I read this for class back in early 2014 so I don’t remember the details, but I gave it 4 stars. It’s about a woman on a reservation who gets attached and faces heavy trauma because of it. Her teenage son, the narrator, try to help his depressed and traumatized mother as well as uncover the mystery about who hurt her. I remember enjoying it a lot, and there’s a lot of interesting things in here about Natives in general.  

What’s your favorite “hard topic” book? I haven’t read a lot of the popular YA ones about mental health and suicide, but I do have some of them on by tbr. 
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10 thoughts on “Top 5 Wednesday (9) | Books with “hard”/serious topics

  1. Lois says:

    I really want to read Me Before You but I always find with these hard hitting books I have to be in the right mood to really appreciate them. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Room as well so I’ll hopefully get the chance to check that out soon.

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  2. Geronimo Reads says:

    I put Room on mine, too! It was a very difficult read but an amazing experience nonetheless. I got very attached to the characters. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about Wonder. I’ll have to get my hands on that soon.

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  3. Ayunda says:

    I’ve heard mixed reviews about Me Before You, some people loved it and some people thought the representation of mentally ill people wasn’t accurate in the book. I don’t think I’ll be reading the book but I’m looking forward to seeing the movie! The Round House seems really interesting as well ☺️

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  4. Moriah says:

    Really great choices! I loved Room when I finally got to it just a few months ago. Gosh, it was so heartbreaking. And Jack’s actor in the film was incredible. Honestly, that little boy should’ve won an Oscar.

    I’m also ashamed to admit that I haven’t yet read The Basic Eight. I’ve read every other Handler novel, intentionally saving that one for last, but I just haven’t been in the right mood for it yet. I have heard it is his best, though, so it’s going to happen someday soon! The whole “unreliable narrator” bit makes me think it’ll be kind of similar to his book Watch Your Mouth. 😀 So excited!

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