The Silver Lining | Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. My list is in no particular order.


  1. LOSING FAITH by Denise Jaden.
    I’m not just recommending this one because it’s dedicated to me, but because Denise does an amazing job capturing the grief that comes from losing a sister. My fave aspect of the book is how the main character, Brie, questions whether she ever really liked her sister. I think that’s one aspect of having a sibling that everyone can relate to–hating them when you’re supposed to love them–and I love how Denise takes it to a new level by showing what happens when you lose the person you’re supposed to love even when you hate.
  2. WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson.
    Laurie is a master of voice and there is no better demonstration of great voice than this book. And the voice in this book enhances the subject matter by showing just how fragile Lia’s mind is as she struggles with an eating disorder.
  3. LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green.
    Of course this book would be on my list. How could it not? I love how the chapters count backward, increasing the anticipation to the Incident. I fell in love with Alaska along with the main character and I grieved when he lost her.
  4. ELEANOR AND PARK by Rainbow Rowell.
    When I read this book, I expected a lighthearted swoony romance. What I got was so much more. And it’s the “so much more” that makes enters this book into my top ten tough subjects.
  5. GOOD GIRLS by Laura Ruby.
    This book is about sexting before sexting had an official (official slang?) term. It’s a great book that explores the aftermath of a single act that brands a girl a slut at school and what that really means.
  6. SWEETHEARTS by Sara Zarr.
    Child abuse from the eyes of someone who wants to help but can’t.
  7. SHADOW KISS by Richelle Mead.
    Yes, it’s about vampires but it’s also about a girl who thinks she might be going crazy. It’s a supernatural twist on mental disorders.
    No list could be complete without this entry. It’s a heart breaking look at how seemingly trivial things might be big enough to someone else to drive them to suicide.
  9. JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta.
    This book is about abandonment and grief. But of course that’s not all it’s about. There’s so much more.
  10. DREAMLAND by Sarah Dessen.
    A heartbreaking look at why some people stay in a physically abusive relationship.

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3 Responses

  1. Thank you for this list. I was pleased to see Thirteen Reason Why included. I would add Max Zimmer’s Journey (If Where You’re Going Isn’t Home). Book 1 of the trilogy is a fantastic coming of age story about a Mormon teenager in the 60’s and his conflicts with the Mormon church teachings when he discovers a passion for jazz music.

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