Today is actually the Top Ten Tuesday Freebie but instead of coming up with my own topic, I’d like to give you the Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects which was the theme on May 14. I’d written about three quarters of the post when a friend persuaded me to watch Iron Man 3 with her and therefore never came to finish it in time. So here we go.
When it comes to books, I’m a hyper-emotional person always close to tears. Basically, a book is no good if I don’t have teary eyes of either happiness, sadness, or laughter at least once while reading. The following books have one thing in common: I cried a lot, like, rivers of tears. Most of them deal with illness and/or loss, but there are also the horrors of the NS regime and WWII and sexual abuse. Every one of them is heart-wrenching and means a lot to me. In no particular order:
The Arcadia Trilogy by Kai Meyer
Well, I didn’t cry that much about these books. The issue of which I cannot really talk without spoiling major plot points had me rather stunned, shocked and often I just couldn’t believe what I was reading. The whole trilogy deals with many difficult subjects, but I haven’t had the one of this subplot before. Arcadia Awakens is my all-time favourite ever since it came out in 2009. Just go and read the trilogy! It’s awesome!
Transitions by Jane Ayres
This is for sure one of my all-time favourite horse books: Annie is a little insecure and therefore looking for a calm horse to rely on. Then she meets the terminally ill Elizabeth who is desperately trying to find a home for her temperamental Rocket before she dies. Despite Annie’s fear, she agrees to get to know and train Rocket and the two girls become close friends, but it is not easy for both girls to fulfil the expectations of the other, and time is running out.
Please Don’t Go by Elizabeth Benning
A bulimic and an anorexic girl have to share a room in hospital. Prior to their therapy, they couldn’t stand each other but with time, they grow very close driven by their mutual wish to escape the hospital. However, the two have to face dire consequences of their refusal to cooperate in their therapy that question whether they will both survive.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This book is utterly amazing. There are not enough words to describe how much I love it. I think it took me about half a page to fall in love with Death’s narration and this gorgeous story of goodness and resistance, of letters and books and drawings, of growing up, of friendship and love and loss and struggle and fear, of hope in between the horrors. It made me cry like a baby.
Telling Christina Goodbye by Lurlene McDaniel
Once upon a time, I had two books waiting of which I knew they would make me cry a lot. In the end, I chose this one to read first because I thought it would be less heart-wrenching. Turned out, I was very, very wrong. I think I never truly stopped crying.
Trisha, her boyfriend Cody, her best friend Christina, and her boyfriend Tucker are driving home from a basketball game when Tucker lets himself get involved in a car race – with a devastating outcome. Trisha is injured and has to cope with the death of her best friend and the uncertain future of her boyfriend, who lies in a coma, while Tucker comes out of the accident hardly scratched. Now they have to figure out how to go on living.
Without Wonder by Joanna Campbell
This one was the other choice mentioned above. I loved the Thoroughbred series so very much when I was younger and Wonder is the foundation horse and plays a huge part throughout the series. Almost all main horses and many secondary horses were somehow connected to Wonder – and then she died. Well, this is ok, since she was so very old. She had to die sometime. But the circumstances drove me a little mad. She was much too old to be bred and Ashleigh was just written and therefore acting totally out of character. Still, it just hurt so much to let her go and see how much Ashleigh suffered and watch the little colt she left behind struggling to live.
Face to Face by Sandra Glover
This book is written from the point of view of a girl which seems to be totally normal at first but the more the story progresses, the more strangely she behaves, leaving the reader trying to figure out what is going on. Still, it took me quite some time to get behind the problem she has. This book is really creepy and somehow makes you better understand how affected people perceive themselves and the world around them.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
As an avid reader of Lurlene McDaniel novels, I was already familiar with the plotline concerning the illness, since it is like several of her novels put together. I knew what would happen. But reading it is something entirely else, especially if it is so masterfully written. John Green had me laughing at one sentence and crying about the next. It is amazingly beautiful and bittersweet; a truly magnificent and so very heart-wrenching novel.
The Beauty Trilogy by Sylvia McNicoll
Oh my, so much heartbreak! In the first novel, the reader follows Liz training Beauty to become a guide dog and watches her growing very attached to the dog, knowing she has to let her go in the end. This is sad in itself, but it gets even more intense as the series progresses. In the second novel, she meets Kyle, who has gone blind due to his diabetes. They cannot really stand each other, but in the end, Kyle ends up with Liz’s Beauty II, leaving Liz heartbroken again. In the third one, Kyle and Liz grow very close, struggling with their circumstances. And then … then the author just broke my heart into a thousand tiny pieces.
The Girl Death Left Behind by Lurlene McDaniel
This novel creates the most horrible scenario I can imagine: Beth stays at home while the rest of her family goes on a picnic trip – and gets killed in a horrible car accident. Now she’s shipped off to live with her relatives, struggling to cope with the loss of her beloved family and trying to go on living.