Top Ten Tueday: Time to Get Serious


Last week the Broke and the Bookish asked us about our favorite light, fun reads. This week we are looking at the flip side-serious books. I am going to be honest, I am not a huge fan of “issues” books. I really hate to be reminded of how horrible people can be to themselves and each other. That being said, I do have a few go-to books that deal with tough topics.

1. What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton. This debut novel by a local author deals with the aftermath of rape. It is beautiful and heartbreaking.

what happens next

2. Please Ignore Vera Dietz A.S. King. Really, any A.S. King. She is brilliant. Vera Dietz deals with issues of betrayal, abuse, and death. Ask the Passengers deals with homosexuality. Both are lovely. I will let you in on a little secret. I would take the YA Issues Book Crown away from John Green and give it to her. There. I said it.

please-ignore-vera-dietz ask

3. The Hate List by Jennifer Brown. Bullying, school shooting, and suicide. Powerful stuff, told from point of view of the girlfriend of the shooter.

hate list

4. Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers. This book about bullying continues to haunt me. Brutal and disturbing.

some girls

5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. This one is an adult nonfiction, but I think it would appeal to some teen readers. Racism and medical ethics collide in this shocking story.


6. The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith. This one may appear to be a science-fictiony horror story on the surface, but at its heart it is about kidnapping, trauma, and post traumatic stress. It is horrifying and disturbing and I loved it. I confess that I am a little afraid to start the sequel.


7. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. Now this is how I prefer my “issues” books. This is a book about grief, but there is an awesome road trip and a cute guy. There are light moments, but you never forget that it is a book about loss and grief. A favorite.


8. Pushing the Limits and Dare You To by Katie McGarry. I love these gritty romances that star good girls, bad girls, good guys, bad boys, drugs, poverty, messed-up parents, homosexuality, first love, sex and more. Must reads for fans of Simone Elkeles.

pushing the limits dare you to

9. Revenge of the Girl With the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg. This is another “lighter” serious book. Smart and sassy on the surface, this book is anything but shallow. Issues include messy dysfunctional families and the pressure put on girls to be pretty in order to fit in.


10. Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John. Gosh, it has been a while since I have sung the praises of Piper Vaughn and this awesome book! The issue: a deaf teen in a hearing world. Love, love, love this book.

fiveflavorsof dumb

Honorable Mentions go to:

perfect chemistry summer rules of survival okay for now going bovine nantucket blue

Happy (grab a tissue before you start) Reading!



10 responses to “Top Ten Tueday: Time to Get Serious

  1. Some of my favorite issues books are represented here! I thought about adding A.S. King but couldn’t decide on which book. I like your solution 🙂 Amy & Roger is lovely and I’m intrigued by the Elizabeth Eulberg book. Great recs!

  2. Sheri @ Tangled Up In Books

    Aww I can’t believe I forgot Amy & Roger I heart that book so much. Awesome list 🙂

  3. I’ve read ONE of your honorable mention picks, but I’ve heard such great things about some of these others (or seen them on multiple lists today!) – I need to start reading. Thanks for sharing!

  4. ahh our lists are so similar and I love it! (The Summer I Turned Pretty is one I wanted to add as well!) 🙂 I will have to check out some of your recs I haven’t read yet!

  5. Glad you included Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour. 🙂

  6. That looks like a tough list of books. thanks for stopping by.

  7. 🙂

  8. I never thought of JG having the YA issues crown. For me that always rested with Laurie Halse Anderson. But I LOVED LOVED LOVED Ask the Passengers and can’t wait to read King’s other books!

  9. I am so sad my local libraray hasn’t got any of A.S. King’s books, I have been longing to read something by her for ages. (Must visit bookstore.) Five Flavors of Dumb looks really interesting!

  10. I just love Pushing the Limits and Dare You To. Katie McGarry is one of my favorite authors! And I cannot wait for Isaiah’s story.

    I still need to read Amy and Roger. I can’t believe I haven’t read that one yet.

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