Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week 2: The Tough Stuff

My bookish friend Ashley is hosting a month long event on her blog for JUST CONTEMPORARY. You'll find a variety of posts (guest posts, interviews, giveaways) all month that deal with only contemporary books. Each week there's a different question floating around to be answered (I'm a few days late with mine).

Week 2: The Tough Stuff

Who knew writing about the tough stuff would be so...tough. I've been looking at a blank screen for a while now! Grr. Honestly, Ashley said it better than I ever could. Be sure to check out her post.

I think the reason it's hard for me is because I don't read a lot of the tough stuff. Not tough as in the writing is difficult as much as the subject matter can be hard to swallow. To me the world sucks enough (I do not watch the news) so I like to escape to a better reality. Though I do believe the tough stuff is necessary. There are so many things that I never experienced in my young adult (or even adult) life that I can't even imagine happening. I had a loving family, great friends, I wasn't abused, I didn't do drugs or even drink. But not everyone has that life...and while I read these and think wow, this person is strong or wow, they handled this well, others are out there actually living it. And for those, these books can give hope. Can help them see they aren't alone. And maybe give them courage to get help or change their life. 

The most recent "tough" books I've read are by Laurie Halse-Anderson. Twisted and Speak are so completely different—different  voice, different writing style, different subject mattersbut invoke the same feelings. Raw, rough, hard. Twisted is from a male POV about a boy who struggles with a reputation that he doesn't want to live up to and works to change it. Speak is about a girl who loses her voice after being raped. In the end she's able to finally overcome her fear and speak up for herself. What I love about these books is that they may not end happily ever after, but they leave you with a feeling that these characters can be happy with time. I have Wintergirls in my possession and can't wait to read it. 

I'm currently reading "Story of a Girl" By Sara Zarr which by the description and opening pages it looks to be a tough read. Hope I'm ready.

What tough books do you recommend?


Ashley said...

Thank Mandie!! BOTH for linking to my post and for writing!! :D

I'm so happy that you liked Twisted and Speak so well and GOODNESS ME!! Story of a Girl is amazing, but yes, definitely a toughy!

Great post and I'm glad to see that you are starting to branch out more!

Keriann Greaney Martin said...

Oh Mandie, you are and I are so alike. Like you, I had a pretty sweet childhood. I didn't drink, do drugs, or swear. I never even go to a party where other kids were drinking! I also don't usually read the tough books because they make me sad. I know that stuff is out there, but I too want to escape into a book that doesn't make me feel horrible about the world. I like books that have some tough issues, but they end on a happy and optimistic note.

I guess that means I don't have any tough books to recommend :).

Christa said...

I loved Story of A Girl. But, if you want the real tough stuff, I'm currently reading FORBIDDEN and holy cow. Holy cow. That is all.

Post a Comment