Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Were Hard for Us to Read (Due to Their Content)


top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. The feature was created because The Broke and Bookish are particularly fond of lists (as are we!). Each week a new Top Ten list topic is given and bloggers can participate.

 Today’s Topic: 

We found these books difficult to read because of their content.


1. Endgame by Nancy Garden


The bullying and brutality by his peers leads a young man to enter his school with a semi-automatic gun. This book was difficult to read because Garden brilliantly crafts the text so the reader feels the boy’s actions might be justified—even though no school shooting is ever justified. The ounce of doubt makes the reader feel like a terrible person for even understanding the boy’s reaction to the bullying.

2. Nothing by Janne Teller


This is the most depressing book I have ever read. Pierre-Anthon reminds us of how insignificant we are and that nothing really matters. Yet, it is a phenomenal book that I recommend to everyone. It is one of the best books I have ever read.

3. Inexcusable by Chris Lynch


He is a good kid, but he makes a horrible decision that is inexcusable. This book is award-winning, and I think the poor GoodReads ratings reflects just how difficult it is to stomach its contents.

4. The Child Called It by Dave Pelzer

a child called it

Any book about child abuse is very difficult to read, but this one still gives me the shivers. I felt so much anger toward Dave’s mother in this memoir.

5. On the Run by Alice Goffman

on the run

How are we failing as a society? This ethnographic book sheds light on the issues of mass incarceration of African American males and makes readers uncomfortable about their own privilege.


I second Ricki on A Child Called “It”. I read the whole series, and Dave Pelzer’s story is devastating.

1. Lessons from a Dead Girl by Jo Knowles

dead girl

The story of how even though someone is dead they can still haunt you.  This book still haunts me.

2. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick


Leonard is saying good bye to everyone who is important to him because today, his 18th birthday, is going to be the last day of his life.

3. Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff & Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff

tweak beautiful boy

So tough to read about a young boy’s descent into drugs from his and his father’s point of view.

4. Stained by Cheryl Rainfield


Sarah Meadows is kidnapped then repeatedly raped, and abused by her captor. These, obviously, are quite frightening situations to read about. I almost picked Room, but I think Stained was tougher to read because it is from the abused’s point of view.

5. But I Love Him by Amanda Grace

I Love Him

A story of a teenage abusive relationship. This, along with other books about this subject, are so tough to read, but are so important to have available for our teens.

Which books were difficult for you to stomach?

RickiSig and Signature

4 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Were Hard for Us to Read (Due to Their Content)”

  1. All of these books look really intense! I have A Child Called “It” on my list too, and it was a really tough book to read. But all stories that need to be told.


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