This is my twenty-second Top Ten Tuesday post. Top Ten Tuesday was created and is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I’m really excited about this topic because it means that I get to feature a wide range of books, from those that have held a place in my heart (and on my shelves) for years, to more recent reads. I’ve tried to pick books that deal with a variety of issues, but couldn’t resist including three that deal with food and body issues, all read as part of the Body Image and Self-Perception Month that I participated in. As always, click the links in the book titles to read my full reviews.
1. Pushing the Limits, by Katie McGarry – Yes, this novel has a romance at its heart, but Echo and Noah also have to deal with the social care system, betrayal, amnesia, and mental illness, and the characterisation throughout is outstanding.
2. Noughts & Crosses, by Malorie Blackman – A thriller set in an alternate version of the UK where the dark-skinned Crosses are in charge of everything, whilst the light-skinned Crosses struggle to gain access to decent education, healthcare, and justice. As best friends Callum and Sephy, a Nought and a Cross, head towards adulthood, they have to deal with the harsh realities of their world and their growing feelings for each other. It’s a heartbreaking and fascinating story, and the first in a four-part series of novels.
3. Candy, by Kevin Brooks – A compulsively readable novel about Joe, who falls in love with Candy, a heroin addict, and despite his denial, slowly and inevitably learns about the terrible world she lives in.
4. Nobody’s Family Is Going To Change, by Louise Fitzhugh – The eldest of the protagonists is only eleven, but this story, about learning to cope with parents that disapprove of your dreams, is immensely powerful.
5. Massive, by Julia Bell – A haunting snapshot of the life of Carmen, a teenage girl heavily influenced by the disordered eating of those around her, especially her mother Maria, who is obsessed with dieting.
6. Fat Kid Rules The World, by K. L. Going – Troy, the titular ‘fat kid’, is befriended by Curt, a popular, skinny, punk boy, in this short book with an unusual plot. Troy finds himself following Curt around, and eventually being encouraged to play the drums in Curt’s band. This book deals with family problems as well as the food and body image issues that you would expect from the title.
7. Girl Overboard, by Justina Chen Headley – Billionnaire’s daughter Syrah Cheng has to deal with the body issues her mother has passed onto her while recovering from a snowboarding accident and heartbreak.
8. Leader of the Pack, by Kate Cann – As their relationship develops, Gem and Jack have to deal with the laddish, hyper-masculine culture that goes hand-in-hand with his beloved rugby team.
9. Saving June, by Hannah Harrington – Recently bereaved Harper sets out on a road trip to scatter her sister’s ashes in California, along with her best friend Laney and the mysterious Jake.
10. Dancing Through the Shadows, by Teresa Tomlinson – A tiny little book about a teenage girl called Ellen whose mum is diagnosed with breast cancer, and how she deals with her feelings though dance and helping to clean an ancient well.
Would any of these make your top ten? What are your favourite ‘tough subjects’ for books to tackle?