Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer Reading Recommendations

I'm not one to cry easily although when I get really emotional/upset/frustrated/angry, it is hard wired to my tear ducts. But read something sad and cry? Not often. But there have been a few books that have either sparked such livid emotion I cried, or gutted me so effectively the only thing I could do was cry. This is the theme of this week: Books that actually made Kari cry.

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams: This one was a mix of compounding emotions and intense frustration. This is one of the singular most gutting books I have ever read and will most likely stick with me forever as a result. It forced me to change the way I think of things and sent my analytic side into overdrive. But mostly, it made me tear up a few times throughout. It's a hard one to stomach, and there are a few scenes that might draw the line for people. But it is worth it. Tears and all.

Diary of a Witness by Catherine Ryan Hyde: This was another one that had such an intense level of sorrow in it that the only thing I could do was let a few tears out. This wasn't a sob fest for me, but one or two slipped out. Not only are you reading about Ernie's struggles both as being overweight and bullied, but you also read as he watches his one and only friend deteriorate in response to the bullying they both endure. This is one of the most wrenching bullying portrayals I've read.

Leftovers by Laura Wiess: In truth, all three of her books have choked me up for different reasons. But this one stood out the most. It had such a complex story line and so much emotion went into it. Though I read it almost straight through, I paid for it in tears. This is a book that sunk me into a depression by the time I was done with it.

Hate List by Jennifer Brown: This one made me bawl more than once. Most of the time it was because I was so angry and frustrated, but some of it was simply sorrow. The entire story is so emotional and complex, with such a range of events and characters. This is another one that is hard to read and a vibrant portrayal of a very gritty situation but worth it in the end. It will also change the way you think

Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala: There are a few instances of frustrated tears... and a few of too much emotion that has to come out somehow. This is a very powerful book in a different way than the ones above although there are some common elements between all these. This, too, is a book that will resonate and change your way of thinking.

Compromised by Heidi Ayarbe: I admit it. I downright bawled at two events in this one. It was unavoidable. It was so well written. One of them was completely unexpected. I couldn't break myself from this one, even when I felt physically ill reading it. This book isn't strongly well known, but it's a must read. Absolutely. Completely. Must read.

I know I've done some wrenching topics before- in truth, these are the kind of books I gravitate towards the most. If I could only read one subset of YA for the rest of my life, this kind would be it. And that, my awesome followers, is this week's set of recommendations.


  1. Absolutely on Hate List and the Chosen One! Both are really good. I haven't read the others

  2. I loved The Hate List and The Chosen One. Both were thought-provoking reads. I read the first part of Tell Me a Secret and that was good, too. Nice Picks!