Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Each week they release a Top Ten Theme and invite everyone to join in and make their own Top Ten List.
So I went to a talk and signing by Gayle Foreman with Kelly from Have Book Will Read on Sunday which was amazing! Listening to her talk about her new book I Was Here was really interesting, especially since she has decided to make up an imaginary interviewer ‘Dave’ who she became when she changed seats and proceeded to interview herself!
One thing that really stuck with me from the day was her answer to a question about the characters she creates and why she thinks they are so popular with YA readers:
“I write about real characters in extraordinary situations”
So that’s what I picked as my topic this week. Books with real characters, in realistic and extreme situations. Car accidents, suicide, illness, underage pregnancy, they are all real things that could happen to any one of us, which makes reading the books that feature them all that more relate-able and powerful.
Boys Don’t Cry – I’ve read a number of books about young girls getting pregnant and most of the time the book is very much focused on them. I like that Malorie Blackman decided to be totally different and write about a young single dad. They are out there in the world, but for some reason they don’t seem to get as much recognition as young single mums.
My Heart and Other Black Holes – There are quite a few ‘suicide books’ being released at the moment but what I really like about this one is it’s focus on the very real problem that is the effect social media and the internet has had. This book is themed around suicide partners, which is something I didn’t know all that much about before reading this book, but seem to notice a lot more since.
Fading – Reading about Candance trying to get back to living her life after being attacked was totally heartbreaking, but it reminded me that it is something that happens everyday. It’s a totally sad thought, but knowing it just makes the book all that more powerful.
The Fault in Our Stars – Another very realistic scenario, with real characters put into a very real and extreme situation. I always feel that this book makes me realize just how lucky I am.
If I Stay – As she said, Gayle writes about real characters in extreme situations. What’s more real then a car accident? What’s more real then looking back over your life and trying to decide if it’s worth living anymore? It’s haunting and heartbreaking but at the same time beautiful and oh so inspirational.
The Summer Remains – This is NOT a cancer book. It does however include an extremely ill girl, and a guy and a totally amazing summer. Even more it is inspired by real events, which if you make it to the end of the book without falling apart, then you can read his author note, which will then most defiantly reduce you to a puddle of tears!
Tease – We never think about the bullies, and to be honest I held off reading this book for quite a while because I wasn’t sure how I felt about reading a book from the POV of a bully whose actions had caused someone to kill themselves. It’s a book that will leave you very confused at how you are meant to be feeling, but at the same time it is a book well worth reading.
Trouble – I love this book. Non Pratt managed to write a book that is very real, about a teenage pregnancy, in which she manages to capture the voice of Hannah (said pregnant girl) perfectly. I mean, what is more real then a young girl who finds out that she is pregnant and her first thought is that she is going to get fat?! It’s just perfect!
What I Didn’t Say – We all make silly decisions at some point in our lives, and we all have to deal with them. One of my more stupid moments in life resulted in me crashing my car, luckily no one was hurt (except the car) but it could have been a hell of a lot worse, and I would have had to have lived with that for the rest of my life. This book very much reminds me of this, and tells the story of Jake who after making a stupid decision one night ends up loosing his ability to speak forever. It’s kind of sobering, but in a really good way.
Unbreakable – Like with Fading, this book is made all the more powerful by the fact that it features something that is very real in today’s world. We have all either known or heard of someone or seen something on the news about someone being attacked. It is the realism that makes books like this one life changing.