T5W: Books with Hard Topics


Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey. Every week, readers get a new topic to discuss and list  5 books (or whatever is specified) that relate to that topic! If you’re interested in joining, you should come join us at the Goodreads group!


Books with hard topics tend to stay with you long after you turn the last page. They haunt you and confront you with issues that you wish never existed in the first place. My choices for this week entails books with different forms of sexual abuse especially where minors were involved.

roomThe Room by Emma Donoghue- This was a tough one. A woman was kidnapped and held as a sex slave for seven years. She had a son as a result of the rape. Mother and son end up living in the room where they are imprisoned and the rape goes on despite the presence of the little boy in the room. This story was devastating. Furthermore, it is inspired by true events(Josef Fritz case) hence even more  horrific. You can read my full review here.


IMG_20160124_143717Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold- The protagonist was only 14 years old when she was raped and murdered. It was heartbreaking reading about the incident and what happened to Susie. I was disgusted by the rapist. Susie’s life was cut short in such a tragic manner. Child abuse is always such a hard topic. My review of the Lovely Bones is here.

I recently bought Lucky by the same author and can’t wait to read it. Apparently, Lovely Bones was inspired by Alice’s own experiences as a child.


I know why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou- This is an inspiring memoir but truly heartbreaking. At 8 years old, Maya is raped by her mother’s boyfriend. The description of the rape was difficult to read. Maya talks about the unimaginable pain that she went through during the ordeal. Truly horrifying.



Nujood 1I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali and Delphine Minoui- This is a story about a 10 year old bride forcefully married off by her father to an older man. The agony that Nujood went through is unimaginable. The repeated rape by her husband and torture by her mother in law was horrific. It was all too much; I can’t imagine how she went through all that. She was the world’s youngest divorcee although sadly, there are other younger brides forced into marriage before the age of ten. I reviewed this book last month.


kite runner

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini- Second time I am mentioning this book in T5W this month. It is the only book that I remember that had a male character who was sexually abused. Hassan was raped by bully when he was young. Shockingly, the bully grew up and made Hassan’s young son his sex slave. It was all too heartbreaking. Another book that had a male character going through child abuse was Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer although this time, the abuser was his mother. You can read my review of Lost Boy here. I also did a review of Kite Runner here.

I am currently reading This Secret We’re Keeping by Rebecca Done. Its about a teacher-pupil relationship, a taboo topic of course, I would have included the book in this list but I have just started reading.

Have you read any of these books? Which books made it to your list this week? Don’t be shy, Share your links and I will pay your blogs a visit.

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13 thoughts on “T5W: Books with Hard Topics

  1. out of your selection I’ve only read Room, which I actually just finished today so it missed out on making my list. I did see the movie before I read the book but it was still an emotional reading experience.

    1. I have never watched the movie but will definitely look for it. Room is definitely one of those books that are hard to forget once you read them.

  2. I thought Room was really powerful and I can’t wait to watch the movie. I didn’t read the Lovely Bones but I watched the movie, I remember being so moved as she sees her sister go on with her life. Is it faithful ? I haven’t read any of the others but I think I want to pick up the Kite renner and I Am Nujood Age 10 and Divorced

  3. I haven’t watched the tow movies, Lovely Bones and Room but I hope to do so soon. Yeah it was sad how Susie’s life was cut short and she was left watching others live. That was truly sad. I hope you will like the two books as much as I did. Khaled Hosseini has three books so if you like The Kite Runner, perhaps you can also read A Thousand Splendid Suns and And The Mountains Echoed.

    1. Please do. Its a shocking story but I guess its important to read such books. Its devastating though especially knowing that its a true story.

  4. I absolutely loved Lovely Bones, it actually helped me through grieving the loss of my brother so it has a special place in my heart. Room is on my list to read and now after reading your review of Divorced at 10, I will be reading that one too.

    1. I am sorry about your loss. I am glad that the book helped you though. Its nice to think that our loved ones may be out there somewhere watching over us. I kept wishing that there is truly a heaven for everyone. Room is interesting in many ways, Its the first book that I read that has a child narrator all through. I hope you will like it and Divorced at 10 too.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Happy reading 🙂

  5. Interesting choices!
    Though your list was full of memoirs, I don’t think I’m ready for that kind of book yet. Just reading your synopsis for each book, already made my skin crawl. 😦

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