Hi dear friends,
Today is my first day participating in this monthly event called Blogoween and organized by a bunch of imaginative bloggers! The main event is hosted at Clo @bookdragon but really every host took turn in imagining the daily topic.
I chose to participate in Level 2 meaning that I will post daily from today till October 31st!
Today’s topic is from Sam@fictionallysam and is officially called: Barely Breathing; Forever Haunted.
As explanation we got: Books you’ve read that have left you emotionally crippled.
Well I do belive in the power of books.
I do believe that some books are placed on our path at the right time and help us to deal with some difficulties. They can help us understand others or a situation better. They can sometimes give us the courage to change things. To take that leap of faith.
Or they can just move us to our bone marrow.
The books I chose to feature today are not new books if you are following me for some times but few books have had a powerful impact on me. To the point that I still recall them vividly years after. And it’s that kind of book that I really want to highlight today.
You’ll have two big categories:
-the ones who left me indeed emotionally crippled. Wounded. Barely breathing.
-the ones who did not leave me crippled but were profoundly moving. Not only making me cry but really owling how life was unfair sometimes while I read it.
You have been warned, today is serious business!
Two books left me emotionally crippled, one YA and one very Adult.
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Yes I’ve talked countless times about this book but how could I not? I was afraid to read it as the topic is a real taboo/forbidden topic. I don’t speak about love between step brother and sister. No it’s about love between blood related brother and sister.
You can see why I was hesitant to begin reading it.
Well it’s still to these days a fantastic read. A really hard read. A moral challenge. A formidable book that will stay with me forever.
This quote sum it up best:
“You can close your eyes to the things you do not want to see, but you cannot close your heart to the things you do not want to feel.”
She is pretty and talented – sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But… they are brother and sister.
Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.
The second book that left me emotionally crippled to the point that I had to take it out of my chest and write an “Open letter to” is a very adult book: The Silver Cage by Anonymous
What I wrote about it:
” It’s a powerful and tragic story. Filled with incredible amounts of suffering. Yet it’s written in such fashion that it feels just real. Not overdone. Not exaggerated. Suanne Laqueur wanted to smash her kindle against a wall. My friend Jennifer had not recovered 24 hours after having read the last word. Then we had theories about who wrote the book. She thought it was Michael. I feel it is Cal.
Knowing all these reactions I braced for it but I still ended knocked out. WTH???
So read this at your own risk. “
A bitter, mysterious author. A young and naive journalist. A tragic past, a dark secret, and an unforgettable tale of passion and love.
WARNING: The Silver Cage is intended for mature readers; it contains graphic sensuality and strong themes including suicide, sexual identity, and self-harm.
In the second category, the ones making me cry but really owling how life was unfair you have:
In Young Adult first
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Once again I wrote a letter here. To Jennifer Niven. Or rather I wrote my review as a letter *something I seem to do whan I feel the authors are manhandling their characters and I would like to be all mama bear on them*.
I concluded this letter with:
“So now I’m furious, mad, enraged, incandescent, incensed, irate …sad, heartbroken, crestfallen, inconsolable.
PS It’s the books that hurt that I remember best so you did a great job and I’m sure I’ve already forgiven you because well… it’s Fynch.”
The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole
I cried and cried and cried and…was unconsolable. Then my daughter cried and cried and cried and …was unconsolable.
“Why does it take a life ending to learn how to cherish each day? Why must we wait until we run out of time to start to accomplish all that we dreamed, when once we had all the time in the world? Why don’t we look at the person we love the most like it’s the last time we will ever see them? Because if we did, life would be so vibrant. Life would be so truly and completely lived.”
― A Thousand Boy Kisses
“This isn’t the end. It’s just a little pause in our lives. And I’ll be watching over you, every single day. I’ll be in your heart. I’ll be in the blossom grove that we love so much, in the sun and the wind.”
― A Thousand Boy Kisses
One kiss lasts a moment. But a thousand kisses can last a lifetime. One boy. One girl. A bond that is forged in an instant and cherished for a decade. A bond that neither time nor distance can break. A bond that will last forever. Or so they believe.
When seventeen-year-old Rune Kristiansen returns from his native Norway to the sleepy town of Blossom Grove, Georgia, where he befriended Poppy Litchfield as a child, he has just one thing on his mind. Why did the girl who was one half of his soul, who promised to wait faithfully for his return, cut him off without a word of explanation? Rune’s heart was broken two years ago when Poppy fell silent. When he discovers the truth, he finds that the greatest heartache is yet to come.
A stand-alone young adult tearjerker romance, recommended for ages fourteen and up.
If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
What I wrote about this book that had been recommended by a very good friend:
“I was hooked from the beginning. It’s a story of survival of resilience and of the deep bond of sisterhood. Emily Murdoch’s writing is down to earth, matter of fact and progressively the little clues pile up to lead us to the truth. I’ve been bluffed all right, sucked into Carey and Jenessa’s world, not wanting to stop reading for anything in the world.”
There are some things you can’t leave behind…
A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.
Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.
Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher
This is another kind of emotional as I was overcome by the beauty of this book. Truly I had tears in my eyes reading this book simply because the writing “did it” for me. Another friend could not get into it but I savored every sentence, every description.
What I wrote about the book:
“Written in such a way you feel the heat of this dead and thirsty land, I was in Gemma’s head and experienced everything alongside her: her family memories, her fear of Ty, her rage and desperation. I learned to see the hidden life of this arid land, to recognize the beauty of a starry night sky. I touched the soft fur of a camel with long eyelashes and sweet eyes. The earth sang and told a story. The slow pace allowed me to savor the story, to soak up this land’s wonders.
This story played with my beliefs, with my emotions. I discovered this strange man alongside Gemma and tried to understand why she had been chosen. Why her? Why not some other girl? The more I read about Ty’s past, the more I understood his motives. He was a complex and complicated character. He was a man but he also had the candor of a child, even after all he did to gather the money and take Gemma from her family.”
”I’m going to tell the truth. My truth. I will say that you kidnapped me, of course. You did. I won’t shy away from the evil you can be. But I’ll tell them your other side, too. The side I saw sometimes when you spoke softly to the camel, and when you gently touched the leaves of the saltbush, only picking what you needed. And the times you rescued me.”
It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.
This is my story.
A letter from nowhere.
Sixteen-year-old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back?
The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don’t exist–almost.
Now two adult books
A Charm of Finches by Suanne Laqueur and yes I know I keep pushing this one onto everyone. But remember: crippled!
What I wrote about the book:
” Seriously this book should come with a warning. Suanne tells a terrible and powerful story. One where you’ll call for your mom to come rescue you because the fox is in the den and you’re the panicked little chick.
I love her and I sometimes hate her equally as she loves destroying her heroes before rebuilding them. They are real Phoenixes reborn from their ashes and throughout this long, painful but glorious process we suffer right alongside them. It’s raw, flesh against flesh will against will, it’s messy, painful and cathartic. It’s life in all its glory.
You end up shaken, overwhelmed, emotional with a gigantic book hangover because it was so exceptional that you want more. Always more.”
“I swear. Give me one more chance and I will make the most of it.”
Ex-hustler Javier Landes is asking for his third chance at love. The third time proves to be the charm when he meets a Manhattan art therapist named Steffen Finch. What starts as casual and curious deepens into a passionate, soulful relationship—everything Jav has ever wanted, and everything he fears losing.
Stef’s business card reads Curator & Sailor. His creativity and insightful nature have made him into a talented therapist, the one to call for tough cases. His professional success can’t conceal a deep need to connect with someone, but Javier Landes is the last person Stef expected.
Geronimo “Geno” Caan is Stef’s most challenging case. To cope with his ordeal, he’s allowed an alter-ego called Mos to make decisions, and now lives a double life within a web of lies. Under Stef’s navigation, Geno uses art to express what Mos forbids to be spoken aloud. But as Geno’s attachment to Stef gradually extends to Jav, the boundaries between professional and personal begin to blur.
Over the course of a year, Jav, Stef and Geno form an unexpected and unconventional triangle, revealing how men make love in times of war and how love is a great wisdom made up of small understandings. The long-awaited second book of the Venery series, A Charm of Finches is an epic tale of survival and secrets guaranteed to make you think and feel and remember.
And the last one for today, sorry this is a long post but when I love I go “all in” 😉
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
Once again this book has taboo in it and is maybe not for everyone. I’ve been insulted by another reader because I loved this book. I can understand that if you don’t read it or even if you read it you can be offended. I took the brunt of her anger I guess…
What I wrote about the book:
“Just know there are many delicate topics broached in this book. Some would normally have me screaming murder but they did not seem ugly, astonishingly they seemed rather beautiful. That’s what this story is about: the ugly and the beautiful in the ugly.
It was my first Bryn Greenwood’s book but it won’t be my last as I’ve discovered a very talented author. I can now honestly say I understand all the fuss that’s been made about this book for days now. If you like “real life” stories with flawed characters written by author that does not beat around the bush but goes straight for the jugular, go no further this is your book.”
As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible “adult” around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.
Sorry for this long post!
Have you read these books? Or do you have “crippling books” to recommend?
Thanks for reading!
I haven’t read All the Bright Places, but that one has been on my TBR for a long while. I’ve only gotten glimpse of how painful this read will be when I eventually get to it.
I hope you do get to read it one day Alicia 😉
I’ve not read any of these yet but have a few on my stack. Looks like I need to add more. I love books that rip my heart out and stomp on it. And ones that frustrate me with the unfairness. I guess I could have just said I love books that me me FEEL!
Well Laura the FEEL is the most important part of reading!
I still cry when someone talks about AtBP. *crying now* I will be a hot mess, when that movie comes out.
Hahaha Sam we would just go along so well! I cry so easily too 😉
Great post, Sophie! I haven’t read any of these books but they do sound pretty emotional. Thanks for these recommendations! 🙂
You are most welcome Raven! xoxo
If You Find Me is one I rarely see mentioned. Such a unique story and one that I enjoyed, despite it being heartbreaking. Stolen was another unique story and one I haven’t forgotten despite having read it years ago. I loved how the author was able to make my feelings for Ty just as confused as Gemma’s. We part ways on A Thousand Boy Kisses… as I’m sure we’ve discussed before. 🙂 I wanted to quit that one a hundred times but forced myself to finish. It felt so emotionally manipulative and I rolled my eyes so many times at the sappiness. Ugh. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things… loved it. Such a brave, powerful, emotional story. I know many people take issue with it – as if it were written as an endorsement for certain relationships. But I always remember an interview with the author that I read where she spoke about wanting to tell Wavy’s story and focus on this character having agency and consent and power over her own body and self. I really want to do a reread of that one.
Book twins again Tanya …except for Tillie LOL
I haven’t read any of these but now I think I need to try Forbidden. Thanks for the recommend! I recently got hooked on Emma Scott, a YA author whose writing will rip your heart right out of your chest. She’s amazing!
Oh Jacquie I am a huge fan of Emma Scott! I’ve interviewed her twice: once as Emma Scott and once as ES Bell!
I rarely pick such emotional reads these days because I find myself exhausted after… but I understand the feeling… I’ve only read A Charm of Finches in your list and it’s my favorite book of the year and it was so overwhelming and beautiful and haunting…
Oh Sahi I could not agree more with you! It was my best of 2017!
I have a copy of All the Bright Places… didn’t realize it was an emotional read. I kinda just picked it up in the charity shop cuz of the cute cover and i saw it on some blog. Now i’m not sure i want to read it. I’m not compatible with emotions. Can barely handle my own ones 😀
Hahaha Norrie sorry if I discouraged you to read it!