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What defines a hard-to-read book? Is it its level of difficulty? Perhaps it's a plethora of triggers that you feel on a personal level. Perhaps you've had a family member who had cancer so The Fault in Our Stars was either very difficult for you or something you never read. Well here are my top ten books that were hard to read.
1. Falling into Place by Amy Zhang
Amy told a very realistic story of bullying, eating disorders, suicide, and more. It was painful to read for all those reasons.
2. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
The Holocaust and concentration camps are so cringeworthy, and I usually can't read or see anything about them. Therefore, Rose Under Fire was hard to read, but it was enlightening and factual.
3. Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
Imagine trying to see Hitler as one of the good guys. Viewing him through Gretchen's naive eyes was extremely difficult, considering everything we know about him now. But I loved this book nonetheless.
4. Don't Touch by Rachel M. Wilson
Caddie, the main character, suffers from a form of OCD. It was difficult to be inside her head, to see her punish herself so much. I wanted her to cry out for help, and I wanted to hug her close (although that probably wouldn't have helped). Still, Don't Touch was amazing, and I want to read it again and again.
5. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Whereas The Fault in Our Stars is usually the sobworthy cancer book, Second Chance Summer got more tears out of me, particularly towards the end. Sad books are hard to read overall.
6. The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor
Just like with Don't Touch, I so desperately wanted Bettina to get help and to get out of the abusive relationship. It's frustrating when a character makes wrong decisions, but it can also be incredibly realistic.
7. Margot by Jillian Cantor
This fits in with Rose Under Fire in that part of it focuses on the Holocaust and survivors. I loved reading Margot, but I could feel her pain and fear, and that made it a difficult book to read.
8. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Ah, an uneasy time in our nation's history. Overall, Lies was hard to read because of the racial slurs and just how appalling people's actions could be.
9. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
Honestly, I wasn't a big fan of Side Effects. The main character was just too unlikable. Her personality and choices are what made this book a hard one to read.
10. Dangerous by Shannon Hale
What do you do when you don't like a book by one of your favorite authors? Dangerous was hard to read because I love pretty much everything else Shannon has written, but this book definitely wasn't her best work.