I've read two books in the last few weeks that have really affected me. I'm a huge fan of the Printz award, so when the new books were announced, I immediately downloaded Nothing by Janne Teller (yay, Kindle!).
I'd been looking forward to reading Nothing because it was compared to Lord of the Flies, which I just finished teaching with my honors 9 students. I go over Golding's idea of the potential for evil inside everyone repeatedly with them and wanted to see how Janne pulled it off.
All I can say is wow. She packed a punch that I didn't see coming and it continued to hurt more and more as I went deeper into the story.
The book centers around seventh graders and while at first it seems innocent, it eventually sees impossible to go on.
But....she makes you want to read on.
There was no way I could stop reading this book (especially since Golding's idea of the potential for evil is very evident in this book) and the end leaves you gasping. Seriously. I put it aside when I finished it and sat for at least twenty minutes just thinking about it. The story haunts you.
I recently recommended Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls to a bunch of my students, but I warned them of the same thing. It's a hard book. There might be times when you want to stop, but the story stays with you and it's very very powerful.
Elizabeth Scott's Living Dead Girl is another great example.
I love books like this. I think it shows the true talent of a writer to be able to give us a difficult story that at the same time can be written in a beautiful way. It's a bit of an oxymoron, but a talent that I find incredible.
Have you read books like this? Books that you want to stop, but you can't. What are they? I'd love to hear your views!
And don't forget to enter my DIVERGENT arc contest. I'll pick a winner a week from today. Each time you re-tweet, blog or Facebook, you get more entries. You can let me know if the comments if you do! Good luck!