Top 5 Wednesday: #1

Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was hosted by Lainey @ gingerreadslainey but is now being hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes. For more information on how to participate go check out the Goodreads group!

This Week’s Theme: Books with “Hard” Topics (ie mental health, sexual assault, illness, etc)

My first Top 5 Wednesday! I saw this week’s topic and it’s something I feel incredibly strongly about so I had to make a post! I’m dividing this up into books I’ve read and books on my TBR.

** Please be aware that all these books listed below and my discussions contain difficult topics that may be triggering. Please skip this post over if you’re triggered by mentions of mental illness, suicide and rape **

Covers = Goodreads

3 Books I’ve Read

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

I can’t even explain how much of an impact this book had on me. It’s a classic short story that’s classed as a psychological horror about a woman in the late 1800s who’s dealing with mental illness. Her “treatment” is to be locked in a room. It is a terrifying look on what can happen if mental illnesses are misdiagnosed or mistreated. It’s also terrifying because over 100 years later I still feel like the issues in this book are relevant today. It also deals with the oppression of women. I found this book so hard to read, as someone who suffers from a variety of mental illnesses, it absolutely terrified me that this could be my future. Among that terror though I discovered a new found hope and determination to keep fighting my own battles. I will never, ever, ever forget this book. This book is available for free on the Kindle Store and Project Gutenberg. I also have a review here.


Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

I know this book is hit or miss, but I loved it. It deals with suicide which is a topic that definitely needs to be talked about more. A lot of people dislike Hannah, but I found myself relating to her. I have done a lot of things that have hurt people and albeit it unintentional I think it’s an important reminder that we are all flawed, but that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve help. This book is such an important reminder that the littlest things can spiral and domino and cause someone to reach their breaking point. I see so many teenagers throwing around “kill yourself” on social media without even thinking what that could do to someone. I’ve been suicidal in the past – sometimes I still have those bad days – and when I was a confused 17 year old who thought if I even mentioned the word I would either be locked up or dismissed – this book really helped me realise that I wasn’t alone. If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal, please, please, please tell someone.


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Another book that is hit or miss, but I loved. Perks deals with so many important and difficult issues that are extremely relevant to teenagers and even adults. Being in Charlie’s head was like being in my own. We have so many of the same thoughts and feelings. Chbosky’s portrayal of introvertism and mental illness was so incredibly real. I hate when people act like being socially awkward is “cute” or a “trend”. Making people uncomfortable because you don’t know how to interact with them is not something that’s fun. Besides mental illness this book also deals with growing up, drugs, sexuality and abuse. I think the fact that it was banned is a reason enough to read it. It’s a book that everyone needs to experience for themselves at least once – even if you end up not liking it.

2 Books on My TBR

Night Games by Anna Krien Night Games by Anna Krien

This is a non-fiction book about the rape trial surrounding Australian Football League players. In Australia, AFL is extremely prominent – I’m a huge lover of it myself, but because of that the men involved tend to get away with a lot of awful things. Krien exposes the darker side of the game and shows how women get treated by the sports world. She talks about how in the past AFL clubs have payed women off to keep quiet and have even told their players to make sure they satisfy the women they’re with so they’ll “keep their mouth shut”. I think it’s extremely important that this book exists in Australia, because I have never seen anyone talk about this before. The media mostly puts all AFL players on a pedestal and all they care about is when drugs are involved. We need to stop letting sports players get away with rape and sexual harassment because of their standing in society. I’m very interested to dig into this. I know it’s going to be hard to read, but I also know it’s really going to help open my eyes even more.


The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t read this one yet! I am hoping to get to it really soon. I don’t actually know too much about it and I want to keep it that way because I want to experience this book as much as possible without being influenced. I’ve read Ariel and absolutely loved it. I found myself connecting to nearly everything Plath was writing. I’ve also seen so many quotes around from her works that I’ve felt in my soul and want tattooed all over me. I know this book deals with mental illness and I know about Sylvia’s own struggles so I can only imagine how realistic and intense this is going to be. I can’t wait to read it, but I’m also scared because I know it’s going to be another tough one for me to deal with.

Other Books Worth a Mention:

  • Stolen by Lucy Christopher – I only just talked about this in yesterday’s TTT which is why I decided not to feature it, but it’s an extremely realistic portrayal of Stockholm Syndrome.
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – An incredibly haunting book that deals with memory suppression due to a traumatic event and grief. Another book that you need to experience for yourself even if you end up not liking it.
  • Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel – I haven’t read this yet, but it’s on my TBR. Again, I don’t know much about it for the same reasons as The Bell Jar, but I know that it deals with mental illness and is extremely realistic. As someone who has been prescribed almost every med that exists I’m really interested to read this and how much I relate to the stories. I also know that April @ Aprilius Maximus gave it 5 stars and she suffers from anxiety similar to me, so I’m sure it’s going to be a difficult but appreciative read.

Make sure to leave a link to your Top 5 Wednesday Post if you have one! Or tell me what your favourite books are that deal with “hard” topics.

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36 thoughts on “Top 5 Wednesday: #1

  1. I just downloaded The Yellow Wallpaper to my Kindle so thanks for the link! 🙂 I haven’t read Thirteen Reasons Why or The Bell Jar but both are books that I really want to read! I bought The Bell Jar a couple years ago but still haven’t gotten to it. Maybe I’ll finally read it over the summer haha

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  2. I have both Thirteen Reasons Why and We Were Liars on my to-read list (I’m hoping to start the latter soon) but I’ve heard great things about them both. It does seem like there are more books out that are tackling the difficult themes, it’s kind of refreshing to see instead of it being ignored in YA literature.

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      1. I hope so too 🙂 I have We Were Liars on my Kindle ready to go and I’ve heard a lot of great things about it so I cannot wait to start. And yes definitely, I really hope it a trend that continues! It’s nice to see books that choose to focus on the darker topics.

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  3. I feel like this is such an important topic. One of the things I love about books is that, even when they’re fiction, they can help you learn to see the world the way others might see it. I’m definitely going to be checking out all of these! I have We Were Liars so chances are that will be up first. Fantastic list!

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    1. Yes, definitely! They really help open up discussions of these sorts of topics and can help educate people and make people who are going or have been through these things feel less alone. I hope you enjoy We Were Liars! It’s such a fast paced and addicting read. I picked it up to read the first few pages and the next thing I knew I’d finished the whole book.

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  4. I’ve listened to The Perks Of Being A Wallflower and really enjoyed it. Stolen and We Were Liars are still on my tbr! The Yellow Wallpaper is now being downloaded. You definitely convinced me to read it.
    I’m really happy these kinds of books are being written, so society stops acting like those are taboo topics, when clearly, they need to be talked about in order to help everyone suffering! When someone breaks a bone everyone comes running to help, but when someone is confronted with a mental illness everyone runs away? This isn’t acceptable and not a world I want to live in.

    My favorite books that deal with a hard topic are You Against Me by Jenny Downham (rape) and Sometimes Never by Cheryl McIntyre (self harm). Oh, and Undone by Cat Clarke is also a book that makes you think, it deals with suicide.
    Asking For It by Louise O’Neill is very high on my tbr and I feel like it will be a thought-provoking book about rape as well, so I had to tell you about it! Have you read any of these? I’d definitely recommend the first three and the last one seems to be a very good one too, so I’ll just recommend it, without having read it yet.

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    1. I’m glad you liked Perks! Stolen and We Were Liars are both so good. We Were Liars is a really quick and addicting read, too. I picked it up to read the first few pages and then the next thing I knew I’d finished the book. And yay, I’m so glad you got The Yellow Wallpaper! I really hope you enjoy it.

      Ahh, same. I never understand why so many books like this are banned. It’s so good to see more and more books dealing with these topics being released because hopefully, eventually, the stigma surrounding these things will stop existing.

      I’ve had You Against Me on my bookshelf for like two years. I really, really need to read it. Undone, Sometimes Never and Asking For It are all on my TBR. I actually saw Asking For It at a used bookstore yesterday and was so tempted to pick it up but they didn’t accept card and I didn’t have enough cash on me. If it’s still there next time I go I’m definitely going to get it!

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      1. I’ll definitely get to We Were Liars soon, hopefully in summer, it seems to be perfect for that!
        Yes, it would be great if that would happen in our Generation as well. There’s so many issues, that take decades and this surely is a topic that shouldn’t be too hard to make people open up to.
        You Against Me is also a very quick read! I read it in less than three days, even though I was busy with school at that time. I hope you enjoy all of them! 🙂

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  5. Yes, yes, yes!! The Yellow Wallpaper, Thirteen Reasons Why , and The Perks of Being a Wallflower are all so gooood! And The Bell Jar is one of my all time favorite books. I hope you like that one when you get to it. 🙂

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  6. Thirteen Reasons Why keeps popping up. It looks really interesting. Can’t say I’d ever truthfully *read* it, but I’d be interested in listening to it as an audiobook on the way back and forth from work.

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  7. I really didn’t like Stolen, but I agree that is a great choice for this topic. I’ve only watched the movie Prozac Nation and it was extremely interesting, but also kind of hard to watch. I remember reading The Yellow Wallpaper in school, but I was too young to appreciate or even understand what I was reading. I’ll definitely have to give it a reread, especially if it was able to have such a huge impact on you.

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      1. I had no clue it was based on a book. I don’t think I would have been able to make it through, honestly. I’ll have to find a way to get my hands on it so I can give it a reread. Hopefully this time I’ll be able to enjoy it a lot more!

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    1. I’m so glad I stumbled across it. I read a few chapters of it and it was very informative and eye opening, I can’t wait to read the whole thing. I never thought anything like that would exist here in Australia because of how our culture/media views sports players.

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  8. Hello, I’m new to your blog and I will most certainly follow it! Now, thank you for providing me with new books to add to my tbr. The yellow wallpaper sounds terrifying and at the same time amazing. As someone who also suffers from mental illnesses I hope to like this book as much as you did.

    By the way, you should really read the bell jar. I must admit, I probably missed way more of the story than I can admit because it’s a difficult book to read but I still enjoy it and I will re-read it soon.

    My top 5 is here: http://girlheartsbook.blogspot.pt/2016/04/top-5-wednesday_13.html

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    1. Thank you so much for following 🙂 I followed back via email subscription! really hope you enjoy The Yellow Wallpaper, it has such an important message.

      The Bell Jar is definitely towards the top of my TBR pile. I know I’m going to love it, even though I will probably find it difficult to read. I can’t wait to experience it.

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