Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saturday @ Starbucks: Tough Subjects and a Bottled Frappuccino

This week's topic is: 
Tough Subjects and a Bottled Frappuccino

Drink of the Week: Bottled Frappuccino
I love going to Starbucks but sometimes it just isn't convenient or heaven forbid, I'm somewhere that doesn't have one. This has happened to me, in rural Idaho. In such dire circumstances, I'm glad that I can at least find the goodness that is Starbucks bottled up for me in the grocery store. The greatest thing about the bottled fraps is that they are delicious hot or cold. If you want it cold, drink it straight from the bottle. If you want it hot, pour it in a mug and heat it up.

Book Topic: Discussing Tough Subjects
Recently, I have come across several books that delve into the tough topics that really put our emotions on high alert while reading them. These are the books that make me squirm and get deep down inside me. They are emotional and when the author does them right, I can really feel the terror, grief, sadness and pain that characters suffer. The topics that really get me are sexual assault, physical/emotional abuse and death.

Sexual assault is probably one of the toughest topics for me to read about because, as a woman, it is a fear I think we all have. This is something that happens to thousands of women every day and it is not only terrifying but also emotionally devastating. I have to admit that I have a hard time with a book that describes the sexual assault in great detail. I read the Jaycee Duggard Story and I was sick to my stomach when I read the things that had happened to her. I definitely realized I may not be able to read such graphic details of a very traumatic experience. I've mentioned this before, but I loved the way Tammara Webber handled the topic in Easy. She really empowered women with this book and she dealt with it differently than any other book I have read. 

Abuse is a topic that I can handle a little easier but it definitely hits me hard emotionally. When a child is being physically abused by a parent or an adult, it really tears at my heart. I couldn't imagine the pain and fear that they would go through every single day. I love when the main character has a crew of supporting characters that are there to help them through the abuse and give them hope and light. I also think emotional abuse is just as difficult and and equally powerful subject for emotional depth. When I read In Too Deep by Michelle Kemper Brownlow, I was wrecked by the emotions I felt with that book. The emotional torment that Gracie suffered from her boyfriend Noah was devastating to me and the fact that they way all of the characters reacted to the situation, especially Gracie, was so real.

The last tough topic I want to discuss is death, in any form, whether it be by illness, tragedy or suicide. I think this is also a super sensitive and emotional topic as well. Most of us have probably have experience with death in our real lives in one way or another. I am lucky to say that I don't have a lot of it so when I read a book that deals with the topic and it is raw and powerful, I definitely feel my emotions on high alert. This is probably the one topic that really makes me cry when I read a book. When I read Falling Into You and Falling Into Us by Jasinda Wilder, I had tears free falling from my cheeks and I can't remember another time when I just cried like that from a book. When I read books with death, I feel the grief and sorrow with the characters. These are the books that give me "hangovers" for days.

What about you? How do you feel when you read books dealing with tough subjects? Do you find yourself emotionally connected like I do?


  1. I think the sexual assault topic bothers me the most because it's hard to read. I couldn't finish Easy because of it. I know another tough topic a lot of people try to skip is incest and student/teacher relationships. Great post!

    Alise @ Readers in Wonderland

  2. I am definitely as emotionally connected. Going Under ripped me apart, as did In Too Deep. Both deal with very different topics, but my heart just aches for both the MC's in those books. As difficult as these topics are, they are real and happen to people every day. I think it's important for these kinds of books to be read, to bring about an awareness to others also.

  3. As you know, I love these emotional books and yes I live every moment as if it were me so safe to say I'm connected!
    I think its good not to shy away from the difficult topics, you always learn something and it does make you more empathic for what others have to deal with in their lives. I loved all the books you mentioned above especially In Too Deep as emotional abuse isn't covered that often in books and it such an important subject.
    I think writing about these subjects encourages discussion and that is always good.

  4. Sexual assault has always been a tough topic for me to read but I think I come out of it a stronger person if the book is written in a way that shows the healing process that comes after it. It makes me believe that if something that horrific was to happen to me, I could survive it. And, I think it helps me to be even more sympathetic to people who have had such tragedy in their lives. Great post!

  5. I use to not read ANYTHING that was realistic. (and this is why I don't read non-fiction or watch 'based on a true story' movies) because I couldn't handle it. Knowing that these things HAPPEN and I am sitting here reading it, wouldn't sit right, ya know?

    This has changed, of course. It's difficult to read but I think it takes a lot of guts for an author to write about such topics. As for the topics, it's hard for me to read about abuse in any way. Be it mental, physical or sexual.

    But yes, I find myself emotionally attached to those characters.

  6. Student/teacher relationships I think are tricky; if it's college age it doesn't necessarily bother me but high school maybe depending on the relationship. Incest is definitely a subject I hadn't thought about but I don't think I could handle that one either.

  7. I totally agree, I think I like reading them because they do deal with such real topics and bring about awareness. The more real it is, the more I can emotionally connect with the characters.

  8. I definitely agree, emotional abuse is not a topic that is covered nearly as much but is just as difficult and emotionally wrenching. I like that the topics are real and when the author does them right, they can be a learning experience too.

  9. You are so right! While it can be difficult to read the subject matter, I really feel like it makes me stronger as well. I agree that you can definitely learn real life lessons even though the story is fiction and the healing process as well as the character's ability to overcome the situation is inspiring.

  10. I really enjoy that the topics are realistic but I agree, non-fiction is hard for me. When I read the book Jaycee Duggard wrote, I became phsically ill at times because I knew that it actually happened to a real person. While I emotionally connect and I know the subject matter is real, the fact that the story is fiction makes it easier to deal with.

  11. I always get way too emotionally invested in things like books, movies, tv shows. These tough subjects always hit me hard. That's why a lot of the time, I shy away from those books because I just can't handle the emotional drain. (I seriously had to recover from falling into you -- I had this ache in my chest that just wouldn't go away) Anything dealing with death, really -- I was SOBBING as I read If I Stay. I tend to place myself into the stories so yes, definitely emotionally connected!

  12. I definitely think it's easy to get connected to books that deal with tough subjects! I especially agree with you when you mentioned that sexual assault is one of the toughest because all of us women are afraid of. I think anytime we can connect to a character on a personal level and live through their experiences, it sort of is impossible to not get emotional. It's weird because in a way you never want to experience those things, and yet you allow yourself to experience them through a book. I still think it's a good thing though. It makes you more aware of the issues going on in the world, and really, sometimes it's just nice to have a good tear fest... lol. Great post!

  13. Oh yeah, Falling Into You hit me like a ton of bricks. I definitely put myself in the shoes of the characters and that is why I get so emotional. However, I seem to crave these types of reads.

  14. I definitely agree! Books that deal with these subjects bring them to light and make us more aware of these situations and the emotions that are felt. I need a tear fest every once and a while :-)


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