10 Powerful Fiction Books That’ll Help You Deal With Life’s Tough Moments

10 Powerful Fiction Books That’ll Help You Deal With Life’s Tough Moments

Author’s note: This article discusses sexual violence and abuse.

It’s a nice feeling knowing that you’re not alone in this big world. This is especially true when talking about things such as rape, bullying, moving, and accepting yourself.

Books have the aptitude to acknowledge the less savory aspects of being human. Whether your looking for someone to get it, or simply to understand someone else, this list of fiction books will offer you a few different ways to dealwith the tough stuff.


1. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

This book is about a girl whose father rapidly remarries after the death of her mother. Struggling between life and school, she finds a friend in SN—an online person from her school helping her through her new life.


2. Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram

Ella’s entire world is changed when a tragic car accident kills her mother and leaves her entire body covered in scars. Her estranged father, who is completely involved with his current family, comes to take care of Ella. She goes through physical therapy, the loss of the most important person in her life, all while dealing with her new environment.

However, while all seems tragic, this book is the story of Ella’s learning to live in her new life, gain acceptance of her new body, and show the determination she has to get better.


3. Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall

This book is a tragic book from the beginning. The main character, Sugar, deals with a boatload of trauma. From bullying and abuse from her family leading to her to feel compelled to eat her feelings, to her body and self-worth issues, this book is heart-wrenching. Sugar’s story is that of a girl struggling to keep her head above water and her quest to gain personal happiness.


4. Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

This book illustrates Senna’s sense of decaying self, and her own ridged hopelessness that come with being in love and dying. The writing in Mud Vein is gorgeous; it’s a kind of thriller mystery doused in the character’s own turmoil.


5. Anything Could Happen by Will Walton

Tretch is in love with his straight best friend, and keeping a secret in a small everybody-knows-everything town is increasingly difficult.


6. Easy by Tammara Webber

Rape, death, assault, stalking. This book is jammed packed with events that leave Jackie’s head spinning. This story follows Jackie as she works her way though the aftermath of her assault. It’s a college-age story (with romance) about one woman building herself back up again.


7. South of Sunshine by Dana Elmendorf

In this book, the reader follows Kaycee’s story of coming out not only to her town and her bible-bearing mother, but also to herself.


8. The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

This book begins with the remembrance of the main character’s rape. It isn’t graphic—in fact, it’s extremely removed. Stoic, even. Enduring. The rest of the book is Eden’s spiral out of herself and into a more removed, risk-taking, changed individual.

While this book depicts one girl’s story following the aftermath of her rape, it doesn’t comprehend every story. I think that’s important to keep in mind when reading it.


9. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

This book deals with the loss of something that makes up one’s identity. Elyse’s journey is tragic, lyrical, and so romantic. She struggles to see who she is without her sister, and The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is her journey from one part of a whole to simply herself.


10. Not if I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Parker can’t see, so in order to help the world around her treat her like she wants to be treated, she’s created rules. This book isn’t dark by any stretch of the imagination, but the perspective that Parker grants you, the feeling of being taken advantage of, made fun of, bullied by someone she trusted, is a valuable one.


Some of these books are tear-inducing and some of these books will make you want to give the world a giant hug. The fact is that humans will always have, create, and decimate problems. They may be our own or someone else’s—but trying to understand where people come from? That’s worth reading about.


Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.