8 Books to Read When Life Is Too Good

If you're too happy with your life here are a few suggestions that'll change your attitude. Please be aware that nearly all of these books contain some sort of trigger which may or may not be revealed in my review depending upon how lazy I was at the time. Clicking on the book covers will bring you to my review either here or at GR (getting them all here is an on-going, never-ending project called Retro Reviews).


The Girl Next Door by Jack KetchumChase in Shadow by Amy LaneGeek Love


A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara:  You can blame this book for the existence of this list. This one will most definitely adjust your happy-go-lucky attitude and throw you straight into a pit of despair. It's over 700 pages too so there's lots of time to straighten you right out!

The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum: This is a "Girl" book that is very unlike all of the others that have arrived in recent years. The worst of humanity is on display here and there are things here that can never be unread. Even worse than the long drawn out torture in the final act, is the fact that the story is based on real events.

Chase In Shadow by Amy Lane:  This story is filled with despair, angst, pent up emotion and when you're done you'll likely be an emotional wreck. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn:  I love this book so very much but I can't lie, it is a rough read. Two selfish parents do all sorts of terrible things to create their own little freakshow. As the children grow, terrible things happen to them and they do terrible things to others. If your childhood was a nightmare, this book may feel like home.

Halfway HumanA Parcel of PatternsYear of WondersOut

Halfway Human by Carolyn Ives Gilman:  A scifi tale where there are three types of beings; males, females and the blands who serve them.  Trust me you do not want to be a bland. Especially an attractive one. . .

A Parcel of Patterns by Jill Paton Walsh:  Think your younger years were rough? Try growing up during the Bubonic Plague!

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks:  This is another plague book that'll make you thankful a plague hasn't struck us.  Yet . . .

Out by Natsuo Kirino:  This is a fantastic tale of desperation about a group of late shift female co-workers at a boxed lunch factory and the lengths they go to in order to make some extra cash. Whenever I get down on my job, I remember these ladies!

I'm drawn to these types of books, for some bizarre reason, so a Part 2 will be coming soon. If you've read any books that made you lose the will to live please share the love!

Comments

  1. I loved Year of Wonders. I think it really gave you an idea of the fear and mistrust that would happen in a plague quarantined town. I'd like to read a few more like it. I got mad reading the Girl Next Door. The MC had plenty chances to save the girl he claimed to care so much about and I kept getting mad at him. Hearing it is based on real events make you madder.

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    1. I read Year of Wonders in paper and later listened to it on audio and it got to me both times. I fear for us all if a plague ever breaks out! As for The Girl Next Door, I completely agree. That MC was a weak-willed boy and infuriated me. It's such a heartbreaking and horrifying story. Worse that's based on reality.

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  2. I've always considered reading Geek Love and still may pick it up at some point. I love how you presented this topic - awesome.

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    1. Thanks, Barb. I had this post in the draft folder for far too long. Give Geek Love a try. I adore it and will read it again in a few years. It's one of the very few books I pull out ever decade or so.

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  3. Haha! A Little Life is definitely a book that pulls you back from the highest of the high. :)

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    1. Oh yeah, I recommend it to all of my happy friends ;) What's life without a little strife?!

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  4. Oh my I think I'll pass on being a bland lol. Doesn't sound good... and Out has me curious but a boxed lunch factory. I'm getting a bad vibe here... :)

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    1. It wasn't good for poor Tedla. I'm still haunted by the story. Out was awesome. You should check it out!

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  5. This sounds scary.. but I'm CURIOUS.. You got me. Yay... I'm an adventurous girl. I love anything forbidden and out of normal. Awesome list. I'll check them out. :-D

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  6. I am thinking that I need to read The Girl Next Door. Yes, I am drawn to reading about a long drawn out torture scene....

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    1. Phew, it's the most grueling one I've ever read.

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  7. All these are new to me. I am intrigued by The Girl Next Door and Chase In Shadow.

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    1. The Girl Next Door is horrific and I do not exaggerate. It's one of the most terrible books I've ever read (subject matter, not writing). Chase in Shadow left me feeling like my heart was in a vice the entire time. It was so very good.

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  8. LOL - books to ruin my happiness. Perfect! You're too funny. No, but seriously, I like these types of books too.

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    1. We all need a little darkness to balance out the happy ;)

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  9. Lol you cracked me up. I like emotionally dark books though, depending on the topic. Halfway Human sounds interesting, so I'll be checking out that review :-) The one book that comes to mind for me is The Time Traveler's Wife. Idk if it was just the time when I read it or what, but that was a pit of despair book for me that gave me restless, nightmarish sleep and everything, so I'm too afraid to try and read it again :-P

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    1. Ahh, I'd forgotten all about The Time Traveler's Wife. I read it, then later listened on audio and it tore me to shreds both times. I'll have to add that one to my next installment! Halfway Human was such an emotionally draining experience for me. So awful but yet so unforgettable.

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  10. That's an interesting idea for a list! Honestly, I can only read uplifting things right now but I'll keep these books in mind for when I'm looking for something darker.

    For What It's Worth

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    1. I will always help you out if you want to get bummed out ;) Thanks for visiting!

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