Top Ten Books I Would Recommend to Dark, Gritty Readers


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

We got to choose what type of category we are going to use this week, so I decided to go with gritty readers. I love dark, gritty stories, so I wanted to share some of my favorites with you! You know...those stories that take you places most authors are scared to go, that can just as easily disgust some as they can enrapture others. Yeah, I love those stories.

In no particular order...


1. Vicious by Victoria Schwab - This is literally my ultimate favorite gritty book ever. I cannot even begin to explain how much I loved this. It explores death, destruction, insanity, and it tests the lengths certain people are willing to go to do what they deem is right. It's very heavily detailed, so it's not for anyone, but gah, this was so perfect to me and I highly recommend it.

2. Angelfall by Susan Ee - This book is pure brilliance and Ee is amazingly imaginative. This was the first dark angel story that I have ever read, and it's made me love them ever since. Hell, this was one of the first dark stories in general that I've ever read that helped me to realize that I am a reader of darker tales.

3. Sanctum by Sarah Fine - I love this book. While book two was just short of as amazing in my eyes, it was still pretty damn good. Fine tackles suicide in such a unique way, and I loved every minute of it. I couldn't race through this book fast enough. Heck, it's such a favorite that I made the acknowledgments section of book two!


4. All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry - This book was not what I was expecting, but I loved it so much. It's so deliciously twisted and that is only emphasized by the unique writing style. I mean, this girl is kidnapped and her tongue is cut out then she is treated like the social paraiah of her village because she's bad luck. You bet your bottom that this girl is carrying a ton of dark secrets that will slowly come to light and rock her village's world. Amazing well done and a fast read!

5. How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller - Don't let the cute title fool you, this is literally a guide to leading a life of crime. Teenagers are picked off the street to go to a school where they can hone their abilities of stealing, pick-pocketing, murdering, hacking, etc. If it's bad, it's taught there. Don't let their ages fool you though, there's a lot of behind the scenes dealings and potential murders.


6. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons - This is one of my favorite dystopians ever. I really don't know how else to describe it as dark and gritty. Simmons is a master at ripping away the few shreds of hope we have shortly after they finally materialize. Just look at the ending of book two... While this kills me emotionally, it makes me crave more.

7. The Archived by Victoria Schwab - Another book by Ms. Schwab! I tell you, she's an amazing author. I love dark things and she writes dark things, thus I love her. This is a gritty young adult story, so it's not on the same level as VICIOUS, but if you are looking to enter a dark and atmospheric dark place that's not incredibly heavy, I'd recommend this series to you.

8. Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn - This is a very situational dark and gritty story. You don't realize just what is going on and how dark it really is until the very end, but when you do your mind is blown. However, with that in mind, I can understand how this one will not appeal to everyone. Without running the risk of revealing too much, I'll just say that our main character is none too sure of reality, it seems.


9. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin - Our main character is insane. Literally. And that's what makes this book so dark and compelling. It's absolutely delicious.

10. Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry - McGarry writes my go-to dark contemporary series! Seriously, there's a little bit of everything in this....everything from abuse to substance problems to negativity in the foster care system. This is a must read for those looking for an amazing slow-burn romance with serious topics thrown into the mix.

~*~Bonus~*~

I don't love these three as much as the others, but I did greatly enjoy them and they're their own type of dark and gritty.

 
*Something Like Normal by Trish Doller - This deals with post-traumatic stress disorder. It's an overall slightly more uplifting story than your average darker story, but there are aspects of it that are very dark. Death, war, hallucinations, cheating in relationships, etc.

**Shadowlands by Katie Brian - The main character and her family are on the run from a creepy serial killer who is obsessed with making her his next victim. Oh, and some chapters are told from the serial killer's perspective. Need I say more?

***The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab - Another darker story written by Victoria Schwab. She's a very atmospheric writer and one of my go-to authors for darker tales. She can certainly weave a twisted story.

14 comments:

  1. I need to read all the books on this list that I haven't yet, cause I love the ones that I have read! This is a great list and I have a few of these on mine as well!
    My TTT

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    1. Yay Christianna! I highly recommend them! Checking out your TTT now!

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  2. I keep meaning to read Sanctum. I think the cover keeps turning me off to it. But I take your recommendations with high esteem! You have never failed me yet, which means I must read Vicious and Angelfall soon :D

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    1. You MUST! Ah, and I'd freak out when you do too! <3 START A READER'S CHOICE AND I WILL STICK ALL THREE IN IT, DANG IT!

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  3. I think we've got similar taste in books :-). I recently realized that most of my favorite books are quite dark. From your list, I've read (and loved!) Vicious, The Archived, and Mara Dyer. Can't wait to check out some of the others you mentioned. Thanks!

    Also, have you read In the Shadow of Blackbirds? That one is dark and atmospheric. Same with The Madman's Daughter, which I'm reading now.

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    1. No problem! I'd love to hear what you think!

      I ADORED THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER and I do plan on reading IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS, though I don't own the book yet. Thank you for the suggestions!

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  4. I am dying to get to read The Unbound because I loved The Archived so much!! There's so many on this list I need to read.

    Jennifer
    My TT

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    1. THE ARCHIVED was so amazing! Book two must be in our lives now!

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  5. OMG I love your take on this topic and your list. Dark, gritty reads are kind of my favorite (along with magical fantasy and funny/fluffy, and okay, really, everything BUT this category has a special place in my heart)

    Vicious, Angelfall and How to Lead a Life of Crime are AMAZING! And I really need to bump Charm & Strange up my TBR, same with Something Like Normal.

    Have you read Unteachable? It's definitely on the dark, gritty end of the spectrum. It's also beautifully written.

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    1. ugh funny/fluffy are amazing too! <3

      CHARM & STRANGE was certainly unique. I wasn't like OMG but it was unique and mind-fucky

      I haven't! I'll definitely look into it! Thanks for the suggestion!

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  6. Oooh yeah, my favourite type of book!

    Ever tried Melvin Burgess or Kevin Brooks? Both are British authors who specialise is gritty realism.

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    1. I haven't, I'll look into them if I ever have the time!

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  7. I love grit (I've read some that's not dark), and I haven't read most of these. I really want to read VICIOUS--I haven't heard one bad thing about it. Oh, and THE ARCHIVED and ANGELFALL, too!

    Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf

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    1. VICIOUS IS SO AMAZING OMG READ IT NOW!!!!

      (and the others are amazing choices too)

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