6. The Road
It’s pretty common knowledge by now, but this book was the basis of Naughty Dog’s video game The Last of Us. The game inspired me to watch the movie, and the movie inspired me to read the book.
It left me emotionally and mentally drained. It’s so depressing and dark, an overwhelming sense of dread and hopelessness mixed with a slight dash of hope that the boy will make it. The pervasive sense of fear and loneliness throughout the story eats at you and feeds on your paranoia.
7. Johnny Got His Gun.
The story is about a WWI soldier who loses both arms, both legs, his entire face, eyes, tongue…but his mind still works. He learns to communicate by bouncing his head off the pillow in Morse code.
Read it when I was 15. I’m 61, and still scarred.