I’m going to start this blog post by saying that I am not a person who cries often. I’m not trying to say that I’m “too tough” to cry (too bottled-up is probably more accurate), but it just doesn’t happen. When it comes to films, I’ll rarely shed a tear, but when it comes to books, there are a select few that feel like punches to the gut.
So what are these exceptionally sad books that have managed to drag a tear from someone as emotionally closed-off as myself? Here’s my list, so that you can follow in my footsteps and have a good, therapeutic sob. (No spoilers ahead.)
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This book completely destroyed me. I feel like I held it together pretty well until a certain scene towards the end of the book, which really got to me. I also remember sitting downstairs with a serious book hangover shortly after finishing the book, and just bursting into tears from all the emotions I’d bottled-up over the last couple of chapters.
A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab
I was so invested in this story and really cared about the characters, so when the story finally came to an end, it was really hard to say goodbye. The ending is so beautiful, and slow, and carefully written that I couldn’t help but shed a tear because it was over.
A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
A Quiet Kind of Thunder didn’t make me cry because it was sad. It made me cry because there was a moment when I saw my younger self in the main character and had the profound realisation that it would have meant a lot to younger-me to realise that she wasn’t alone.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
This book was devastating! There were a lot of intense moments in Mockingjay so when it ended, I felt like my emotions had been pushed and pulled all over the place, and I’m pretty sure I shed a tear. The losses in this book felt so raw, and the ending was so bittersweet.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Perks of Being a Wallflower was probably the first contemporary young adult book I read, and honestly, I wasn’t prepared for how sad and real the genre can be. This book was so emotional and raw, and I can remember finishing reading it late one night and feeling completely hearbroken.
Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
Yes, I know, I’ve already mentioned John Green once in this post. But what can I say, he’s the king of making girls cry. Turtles All The Way Down was another John Green heartbreaker, but in a totally different way. This was a deeply personal book about mental health, that was written so poignantly that I nearly cried on the underground.
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
You should know that almost everything Adam Silvera has written has made me a little teary, so it was really hard for me to choose only one of his books for this list. As the title suggests, this book is heartbreaking, but also incredibly sweet.
Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
This book was beautiful and relatable in a way that hurt. It’s not a tearjerker in quite the same way as The Fault in Our Stars or They Both Die at the end, but the simple poignancy and relatable heartache felt so real and made it an emotional read.
For some reason, I just love it when a book can make me cry. It’s usually a sign that I’m really invested in the characters, and I’m always so impressed by a writer who can take me on an emotional rollercoaster with some words on a page. Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I love it when a book can take my heart and crush it into a thousand pieces.
Which books have made you cry? And if you have any recommendations of sad or emotional books, let me know! I’m always on the lookout for another heartbreaker.