Monday, February 3, 2014

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry

I would like to preface this by saying I am the biggest baby ever.  So I cry pretty much any time I finish reading an amazing book. Seriously - this list was over 30 books long when I was brainstorming books.  (Why didn't I just stop when I thought of 10?  Because I wanted the best of the list.  And because I am quite possibly crazy.  Also I still didn't manage to narrow it down to only ten)

The Book Thief

Having read this quite recently, I can attest to the amount of sobbing this book induces.  I literally cried so hard I had to stop reading because I couldn't see the pages anymore...

Love You Forever

This flashed in my mind about a half second later after The Book Thief did.  This is the saddest picture book ever!!!

Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson

Bridge to Terabithia

Oh man.  This book really knocks you right in the feels.  Katherine Paterson does not pull punches for kids, that's for sure.

The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials #3) - Philip Pullman

The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3)

This book pretty much changed my life.  For one, it gave vocalization to a lot of doubts I had with the church at that point (I grew up Catholic), and made me see that I could choose to believe in what worked for me.  But as far as tearjerkers go?  That ending!  I don't think I had ever *spoilers* actually felt that upset about a pairing being tragically separated.  At that point though, I'm not sure I had come across many books without happy endings as I was only 11 or 12, so this may have been the first one actually *end spoilers*

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

Island of the Blue Dolphins

If you didn't cry reading this you are a stone cold monster.  *spoilers* And I'm talking about when her dog died, not when her bratty brother did.  Although that was sad too.  Just not nearly as sad as the dog *spoilers* 

The Hunger Games trilogy - Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

This one shouldn't be a surprise.  I can't even count the number of people causes you have reason to cry about.

 The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, Illustrated by William Nicholson

The Velveteen Rabbit

This story makes me tear up just thinking about it.  Child Elizabeth loved this story and bawled every time she encountered it.  If you haven't read it, it's really beautiful and poignant and it would only take 15 minutes to read.  Go read it!  You are missing part of your childhood, it's calling for you!

Martin the Warrior (Redwall #6) - Brian Jacques

Martin the Warrior (Redwall, #6)

I mentioned in one of my other TTT's that the Redwall series was a HUGE part of my childhood.  Actually, it pretty much was my childhood.  Martin the Warrior will ALWAYS be my favourite (although Mariel of Redwall is a close second.  Female protagonist?  Riddles?  WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE).  My brother prefers Redwall and Mattimeo, and they're great and all but he's just wrong.  This is my favourite and will always be my favourite and it is one of the few sad books in the series.  Also my cousins refuse to read these books and it makes me sad inside.

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy #1) - Mira Grant

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1)

Meg, my AWESOME TBTB Secret Santa got me this whole trilogy and I am so glad that she did.  It probably would have taken me another couple years to get around to it otherwise, especially as zombies aren't always my thing (I don't do horror very well).  OH MY GOD GUYS THIS BOOK.  This whole trilogy!! I am hopefully going to get around to writing a review someday soon but this trilogy is by far my favourite thing that I have read this year (I know, I know we're only a month in but still).  And I was in serious denial when I got to the end of this book.  SERIOUS DENIAL.  You need to read this.  Trust me.  And Meg.

Charlotte's Web - E.B. White

Charlotte's Web

 I repeat Island of the Blue Dolphins:  If you did not cry when reading this, you are dead inside.

The Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)

Not so much the beginning, but from here on out expect to have your heart torn out of your chest and then put through a paper shredder.

The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein

The Giving Tree

 I adore Shel Silverstein, and he convinced me poetry could actually be pretty cool at a time when I thought poetry was nonsense.  (Admittedly this sentiment has not completely died depending on what I'm reading).  This story is so bittersweet.  And lovely.  And upon reading Goodreads criticisms as I was picking up the picture for this, apparently I walked away with a completely different message than everyone else. 

Tuck Everlasting - Natalie Babbitt

Tuck Everlasting

I loved this book to bits when I was a kid.  I remember thinking everything about the book was perfect and that I loved the messages it sent.  I actually own the VHS version of this with Rory from Gilmore Girls, but it's still in the packaging since I don't trust it to be good.  Have any of you seen it?  Is it worth giving a try?

Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes

Flowers for Algernon

My only adult book on the list (although I had Pat Conroy who I LOVE, but I needed this list to at least try and and keep to ten books.  I managed to stop at 15!), this book was totally heartbreaking :(

Walk Two Moons - Sharon Creech

Walk Two Moons

Honestly this entry could simply be titled "Any book written by Sharon Creech", but I think this one might be the most surprising and the saddest out of the lot.  And most importantly it was my very first Creech book :)

And that's it for my TTT!  Be sure to leave a link to your post so we can commiserate over all of the depressing books in the world...


  1. Oh, man, The Velveteen Rabbit! It didn't end up on my list this week--which may show how much I tend to forget that title because it always leaves me so sad! *trying hard not to remember the story atm*

    I think The Book Thief is going to be a popular title this week; it certainly ended up on my list this week!

    Also, I think The Amber Spyglass was the first novel I read (way back when) where there was no happy ending for the couple. I remember how much the end of their story resonated with me (in a "But whyyyy?" sort of way)

    My TTT

  2. Brilliant list. I think The Book Thief will be a popular choice this week. it is incredibly moving.

  3. I just had that same realization about Where the Red Fern Grows hahah...I was like...oh man...that book is SO SAD. Why didn't I remember that? Which is when I realized I've tried to repress every animal book ever because they are ALL sad!

    Yeah, I expect anyone who has ever read definitely has it on their list!

    I know right? I actually love that ending, even it breaks my heart. Actually that generally seems to be a prerequisite for me to adore a book. I am clearly a masochist.

  4. Yeah, I definitely agree! I'm pretty sure it's going to make everyone's list haha

  5. I absolutely loved Sharon Creech books when I was little! But I can't remember what happens in them, for the life of me! I will have to re-read them someday. I think Walk Two Moons was my favorite. I know that while I was reading one of them I got down off my bed and sat on the floor and leaned against my nightstand, crying. Haha. I can't even remember why! I just remember loving the story so much.

  6. Great list!! I was going to put some old school books on my list this week too... but then I didn't. Bridge to Terabithia would've totally made it on mine if I did. SOBBED while reading that. I also remember the first time I read The Giving Tree feeling like bad to be a human being. Oh and Charlotte's Web... gahhhhh so sad and awesome!! Reading that was a 3rd grade trauma for me.

    My TTT

  7. Irish @ Ticket to AnywhereFebruary 4, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    Island of the Blue Dolphins! OMG I totally forgot about that book. So sad.

    My TTT is here.

  8. Oh my gosh!! Perfect list. I wish I had thought to include traumatic childhood books because I completely agree with you. I always thought the Velveteen Rabbit was soooo sad!! I was super attached to my stuffed animals, so the thought of having to burn them all was very traumatic to me. And Walk Two Moons!! I LOVED that book. I did not see that ending coming either and it hit me like a semi-truck. And I am still made at The Bridge to Terebitha. We read it in 6th grade and I'm pretty sure I threw it across the room, cursing the meaningless of it all. LOL. I also remember I read this book called Beauty by Bill Wallace and his boy and his horse. It ends tragically and I just remember sobbing on the couch. My parents were very concerned about me.

  9. I like how different your list is to a lot of the lists I've seen around today. There are a lot of books on here that I've not heard of and definitely need to check out. Also I'm so glad to see you mention Harry Potter on your list too! Great list and thanks for stopping by! :)

  10. I'm pretty sure that is a 100% completely normal and expected reaction upon reading a Sharon Creech novel hahaha. I think Walk Two Moons is also my favourite, but I loved Chasing Red Bird and Bloomability a lot too. She also has books written in poetry for kids which I only discovered in the past year. Also excellent, also quite depressing haha

  11. Upon reviewing this list, I think I can track my masochistic reading tendencies to when I was a child. Because ALL of those books made me bawl my eyes out...and I'm pretty sure I've reread every book on this list except for The Book Thief and Feed. And most of these I first read over a decade ago. Clearly I was born with no sense.

  12. I know right? Totally devastating.

  13. Apparently my mom refused to read The Velveteen Rabbit to me because it was so sad, so it must have been one of my earliest books I ever read to myself haha.

    I know right?? I couldn't remember exactly what happened in Walk Two Moons at first, I just remember that I think I dropped my book I was so shocked. I mean I was stunned speechless!

    Yeah I think Bridge to Terabithia was probably my first experience with a main character death (that wasn't an animal, although those also might have been later). I remember being pretty mad too! ...not that it stopped me from rereading the book a ton.

    I don't think I've read that one (and I probably won't ever either. Animal deaths are just KILLER.) I think my family accepted at an early age that I got a bit too absorbed with my books haha. People will talk to me and I just...won't respond or I'll have a conversation with them that I have absolutely no recollection of! And I'm lucky that I can read in the car no problem as my family's done a ton of road trips, so it wouldn't be surprising to see me bawling me eyes out in the car while reading a book hahah

  14. Yeah I went pretty old school with my books this week (for the most part)! All but The Hunger Games, Feed, and The Book Thief I read a decade or more..ago. There was a better way to construct that sentence...

  15. Your list seems to cover several decades of memory isn't that long. Sigh. I do remember crying during Charlotte's web, though. The Book Thief is definitely a tear-jerker. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

  16. Great list Elizabeth! The Velveteen Rabbit and Charlotte's web are such iconic traumatic childhood reads. I remember the Bridge to Terabithia really hurting my heart. I never wanted to re-read any of them though. I think making the list has made me realize that I, at least sub-consciously, avoid books I KNOW are going to be sad.

  17. The Velveteen Rabbit is definitely a tearjerker. That story is so sweet and sad.

    I have to confess that Bridge of Terabithia did not make me cry. I remember that really vividly because we took accelerated reader test in elementary school. I'm trying to take my test but the teacher won't stop harassing me abut whether or not it made me cry. My elementary school self was apparently pretty tough...:)

  18. Pretty sure I'm crying in terror at that picture book's cover. You could not make me read that thing. I basically don't cry in books generally, but I did sob in Me Before You, HP 5 and 7, and Mockingjay. It's a pretty rare thing, though.

  19. Remembering these books is easy if they traumatized your childhood hahaha (and most of these I actually loved despite being traumatized and reread a billion times. I'm a serial rereader!)

  20. See that's where I came to an astonishing discovery after making this list: I like devastating reads....but only if they are in YA. I avoid them like the plague if they're adult (and I did avoid The Book Thief for the past 5 years because I knew it was devastating and I have no wish to reread it. It was marketed outside of the US as an adult book, so I wonder if that is why?) So I really don't know what that means, you'd think I'd pretty universally either go one way or the other haha

  21. Yeah I've always had a pretty unhealthy amount of empathy for inanimate objects (I still apologize to doors when I walk into them out of habit), but particularly for toys. Growing up with Toy Story probably didn't help that haha

    Some books don't hit everyone all the way, and some people aren't ridiculous babies like I am haha (I think my years of refusing to cry have come back to haunt me by causing me to cry over pretty much anything. Even yogurt commercials for god's sake!) I can't believe your teacher harassed you about it though!

  22. I know right?? I mean I know the book practically by heart by now, but I still find that kid suuuuuper creepy looking.

    Yeah I'm such a baby these days! I never used to cry (except when reading books) but now it really doesn't take much. Which means pretty much 85% percent of books make me cry now instead of the 20% that really deserve my tears haha

  23. I have only read two of these books, Harry Potter (gets me every time, I sob through that one lol) and The Hunger Games...when I eventually get around to reading The Book Thief I will make a note to load up on the tissues :P

  24. So I haven't visited you in a while and I came to poke around and found your list and this is another instance in which I feel we were either twins in a past life, or were separated at birth in this one. YES YES YES to every one of these books. Love You Forever is seriously my FAVORITE picture book of all time, and I usually tear up just from talking about it let alone reading it again.

  25. Love you Forever!!! Sad!! Book Thief ... SAD!! So many sad books!!!


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