Oddly enough, my favorite type of book is the type of book that makes me cry at the end. I love the happy, feel-good stories too. But there is something about a heart-wrenchingly sad book that makes me remember it far after I read the last page.
In case anyone shares this strange preference, I have created a list of my favorite heart-wrenching books that I read in 2018.
- They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
It is not often that the entire ending of a book is spoiled by the title, but this is what Adam Silvera did with They Both Die at the End. In a world where people receive a call in the morning informing that they they will die sometime that day, the book follows two boys who are destined for death, and spend their last remaining day going on adventures together, even resulting in a blooming romance.
Listen to my They Both Die at the End Spotify playlist to set the mood as you read!
2. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
A popular movie but a less popular book, Me Before You is a saddening story about a paralyzed young man, Will Traynor, who is assigned a young woman, Lou, to take care of him. Through heartfelt pages of tears, laughter, and the bonding of two unlikely people, this story is certainly one to pull at the heartstrings.
Listen to my Me Before You Spotify playlist to set the mood as you read!
3. Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
If the movie didn’t make you cry, then the book certainly will. Having seen the movie before I read the book, I had the benefit of connecting Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer’s stunning performance in the movie to their characters in the book. However, the book is even more saddening than the movie. Following a young boy named Elio and a man named Oliver, a romance like no other blossoms between the two. This book is much more than a simple romance novel however, and truly captures the essence of a but beautiful heart-wrenchingly sad story.
Listen to my Call Me By Your Name Spotify playlist to set the mood as you read!
4. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
You may recognize this book in my Favorites list. My copy is torn, bruised, and is held together by a few trusty layers of duct tape. Shiver follows the story of two characters named Grace and Sam. Stiefvater’s interesting and unique twist on werewolf folklore immediately makes the story different than any other, while also avoiding all the clichés. While the plot is not necessarily one to make you tear up, it’s the characters that do.
Listen to my Shiver Spotify playlist to set the mood as you read!
5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
In all honesty, I wasn’t looking forward to reading this book when I put it in my TBR pile. It was a summer reading requirement, and I therefore deemed it unimportant and a waste of my time. However, the moment I opened it, I fell in love. The Curious Incident follows a young boy named Christopher who is diagnosed with autism. Written from his perspective, this book give an insight into Christopher’s brain and the events that happen around him.
6. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
A classic, The Outsiders is a popular book involving a group of boys in 1965 in Oklahoma. The book is surrounded around the rivalry between two social groups: the Greasers (our narrators) and the Socials. After one of the Socials dies in a fight between the two groups, the Greasers are forced to go into hiding, resulting in plot twists, violence, and heartaches.
7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Another classic. The Book Thief tells the story of a girl named Liesel who lives in Nazi Germany, and befriends a Jew who the family hides in their basement. Through stealing books and learning how to read, Liesel fights against a cruel and dangerous society, all told from the perspective of Death.
Listen to my The Book Thief Spotify playlist to set the mood as you read!
8. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Have you ever read a book that has made you throw it across the room when you finished? This is We Were Liars. Set on a private island belonging to a prestigious family, the story revolves around four close friends, identified as the Liars. Friendship turns to heartbreak, a peaceful island turns to chaos. Beautiful but shocking, We Were Liars was destined to end up on this list.
Listen to my We Were Liars Spotify playlist to set the mood as you read!
9. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
An oldie but a goodie. My Sisters Keeper is as heart wrenching as heart wrenching gets. The story is about two sisters, one with cancer, Kate, and one born to be a genetic match for the one with cancer, Anna. When Anna decides that she does not want to be a donor anymore, she is forced to get an esteemed lawyer involved. Some of you may be familiar with the movie.
10. Legend by Marie Lu
Probably typically not considered a “heart wrenching” story, Legend is filled with action and adventure in a world where the United States has been split into two, and is ruled with an overbearing and violent government. However, it is the characters that make this book on this list. Through separated families, kids living on the streets, and having to go to desperate measures to survive, Legend certainly qualifies to be on this list.
Listen to my Legend Spotify playlist to set the mood as you read.