Let’s be real here: it’s not hard to make me cry. I cry during movies, shows, plays, bad jokes, and sometimes even movie trailers. But if a book doesn’t have my attention or doesn’t give me some way to relate to a character, I just can’t get upset over it. So after poring over my Goodreads account, I’ve come up with a list of all the books (out of over 200) that made me cry.. as well as a few that I thought would make me cry but just didn’t make it there. If you’re looking for more information on a book, go ahead and click the links I’ve provided. I won’t be summarizing the books here. (Hopefully no spoilers, either.)
- The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
Okay, I’m going to be honest and tell you that I knew nothing about this book before I started reading it. I didn’t even read the back cover. I just thought it would be a cute book about someone who loves books or libraries or something. Y’know, like a dorkier Hugo Cabret. I WAS SO VERY WRONG. SO. SO. WRONG. Halfway through this book I was ready to give up and shelve it for good, but a nice old lady at the yarn store told me that she had read it and that the ending really wasn’t so bad. SHE WAS ALSO WRONG.
Lesson learned: When the narrator of a book is literally Death, people will die. Also, books about the Holocaust are sad. Duh.
- A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3) – George R.R. Martin
Yes, specifically book three from the Game of Thrones series. I know most of you are all caught up with the show by now, but back when I read the books, the show hadn’t started yet. My friends, ever the book spoilers, hinted at things like “The Red Wedding” and “Oh, that other wedding too.” I thought I would be okay since I knew what was coming. But I did not expect so much to happen all at once! I ended up not finishing the series because I was too chicken to pick the books back up.
Lesson learned: George R.R. Martin is a cruel, sadistic man.
- A Little Princess – Frances Hodgson Burnett
I saw the movie long before I read the book. Both made me cry. Both are worth the time.
Lesson learned: I have serious daddy issues.
- Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt
I read this book when I was in 5th grade and I don’t remember any of it, except maybe a character named Winnie.. and a family of immortals. What I do remember is the emotional impact it had on my fragile childhood psyche.
Lesson learned: Sometimes feelings are stronger than memories.
- Stones In Water – Donna Jo Napoli
See “The Book Thief”.
Lesson learned: I really can’t handle Holocaust/WW2 books.
- The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls
I received this book as a gift from my high school English teacher, who saw my growing love for memoirs. Growing up in the Nevada desert with a gold-hungry step-dad and constantly moving to new houses, I felt like I could really relate to this book. And I did. I kept this book in my heart for many years, and finally picked it back up again this year. It was not the first or second time I had read the book, but now with the weight of adulthood, the realities of the story and its “ending” really set off the waterworks.
Lesson learned: Timing is everything.
- A Walk to Remember – Nicholas Sparks
This is another book that I read after seeing the movie — and I think that had a strong effect on the level of waterworks presented. I couldn’t help but imagine the movie in each scene, rather than focus on the text.
Lesson learned: Book first, then movie.
Books that should have made me cry but didn’t:
- The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
The book, the movie.. I dunno, they just didn’t reach me for some reason. The old people dying together at the end of the movie was sad, but I felt too confused about why that scene was there.
- The Sun is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon
It turns out that I am not the hopeless romantic I thought I was. That, or I just couldn’t get over the lack of character depth.
- The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
Maybe I just don’t like teenagers.
What books made you cry? What books do you recommend for getting a good cry out?
Tell me in the comments!