"So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be." — Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Do you ever purposely look for a sad book to dive into? You might be in the mood for something that will have you not just feel sad, but straight on bring the waterworks out. Sometimes it can be cathartic to read such a story. Maybe you are looking for such a story due to circumstances in your own life, and you just need a reason to let out a good cry. Or maybe you didn't realize that the book you picked up was going to evoke such emotions in you. It happens to all of us! With that in mind, here are 6 books that have made us shed some tears, ugly cry, or cry so hard we were thinking about the story days or weeks later.
The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
The Last Song is one of those books that had me (Kelli) ugly crying, barely able to see the pages to see how it would all end. *sigh* Even thinking back on it, it makes me feel sad just knowing the outcome.
The Last Song is about 17 year old Veronica "Ronnie" Miller who was an overall good kid before her parents decided to divorce, which turned her world upside down. Her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Years later and Ronnie is still angry at both of her parents, pushing them away, but most especially with her father, not wanting anything to do with him really. Then her mother decides it will be good for Ronnie and her brother to spend a whole summer in North Carolina with their father. Ronnie's father is living in a small, quiet town, which is quite different from his former life of being a concert pianist and teaching. A passion and skill which he had introduced to Ronnie, who wants nothing to do with it now with her father having left. The story unfolds of Ronnie's father trying to reconnect with his troubled daughter, spend quality time with his young son, and also create a beautiful piece of art for the local church.
During her time in this quiet beach town, Ronnie meets Will who is very interested in Ronnie. As they get to know each other, Ronnie begins to open up and come back to her old self. She grows from being a rebellious, angry young woman, to finding a maturity within herself. And as she finds a peace and understanding with her father, she finds her love for music again. Without giving too much of the story away, in case you haven't read it, at a point in the summer, Ronnie and her brother find out some upsetting news related to their father. Steve, Ronnie's father, was so patient with her the whole summer. Giving her the time to come to him, to show that he loves her, he has never left her. When they find out the news regarding their father, Ronnie is able to be so mature and responsible and is there for her father when he needs someone the most. Their ending is beautiful, peaceful, but still is so heartbreaking that even while I write this, my eyes are tearing up. It is truly a beautiful work depicting first love, love between a parent and their child, and a child's love for their parent. Cannot recommend enough!
Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
In Winter Garden, we follow the story of Meredith and Nina Watson, sisters who are as different as any sisters could be. Each follows a different path in life with Meredith choosing to stay home, raise a family, and run the family apple orchard business; and Nina, travelling across the world as a photojournalist. When their father becomes ill, they come together again alongside their cold, harsh mother, Anya. Even through this difficult time, she does not offer comfort or a shoulder to her daughters. On his death bed, all their father wishes is for the girls to hear from their mother the Russian fairytale one more time, and this time all the way to the end, that she used to tell the girls as children. Through the fairy tale, we see the truth and journey that Anya lived through as a child herself, a life in war-torn Leningard, more than fifty years ago. The story is told alternating between the past and Anya's point of view growing up, and the present with Nina and Meredith learning the truth and secrets their mother has kept from them that would rock the foundation of their family.
This was a rollercoaster of emotions type of book, and it will really have the tears rolling. And it truly has the most beautiful epilogue at the end. What began as a family mystery truly turned into a story of true love of a mother for her daughters, but also a story of survival. As the fairytale unfolds, and we learn how truly close to home the story is for this family, it is heart wrenching. Resentments are unearthed, regrets are brought to life, and choices are what makes all the difference in order to survive a war torn country.
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Time Traveler's Wife is a story that is beautiful but heartbreaking, fascinating yet so sad. The story is a tale of the love story that unfolds for Henry and Clare. The two first met when Clare was only six years old, and Henry was thirty six. They married when Clare was twenty two and Henry was thirty. How does this add up you ask? How is it possible? Well Henry suffers from a very rare condition where his genetic clock randomly resets, and he is pulled into his past or future. He never knows where he will end up during these times. In spite of this, Henry and Clare fall in love and try to lead a normal life and have a normal everyday relationship. It is often frustrating when they're in the middle of something and Henry just disappears. And Clare does not know how long he will be gone for. Then, as they try to grow their family, misfortune after misfortune occurs, making them realize that Henry's genetic defect is being passed on, until finally they have a wonderful, healthy child. Resentment and anger flits through their lives as they try to navigate this difficult journey. Until past becomes present, and tragedy strikes.
Realizing, and even foreshadowing, how Henry will be taken away from his family, it is heart wrenching. For Henry, knowing when his final moments will be, is just torture. How can one truly live when they know the countdown of their life? The pain, knowing that Clare will never see the love of her life again is so sad. Yet, it is amazing that their child will be able to see her father a little since she carries the same genetic "disorder" that her father had. Many moments will bring you to tears in this story. There are happy, loving moments, and there are sad, painful moments. But isn't that what makes a story a really great read?
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Me Before You tells the story of Louisa Clark, a girl who has rarely stepped out of her comfort zone - both in love, in work, and in travel - who is in desperate need of a job. Her desperation leads her to taking a job caring for Will Traynor, once a man who knew no limits, but is now wheelchair bound. Will is bossy, moody, and just unhappy. Will, however, has plans to reconcile this. Once Lou learns of Will's plans, she makes it her mission to burst Will's bubble and bring joy back into his life.
Me Before You is one of the few movie adaptations I am obsessed with just as much as the book. Whether you're reading the book or watching the movie doesn't make you cry, then I'm not sure what will. But it's a pain that is worth bearing to read the romance brought to life by Jojo Moyes. I mean, who wouldn't want a man to buy you a gift that he knows you'll love beyond everything else, even if it is just a pair of stockings? It's the meaning and thoughtfulness behind the gift that is just one of the moment in this book that brings a tear to our eyes.
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Yes, you may be tired of hearing about the ACOTAR series by now, but it's just SO GOOD! In A Court of Wings and Ruin Feyre returns to the Spring Court as a spy for the Night Court. Throughout the book, war continues to loom ever closer. One wrong move and Feyre will undermine the Night Court's goals and alliances. Who of the other Courts can be trusted? Can any of them? Will Prythian fall?
Ok, so this book might not seem like a tearjerker when you first start reading it, but by the end, Chelsea was bawling....at 1 AM....on a week night. You get so caught up in the story, and you just don't see certain things happening, and once they do...UGH...it's just not fair! We can't go into too much detail, but let's just say someone dies, and it's not the enemy.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Obviously The Fault in Our Stars is not a new book, but it hasn't lost it's affinity to reduce us to a crying mess. John Green tells a devastating story about teens who have survived cancer, those who fallen out of remission, and their loved ones. Since her diagnosis, Hazel has always known her cancer was terminal. She felt the final chapter of her life was already written, until Augustus Waters walked into Cancer Kid Support Group. Now her life takes an exciting turn, but can it last?
This is another book to movie adaptation that definitely does the book justice. If you need to cry but just can't bring yourself to let the tears fall, then pick up this book. Cancer is already a tough subject that probably hits home for too many of us, but then add in that the people afflicted by cancer are teenagers and you're just devastated by the end.
Now that we've definitely cheered you up *snorts*, what are some of the books that you have read that brought you to tears? Were you prepared for it, or taken by surprise? If you’d like to see what we are reading now, check out our Goodreads profiles (Kelli and Chelsea) or follow 2 Girls Bookin' It on Instagram and Facebook! If you’re excited to see what other topics we’ll be covering in the coming months, make sure to subscribe. Thanks for reading with us!