I'm not someone who cries very easily but for some reason, I seem to always cry when reading books. Below are seven books that are sure to bring you to tears.
1. "Forbidden" by Tabitha Suzuma
Forbidden tells the story of a love between two people that shouldn't have happened. The subject of the book is very taboo, but once you get over the initial shock of the topic, it's so easy to appreciate the beautifully yet tragically writing. I always feel a bit hesitant when recommending this book because of the initial prejudice people have about the topic, but trust me, the way Suzuma paints the love between these two characters is anything but taboo.
"At the end of the day it's about how much you can bear, how much you can endure. Being together, we harm nobody; being apart, we extinguish ourselves."
2. "Between Shades of Grey" by Ruta Sepetys
Sepetys does an amazing job of educating the reader while creating the most beautiful storyline. I admit, I knew nothing of the German occupation of Lithuania during WWII—it's a part of history that students just aren't taught, and despite this being a work of fiction, I was able to learn so much about a piece of history that shouldn't be forgotten.
"Whether love of friend, love of country, love of God, or even love of enemy—love reveals to us the true miraculous nature of the human spirit."
3. "All the Bright Places" by Jennifer Niven
I bawled during this book—literally. As someone who doesn't know much about mental illness, it's very hard to understand what mental illness is and what it can do to a person. Niven paints a near-accurate picture of what mental illness is and how it's not what most people think it's like. I think that there's a common misconception that mental illness is always something's that blatantly visible—meaning, those who have depression are OBVIOUSLY sad and those who are bipolar OBVIOUSLY have highs and lows when in reality, mental illness is deeper than that. It's something that can creep up on you all of a sudden. Niven conveys that less obvious side of mental illness in her novel and she does a fantastic job.
A more in-depth review here.
"It's in my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them."
4. "The Song of Achilles" by Madeline Miller
I remember when this book was the biggest thing on Tumblr (second to Donna Tartt's The Secret History), and once you read the book, you'll know why. Disregarding the actual plotline for a moment, the actual writing of this book is so beautiful. The way Miller is able to piece the English language together to create something so aesthetically pleasing is quite remarkable. Tie in the story and this book will bring anyone to tears. Miller really makes you fall in love with the characters and despite the book being told from a third-person point of view, it's so easy to relate to the characters and feel their pain. For those of us who read The Illiad during high school, you'll know how much of an ass Achilles was; but through this retelling, readers are able to take a new look at Achilles and see that although he was a demigod, he was also very much human.
"In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun."
5. "It Ends With Us" by Colleen Hoover
I ugly-cried when I finished this book. I honestly didn't understand the title when I first started this book because it started out so wonderfully; but then, in true Colleen Hoover fashion, BAM—plot twist and suddenly, everything made sense. Hoover writes about a topic that most women deal with on a daily basis and isn't talked about much in the public media. My mom went through a lot of what the protagonist did so the way Hoover portrays the relationship really hit home. I think the way that Hoover paints the relationship is very realistic and part of what made this book so heartbreaking was seeing the inner turmoil of the protagonist. I honestly can't do justice to this book with my words, so take my advice, and just read it—I promise, it'll change the way you look at relationships forever.
"Cycles exist because they are excruciating to break. It takes an astronomical amount of pain and courage to disrupt a familiar pattern. Sometimes it seems easier to just keep running in the same familiar circles, rather than facing the fear of jumping and possibly not landing on your feet"
"Just because someone hurts you doesn't mean you can simply stop loving them. It's not a person's actions that hurt the most. It's the love. If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear."
6. "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes
My friend had been telling me to read this book for over four years and I finally decided to pick it up this past weekend and let me tell you, her insistence wasn't for nothing. This is a book that makes you think as well as feel. It really made me reflect a lot on my own actions and also made me realize how much I take for granted. Reading and writing come so naturally to me, yet to others, it's a constant struggle. Although the book was published in the 1960s, I feel as though a lot of the problems presented still exist today and that's what's truly saddening. The ending was the tear-jerker, and although I cannot reveal much, I can definitely say that this is a book that will not only cause you to rethink your life but also count the blessings you have.
"I am afraid. Not of life, or death, or nothingness, but of wasting it as if I had never been."
7. "Second Chance Summer" by Morgan Matson
Matson is known for her ability to create the most emotional of tales and Second Chance Summer is no different. I don't call my mom as much as I should nor do I always respond to my brother's text, but after reading Second Chance Summer, the thought that nothing in life is eternal really hit hard. It's so easy to think that your mom will be alive forever and that we'll always have tomorrow to call her back. In reality, life always has a knack for throwing curveballs our way. In the same way, the Edwards family believes that they'll always have tomorrow and start to grow apart. All of a sudden, the father is diagnosed with cancer and the family has to seriously rethink the relationships that they have with each other. As the summer progresses and the Edwards family rebuild their relationships, you start to root for the father to beat cancer and sincerely wish for the family to get over this obstacle in their way. You cry with the family and laugh with the family and hope with the family as well.
“A thousand moments that I had just taken for granted—mostly because I had assumed that there would be a thousand more.”
So there it is—seven books that will most definitely bring a tear in even the most cold hearted people :)