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7 Sad Books That Made Me Cry

7 Sad Books That Made Me Cry

Reading books is a form of therapy for many people, myself included. Others would want to escape into a magical land of fantasies and love stories. Meanwhile, I would rather read a book just so I can have a reason to cry all my frustrations out without feeling sorry for myself.

I know I’m not the only bookworm out there who does this. If you’re just like me, I’ve listed a few books to help you cry it all out. Hopefully, you are mentally and emotionally prepared for these books as it gets… progressively traumatizing. So, grab a tissue and get yourself a pint of ice cream.

Trigger Warning: Some books may include topics of mental illnesses, self-harm, abuse, trauma, and suicide.

7 Sad Books That Made Me Cry

Five Feet Apart

“Everyone in this world is breathing borrowed air.”

– Rachael Lippincott
sad book

Rachel Lippincott’s Five Feet Apart gave me a reason to read again after a three-year slump. Stella and Will’s romance is a tragic love story as they both struggle with a lung disorder called, cystic fibrosis. This disease could be lethal if two patients are far too close to each other. This meant that they have to stay six feet apart at all times.

The mainstream terminally ill trope has become a bore to me, especially after reading The Fault In Our Stars back in eighth grade. However, this particular tear-jerker has taught me to value the feeling of being able to lovingly touch someone dear to you. Reading this during the height of the pandemic has made it even more melancholy.

Instructions for Dancing

I don’t know why we lose the people we love and we’re expected to go on after we lose them. But I know that to love is human. We can’t help ourselves. The philosopher-poets say love is the answer, but it’s more than that. Love is the question and the answer and the reason to ask in the first place. It’s everything. All of it.

– Nicola Yoon
sad book

What would you do if you can see how relationships end? Would you still believe in love? Nicola Yoon really hit me in the right spot with Instructions For Dancing. It has magical realism and a protagonist bookworm. Evie does not believe in love after witnessing her parent’s relationship fall apart. Her sudden ability to have visions strengthened this belief until she met X. However, the only thing that kept her from accepting love is her fear of seeing how it ends.

Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Do you understand what I’m telling you? When you’re given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. The world doesn’t give things, you take things. If you learn one thing from me, it should probably be that.

– Taylor Jenkins Reid
sad book

If you have not heard of the book, do you live under a rock? Because I am intentionally judging you. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a genius and you cannot convince me otherwise, especially with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Shining star celebrity Evelyn is known for her sex appeal and beauty.

It had gained attraction and popularity through the men in the industry. However, she wants more than this life of greed and regrets. This story of ambition, fame, forbidden love, and loyal friendship will keep you on the hook for a good ending. Spoiler alert: There is no good ending.

All The Bright Places

We do not remember days, we remember moments.

– Jennifer Niven
sad book

Jennifer Niven’s All The Bright Places dives into the reality of a person with Bipolar Disorder. Both the struggling teens, Violet and Finch, try to find reasons to live through their shared quest of exploring Indiana. As Violet gains the strength to stay, Finch gains more reason to go. Sadly, love cannot fix everything.

The Midnight Library

Some big, some small. But every time one decision is taken over another, the outcomes differ. An irreversible variation occurs, which in turn leads to further variations. These books are portals to all the lives you could be living.

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– Matt Haig
sad book

I truly love magical realism, especially when they involve a library and the afterlife. Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library is one of my favorite reads. Nora ends it all after having a terrible day. However, she wakes up in a library with books that leads to different realities of her life. Overwhelmed with regret, Nora enthusiastically explores all her what-ifs. However, she ends up being lost in every universe, eventually realizing that things certainly happened for a reason.

The Catastrophic History of You and Me

Turns out, hell’s not so much a burning, scalding pit of fire and misery. It’s actually much, much worse than that. Hell is when the people you love the most reach right into your soul and rip it out of you. And they do it because they can.

– Jess Rothenberg
sad book

Have you ever wondered what happens after we die? In Jess Rothenberg’s The Catastrophic History of You and Me, purgatory is a pizza parlor with lost souls waiting for their time to move on. The book follows Brie, a girl who literally died of a broken heart. She journeys through the afterlife in stages of grief. Alongside her quest for revenge is a guy named Patrick, helping her battle her demons as she accepts her death and finds love.

A Little Life

Fairness is for happy people, for people who have been lucky enough to have lived a life defined more by certainties than by ambiguities.

Right and wrong, however, are for—well, not unhappy people, maybe, but scarred people; scared people.

– Hanya Yanagihara
 sad book

One word. Trauma. This 814-paged-book follows the story of a deeply troubled lawyer named, Jude, along with four college friends. Hanya Yanagihara’s brilliant writing emotionally encapsulates his protagonist’s struggles with his traumatic past. If you’re looking for a sad story without a happy ending, consider A Little Life.

What’s the first book that made you cry? We would love to know in the comments!

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