Top Ten Tuesday: Books that will make you cry

February 4, 2014 Randomz 24


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where people who love lists and books can share their favorites based on a certain topic each week.

This week’s topic is on the books that will bring a tear to your eye.


1. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
This was my first encounter with Picoult and it has left an impression. This heart-wrenching novel surrounding two young sisters (one healthy and one with cancer) will make you question the bonds of family. The novel has been adapted for the big screen, but the film falls significantly short to the powerful narrative of this novel. Picoult bombards her readers with twists, turns and one tearful and unexpected ending. Even though I haven’t reread this novel, I can’t seem to make myself remove this novel from my bookshelf.

2. Atonement by Ian McEwan
Again, this was my first and only read by McEwan, but boy what a doozy. The characters are well developed, the plot is engaging and the overall story is like none other. Robbie, Cecilia and Briony all have normal lives until one fateful evening with family and friends change their lives forever. Throughout the story, their lives intersect and McEwan throws obstacle after obstacle in Robbie and Cecilia’s path. Most famous for its infamous lovemaking scene in the library, Atonement (also adapted for film), will leave you completely broken.

3. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
An unexpected hit from my book club, The Art of Racing in the Rain, is a real gem. The narrative is told from the perspective of the family’s loving and loyal golden retriever. What might seem hooky is quite touching and beautiful. This novel has probably been my most loaned novel to date. Stein makes you laugh, wonder and ultimately cry throughout the course of this lovely novel.

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
This might seem cheesy, but hear me out. This novel, arguably, holds the same weight in the literary world as The Return of the Jedi did in cinema. It’s the ultimate climax in the ultimate series of all time. Rowling is a master story-teller and character craftsman. Like Luke and Darth Vadar, the true motivations behind Harry and Snape’s relationship is finally revealed. And WOW is all I can say.

5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusack
Anyone who read this novel and didn’t cry is a robot. Zusack presents a unique narrative in an abundant genre about Germans and Jews in WWII. The narrator is death and he follows Liesel throughout her life, as one by one he takes the lives of those she loves most. Zusack beautifully portrays the relationship between Liesel and her foster father, Hans, and the loveable blond-haired, blue-eyed Rudy Steiner. While the novel has moments of humorous anecdotes, this is by no means a feel-good story. It will leave you crushed and your wastebasket full of facial tissues.

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6. Hyperion by Dan Simmons
Now, this book isn’t really a tearjerker, but one of the stories within the story is just devastatingly sad. I don’t want to give away what it is, but I’ll just say it is about a father who goes above and beyond for his daughter. It just…ugh. So sad. I know I cried at the end of that tale.

7. North and South  by Elizabeth Gaskell
I’m pretty sure I cried reading this, because a lot of people don’t make it to the end. Regardless if actual tears were shed, this is a wonderful classic that I highly recommend. And after you are done, make sure to watch the BBC miniseries version staring Richard Armitage. You will not regret it.

8. Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey
This is the third book in the Phèdre Trilogy. There was some really grim scenes in this book, but overall the series produced profound emotions in me. And that’s saying something. I’m not the mushiest of people.

9. The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
I know there is a scene pretty much at the ending that made me cry. I remember it clearly, so it was profound. If you haven’t read Vonnegut before, give this book a try — it is science fiction at its best in my mind. No one is better at making you laugh, cry and feel so human than Kurt Vonnegut.

10. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Just read it. The book has its faults, but also a really interesting premise and sad love story. I saw the movie first, so I knew what was going to happen, but oh, it still hurt.


What about you? What are some books that had you reaching for tissues?

24 Responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Books that will make you cry”

  1. kateposeyphd

    What a great list! I have re-read The Book Thief several times because I teach it in a writing class and I fall apart every time. I also love The Time Traveler’s Wife, but it is such a tear jerker. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is on my list and I don’t think I could ever re-read that one–Holocaust literature is hard!

    • Anne

      I agree on the Holocaust literature. I saw Diary of Anne Frank on quite a few lists and I don’t think I could do it again! Although, I haven’t watched the movie version of The Book Thief yet, but I’d like to see how it panned out on the big screen.

    • Ashley

      Absolutely loved The Book Thief, but it was also terribly sad. Even though I had a few qualms with the film version, it still brought tears to my eyes.

    • Ashley

      Thanks, Lisa! Have you seen either film versions? I think they did an excellent job conveying the emotions from both novels.

      • Lisa

        I haven’t seen The Book Thief yet, although I really wanted to. It seemed to come and go from theaters so quickly! I’ll have to catch it on cable, I suppose. I love the Harry Potter movies!

        • Ashley

          Yeah, I don’t understand why they didn’t do a major release from the get go. Overall, they did a very nice job with the adaptation and they found the perfect Liesel and Rudy! I love the HP movies as well! Maybe not the first few, but 5-8 are awesome! :-)

    • Ashley

      I agree. I haven’t really read too many other Jodi Picoult novels just because she does tend to follow that pattern; however, Salem Falls was excellent. I highly recommend it!

    • Anne

      I’m so happy someone else knows what I’m referring to! And, no, I haven’t yet, but if it is even half as good as the first it’ll be a worthwhile read. Did you read it?

    • Ashley

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only one with HP on their list! You NEED to read The Book Thief. The plot, structure and characters are unlike anything I’ve read before.

    • Ashley

      Thanks, Liza! I was actually disappointed with the film adaptation of My Sister’s Keeper because they altered the ending, which was the best part from the novel. You should read it, it’s quite a beautiful story :-)

      • Anne

        I thought the ending of My Sister’s Keeper (the book) was awful! I was so disappointed in the author’s decision. Without giving anything away, it didn’t feel satisfactory because the MC didn’t make a full character arc. It felt cheap to me!

  2. Dina

    I really need to read The Book Thief! I own it and do want to read it before watching the movie. Seeing the final HP book on so many lists is making me want to re-read the series. I originally read them as they were released and it feels like so many years ago.

    • Ashley

      Yes, you do! It’s really wonderful.

      I know what you mean, Dina. I’ve only read a few of the books a couple of times. Now that I’m older, I think I need to reread them and see if they still carry the same emotional weight.

  3. Tim

    No mention of “Where The Red Fern Grows” huh? It was the first book that got me going emotionally. Also, “Bridge to Terabithia.”

    • Ashley

      Excellent additions, Tim! I saw someone else mention WTRFG and I was immediately brought back to 7th grade, trying to hide my tears, as we were watching the film during class. I think there needs to be more happy animal – human relationship stories…all the ones I’ve read are really sad.

  4. Becca

    Oh man, I haven’t read My Sister’s Keeper in years, but I remember it definitely gave me the feels and lots of tears! Awesome list!! Hope ya’ll are having a fab week so far! :)

    xo, Becca @Pivot Book Reviews

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