Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish, and this week’s topic was supposed to be all about your top reads of the year. ONLY THE YEAR IS NOT OVER YET. Call me an optimist, but what if one of my fave books turns out to be among the ones I’ll read in the coming two weeks? One never knows, so you can expect my list in early January. Meanwhile, I’m going to talk about crying in books.
Okay, so making cry it’s not that hard. Whether it’s movies, TV shows, random acts of kindness or books, I will cry. The books on this list are different though. There was no single tear drifting down my cheek slowly, no eyes watering slightly. These books made me bawling. They made me get tissues or wipe away tears just so that I could keep reading or they gave terrible headaches which left unable to think about anything else. These books hurt my soul.
Now, I won’t go into the details for what exactly made me cry in each of these because it might be considered a spoiler. But if you’ve read them, odds are that you’ll know.
1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Let’s get the obvious ones out of the way, shall we? I mean, everyone knows by now this book has high chance of making you cry, right? If you don’t, then you probably just woke up from a five-year coma. The worst part is that I felt somewhat manipulated by reading this. Like I cried just when the book wanted me to cry like the good reader I am. Yeah, I don’t really like or dislike this book. I actually read the whole book in a single night, and boy my sobbing was the worst.
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
A book you’ve probably never heard of. Yeah, not many people know about this book at all. It’s totally not another obvious pick.
Anyway. A book about World War II with Death himself as its narrator? I stood no chance. This was the kind of book that had me switching from sobbing to just crying for the last third. And I loved every minute of it.
3. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
I teared up several times while reading this monster of a book. The snowcastle, anyone? But those were just a few tears. And if you’ve read this book or Game of Thrones, you know which scene ripped my heart out, stomped on it, put it back into my chest and threw me into an ocean of my own tears. Also it gets double points because I sobbed both when I saw it on page and on screen.
Also I was listening to “Die Young” by Kesha before reading this and that song is now forever ruined. I hear your heart beat to beat of the drum…
4. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
This is one of the few where I can’t point exactly when I started to cry, maybe as soon as the opening. I just remember that it got to a point where I would really a line that was just so beautifully written and stop to bawl. The book weaves in many stories, both past and future, in a way that the whole becomes so much more than the parts.
5. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Yeah, I cried there. I saw it coming a mile away, and I still couldn’t stop crying.
6. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
This was one of the most intense reading experiences in my life. I had been looking forward to this book’s release for over a year, the expectations were high just for that. Couple that with the fact that it happened to come out on my last week of high school. Needless to say, I was a wreck and not just when a certain thing happened. When I finished this book, I wasn’t only saying goodbye to the characters but also to my teenage years in a way. I read it in a day, and by 1am when I turned the last (virtual) page, I knew I was way too upset to get any sleep for the rest of the night. I cried while I read, and then I sobbed because it was over.
7. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
This book inspired this list. I just fucking sobbed the entire second half. It’s just the right kind of hurt, because it feels almost real. What I love about this novel is that the time travel functions as a metaphor for so many real life things. So even if no one has a genetic condition that causes time travel, one can get stuck in one’s own past. If this book portrays one thing right it’s longing. Also it got to the point where I couldn’t keep reading because the tears were blurring my sight.
8. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
This was more of a constant gentle crying situation. In this book about grief, so many lines made me tear up from one second to the next. Nelson is really evocative, even if her metaphors can be a bit… like getting hit like a truck.
9. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Oh, yeah, this was coming. Another World War II book, so it figures. Another book that I read in a day. I thought I wasn’t very invested in the character, but all of the sudden I was, and I spend half the book dreading… X, which lulled me into a sense of security that Y couldn’t happen. Guess what Wein did?
*cue stream of tears*
There is a single phrase that can still bring to tears.
10. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
This earned its spot on this list for being so unexpected. I was cooking and listening to the audiobook when Sanderson went and did precise what I though he would never do, so there I was crying over the zucchini. Then he did another thing and I had to sit on the kitchen floor and finish the damn book and then cry so more.