Top Ten Books that Have Made Me Cry

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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What about you? Are you also a book cryer? Do you, like me, cry the hardest at unexpected twists?

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Book Review: Everything I Never Told You

18693763.jpgTitle: Everything I Never Told You

Author: Celeste Ng

Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

Release Date: June 26th, 2014

Publisher: Penguin Press

Rating: ★★★★★

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.

So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.

A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

 

There is something so subtly genius about how this whole novel is crafted, how history goes by in side remarks but moments are etched into one, how we only get to really know five (kind of six?) characters but how do we know them by the end.

It is a tragedy of miscommunication, though that much you cal tell from the synopsis. Objects, from a cookbook to a box of condoms, have meaning, but it is never the same for anyone. Words have their own meaning too, especially the unfinished and the unsaid. As a reader you get to experience precisely what they never told each other, and the narrative voice flows seamlessly between perspectives, shedding light in the most poignant of ways.

It is a tale of family, of how the past never really leaves us. That which haunted our parents finds its own way to haunt us. Expectations, even silent ones, suffocate. Past and present mirror each other, and yet they are something different altogether.

Ng cleverly plays off the expectations of her premise. Beautiful, promising teenage girl dead before her time? We’ve all heard this. And yet her execution is so elegant, the realistic and poetic intersect to create something unique. The stakes are not some evil killer, but human understanding.

Also the writing took me a little to get used too, but once immersed it is wonderful. The sentences are sometimes simple but striking all the same. It’s made me want to read everything else she publishes.

November Recap

 

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So November was sure a month. I don’t even know what to say. I had a lot of ups and downs the last four weeks, and I need this semester to be over already.  I’m reevaluating a lot of things regarding what I want from college, and that’s been tough. And NaNo kind of added a lot more pressure.

There was an impromptu trip with my high school friends over a long weekend, which was definitely the highlight of the whole month. We didn’t do anything too crazy, but I had a ton of fun. Continue reading

Norse Mythology Book Tag

I saw this over at Life of a Literary Nerd a few days ago, and having just finished Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology (a stunning retelling if a bit short), I thought it was the perfect time to do it!

I didn’t grow up with Norse mythology like many others, but I’ve definitely grown fonder of its myths and characters. Lately I’ve been trying to learn more about folklore and mythology, and the Norse gods have risen among my new favorites. The imagery, the worldview… it’s just so different from the Greek, I love it.

The Rules:

  • Link back to my original post on Kyera’s Library so I can see all your answers! (Be sure to do this via pingback, I don’t get notified if you just tag my URL)
  • Thank the person(s) who tagged you… show the community some love!
  • Obviously, come up with your wonderful answers!
  • Don’t forget to tag others to keep the tag going!

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ODIN – FAVOURITE STAND ALONE

Odin is the All-Father, the leader of the Norse Gods. He is the god of wisdom, poetry, battle, death, wine, and war, among other things.

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The Secret History by Donna Tartt

When people ask for my favorite book and I don’t want to talk for ages about having many, I always say this one.

Continue reading