Tearjerkers: The Books To Read When You Need a Good Cry

Last week, I wrote a recommendation post about some of the happiest books I’ve read, but now it’s time to share the opposite: the most heartbreaking stories I’ve ever come across.

Apologies in advance, I guess?

As much as I think I hate reading these emotionally charged books, sometimes they’re just what I need. They’re the one’s that make me feel the most and sometimes we just need a good cry, right?

Here are some of those books that have made me feel deeply sad or even managed to bring me to tears:


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

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I just read this book last month, but I’m still not over how moving it was. It’s become one of my favorite stories of all time, even though I definitely cried at the end. It’s painful, but worth it. Trust me.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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A classic tearjerker. I’m pretty sure I could get through this book without crying now, but the first time I read it, I was just not expecting that ending and it made me tear up. I mean maybe the twist was obvious, but I seriously never saw it coming.

They Both Die at The End by Adam Silvera 

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Did the title blatantly warn me? Yes. Did I cry anyway? Of course.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me-Before-You-book-cover-Jan-12-p122I bought this book because it seemed like it would be a fun one to read while I was on vacation at the beach. Yeah, I was wrong. Let’s just say I was glad I had my sunglasses to hide my tears.

The Pact by Jodi Picoult0688170528

My mom recommended this book to me years ago. Honestly, I’m not sure if I’m mad that she told me to read such a heartbreaking story, or if I’m glad because this was genuinely a good book? This was the only Jodi Picoult book I’ve read, but it’s safe to say she’s excellent at what she does.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Claretumblr_m6yrm3pc0o1r3oy4vo1_500

This is the third and final book of The Infernal Devices trilogy, and it’s one that makes me cry every time without fail. I know we’re supposed to be okay with the ending, and it really couldn’t have gone any other way, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t sob. Honestly, this entire series is emotionally draining, but it’s completely worth the read.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera19542841

Another Adam Silvera book, but what can I say? He’s the master of causing excessive pain and heartache. I can’t believe this is his debut novel, because it hit me like nothing else ever has. It’s just brilliant, to say the least.

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover15717943

This list wouldn’t be complete without at least one Colleen Hoover book. She always writes the most emotionally powerful stories, but Hopeless was especially heartbreaking.  I’ll never forget this one. I cried for longer than I’d like to admit.

Allegiant by Veronica Rothallegiant-by-veronica-roth

The last book of the Divergent trilogy, and honestly one of the most shocking series conclusions that I’ve ever read. I’ll never forgive Veronica Roth for that ending. Seriously, why did she do that? It’s been years and I’m still furious about it. This is definitely an excellent series, and I’d still recommend it even if it does have an exceptionally sad ending.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

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Oh I love this one so much, but it broke my heart in to a million pieces. I felt so horrible for Charlie (and Algernon). This book was published in the 1950’s, but many of the themes and topics brought up in this story are still relevant today. I’m not normally a huge fan of classics, except this one is a definite favorite of mine.


I’d love to know:

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Do you cry easily at books? What are some of the saddest books you’ve ever read?

33 thoughts on “Tearjerkers: The Books To Read When You Need a Good Cry

  1. I’ve read a few on here that made me cry (TFIOS and They Both Die At The End in particular). I sobbed on the train home from the cinema whilst reading My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher. I had to put the book down for ten minutes and compose myself before I could finish it!

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    1. TFIOS and They Both Die At The End definitely brought me to tears😭 And oh no, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece sounds so devastating!!

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  2. Great choices Brianna! I’ve read most of the books listed, and let’s just say I didn’t have any tears left at the end of each one😂
    Confession 1: I’m not sure if this is just me, but I’m actually not a big fan of TFIOS, but TBDATE and MHTN were so sad! (idk if these abbreviations or whatever are confusing or not. If they are, I’m sorry! 🙈)
    Confession 2: I’ve had Hopeless on my shelf for such a long time, but I haven’t picked it up yet. I really really need to, but I haven’t had time *cries*.
    Confession 3: Soooooo i haven’t read Me Before You *shame*, but I watched the movie (which made me cry like a baby). Again I really need to read the book.
    And lastly, Clockwork Princess. I didn’t cry a lot while reading this book, mostly because I knew something bad was going to trigger the waterfalls in my eyes. But I did get really teary and went into an extreme denial 😁

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    1. Ah thank you!!
      I used to love TFIOS a lot more when it first came out, but I’m not an enormous fan anymore honestly. But yeah TBDATE and MHTN were so incredibly sad and moving (don’t worry, I got your abbreviations😂).
      Hopeless is a good one! Not my favorite of Colleen Hoover’s, but probably the most heartbreaking one she’s written😭
      Also same it’s been years but I’m STILL in extreme denial about Clockwork Princess tbh.

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      1. You’re welcome!
        For Colleen Hoover books, that’s probably true. It Ends With Us wasn’t necessarily “water works sad”, but it was definitely sad.
        And I read TID for the first time this year and I’m still amazed by how good it was. I have to admit that it’s not my favorite series, but it was still pretty good. 🙃

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  3. Honestly I’m hopeless for crying at most books, but Adam Silvera seriously gets me every time. They Both Die at the End had me sobbing but it was History Is All You Left Me that truly broke my heart. I was crying through more than half of it! 😭

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    1. History is All You Left Me is my favorite book of his ❤️😭 I love it so much. Honestly all of his books deserve to be on this list!

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  4. The Song of Achilles and Adam Silvera books definitely all make me ugly sob!! I feel like I don’t usually full on cry when I read books even though I tear up pretty easily but another one that made me cry was We Are Okay by Nina Lacour. I think the books that get to me the most are contemporaries were the main characters have similar problems as me or just cope in the same way I would? Those always hit a little too hard

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    1. I don’t normally full on cry at books either unless I can really relate to them! But same, contemporaries def get me when I feel like I’m reading about all my own problems. Also I haven’t read We Are Okay yet but I’m going to add it to my TBR 🙂

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    1. I know right?? Some books just make the tears come so easily even if none of the characters are in danger is dying!

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  5. Oh man, I was in SUCH denial over They Both Die at the End. The entire time reading it I was convinced it wasn’t true (obviously, it was). And I’m also upset at Allegiant! But in addition to the ending, I’m also upset at John Green, because he spoiled it for me on Twitter the day it was released before I got the chance to read it 😦

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    1. Same!! I was like okay, it IS the title and it’s clearly going to happen but I didn’t want to actually believe it 😭
      Allegiant- aghh! I’m still mad about it. And no way, did he really tweet what happened?? I can’t believe he did that and I would be upset too 😦

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    1. Ah it’s your favorite?? That’s so good to hear ❤️😭 I love it I love it I love it! And it really is bittersweet; what happened was definitely heartbreaking, but at least there was a smidge of happiness at the very end💞

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  6. SONG OF ACHILLES!!! 😭😭😭 MY HEART!
    And Clockwork Princess hurt SO MUCH as well! 😭💔 And also, even though it was ultimately a happy ending, I think I spent the last hundred or so pages of City of Heavenly Fire blubbering. WHY CASSANDRA CLARE?! WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME?!

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    1. I WILL NEVER RECOVER FROM SONG OF ACHIILES. Also Cassandra Clare makes me sob no matter what. I will not be prepared for LoS whenever I finally get to it

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  7. I loved (hated) Flowers for Algernon! If I may be so bold as to add another depressing book, “A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness had me crying from start to finish.

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  8. I have only read one of these – the fault in our stars… I read it a few times and I cry my eyes out every time.. Don’t know why I keep reading it??
    Another book that just BROKE MY HEART was Heartless by Marissa Meyer – If you haven’t you should read it! It is one of those books that I can complain about so much because, dude it broke me… But it is just so so so good…

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    1. I’ve read TFIOS a few times too and I have no idea why I put myself through that pain! Haha.
      I haven’t read Heartless yet but I do own it. I love Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles so I’ve always meant to read it. Thanks for the rec, and I’ll have to prepare myself for the sadness whenever I get around to reading it!!

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      1. We must love the pain somehow, lol 😀 Aw you should put it on top of your tbr! It is SO good… I loved the Lunar Chronicles, Heartless is very different though, but omg its so good.. Its been almost 9 month since I read it, and I can still get tears in my eyes thinking about it… So yeah I recommend you prepare yourself..

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