I am sorry guys, this Top Five cannot be done without some spoilers. Because today, today my friends, we are going to be looking at the top 5 books that made me cry like a baby. Read at your own caution!!
1. The Fault in Our Stars
Man, oh man. I used to be an extremely callous person. I can admit this, because I am now the exact opposite. Almost three years ago now, I was diagnosed with cancer. Not a terminal cancer mind you, but I still had to go through chemotherapy, and radiation, and be poked and proded and tested etc. Again, while it wasn’t terminal cancer, and I am two years in remission now, coming that close to death is a life altering experience. You tend to have a different outlook, takes things less for granted, love your friends and family harder and stronger. The point of this diatribe is that for some reason, during the most emotional stage in my life, I decided it would be a GREAT idea to read The Fault in Our Stars.
Why couldn’t someone have saved me from myself here? This book was wonderful, but utterly heartbreaking. I finished it in one sitting, curled into a ball and cried myself to sleep. Ugly, splotchy, red faced sobbed.
*minor spoiler alert* death is sad. But teenage death is even more sad. And I cannot imagine knowing that I was going to die and living my life to the fullest with that knowledge. That is what broke me.
2. The Book Thief
This book absolutely blew me away. I know there is a lot of hype surrounding how wonderful this book is, and in my personal opinion, it is not misplaced hype. This book was…. Life changing. I cried in the middle, I cried at the end. I cried both happy and sad tears. I am sure I stained the pages with my crying. As much as I cried in this book, I wish I could wipe away all recollection of reading it, so I could experience it again for the first time.
3. City of Thieves
While City of Thieves takes place during WWII, it focuses on the Russian side of things, and more specifically, two Russian boys. Boys forced to be criminals, then forced to be friends trying to save their own lives. There were two instances where I cried in this book, and while I don’t want to spoil any events for those that haven’t read this wonderful novel, lets just say both times I cried involved death, and one of those deaths was an animal. I have a real soft spot for animals, and clearly for WWII novels as well. But despite the tears, this book is fantastic and I highly recommend it. Just don’t read it in public, on a plane, like I did.
4. All the Bright Places
This book utterly destroyed me. And in an effort to not spoil this book, I am going to attempt some vague references. I didn’t cry after the disappearance. I didn’t cry when it was discovered there was no saving a certain character. I cried after I finished the novel and put it back on my shelf; that was when the full weight of what I just read slammed into me. It wasn’t necessarily the death that ruined me. Yes, that was extremely sad, as most deaths are, but it was the effects of the death that hit me so hard. How heartbreaking that there are so many teenagers out there that truly believes life will never get better, that there is no hope, no help. That was the most gut-wrenching part of this book. The truth and the weight it carried.
This book is beautifully poignant and depressing. I believe it served its purpose in opening up the eyes of the general public to teenage depression for one thing.
5. A Thousand Splendid Suns
When I finished this book, I felt ashamed that it had taken me so long to pick up. This book was fascinating and horrifying to read gripping me to the last page. It is not a thriller by any means, but I knew that just because the characters were fictional and these people did not exist in the way that Khaled Hosseini painted them, these people were real. This story in Afghanistan is not a make believe one. The abuse, the fear, the rockets that plague every day lives, THAT was not fictional: just names and dates perhaps.
The ending to this book was almost Shakespearian: tragic but appropriate. I definitely cried myself to sleep that night, and would still recommend this book to any that haven’t read it yet. It is fantastically moving.