Books That Have Made Me Cry
I just finished a book titled "Half of a Yellow Sun" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and boy did it get me emotional. I actually shed tears. This to me was an incredible feat because I cry more often while watching films than I do while reading books--This is for obvious reasons: movies take less time to watch than books do to read so the emotions hit faster. Also there's soundtrack and visible characters to relate to and root for, but I digress-- In fact there have only been two books that really made me cry, although I've read a couple of tough ones. I will say though, there have been a handful of books that have almost brought me to the point of tears. So this post is dedicated to the most tear-jerking books that I've ever read.
These are listed roughly in the order that I read them.
The Hobbit (1937), J.R.R. Tolkein
This book was the first (and only so far) book that I read from the fictional world of J.R.R. Tolkien. I was completely enthralled from start to finish, so so into it. (I even wrote a song about this book). The line that got me directly in my heart was after a major battle and the death of Thorin. I'm a little bit hazy on the details but I remember he had been so adamant about reclaiming his homeland that he was willing to die on the spot rather than be moved again. So when he dies I remember they bury him in his ancestral homeland and say something like "All hail Thorin, king under the mountain" and sheesh, I was emotional. But I think I was in public so I kept it together.
Inheritance (2011), Christopher Paolini
This book was another fantasyland adventure (you'll notice a pattern). And I'll be honest, its been a long while since I read this series but I just remember I spent well over a year reading the four books in this series: Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, and Inheritance. These books were everything to me. I remember reading one distinct plot twist and then sprinting around a parking lot in pure exuberance. These books captivated me. Anyway, I'd come to the last book, the end of the journey. The battles were over and so was the story and a handful of characters were literally sailing away into the sunset while one or two others watched. Anyway, it signified the end of an era for me, and I felt very moved (didn't cry, though!)
The Book Thief (2005), Markus Zusak
This entire book was heart wrenching; it was about the Holocaust. I honestly would have been bawling throughout if it wasn't for the circular storytelling narration style that foreshadowed a lot of the misfortune and cushioned the blows a bit. Every loss and character death was sad, but I did not shed a tear on this one. Incredible read, though!
Mockingjay (2010), Suzanne Collins
This book really deeply emotionally affected me because one of my favorite, scratch that, my favorite character in the series dies. I didn't cry but I remember being down about this for weeks, because the gravity of his death was not expressed in the books as much as I felt it. When Finnick dies, his death is gruesome and quick, literally during a chase scene. I think there's like a paragraph or a half page dedicated to it. Later they pay homage to him and talk about his family but his death left me reeling (as much as you can reel for the death of a fictional character...which for me is a lot). I remember in that book there were other character deaths and countless other losses but no one mourned for Finnick like I did. His whole life he was used and he learned to adapt from it, even create a mask from it, but his heart was so pure. And I'll step down from my soap box now.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007), J.K. Rowling
This book was sad for obvious reasons, tons of characters die and suffer losses. Rowling even begins her book with poems about loss because she knows what she's about to put the audience through. I think what sobered me about this book was the fact that it was the end of an era and the fact that a lot of these characters had "lived" for years and were now being killed off, which made their deaths much more poignant. After I'd finished it my roommate commented on how she'd been devastated to read about the deaths of characters whose lives she'd grown up reading. Tough stuff.
Sidenote, I actually finished this book on the iconic September 1, 2017 which is literally the date "Nineteen Years Later" that the book celebrates!
Here come the tearjerkers...
The Kite Runner (2003), Khaled Hosseini
This is the first book to officially make me cry. I'd heard about it for a while and when I finally picked it up, it took me a long time to finish. It was like every twenty pages my heart was broken into tiny little pieces. But I didn't cry until the very last page, when Sohrab smiles. And it was that simple gesture that gave me hope. It was like getting a hug and finally being able to cry on someone's shoulder. Tough book, but a worthwhile, necessary journey.
Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Sheesh. This was another book that was a tough journey. I will say that the story was woven masterfully and I never grew bored or confused. The last few chapters of the book packed some considerable wallops but the last straw was the last page. The last sentence actually. Adichie completely had me fooled. She juked me out. I was shook, shaken, and bamboozled. When I read that last sentence, I immediately broke down into tears. What it was was a ray of hope, a moment of redemption, of light at the end of a very long dark, tunnel. And it kind of made everything okay.
As you can see I cry mostly when I'm inspired and when there's hope. Even when a situation is very very sad, I usually don't respond in tears. But give me hope and I lose it.
I think its super important to read books that make us cry and make us feel sad. Sadness is a valid emotion and needs to be expressed. Also the right book will make us think and take us out of our comfort zones and complacencies.
Thanks for reading!! Also try out these titles they're reallly good!
**This is dedicated to my two loyal readers Zoe and Patrick <3