Today’s Top Ten Tuesday list is near and dear to my heart – books that make you cry! Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I tend to let the waterworks flow when it comes to anything that is remotely sad. That Kleenex commercial where everyone talks about their sadnesses? Yup, made me cry. That phone commercial where the couple falls in love and their son becomes president? Might have shed a tear or two. Every Lifetime movie ever made? Forget about it. When it comes to books, I’m a little more discerning. Only certain books have really made me cry buckets, but here they are.
Note: Yes, this means I have returned from Spain! I will be posting all about it soon! Once I get all my pictures in order. Oh, friends I have some stories to tell you!
1. If I Stay by Gayle Foreman – This book didn’t just make me cry, it made me sob. I sobbed unrelenting buckets of tears, all the while trying to remain very very quiet because everyone in the house was still sleeping. If I Stay is about Mia, a girl who has a wonderful life with her wonderful family and boyfriend. Except for when, on an afternoon drive, her mother, father and brother are killed in a car accident that leaves her in a coma, but still conscious of her surroundings. Mia is left with a choice: should she stay, and live in this new world she doesn’t understand that doesn’t include her family, or should she join her family? And I know that description sounds trite, but this book is full of absolutely wonderful moments that make the loss of Mia’s family unbearable. My review of this book is clearly pitiful because I did not once mention how much it made me cry.
2. Say the Word by Jeannine Garsee – I read this book for Nerds Heart YA and it made it all the way to the final round! Though it was runner-up and not the winner of the whole tournament, this book is one that everyone should read. Shawna’s mom leaves her father for another woman and Shawna never forgives her. In the first few chapters, Shawna’s mother dies and she is left with all sorts of questions about what happened between her mother and father, not to mention an entirely new family. This book is touching and real and often heartbreaking, but it’s a wonderful story.
3. Looking for Bapu by Anjali Banerjee – This book is bound to make anyone cry, about a precocious young boy whose grandfather dies when they go on a walk together. Anu tries to understand his grandfather’s death by becoming closer to the gods. This book is seriously amazing and paired with the fact that I read it shortly after losing my own grandmother, I cried, a lot.
4. The Untelling by Tayari Jones – Jones’s lovely novel about a woman who is trying to have a baby is perfect. I loved every single thing about it, including the connection I felt with Aria. Her situation brought me to tears quite a few times.
5. The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb – I have a lot of bones to pick with Mr. Lamb, but the first 100 or so pages of this book that described, through Lamb’s unique fictional lens, the tragedy of Columbine absolutely shattered me. I didn’t stop crying and finished the rest of this 700-page doorstop in two days.
6. City of Thieves by David Banioff – City of Thieves is a comedy, so perhaps it’s a bit strange that it is appearing on this list, but it is exactly because of its humor that the ending of this book is so tragic and tear-worthy.
7. The Night Watch by Sarah Waters – I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about this book before. I loved this book to pieces and I think it is the best thing that Sarah Waters has ever written (yes, it’s better than Fingersmith). I don’t know that I thought that at the time I read it, but since then it has made it possibly into my top ten list. This story is so sad, like most of Waters’s stories, so you’re going to go into it prepared, but it still made me cry. I listened to it on audio, so that was awkward. I guess I could always say I was crying because of the traffic.
9. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patric Ness – I’m sure this one made a lot of lists. This book is sad for many reasons, but there’s always that one reason that gets everyone in the end. I’m currently reading Monsters of Men, the third book in the trilogy and I was just reminded about that thing that made everyone cry and I almost teared up again.
10. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien – This is another book that I have shouted from the rooftops that everyone should read, but nothing made me cry like hearing Tim O’Brien read aloud from this book and a book that he is currently working on. There was not a dry eye in that entire tent during the 2009 National Book Festival.
For more Top Ten Tuesdays, check out The Broke and the Bookish.