Last year I went through a bit of phase of reading depressing books (everything was FINE…) and a couple of them broke my heart enough that I felt like I needed to update this list, you know, to spread the joy.
TRIGGER WARNING: Mental health discussions, mention of suicide, cancer and death.
… oh yes, strap in for a fun post.
Let me start with the OG sad books that made it from the previous list.
1. The Fault in our Stars
This will forever hold the spot of the saddest book I’ve read, I read it in the space of three ish hours whilst traveling in South Africa in a shared dorm, where I had to sob quietly to myself into the wee hours and everyone asked why my eyes were red the next day.
The story is equal parts beautiful, poignant, sad and, strangely, funny in places in a very ‘hangman’s humour’ kind of way.
2. Perks of Being a Wallflower
When I tell you that I cried throughout most of the last half of the book, that is not an exaggeration. Because the story is told from Charlie’s point of view, you hear his thoughts as they happen and you spiral with him as his disordered thought patterns devolve. My heart broke for Charlie, I just wanted to give him a hug.
3. All the Bright Places
Ummmmmmm after reading this? My heart? In pieces. Shattered. Then stomped on. Then balled up and thrown in the trash. Then lit on fire.
The story follows the relationship between Finch and Violet, who meet on the roof of their school when a grief stricken Violet is getting ready to jump. Finch takes it upon himself to convince Violet to live, showing her all the beautiful things about life as they fall in love. All the while Finch’s mental health is deteriorating. The story switches POV’s and so you as the reader can see the train crash Finch is heading towards and you are left screaming as no one seems to see it, not even Violet. It is a completely raw look at grief, mental health and suicide, from a few different facets.
4. They Both Die in the End
So, for obvious reasons. This is a very sad book. In this story, there is an app called Deathcast, at midnight on the day you are going to die, you receive a phone call letting you know, so that you can spend your last twenty four hours making the most of the time you have left. The book follows Mateo and Rufus after they receive their Deathcast phone call, meeting on an app called ‘Last friends’, which is designed to help people who have no one to spend their last day with. It follows the twenty four hours the pair spend together as they try to go out and live life as much as possible.
You know where this going but the inevitable ending does not come the way you expect it to, the way the narrative leads you to believe it’s going to happen. It makes you fall in love with the characters and their relationships. Gives you hope that they will make it and then RIPS OUT YOUR SOUL.
5. Clockwork Princess (The final book in the Infernal Devices series)
Honestly, this book is mostly on this list because of the final chapter, so, major spoiler warning.
That scene at the end of the book? Of Will on his death bed, waiting for Jem to join him and Tessa before he passes on? Stomping on my heart. The line from Tessa ‘she couldn’t remember the precise blue of Will’s eyes anymore’ HEARTBREAKING.
It’s all so unfair. It’s unfair that Will never got to be with his Parabatai for more than four years. It’s not fair that Jem misses out on Tessa and Will’s life together (although they do involve him as much as possible, it’s just that he can’t be because of what he is now). It’s not fair that Jem isn’t cured and turned back into an ordinary shadow hunter until 100 years later, even if it means Tessa gets to a have a lifetime with the second love of her life.
So there you go, there’s my five. it worth noting that four of these I read in one, maybe two sittings because I couldn’t bring myself to keep picking them up otherwise, so I just had to get through them.
What are your saddest books? Comment them so I have an arsenal in case I ever need a good cry.