Today's topic, "top ten books that will make you cry," requires a bit of cheating on my part because, as anyone who knows me as a reader will know, I almost never actually cry while reading. However, I do have internal emotional breakdowns, and I love having my feelings crushed, even if my sadness does not manifest in the form of tears. Here are a few wonderfully heartbreaking stories that I recommend to anyone who is feeling masochistic.
1. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
As its title implies, this book leaves a harrowing mark on readers in its 170 pages. It has been over a year since I read this story of a kidnapped girl, but I still shiver when I think about it.
2. The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Wunder's debut deals with cancer, so it is inherently sad. The protagonist's dry sarcasm lightens the mood, but also makes readers attached to her and therefore even more devastated during the emotional moments.
3. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
This is another cancer book that will dissolve readers into tears. It is so sad and so beautiful.
4. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
This story about a girl struggling with an eating disorder similar to the one that killed her friend still haunts me almost two years after reading it.
5. Hold Still by Nina LaCour
While reading this book about a girl whose best friend committed suicide, I repeatedly had to stop reading and absorb the emotion assaulting me.
6. Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood
I am not sure whether to love you or hate you for that ending, Jessica Spotswood, but I have strong feelings either way.
7. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
The title character in this book deals with so many troubles throughout the story, and while the ending is not miserable, it is bittersweet.
8. Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert
This book's characters have troublesome backstories that reminded me how close real-world issues can be to my own life.
9. How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
I love unsatisfactory endings, and this book reminded me why.
10. After by Amy Efaw
In this book, a scared and regretful protagonist gets pregnant, gives birth to a child, and then throws it away—a surprisingly common occurrence according to the author's note. The story is sad on many levels, largely because the author manages to explain the main character's actions without excusing them, creating an empathetic teenager without glossing over the terrible thing she did.
These are just a few stories from YA's selection of emotional fiction. (I did not even include the obvious ones like The Book Thief, The Fault in Our Stars, or Code Name Verity.) I would love some emotionally ravaging recommendations, so leave your favorite sad books in the comments!