10 Books That Made Me Cry ft. heartbreaking characters and inconsolable tears

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This post took me so long to make, because I actively avoid thinking about the sad parts in books.

But I also sometimes replay them over and over in my head, indulging in the tragedy of my favorite characters going through hard times. And I had to admit that fact in this post. it was a trial.

if you’re in the mood for some sad books, here are ten that will have you reaching for your favorite flavor of comfort cake. mine is vanilla πŸ˜₯

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1. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

The MC, a Vietnamese American man named Little Dog, writes letters to his mother who cannot read. That alone was painful. But then the unfiltered RAW EMOTION nearly murdered me in cold blood.

Another theme is that Little Dog is gay and dealing with homophobia + a boyfriend severely addicted to drugs.

I was on the verge of tears from page one, but by the end I was a changed person A person with significantly more experience in feeling sad.

β† β†  TW: homophobia, on page death, drug use, violence, child abuse

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

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2. Winnie the Pooh by A.A Milne

YOU WOULDN’T THINK THIS WOULD MAKE ME CRY!!! but this book single-handedly stomped on my heart, then called me pathetic to my face.

When Pooh sees Christopher Robin after they’ve been separated for any more than five minutes???? AND HE RUSHES INTO HIS ARMS FOR A HUG.

There was enough friends-verbally-telling-one-another-that-they-love-each-other to really go the extra mile and ruin me.

Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh, #1)

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3. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Kvothe cannot go five seconds without facing tragedy and/or a new enemy. He’s tried before and now accepts that it’s just who he is.

The book is told from two different timelines:

Present Day Kote Who Is In Hiding and Telling His Story (Kvothe has changed his name) and Kvothe growing up and becoming the most notorious outlaw in the entire world.

As Kvothe tells the story of his young life, he has to physically step away to have a good cry. It’s hard to go through but we do it for Kvothe because we love him.

β† β†  TW: on page death, violence, grief, extreme loneliness/hopelessness

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)

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4. The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

This is a book about a married gay couple and their daughter, taking a nice vacation at their family cabin. But then random weirdos show up at the cabin, hold them captive, and say they have to choose which member of the family dies.

Or else the world will end.

I was cheering this family on and hoping for the very best.

I just didn’t want anyone to be murdered this time, every single book istg smh

β† β†  TW: on page death,Β grief,Β hysteria, violence,Β 

The Cabin at the End of the World

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5. Circe by Madeline Miller

I had to dnf this book because it hurt me so much. Up to about 50% (where i stopped) this book is nonstop loneliness and sadness for Circe.

She has absolutely no one in her life to love her unconditionally (like the characters in Song of Achilles)

It’s just Circe being betrayed over and over and me sobbing. hurt/no comfort

β† β†  TW: abandonment, violence, rape


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6. The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

One of my favorite f/f romances!!!!!!!

And it wasn’t that heart breaking,,,,,until the end. I won’t give spoilers, but the ending hurt me so much

It’s also very sad because all Swift wants is for Cass to sit in her lap, but Cass wants a slow burn romance????


β† β†  TW: violence, on page death, drug use, needles

The Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #1)

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7. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

platonic love means everything to me and this book made sibling love STRUGGLE AND WORK HARD.

When the mc’s brother dies, she assumes he’s truly dead. But turns out, he’s joined a rival clan, actively betraying his family.

And the mc has to come to terms with loving/ being loyal to her brother who still loves her back, vs. loyalty to her clan. Because it’s looking a lot like her brother has turned into a little snitch.

The moment we see her brother struggle between his new friendships and devotion to his sister????????????


β† β†  TW: violence, abandonment

Sky in the Deep

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8. The Diabolic by S.J Kincaid

I am in love with Nemesis, I try to make that very publicly known.

so when I watched her crawling *literally crawling army style* towards the person she loves, on the brink of death but forever dedicated. And I heard “Make You Feel My Love” playing in the background?

my entire heart needed to be covered in band-aids.

β† β† Β TW: on page death, violence, surgeryΒ 

The Diabolic (The Diabolic, #1)

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9. Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

This was my least favorite Emma Mills (the order for me is This Adventure Ends, Foolish Hearts, First & Then, Famous in a Small Town).

But that devastating plot twist????????

And then the MC got drunk, I would dare say *plastered*, to cope with the pain of said plot twist.

My feelings were definitely hurt.

β† β† Β TW: grief, alcoholΒ use, references to drug use

Famous in a Small Town

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10. The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

I love Magnus Chase more than Percy Jackson, and I’m not ashamed of myself. My opinion is the only one that makes sense.


At one point Magnus has an “I’m a lover not a fighter lol” moment and heals the entire world. His dad is the god of Love and Sunshine.Β 

Therefore, when I see him dealing with homelessness, grief, loneliness, and the desperate need for validation and friendship.Β I cry for himΒ 

β† β† Β TW: grief

The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1)

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Has a book ever made you inconsolable?

Do you avoid reading sad books?

Which character has made you cry the most?




32 thoughts on “10 Books That Made Me Cry ft. heartbreaking characters and inconsolable tears

  1. thebookcorps says:

    I love this post! Sometimes you just need a good cry and reading a sad book can help πŸ˜… I absolutely love Circe and yeah I cry buckets during that book! I haven’t heard of The Cabin at the End of the World but I’m adding it to my TBR right now! πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Destiny @ Howling Libraries says:

    Oh man, Circe is ROUGH but if you ever decide to pick it back up, I personally thought it got a lot less depressing later on! There are some really tough moments, though. I think Miller is just so damn good at writing these horrendously melancholy, lonely moments. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      that brings me hope, i need to boldly pick Circe back up now that I’m stronger emotionally ((((i think i stopped around the time her son was a teenager…………and………..HIS PLANS TO………dlkgjlk)))) i’m going into this BRAVELY though ❀ ❀ ❀

      + i agree with how amazing Miller is, oh gosh I'll forever read anything and everything she gives us

      Liked by 1 person

  3. may says:

    getting out my notebook and pen to take notes bc i love books that make me cry 😍 youre selling me on name of the wind now and i’ve been putting it off for WAY too long, looks like im going to have to pick it up soon. THE TWIST IN FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN SHOOK MY ENTIRE WORLD i had to just stop and stare at the screen and then cry bc thats the only way to process that information
    great post, cant wait to read all these books and sob over them

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      ahhh May I’m so happy you might read Name of the Wind!!!!!!!! it’s one of my absolute favorites on this earth, I adore & cherish Kvothe like my health depends on it ❀ ❀ ❀
      + no one ever talks about the existence of that PAINFUL AND SHOCKING twist at the end of "famous in a small town"and I had to reread to make sure I *really* understood what was happening to my heart sldkfj IT WAS SO BAD EMOTIONALLY

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Meeghan reads says:

    I LOVE sad books that make me cry. Also, I just bought Circe!! Why are you telling me NOW that it’s gonna make me cry so hard?! *adds it to immediate TBR*
    OK, book recs for Malanie:
    * Back After the Break by Anita Notaro (adult contemporary with romance elements: girl has monstrous break up, only to find self, and slowly fall in love again, with even more heartbreak. Set in ireland in the 90’s/early 00’s and legit one of my fave books ever. I usually start crying around Chapter 1)
    * They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (kind of futuristic YA contemporary, with very soft boys)
    * Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer (YA contemporary where Meeghan bawled through the entire last quarter)
    … I could add 2793 more books here… turns out I’m a crier. 😭😭😭

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      omg i’m so scared for you to read Circe, i’m having flashbacks of me being an emotional mess :”””( all Circe ever really wanted was a true friend, she was so sad and Soft!!!!!!!!!!!

      + skdjfk meegs tysm for these recs, i just went straight to goodreads, i’m especially excited about Back After the Break because it’s one of your faves ❀

      (also why on earth does Adam Silvera write such miserable, UNHAPPY, NOT FLUFFY endings, it feels like a personal attack,,,, because i love him so much)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Meeghan reads says:

        OMG if one person I know reads Back After the Break I think I might cry. (Please remember that it was published in 2003, before smart phone took over our lives, although it has aged much better than some others I loved at the time!!)
        Also, I will be DMing you when I read Circe to just cry because *sob* soft is the best!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Caro @ bookcheshirecat says:

    I agree that I like Magnus Chase a bit better than Percy Jackson 😱 No offense to Percy, but I loved the Magnus Chase books SO much πŸ₯° They made me sad though … Magnus is suffering so much, my poor boy 😦 A book that made me really sad is The Burning Maze – book 3 in Rick Riordan’s Trials of Apollo Series – that one hurt so much 😭

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      i’m so glad you agree omg, magnus just deserves so much more hype!!!!! ❀ ❀ and Magnus truly does make me so sad especially with how lonely and unloved he feels in book 1 πŸ˜₯ THAT POOR SWEET ANGEL

      +++ i'm so excited to read Trials of Apollo!!!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Beck @ SMELLFOY CAN READ says:

    I LOVE sad books but I can’t usually find one sad enough time make me cry.

    I’m mentioning paperfury’s book again because I literally am obsessed.


    A Thousand Perfect Notes was one of the (very few) books that made me cry. It’s right up there with Deathly Hallows.

    : |

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Macey @ Brine and Books says:

    Winnie the Pooh always gets me too! :’) Honestly, The Lord of the Rings never fails to make me tear up–throughout the entire book as well as during its many endings. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis KILLS ME, and Mockingay of The Hunger Games always brings the tears too.


    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      so true for me too about Mockingjay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! especially that *one* scene involving her sister, I was not well for many many long, painful, SAD weeks following that moment lsdkfslksdjflkdsjf. it felt like the entire journey was like “what’s the point”,,,,,,,,,,,it was so hard me emotionally lol

      Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      in Sky in the Deep πŸ˜₯ when she was braiding her brother’s hair πŸ˜₯ and was said out loud so that he could hear “i used to braid my brother’s hair but that lying cheating snake is DEAD NOW” oooooooophhhhfff


  8. Holly says:

    I generally avoid reading sad books because I just don’t like being sad, but this past semester I was assigned to read The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion for one of my classes and it is one of the SADDEST yet BEST books I have ever read. I openly cried in a dining hall while reading it 😦 Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

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