Top Ten Tuesday: Tearjerkers!

February 4, 2014 Top Ten Tuesday 60

Happy Tuesday, Bookworms!

Being emotional, to a rather embarrassing degree, I am of the opinion that few things are as cathartic as having a good cry. If that good cry is at the expense of a book, all the better. This week the ladies of The Broke and the Bookish have asked us to list our favorite tearjerkers. I hope you brought some tissues!

TTT Tears

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (my review): I cried some ugly tears upon finishing this book. I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning, crying. Once I finally fell asleep I had a dream that one of my favorite people had cancer. Excellent book with high probability of emotional scarring.

2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (my review): I love this book for so many reasons, but it tore at every last one of my heart strings. I should have KNOWN having Death as a narrator was a harbinger of the weepies!

3. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (my review): I bawled the contact lenses right out of my eyes reading this. No lie.

4. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult: I read this the year I graduated college. I was living by myself, so I have no witnesses to attest to the ugly cry that came to be at the end of this book. Curses to the movie that changed the ending. Curses, I say!

5. Still Alice by Lisa Genova (my review): Getting inside the head of someone losing her memory to early onset Alzheimer’s was heartbreaking… It hit me especially hard because of some family experiences. Dementia sucks hard.

6. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (my review): Oh man, Eleanor’s home life had me in pieces. I wanted to jump through the pages to rescue her, but that would have meant stealing her from Park!

7. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: Being in love is tough enough, but when the love of your life can’t manage to stay in one spot in TIME? I cried with Claire, big time.

8. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (my review): Sometimes when your best friend is a spy you get put in really, really horrible circumstances. Like. Really.

9. Fall On Your Knees by Ann Marie MacDonald: This book! The tears came out on several different occasions. I loooove it, even though it broke my heart into thousands of pieces.

10.Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt (my review): I’m not sure I want to know anybody who made it through this book with dry eyes! Finn! Toby! I can’t even!

Okay Bookworms, it’s your turn. What are your favorite tearjerkers? 

*If you choose to make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I will use it to purchase large boxes of very soft tissue, so I can continue the sob fest.*


60 Responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Tearjerkers!”

  1. Shannon @ River City Reading

    I totally forgot about Tell The Wolves I’m Home, but oh yes…there were some tears with that one. It sounds like I need to pick up Code Name Verity the next time I want a good cry, I see it on several lists!

  2. Heather

    Fall on Your Knees was ROUGH. Oh, man. Crying, gasping, saying, “Oh my god!” out loud multiple times. Whew! I need to reread that one–it’s been years.

  3. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Hahahaha, YUP to all of these (that I’ve read) (except Fault in Our Stars, I actually didn’t cry at that one). Especially The Book Thief — no matter how many times I read that book, it still makes me cry copious tears.

  4. Megan

    Only YOU could make me burst out laughing by writing about books that make you cry! Well done! The cartoon of Alice in Wonderland (which, by the way, is my all time favorite Disney movie) was perfect!

    Since you mentioned ME BEFORE YOU and TELL THE WOLVES I’M HOME I had to dig deep into the recesses of my memory for books where I had a sob fest. I remembered these:

    1. THE POISONWOOD BIBLE – where the mother prepares Ruthie for her funeral? AND SMELLS HER HAIR?? Fahgetaboutit. I was DONE. Done.

    2. THE GOOD EARTH – OLan just tugged at my heart. “But I gave you sons!” Waaahhhhhhh!!!!

    3. SNOWFLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN – (I am sensing a theme here. Chinese books must make me cry) – When Lily and Snowflower make amends? and Lily places her hand on Snowflower’s cheek? Hiccuping sobs,

    4. Pat The Bunny Board Book (Just kidding!)

    • Words For Worms

      Dude, I originally had The Poisonwood Bible on this list! I had an intense debate between that and Tell the Wolves I’m Home. Why do I never think to include honorable mentions? And YES to both The Good Earth and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.

  5. Ashley F

    A friend of mine just read The Fault in our Stars this weekend and cried UGLY tears. I warned her!
    My sister’s keeper…..totally.
    Marley and Me…..I blame Chrissy for that one!!!
    Tuesday’s With Morrie….totally didn’t expect to cry…..but did.
    Where the red fern grows….I can’t even talk about this book!!!

  6. Helen @ My Novel Opinion

    TFiOS got me hard when I read it last fall, it had been a while since I read a book that made me bawl soooo much! Time Travelers Wife…YES! Tell The Wolves I’m Home…YES!

    I have to admit that I’ve yet to read My Sister’s Keeper, I got a few chapters in and was bored. That was a few years ago though so maybe I should try it again.

    I’m seeing Me Before You on a lot of TTT lists today, which makes me happy because I have it waiting on my shelf for me to read. I think this will be the one I go for the next time a feel like crying over a book.

  7. Liesel Hill

    The Book Thief! I feel so dumb. I JUST read that a month ago and totally forgot to include it. Bawled like a baby on that one! I still haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars, though I hope to before the film comes out. Great list!

    My TTT

  8. Girl


    This book made me cry so hard I got a migrane. I am not even joking, it was brutal. But so so good.

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows

    Oh man, I was a mess here. The scene with Harry in the forest, I was a disaster. And with so many of the other deaths…

    Hunger Games (all three….)

    I cried my guts out at all of these. I forgot how sad they were and when I saw the second movie I cried the whole movie as well, and now I am dreading the other ones because OH MY GOD SO SAD.

    Otherwise, I would list many of your same books. Me Before You, Time Traveler’s Wife, Sister’s Keeper…

    I know I have more, but these are the biggest ones I think.

  9. Megan M.

    Oh man. Well you know I cried reading Me Before You. That one took me surprise because I just did not know what was coming. TFiOS, E&P, My Sister’s Keeper, The Book Thief – yes, yes, yes, and yes.

    Sister by Rosamund Lupton. Several of Louise Penny’s Three Pines mysteries have made me cry.

  10. Daddio

    All of these will be be added to my “Remind Me Never To Read These” list. Don’t know why but any kind of escapism is better than a tearjerker IMHO.

  11. Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader

    Every one of those books made me cry like a crazy girl. (Except for #10, and that’s only because I haven’t read it)

    I love a good cathartic book cry, most of the time.

    I recently read Newtown by Matthew Lysiack that tore me in half. I don’t know how to even talk about that book.

  12. Rachel

    The first book I remember crying to was either “88 Steps to September” or “Bridge to Terabithia.” I loved them both. But I very distinctly remember sitting in my childhood bedroom and crying over those books. And that was just the start of my love affair with sad books.
    I bawled like a baby at “Marley and Me”…hiccuping sobs.
    The first “Hunger Games” book I was reading aloud in the car to my husband when I came to the part where the little girl dies in Katniss’ arms and I couldn’t keep reading out loud. Thankfully the husband didn’t make fun of me!
    There are many, many more, but those stand out to me.

  13. Bonnie @ For the Love of Words

    I am so not a crier but definitely sobbed in The Book Thief. You know… I think I did cry reading Me Before You! I forgot about that one! I have been told that Tell the Wolves I’m Home is one that will make any non-crier cry so I’m going to have to test that theory out soon. 🙂

  14. Jennine G.

    Many of Jodi Picoult’s books make me cry! The Book Thief, yes. And seeing Me Before You on this list makes me a little more curious to read it!

  15. Ashley Z

    Tell the Wolves Im Home! Tears! Big tears. Sobbing ugly tears! Also Deathly Hallows. I cried so much that my husband had to remind me that it was just a book. The Fault in Our Stars, and Me Before You were for sure tear jesters!

  16. Loralie

    I just started The Book Thief and I can already tell it is going to break my heart. Otherwise I cried reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower, tried doing the quiet sniffeling thing but it didn’t work. 🙂

  17. Quirky Chrissy

    Eleanor & Park, Time Traveler’s Wife, P.S. I Love You, the Harry Potter series, and I’m sure there are more, just can’t think of them right now.

  18. Elisa @ Leopards and Dragons

    Nope – I’m with Daddio on this one. My fields are environmental science and forensics – I get more than enough things to make me cry there – I don’t need them at home too. I really struggled to make my list and only came up with five entries, though I realized later that all I had to do was remember the things I read as a kid to make a better list (Little Women, Anne of Green Gables) – duh.

    My attempt at a list

  19. Sarah @ Sarah Says Read

    Awww, Tell the Wolves I’m Home. POOR FINN and TOBY.

    When I think of books that make me cry, I always remember the first time I was reading the Outlander series, and I was reading the end of the 2nd book in my bathtub of all places, and the honeyman knocked and came in to check on me and I was just sobbing all over the place about Jamie and Claire and Culloden happening. Not my prettiest moment. Man I want to re-read the series, but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t re-read them all before the new one in June. (Unless, of course, I ignored reading anything else, which is almost worth it. So tempted…)

    • Words For Worms

      I have been having the same problem! I think I cry at some point during every Outlander book, but Culloden just KILLED me. I feel the need to do SOMETHING Outlandish though. Maybe I’ll research my family plaid (my family of origin has no plaid, but I married into a nominally Irish clan. It could work, right?)

  20. Charleen

    I hate crying at books. Crying at TV shows, movies, these are fine (as long as I’m alone), but crying at books makes it really hard to, ya know, read the book.

  21. Kristin

    I don’t really cry over books. Super rare for me! I am certainly affected, and feel empathy, but prompting the actual physical tearful response hardly ever happens. Last year I cried at the end of Lizz Free or Die, and just last week I cried at the end of When Pride Still Mattered (yes, it’s a biography of football coach Vince Lombardi). So maybe I just get one book-cry per year, starting last year? ha!

  22. Kelly from

    I love your list! I’ve read most of the books and oh, yes. I can’t even TELL you the reaction I had to My Sister’s Keeper. It was the first time I was genuinely furious at an author for being an author and having the power to manipulate her characters. As a READER I felt so manipulated! I think I woke my mom up just to say “this is not fair!”
    Book Thief too – have you seen the movie? You think I’d have been prepared considering I read the book, but I totally wasn’t!

    • Words For Worms

      YES, I think it was half shock that caused the tears in My Sister’s Keeper, that was wicked! I have not seen The Book Thief yet, I think I’ll probably wait until I can watch it at home with a mountain of kleenex!

  23. Darlene

    I cried at the end of The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks,
    The Chosen by Chaim Potok. (That was a surprise),
    Prophet by Frank Peretti, The Book Thief, AND The Return of the King. For real!
    I didn’t see any of the LOTR movies before hand and I really
    didn’t know the story. That whole scene with Frodo and Sam going up
    the mountain was absolutely beautiful!!

    But none of these were ugly cries. Just weepy. Sorry.

    • Darlene

      BUT Where the Redfern Grows….THAT was an ugly cry.
      And I forgot to mention Charlotte’s Web. The last line of that book is my favorite line in literature.
      “It’s not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”

  24. Nish

    Apart from Time Traveler’s Wife, I haven’t read any of the others. This year, I am thinking I want to read more happy books, so I”ll probably avoid the John Green and JoJo Moyes books. They just sound so sad 🙁

    • Words For Worms

      If you’re looking for happy, I think you’re wise to avoid John Green and Jojo Moyes. You need some funny- there are a lot of really great comedian memoirs out that cracked me up- Mindy Kaling is the greatest.

  25. Lefty

    This is a good list. I really need to read The Book Thief, Eleanor and Park, and Me Before You. Those books have made quite a few lists this week.

  26. Trish

    I can’t believe that I forgot to put My Sister’s Keeper on my list! I was up until the wee hours of the morning reading that one and sobbing. I still remember THAT MOMENT and OMG the tears. Love Fall on Your Knees. One of my favorites. Needs to be re-read! Ugh–give me more hours in my day.

    • Jennifer

      Yes! THAT moment! When my sister read the book, both my mom and I stared at her when we knew she was getting close to THAT moment!

  27. PinotNinja

    Have you seen the movie trailer for the Fault Is In Our Stars yet?

    I never thought I could cry harder at a work of fiction than I did at the end of that book. And then I saw the trailer. Within the first 10 seconds I had devolved to the heaving chest, out of breath, silent cry.

  28. Melinda

    The Fault in our Stars, Me Before You and The Book Thief I will have to read this year! I also cried when I read My Sister’s Keeper, because I saw the movie first and the ending of the book was both shocking and sad! 🙁

    I also cried for Sarah’s Key and Winter in Madrid ….

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