Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Unbreak My Heart": Top Ten Books the Broke Me Down

Image from The Broke and the Bookish

I would like to preface this blog post with a disclaimer.  I am not a weepy person; sappy, yes, but weepy - no.  My sister, LeighAnn, likes to joke that I have a heart of stone since I do not cry at the slightest provocation as she does.  Honestly, I am very emotional, but I tend to keep those things private which means when a book has me sobbing, I am doing so at home. Alone. Under the covers. With a box of shredded tissues at my side.  It is in the spirit of full disclosure then that I tackle The Broke and the Bookish's latest Top Ten Tuesday: the books that broke my heart.

Young Adult*

1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
2. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
3. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
6. Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares7. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
8. How it Ends by Laura Wiess
9. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
10.Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling


1. Scarlett by Alexandria Ripley
(sequel to Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, which is also a tear-jerker!)
2. The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue
3. Unaccustomed Earth (especially the last trilogy of short stories) by Jhumpa Lahiri
4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
5. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
6. Lighthousekeeping by Jeannette Winterson
7. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
8. The Pact by Jodi Picoult *Warning: This book is devastating.
9. Falling Man by Don DeLillo
10. The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans

Honorary Mentions*

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
Postsecret by Frank Warren
Hold Still by Nina Lacour
The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd

*Surprisingly, I had a very hard time narrowing down this list, so if you are in the mood for a good cry, try any of the above.  There is something for lovers of YA and Adult Lit alike as well as some that won't break you down but will make you think about our common humanity.


  1. It takes a lot to make me cry at a book, but they tend to be the ones I remember the longest. I have been known to get emotional over Postsecret though, I'm glad I'm not the only one!

  2. Some of the secrets are so sad! I have used Postsecret in my composition class to demonstrate to my students the connections between the Humanities and the Social Sciences.

  3. SO agree with Mockingjay!! And I really need to read Thirteen reasons why!! I like both your lists :) Thanks for sharing Kristin!

  4. Agreed with Mockingjay, Thirteen Reasons Why, and Wintergirls!! I also totally understand about the being privately upset! I am the exact same way (I probably should have put that same disclosure before my Top 10) I just don’t want people to see my get all sappy and boo-hooey!

  5. ahhh the pact.... that was a hard week for you hahaha what about "A walk to Remember"? I remember feeling moved by that one at a young age...

  6. "A Walk to Remember" didn't really upset me. It moved me, but I don't remember being broken up over it. Not like "The Notebook" anyway....I finished "Mockingjay" several days ago, and the sadness of it is STILL weighing on me, but in a good, make me think and be more compassionate to others way, not in an unbearable way like "The Pact."