I’m not afraid of much. As a young woman I’m tough and self-sufficient…Until I crumble over a good sad book! Novels are the one thing that break my heart more than the unobtainability of Ryan Gosling! So here is a list of the four books that reduced me to tears and the one that didn’t… I promise, they are all fantastic books that shouldn’t be missed! If you can read the page through the water in your eyes that is…
Mockingjay | Suzanne Collins
“What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.”
I would say that initially, the tears were bought on by sleep deprivation. I read the whole series in a non-stop marathon (perfected the art of making coffee while holding a book and not looking at the kettle!) so when I started to tear up I pressed on… then the rest of the book unfolded in a tidal wave of abject misery! Suzanne Collins really knows how to twist the knife. Favourite characters were dropping left right and centre, Peeta was hijacked, Katniss was so broken and I can’t even talk about the final pages (sorry sweetie, spoilers).
But through it all, Mockingjay is one of the most incredible books I’ve ever read and the final chapter and epilogue are pure poetry. (Being firmly on Team Peeta meant that I was thrilled with the outcome!). What I love about the Hunger Games series is the humanity and truth behind it, both good and evil play their part with haunting realism and Collins doesn’t waste time sugar coating the realities of Panem and political revolution. Katniss is one of the coolest women in literature, she’s smart, she’s a fighter and a survivor and the novel races through with heart pumping action and serious tear-jerkers!
Since this is one of the most topical novels at the moment, and the build up for the Catching Fire film, The Hunger Games is a series you should not miss reading… just make sure you have set aside three free days of your life, because it will literally be the only thing you do!
Days spent crying: (this one is a record!) 5
The Fault in Our Stars | John Green
“I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”
Where to start with The Fault in Our Stars… Firstly my one wish would be that An Imperial Affliction was a real book!! Green has constructed the most poetic, awesome book ever and it doesn’t even exist! But, moving on, this is a beautiful, raw, funny and emotional book about life and love, dying young and living for every second.
Hazel Grace has always been terminally ill with cancer and living in a half-life until she meets Augustus, the most gorgeous, courageous guy ever! Together they travel to find the author of Hazel’s favourite book, falling more and more in love along the way.
Days spent crying: 3
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows | JK Rowling
“Albus Severus,” Harry said quietly, so that nobody but Ginny could hear, and she was tactful enough to pretend to be waving to Rose, who was now on the train, “you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.”
Harry Potter has a special place in my heart. I started reading the books when I was 7, so the morning of The Deathly Hallows’ release date was a mixed bag of misery and elation. I had the book (I fought the crowds like an Albino ninja!), but it was the last book. The last Harry Potter book!
I was proud that I managed to get all the way to chapter 31 before breaking down. Deathly Hallows is my all time, bury me with it, don’t ever let it go, favourite book! I loved the world of Hogwarts, I loved Harry and his friends, I loved J.K Rowling. And I still do.
The best thing about Deathly Hallows is that the writing style had grown up with it’s readers, so the book was a pure emotional tour de force with the perfect amount of action, humanity and magic to be nothing short of perfection!
Days spent crying: 1. The happy ending left me smiling from ear to ear!
Never Let Me Go | Kazou Ishiguro
“And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind world, one that she knew in her heart could not remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go.”
I was left in a true state of numb shock at the end of Never Let Me Go. Kazou Ishiguro is remarkably vague on the true nature of his characters and that in its way made it more horrifying. I disliked the characters for their passive acceptance of fate. And yet it is so germane to human nature, that we can never outrun our own fate, no matter how hard we try and what methods we use. However this rationality didn’t stop me from seriously hating the characters. Overall, Ishiguro is an amazing writer and I was completely in love with his beautiful prose that sweeps along the years of friendship, romance and inescapable fate.
Days spent crying: like I said, numb shock. I cried afterwards for a few hours.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close | Jonathon Safran Foer
“We need enormous pockets, pockets big enough for our families and our friends, and even the people who aren’t on our lists, people we’ve never met but still want to protect. We need pockets for boroughs and for cities, a pocket that could hold the universe.”
I know by all intents and purposes that I should have cried in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close… Oskar is 7 years old when his father dies in the September 11 attack on the World Trade Centre and now, 2 years on, he uncovers a key in his father’s wardrobe that sends him on a quest across New York City to find the matching lock and solve this mystery his father has left him.
Safran Foer’s writing is beautiful. I can’t even describe it, you’ll have to read it to understand. Oskar is lovable, although I found him slightly annoying at times, and the twist on the twist is one I didn’t see coming.
Days spent crying: 0. I didn’t cry. This book left me, if anything, hopeful and amazed at being presented with a charming vision of the world that was equal parts magical and heartbreaking.
Guest Blogger: Grace, 2nd Year University of Wollongong student, Co-op Member since 2012 and Social Media Intern