Tear-Jerker Book Recommendation

6 Min Read

Tasnia Shahrin

Sometimes a good cry is very therapeutic and extremely healthy. The emotional release one gets from crying can be deeply satisfying that it can power a person for days. There are so many books out there that have the power to move you to tears. So if you’re searching for a good and cathartic cry, I’ve rounded up a list of books that get me every time.

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

After Rumi’s sister dies in a tragic car accident, Rumi is sent to live in Hawaii with her aunt. With the help of a teenage surfer named Kai, who smiles too much and doesn’t take anything seriously, and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago—Rumi attempts to find her way back to music, to write the song she and her sister never had the chance to finish. 

Even though this book is an emotional read, it is still full of hope and courage which will make the novel a unique journey for the readers.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Books on this list might make you sad-cry, so here’s one that will make you happy-cry instead. Aristotle is angry because his brother is in prison, and no one seems to talk about it. When he meets know-it-all Dante who has an unusual way of looking at the world, they seem to have nothing in common. But as these two come together, they start to discover a special bond that will change both of them for a lifetime.

This lyrical novel has such a beautiful writing style that you can barely see the cover under all the stickers of the awards it won. Highly recommended!

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

This book tells the story of two French sisters and the things they did to survive during WWII and the Nazi Occupation. The story is intense. At times, you will feel like you are on the edge of your seat, worrying what would happen next. At other times, you will be moved by the bravery and love these women showed.

Be warned, this novel gets extremely heartbreaking in the last fifty pages. Thought provoking and incredibly moving, The Nightingale is a story not to be missed.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Nine-year-old Bruno is restless after his father, a Nazi commander, moves his family from Berlin to Poland. Bruno spends his free hours trailing the fence behind his house, where he eventually encounters Shmuel—a boy who lives on the opposite side. They start meeting at the fence often, forming a close bond but never fully understanding the other’s situation. But this seemingly innocent friendship between two children is surrounded by adult evils that will lead both boys towards an unspeakable tragedy.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

In 1973, fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon took a shortcut home from school through the cornfield behind her neighbourhood. She is never seen alive again. What follows is a tragic story of grief and recovery, as Susie’s family struggles in the aftermath of her brutal murder. Some people cope in different ways—especially her father, who becomes obsessed with catching her killer and Susie watches them all from her vantage point in heaven.

Now a major motion picture, The Lovely Bones is a devastating but hopeful look at love and loss that sticks with you long after the final page.

Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah

In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to tell the story of her painful childhood and her ultimate triumph and courage in the face of despair. Adeline’s affluent, powerful family considers her bad luck after her mother dies giving birth to her. Life does not get any easier when her father remarries. She and her siblings are subjected to the disdain of her stepmother, while her stepbrother and stepsister are spoiled. Although Adeline wins prizes at school, they are not enough to compensate for what she really yearns for—the love and understanding of her family.

With a poignant and heart-touching narrative, this memoir is a moving telling of the classic Cinderella story, with Adeline Yen Mah providing her own courageous voice.

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

In this poignant story that’s perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, two teens fall in love with just one minor complication—they can’t get within a few feet of each other without risking their lives. The writing style will surely mesmerise you and you will catch yourself feeling heartbroken for both Stella and Will.


I still have not recovered from some of these books yet. Happy reading (or if I should say – happy crying)!


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