Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Cry

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I am not an emotional person, but through the years I’ve come to realize that I am an emotional reader. Years ago, I never would have admitted if a book made me cry, but today I’m here to unashamedly list the top ten books that made me shed a few tears – or just flat out sobbed.


257391881. THE BOOK THIEF
How could a book narrated by Death set during WWII not be a tearjerker? Some books stick with you forever, and for me I’ll never forget reading this amazing story for the first time. The entire book is really poignant and sad, but there’s a particular moment at the end where I lost it. This is one of my favorite books ever and I always recommend it to everyone.

327024872. THE BIRD AND THE BLADE
I read the reviews before I started this, and I familiarized myself with the opera in which the plot is loosely based, and so I knew going into it that the ending was going to hurt spectacularly. And yet even after preparing myself for the heartbreak, Megan Bannen was able to absolutely annihilate my emotions. The story ends in a way that is heartwarming, heart-wrenching, and altogether unforgettable. Of all the books on this list, this one produced the most tears.  [review]

254463433. MUSE OF NIGHTMARES
As anyone who’s read my reviews for this series knows, my two favorite characters are actually Erin-Fane and Azareen. And as anyone who’s read these books knows, those two have one of the most gut-wrenching and heartbreaking stories that I’ve ever read. Everytime another piece of their background was revealed, it was like being stabbed in the heart all over again. And then that happened in this book and I became a mess; I went through all five stages of grief. I don’t know what it is about Eril-Fane and Azareen’s tragic love story, but it just gets to me every time. The epilogue nearly put me in an early grave.  [review]

311790064. SWEET BLACK WAVES
Hey, remember when Kristina Perez wrote a beautiful, magical story set in ancient Ireland, based on the legend of Tristan and Iseult, with an amazing, wonderful love story between Branwen and Tristan and then DESTROYED EVERYTHING within the last ten pages? Yeah, me too. If you’ve read this book, you know exactly what scene I am talking about. When I read it I was dumbstruck. I must have yelled “what the fuck” half a dozen times and contemplated throwing my kindle across the room. Even just thinking about it right now, that particular part of the book still makes me sick to my stomach and want to curl up in a ball and sob. And from what I’ve read of the reviews so far, the sequel is just as heartbreaking, if not worse 🙃  [review]

25. ORDER OF THE PHOENIX
This book came out so long ago, and yet I remember vividly reading this for the first time. I also remember exactly when I read about Sirius’ death. He quickly became my favorite character after Prisoner of Azkaban, so his death hit me hard. The book also released a couple months after my grandmother had passed, so I also think that had something to do with all my emotions while reading. Sirius’ death is the worst in the series and I won’t be convinced otherwise.

300400686. A SHORT HISTORY OF THE GIRL NEXT
My expectations of what was going to happen in this book and what actually happened were vastly different. There is a plot-twist that basically comes out of nowhere and sucker punches you straight in the face. Except getting punched in the face would actually have hurt less. My heart broke so hard for the main character, Jared. I’ll admit I cried some ugly tears as I whispered to myself, “oh no” over and over. This is such a touching and emotional story and yet unfortunately a really underrated YA contemporary.  [review]

140619577. RUIN AND RISING
This book only made me cry for one particular scene and – lo and behold, what a surprise – it happened to be the death of my favorite character. I remember feeling so despondent because I couldn’t believe it was happening. All I wanted was for him to have the happy ending with Alina that he deserved and then Leigh Bardugo went and betrayed me.

173476348. ME BEFORE YOU
Reading this was an emotional rollercoaster. I laughed. I cried. I’m pretty sure I screamed obscenities at one point (the ending). The relationship between Lou and Will was so honest and beautiful. The reactions and choices the characters made in the book were absolutely realistic and natural. The book also brings to light some ethical dilemmas and thought-provoking situations that have stuck with me for a long time, especially as someone who works in health care. [review]

118700859. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
Some of the most beautiful love stories are wrapped in tragedy. We all knew what was going to happen by the end of this book, and yet it didn’t stop me from hoping and believing in a happy ever after. This is an iconic YA contemporary book that really started a whole trend of other tragic YA stories in a similar vein. This book taught me that anything can happen and to never trust the author.

3673955310. FURY
This remains one of the endings I hated the most for any book or series. Without spoiling too much, I spent all three books rooting for two characters to finally realize their feelings for each other, only for it to happen LITERALLY pages before one of those said characters dies. There was no gratification for me as a reader, which was upsetting, and then we added up the death which was even more upsetting given the story. To put in shortly, I cried in both despair and anger at the last chapter.

 

REVIEW: The Beautiful – Renée Ahdieh (ARC)

42265183Title: The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1)
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Rating: ★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher through a giveaway.

The Beautiful is a dark and decadent fantasy that captures the reader’s attention from the first page. The mysterious, atmospheric setting really provides the perfect backdrop for a paranormal vampire book.

Renée Ahdieh once again shines through her writing and world-building. Her descriptions of New Orleans circa 1872 were so vivid that I could easily paint a picture in my head of the scenes. There’s also a very dark, mysterious vibe present that highlights the paranormal aspects of the story.

From the other reviews I’ve read, people seem to disappointed that for a vampire book, the vampires are not very present. And yes, I was expecting more, however I think the pacing was excellent and the mystery keeps the reader on their toes. It also is very apparent that the next book in the series is going to full of vampires (and other paranormal creatures!) and I, for one, am extremely excited to see where Renée Ahdieh is going to take this series, especially after that ending!

The Beautiful is perfect for fans of the YA paranormal genre, and for those who enjoy engaging characters, rich descriptions, and a dark, atmospheric setting.

REVIEW: The Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix E. Harrow (ARC)

43521657Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Author: Alix E. Harrow
Rating: ★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher.

“It is my hope that this story is your thread, and at the end of it you find a door.”

The simplest description of this book would be: beautiful. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is the kind of story that reminds the reader of the magic of reading. Underneath this gorgeous cover lies a book about self-discovery, fun adventures, story-telling, and the bonds that form between people.

The writing is extremely compelling. From the first page, Alix E. Harrow knows exactly how to capture the attention of the reader. Once the plot begins to fully unfold, this book becomes impossible to put down. It’s hard to describe the plot without giving away too much, but the basic storyline follows our protagonists, January, as she attempts to find her father who has disappeared and feared to be dead. She finds a strange book called Ten Thousand Doors, which speaks to her on a personal level about the magic of doors that lead to other worlds.

Besides the main plotline, there’s also a smaller storyline told between chapters that left me breathless. Parts of the story evoked some of the same emotions I had while reading Strange the Dreamer: it was dreamy, nostalgic, sad, and hopeful. The way the author constructed these two separate stories and wove them together was absolutely beautiful.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is an enchanting book that will remind readers about the magic of stories. This is an impressive debut and I highly recommend this to anyone look to get lost in the pages of a spellbinding book.

#ARCstravaganza: Gravemaidens – Kelly Coon

Happy Monday! #ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme now hosted by Flavia the Bibliophile where readers can show off their wonderful ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) and spread the word about upcoming releases. For more information about this meme and its origins check out this post.


GRAVEMAIDENS – KELLY COON

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ABOUT THE BOOK

44291755Title: Gravemaidens (Gravemaidens #1)
Author: Kelly Coon
Release: October 29, 2019

The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave. 

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame. 

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her. 

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

REVIEW: Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin (ARC)

40024139Title: Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1)
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Rating: ★★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher.

“A witch and a witch hunter bound in holy matrimony. There was only one way such a story could end–a stake and a match.”

It’s only July and already I have been blessed with another glorious debut. Shelby Mahurin has written a deliciously rich and enchanting fantasy. If Serpent & Dove hasn’t already made it onto your TBR yet, it needs to be.

Serpent & Dove is set in 17th century French inspired world, in which there is an ongoing enmity between cults of witches and the Church. The descriptive writing and the careful details woven into the worldbuilding really shine. Shelby Mahurin does an excellent job crafting and describing the society and the magic systems in a way that is believable and compelling. I loved that the book is not black and white: both the witches and the Chasseurs–the witch hunters belonging to the Church–have nuances to them that make them neither side totally wrong nor totally good.

This book contains the holy trinity of my favorite tropes: a forced/fake marriage, enemies-to-lovers, and slow-burn romance. The characters of this book absolutely drive the plot. Lou is an amazing heroine: she’s tenacious, cunning, and yet has a soft heart. Reid will steal your heart, as he did mine. He’s character growth throughout the story is off the charts. The dynamic between Lou and Reid is phenomenal. I was living for all that tension brewing between them. And for a YA book, this was surprisingly (and pleasantly) steamier than most. Nothing extreme, but definitely more mature. I loved it.

Shelby Mahurin pulled no punches with the last quarter of the book. The stakes are high throughout the story, but it all comes to an action-packed climax. There are a few delightful twists at the end and I am really looking forward to the sequel! Serpent & Dove is a not a book to miss.