Tear-Jerkers Make the BEST Books

I have a habit, as I am sure many of you do, when I read. My definition of a good book is based on many factors; the way the book is written, the content of the story, the development of the characters, and other things. These factors, however center around one principle; how the book made me feel at the end, the emotions it provoked.

In summary, if the book made me cry, it was an amazing story.

Now, you must know that for me, crying over a book is not something that happens everyday. Not all books have the ability to make my eyes swell and cause the tears to flow down my face. In the history of book reading, I have read only two books (one included in this post) that have made my bawl my eyes out. One of those books being Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah.

Back to tear-jerking books.

Owly by Andy RuntonI finished three books over the weekend. The first one that I finished, literally in 15 minutes, was Owly; The Way Home & The Bittersweet Summer by Andy Runton.  I do not feel that this was an adolescent book because of the way it was written and illustrated, BUT the book was still cute and very fun to read. Also, if your an owl lover, like myself, this book is right up your ally. This book is a graphic novel, and one that focuses on the adventures of this owl named Owly. Like I said, very short read, very cute story, and I really enjoyed it.

This book may have brought out a tear or two. May have.

The second book that I finished was a Newberry Medal winner, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. This story was actually based on an actual silver-back gorilla who was held captive in the Washington State at a mall themed circusThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. He currently lives in the Atlanta Zoo. The story is based on a silver-back gorilla named Ivan, who has somewhat of a lost identity because of how long he has spent in his own cage (27 years) away from any other gorillas like him. His natural behavior, the protector and the leader of his “family,” comes into play when a new baby elephant, Ruby, enters his world. Ivan promises himself, and his elephant friend Stella who also lives with him, to protect and free Ruby and ensure that she has a better life than the one that he has lived since he was young. The heart touching story shows the reader what it means to be part of a family, and how gorillas, as well as other animals, have hearts and souls just like us.

Yet another great book, may have cried a little bit.

The final book that I recently finished was an absolutely beautiful story, one that may or may not Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Marohhave caused me to cry my eyes out for 20 minutes. Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh was an amazing graphic novel right down to the last illustration. The writing was beautiful, the story line was captivating, and way that the author addresses true love is absolutely brilliant. The story focuses on two lesbian lovers, Clementine and Emma. Although Emma has accepted her sexual identity, Clementine has yet to discover why she is not attracted to the opposite sex. Instead, she admires the blue color of Emma’s hair, the way that she talks, the way that she looks, and throughout the story, Clementine is lost in love with Emma. The story talks about the relationship between these two individuals, and how love can save a person from a life of judgement and ridicule. The graphic novel also stresses that we do not choose who we fall in love with; that is up to destiny entirely. The idea that love can make us eternal, but may not be eternal in itself was what drives the whole novel, and makes it such a remarkable story.

Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie MarohAgain, this book was absolutely beautiful. I never thought a graphic novel could make me cry, but this book was one that just made my bawl me eyes out. Great story, and I think that it would be a great resource to have in the high school classroom. The book does contain nudity and does show lesbian sex scenes so before you put it in your classroom, make sure to look through it.





  1. Completely agree! I think that if a book makes me cry, it is the best book I have ever read, but I cry at almost every book I read. So, does that mean I’m not considering other arguably more important factors to define what makes a good book?

    1. I feel the same way. I feel that once a book has sent me into a crying fit, I can’t focus on other aspects of a novel until I have had time to wipe my tears. I don’t know if you do this, but if a book or a series were to make my “Top Novels/Series that were absolutely amazing list” I am stuck on the series or novel for a while, and I go back and reread parts of the book that I felt were written the best, or what made or broke the story.
      In Blue is the Warmest Color, I had to reread the final 3 pages 8 times because I thought it was so beautiful. Just one example.

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