Top Ten Books That Broke Your Heart A Little Bit:
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
On SO MANY DIFFERENT LEVELS. Every time someone died. Each time Ron and Hermione were still there for Harry. The part at the end where he asks the specters of his loved ones if death will be painful. That part at the end where "all is well." JUST. EFFING. EVERYTHING. The part that really killed me? Knowing that at the end, there wasn't going to be another book.
2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
There's one very shocking part that's really sad in this one (I mean, a good amount of sadness occurs within The Hunger Games trilogy, but this stand out pretty well, even amongst its competition). In addition to being epically sad, it arguably makes Katniss's original journeys through the Games all for nothing. Bonus sad: when Katniss is trying to explain to Peeta who he used to be.
3. Going Underground by Susan Vaught
I said it before and I'll say it again: this is one of the saddest young adult books out there. Del's story is heartbreaking. He's a good kid that wants to have a regular life, but has a whole lot of legal boundaries in his way. His quiet hopelessness is awful (in a really well-written sort of way).
4. Between by Jessica Warman
The saddest part of this book is that Elizabeth Valchar has to watch life go on without her, flashing back to her own secret misery. She's a better person in the afterlife, but never gets to act on her newfound awareness because she is dead before the book even starts. Sigh. I suppose them's the breaks when you read Dead Girl lit.
5. The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
Tom, one of the characters we first meet in Marchetta's Saving Francesca, has a story that is even sadder than Francesca's. The most devastating part of The Piper's Son is how real the situation is: Tom and his aunt Georgie are mourning the loss of Tom's uncle and Georgie's brother. They're trying to reconnect with the people they've cut ties to, including Tom's alcoholic father. It's real, and amazingly well-written, making their emotions poignant and devastating. Marchetta is a beautiful writer.
6. How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
Going along the same vein, Jill's grief over losing her father is so real it kills me. She describes waiting until no one is around, so she can put on music and silently cry without being bothered. I'm seeing a pattern here of "real explorations of grief make it on this list."
7. "Eleven Minutes" by Megan Miranda
I know that this is the tie-in short story to Fracture and not a full length novel, but this is my blog and I'll put a short story on my list if I want to. Reading about Delaney falling through the ice through Decker's eyes is astounding. He entirely blames himself. He tries to bargain. It's so clear that he'd do anything to save her--but it's a story that goes more on the realistic side, so all he can do is sit at the hospital and wait. People try to tell him it's hopeless, but he's desperate for it not to be true.
8. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
So this probably isn't the type of book that would normally end up on a list like this, but for real, this book was so depressing for me. Nanny cares more about Grayer than his parents do! And she gets fired for no reason, therefore ensuring that Grayer ends up lacking the love and attention a child needs because his parents are selfish, self-centered morons! Gah.
9. A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs
This installment of Burroughs's memoirs centers around his memories of his father. His father was an alcoholic sociopath that had no love for his five year old son and continued to have no love for him until he was twelve and beyond. Anything that details a child being terrified of his own father (who killed his childhood pet and once attempted to kill him) for years is heartbreaking.
10. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Incredibly well-written and devastatingly sad, with the barest hint of hope demonstrated at the end. Reading this while commuting to and from work made for some somber train rides.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish