back to top
Shopping

51 Books That Will 100% Make You Cry

::adds these (and a value pack of Kleenex) to my Amazon cart::

Posted on

We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about their favorite books that always make them cry. Here are the beautiful and moving results:

1. Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan is a historical novel based on the true story of an 18-year-old Italian man who joins an underground railroad to help Jews escape...until a unique opportunity to spy on the Nazis presents itself.

amazon.com

It was just released in May of this year, and it's soon to be made into a movie starring Tom Holland!

"I was bawling at the end. I was finishing it and it was really late. I had to cover my mouth so I wouldn't wake my parents up." —tatumc

Get it from Amazon for $8.97 (paperback) or $5.99 (Kindle). Also available on Kindle Unlimited.

2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness combines dark humor with a deeply moving story to tell you about 13-year-old Connor, who wakes up one night and sees a monster outside his window.

amazon.com

"It's about a young boy coming to terms with his mother having cancer. This was recommended to be by my English lecturer, and I have honestly never cried more at a book." —notadisneyprincess

"One of the saddest books I've read. It's about loss and acceptance. About death and about life. The movie is pretty good but definitely the book is better." —stephiiem

"A librarian friend told me how good it was. I sat on my living room floor for an hour and ugly cried the first time I read it, then I got up and drove the book over to my best friend's house because I couldn't even look at it. I would have cried regardless because it's such a good story, but it hit me especially hard the first time because my own mother passed just 4 months before I read it. I still suggest it to people to read, snot-bubble tears and all." —bvaughan07

Get it from Amazon for $9.19 (paperback) or $7.02 (Kindle).

3. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller reimagines the story of Homer's The Iliad, complete with all of the action, tragedy, and romance of the original — but as contemporary fiction rather than epic poetry.

amazon.com

"I read it once per year and it never fails: tears and tears." —spookycarrot

"It centers around the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. Trust me, I do not cry easily. But this was just too perfect. Combine that with prior knowledge about The Iliad's plot and the impending doom will have you sobbing for the entire second half of the book." —t4613c7197

Get it from Amazon for $8.59 (paperback) or $8.99 (Kindle).

4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is composed of letters from the main character, Charlie, as he navigates high school; it might cause you to say "in that moment, I swear we were infinite" — or cause infinite weeping.

amazon.com

"It has me bawling every time I reread it. The plot twist is heartbreaking and makes you feel even closer to the main character, Charlie." —leahm4260456d2

"I've read it maybe five times now and I cry every single time at the ending (because Charlie is just such a damn sweetheart and deserves to be happy)." —katieb486e33426

Get it from Amazon for $10.99 (paperback) or $10.99 (Kindle).

5. Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt details the unexpected friendship between a fourteen-year-old girl whose uncle has just passed away from AIDS and a stranger who attends his funeral.

amazon.com

"It centers on a young girl in the '80s grieving over the AIDS-related death of her beloved uncle. There's so much more to it, but it turns on the waterworks every time." —mcmolls

"That book had me crying ALL DAY." —shannonnicoler

Get it from Amazon for $11.80 (paperback) or $11.99 (Kindle).

6. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is a WWII story focusing on two sisters in German-occupied France and narrated by one of the sisters in the present day. But which sister?

amazon.com

"After I finished it I just laid in a puddle on my couch. I literally could not do anything. I called my sister and couldn't get a word out before I burst into tears over the beautiful and tragic story. Hands down the BEST book I've ever read!" —helaynasjoberg

Get it from Amazon for $11.59 (paperback) or $9.99 (Kindle).

7. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven details the love story between two teens whose lives intertwine after meeting on the edge of their school's bell tower.

amazon.com

"Theodore Finch managed to do what just about no other book character has before. He brought me to tears. And not just one or two tears slipping out when I'm not paying attention, but full blown sobbing. Like crying so hard that I can't breathe right and I've got makeup streaking down my cheeks. It's an amazing book about mental health, bad pasts, teenage romance, and dealing with/overcoming grief. I I full heartedly recommend that you read this book, just make sure you have a box of tissues nearby." —ellieking99

"This book absolutely tore me to shreds! It's so beautiful and wonderfully written and by the end of it I was a certified mess. The storyline plays out so well and it's just a really poignant, gut-wrenching story. Love it!" —beckyworth18

Get it from Amazon for $8.24 (paperback) or $5.99 (Kindle).

8. Holding Up The Universe (also) by Jennifer Niven, centers on two high school students who learn to see each other for who they are, because apparently Niven can't stop making people cry.

amazon.com

If you loved All the Bright Places, you'll love this story about two teens, one grieving the loss of her mother, the other with a secret of his own — he can't recognize other people's faces.

"Oh, my God. That book, though. Ugh. I'm tearing up just thinking about it." —valkyriecain12

Get it from Amazon for $14.86 (hardcover) or $10.99 (Kindle).

9. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein tells the story of race car driver Denny Swift — through the eyes of his beloved and steadfast companion — his dog, Enzo.

amazon.com

"Beautifully narrated by a dog named Enzo on the eve of his death (not a spoiler) as he reflects on his life, the life of his owner, and his hopes of being reincarnated as a human. Sounds insane, but it's absolutely heartwarming, funny, and soul-crushing." —mbts

"It's real, it's raw, it's human, and it gets me every damn time." —nikkim490bf1ea4

Get it from Amazon for $10.01 (paperback) or $8.49 (Kindle).

10. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera was recently released in January 2017 and chronicles the life of Griffin, whose ex-boyfriend dies in an accident, completely changing the future he's imagined for himself.

11. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith is a classic coming-of-age novel focusing on Francie Nolan, who lives in Wililamsburg, Brooklyn at the turn of the century with her second-generation immigrant family.

amazon.com

"I've read it at least 20 times, and it makes me weep every single time." —caircair2

Get it from Amazon for $8.79 (paperback) or $10.74 (Kindle).

12. A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara was named one of BuzzFeed's "Books We Loved in 2015"; it's about a group of male friends who move to New York, how friendships can change over time, and the families we are born into and the families we choose.

amazon.com

"Hands down, one of the best books I've ever read — but also one of the most devastating and heart-wrenching. I spent about two hours trying to finish the last 300 pages, but it was so difficult because I couldn't stop sobbing. Even after I finished it, I was still crying. I was devastated about the ending and devastated that it was over. My boyfriend and I had to go to the store after I finished it, and I remember having to bring a box of tissues with me because the tears wouldn't stop." —meganj45c2b9b47

"Guaranteed to break your heart. Had to take the day of work when I finished, I was way too much of a wreck to be seen in public. Absolutely beautiful book." —hanay3

"Other books have made me weep, but this was on a whole different level, like emotional destruction. I had a hard time reading anything afterwards, my soul was too raw." —geocallie

Get it from Amazon for $10.62 (paperback) or $10.99 (Kindle).

13. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira is the story of two sisters, told in letters written to dead celebrities the older sister admired.

amazon.com

"The parallels in the story between the main character and her older sister totally hit home for my younger sister and I. It describes loss and coming of age so well. Equally heartbreaking and heartwarming." —ncverdugo0418

Get it from Amazon for $6.30 (paperback) or $7.09 (Kindle).

14. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini follows thirty years of history in Afghanistan and how it affects and shapes the lives of two women and their families.

amazon.com

"I cried so hard my mother threatened to take the book away from me." —meganc42b5a4b93

Get it from Amazon for $11.97 (paperback) or $13.99 (Kindle).

15. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque is inspired by the author's own experience during WWI, describing German soldier Paul Bäumer as he experiences life in the trenches and is permanently changed by his time there.

amazon.com

"It's interesting that while the character in the book is fictional, the events and descriptions were from the writer's personal experience with World War I. What really makes me cry is the fact that a soldier so young is so utterly broken by the war. As I'm nearly his age as well, I can't imagine what life was like during something as traumatic as that." —angryintrovert

"So well written that you feel what soldiers are going through and feel their pain. That book just broke my heart." —aivas

Get it from Amazon for $6.29 (paperback) or $5.99 (Kindle).

16. Every Day by David Levithan tells the story of A, who wakes up every morning in a completely different body and a different life — the only thing that stays the same is that every body A wakes up in is 16 years old.

17. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo is (of course) the basis of a musical that makes everyone cry, but this unabridged version of the epic novel contains thousands more details about Jean Valjean, Cosette, Eponine, the student revolutionaries, and so much more in 19th-century France.

amazon.com

"I start tearing up when I try to explain the plot of Les Miserables even years after I last read it." —s4afe63229

Get it from Amazon for $8.56 (paperback) or $.99 (Kindle). Also available on Kindle Unlimited.

18. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover details the sexy love story between a nurse and a pilot who only has two rules: "Don't ask about my past, and never expect a future."

amazon.com

"At first it seems like the cliché romance novel (guy is aloof and mysterious, girl wants to break down his walls blah blah blah) but my god it's so much more! Milo (the main male protagonist) has such a heartbreaking past and it will leave you in tears every time! It's a great book and I highly recommend it!" —katieg4a39e845a

Get it from Amazon for $11.64 (paperback) or $7.99 (Kindle).

19. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh immerses the reader in the world of English aristocracy in the years after WWI through the eyes of Charles Ryder, who is friends with the wealthy Flytes, the residents of a sprawling mansion called Brideshead.

20. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is narrated by Death, a surprisingly bittersweet figure who will wring tears from you as he tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl in Nazi Germany with a burgeoning love of books.

amazon.com

"I can't even think about that book without tearing up. I got to the ending and full on sobbed for an hour." —sydtastic28

"Never fails to make me cry. Seriously. Do not read this book in public. I made the mistake of reading it in class after a test and man did those tears flow. It's so wonderfully written and you get so attached to the characters. And then your heart gets ripped out and torn into a million little pieces because happiness does not exist in Germany in the 1940's. I recommend it to anyone I know that likes to read." —ainsleyyk

Get it from Amazon for $5.89 (paperback) or $7.99 (Kindle).

21. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman contains the full trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass) so you can enjoy the entire saga of Lyra, Will, witches, daemons, armored polar bears, connected worlds, and the mysterious substance called Dust.

22. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell is set in 1986 and tells the tale of two misfits who fall in love — but who also know that first love doesn't last.

amazon.com

"It's such an amazing story and I sobbed for about an hour at the end." —alanar468491290

Get it from Amazon for $12.72 (hardcover) or $9.99 (Kindle).

23. Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres details life on the Greek island of Cephallonia during the Italian occupation in World War II — and what happens when an Italian officer falls for the daughter of a local doctor.

amazon.com

"A classic novel that's so beautifully written. The stories of the different people are intertwined in the most gorgeous way. It is absolutely gut-wrenching at times, as it takes place during World War II, as Mussolini's fascist army has occupied Greece. Bound to make you sob but also really beautiful." —maggpie87

Get it from Amazon for $9.82 (paperback) or $11.99 (Kindle).

24. Paula by Isabel Allende is an autobiography and family history told in a unique and moving way: it's written by Allende for her daughter, who is in a coma.

25. Two Boys Kissing by David Leviathan, based on true events, follows two 17-year-old boys who embark on a 32-hour kissing marathon to set a world record — all narrated by a Greek Chorus of gay men who lost their lives to AIDS.

amazon.com

"It remains one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read. The story is told from the point of view of LGBT people who have died and who are watching a younger generation struggle the way they did." —baileyd4d65510f3

Get it from Amazon for $7.97 (paperback) or $9.99 (Kindle).

26. The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor is inspired by true events, telling the story of Maggie, an Irish immigrant in steerage on the Titanic, as she leaves her life behind in Ireland and struggles to survive the catastrophic sinking.

amazon.com

"Basically anything Titanic related will get the tears going. This book is no exception." —leahd448ff96cc

Get it from Amazon for $10.92 (paperback) or $1.99 (Kindle).

27. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss spans 60 years and follows the intertwining lives of Leo Gursky, an old man and author who is searching for his son and Alma Singer, a young girl, named after one of the characters from his book.

28. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand centers on Lex, a young woman who has locked herself away in grief over her brother's suicide and a secret she's been keeping hidden.

29. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy is a classic novel about Jude Fawley, a stonemason who dreams of getting a university education and falls in love with his cousin, a freethinking woman. Tragedies ensue.

30. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson follows a pair of inseparable twins, Noah and Jude who, years later, barely speak to each other. Something happened to change them, but what?

amazon.com

"It's such a wonderful book but it definitely ripped my heat out of my chest and left me sobbing all night! You don't even sob for the reasons you expect; you sob from happiness, sadness, and frustration. It is my favorite book to date." —madisons44174ce76

"God, that book. it's my favorite book on the planet, by far. it's the only book I've been able to reread. Makes me happy cry and sad cry. Fuck. I would recommend it to anyone." —poppylaine

Get it from Amazon for $6.70 (paperback) or $9.99 (Kindle).

31. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery centers on a trio of brilliant characters who live in a high-end apartment building in Paris; the novel is chock full of philosophical themes, moving details, and allusions to literature and art.

32. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, follows a Lithuanian girl, Lina, after her family is torn apart by Soviet officers — her father sent to a prison camp and she, her mother, and younger brother to a Siberian work camp.

amazon.com

"The dialogue is so vivid. It really makes you feel like you're there. The fact that the story is told by a child, and she's describing all of the terrible things happening to her and her family, makes it especially emotional." —chloekuri

Get it from Amazon for $7.19 (paperback) or $7.99 (Kindle).

33. Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin tells the story of Riley, who some days identifies as a girl, sometimes as a boy. Riley starts an anonymous blog to let out pent-up feelings, but when the blog goes viral, Riley has to make a difficult decision whether to go public.

amazon.com

"It’s a book about Riley, who is gender fluid, and it not only follows Riley's struggles in public school, but Riley's friends’ as well." —madelynb4e3e38568

Get it from Amazon for $13.59 (hardcover) or $9.99 (Kindle).

34. A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole follows two childhood sweethearts, Rune and Poppy, who are separated when Rune moves back to Norway. But why hasn't Poppy kept in touch like she promised?

amazon.com

"Oh my gods, it's the only book that literally had me sobbing for HOURS. SO GOOD BUT SO MUCH UGLY CRYING." —heartsmoney

"It wrecked me for DAYS!!"—reneeh43bbed46b

Get it from Amazon for $11.99 (paperback) or $3.99 (Kindle).

35. The Absolutist by John Boyle tells the stories of Tristan Sadler and Will Bancroft, who fight together in the trenches off World War I and details their heroism, jealousy, and the secret that Tristan can no longer keep once the war is over.

amazon.com

"It's a story about two soldiers who form a bond during WWI, so going into it you think you know what the sad outcome might be, but the twist at the end will gut you." —tniendorff

Get it from Amazon for $13.79 (paperback) or $9.99 (Kindle).

36. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen is epic novel about the midwestern Berglund family over the course of several decades, especially the marriage between the parents, Patty and Walter.

amazon.com

Bonus: it was a book in Oprah's Book Club in 2010.

"It was one of those books that I finished and cried over long after I was done reading." —laurenk486b7dddf

Get it from Amazon for $10.62 (paperback) or $9.99 (Kindle).

37. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman unfolds the life of the titular Ove, a curmudgeon who is cranky and bitter for a reason... but his hidden sadness might come out when a young family moves in next door.

amazon.com

"Made me laugh, then ugly cry, then laugh because I was ugly crying so hard. Beautiful story about love and friendship!" —chrissydhunter

"Had me sobbing by the end of it... Hell, I was sobbing before page 20." —meghand48ba33a48

"It's less a story and more 320 pages of human emotion." —maddieb3

Get it from Amazon for $9.60 (paperback) or $12.99 (Kindle).

38. Watership Down by Richaed Adams is an allegorical novel set in idyllic rural England that centers on a band of rabbits who, when man encroaches on their space, must venture forth to a new home and try to survive.

amazon.com

"100%. Just thinking about the scene where Hazel... Jesus, I can't even." —Gloria Haughey, Facebook

Get it from Amazon for $12.31 (paperback) or $11.99 (Kindle).

39. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson follows Taylor Edwards, a middle child with a tendency to run away when things get complicated. When her dad gets bad news, Taylor and her family decide to spend the summer together at their lake house...leaving her unable to run away, for once.

amazon.com

"I'm not a huge crier when it comes to books, but this one had me full-on weeping. It's such a captivating story about love, friendship, family, and learning how to deal with your flaws. The characters stay with you, and I still get emotional when I think about the ending." —matildaf

Get it from Amazon for $8.52 (paperback) or $8.99 (Kindle).

40. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner tells the story of Dill, son of a preacher involved in a public scandal, Travis, and Lydia, three teens about to graduate high school and who are looking to escape the small town they live in.

amazon.com

"Seems like an innocent coming of age novel. But it has a shock ending that leaves you ugly crying for hours." —percabethico

Get it from Amazon for $4.34 (paperback) or $9.99 (Kindle).

41. The Lords Of Discipline by Pat Conroy centers on a cadet at the Carolina Military Institute, who has to endure racism and hazing and avoids the school's secret society — it's inspired by Conroy's own experience at military school.

amazon.com

"Even though i was introduced to the book because it was assigned in high school, its one of my favorites. Super super sad, though; I remember tearing up even when we would read it in class." —kaitlinf43ae92f7d

Get it from Amazon for $7.37 (paperback) or $1.99 (Kindle).

42. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz follows two 15-year-old boys (the titular Aristotle and Dante) with nothing in common as they explore their identities, their relationship, and who they want to be.

amazon.com

"This book left me emotionally exhausted in the best way possible." —camilagutierrez029

"There's nothing more real and beautiful than this book. I read it while I was still a teen." —davidmtz11

Get it from Amazon for $8.18 (paperback) or $9.99 (Kindle).

43. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is a thriller about the Sinclairs, a wealthy family who gather on their private island every summer. But what happened during the summer that (the protagonist) Cadence can't remember?

amazon.com

"There is a whirlwind of a twist at the end that will break you." —brafeeat

Get it from Amazon for $11.72 (hardcover) or $11.99 (Kindle).

44. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger tells the story of Clare, who is married to a man who disappears and reappears in his own timeline at random, making their love story uniquely impossible.

amazon.com

"It's such an amazing, emotional book, I love how the lives of Henry and Clare are joined together. There are so many little heartbreaking moments throughout the book, that my eyes are never fully dry whilst reading it." —alishawaterfallc

"That shit fucks you up." —hannahl470d3d495

Get it from Amazon for $10.26 (paperback) or $8.99 (Kindle).

45. By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho centers on a pair of childhood friends who go on a pilgrimage through the Pyrenees and discuss some of the biggest questions of life.

amazon.com

"It's a masterpiece that makes me cry by its sheer beauty regarding love." —vivianas4a9181122

Get it from Amazon for $9.45 (paperback) or $8.99 (Kindle).

46. This Star Won't Go Out by Esther Earl (and her parents) is part biography, part autobiography about Esther, who had terminal cancer and passed away at the age of 16. It's made up of journals, fiction, letter, art, and more to tell her inspiring story.

amazon.com

"John Green does the introduction to the book about her and the whole book made me cry. Esther's courage and tenacity for life are so inspiring despite the immense adversity in her life." —mybrainonpaper78

Get it from Amazon for $11.02 (hardcover) or $8.99 (Kindle).

47. If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan centers on two Iranian teen girls in love who face difficult choices in a country where loving each other is a crime.

amazon.com

"I sobbed ugly tears while reading the end in a bathroom stall." —missdior9

Get it from Amazon for $9.87 (paperback) or $6 (Kindle).

48. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro is set in post-Arthurian England and details the fantastical story of an elderly couple looking for their son — while somehow losing their memory.

amazon.com

"It's a beautiful story of the journey becoming old together told through a fantastic fantasy story. If you've ever been touched by Alzheimer's (or even if you haven't) it will rip out your heart and sew it back together as a beautiful, damaged tapestry." —beckyl11

Get it from Amazon for $9.52 (paperback) or $11.99 (Kindle).

49. The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide is a beautifully-detailed Japanese novel about a cat who comes into the lives of a Tokyo couple and brings new love and joys into their home.

amazon.com

"It's about a couple who start to have problems within their relationship, but then a cat comes along and helps make their lives better, as animals/pets do. By the end of the book, I would have got through quite a few tissues! I think the fact that I have two cats myself, makes the book even more emotional for me." —alishawaterfallc

Get it from Amazon for $9.63 (paperback) or $9.15 (Kindle).

50. The Road by Cormac McCarthy focuses on an unnamed man and his son, who are trying to survive in the wake of an unmentioned disaster in a new and post-apocalyptic America.

amazon.com

"The only book that's ever made me cry. The relationship between the man and the boy is so pure. And the way McCarthy writes is so poetic and beautiful that these heart-wrenching scenes become vivid and real. The gruesome reality of the post-apocalyptic world he created made me weep on several occasions throughout the story. I cried a long time after I was finished reading it."

mpiquette1983

Get it from Amazon for $13.74 (paperback) or $11.99 (Kindle).

51. Bright Side by Kim Holden is chock full of likable characters with great chemistry, romance, and secrets — the perfect recipe for a moving love story with a whopping 1,800 five-star reviews on Amazon.

amazon.com

"Full on ugly cry — made worse by listening to it on audiobook during my commute and getting really concerned looks from my fellow drivers." —staceyslimaks

Get it from Amazon for $14.99 (paperback) or $3.99 (Kindle). Also available on Kindle Unlimited.

Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter.

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss