6 Sad Books That Will Make You Ugly Cry

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There are two kinds of people in the world: those who are in tune with their emotions and those who can read sad books like The Outsiders without being moved to tears . . . and proceed to be called a robot with no emotions. Yes, true story.

As you’ve probably already guessed, I’m in the latter group. Now, since it takes a lot for me to tear up, you can guess that when I cry over a book, you’ll need a box of tissues on hand. Let me tell you, these stories will drown you in a pool of your own tears. They will leave a once happy member of society a blubbering mess. Unfortunately, there have only been 6 sad books that made me feel this way. Without further ado, I’ll give you some depressing recommendations for the next time you want to cry!


Desperately Seeking Epic by BN Toler

“You are my most epic adventure, princess.”

The only way I can honestly describe Desperately Seeking Epic is as bittersweet. The ending sucked, don’t get me wrong. I was honestly messed up after the outcome, but then I thought about it (Really, that was the only thing I could actually think about) and realized there was a silver lining. Of course, it wasn’t a huge one that stopped my grief, but it did make me feel slightly better. Now, whether or not you feel the same way, ugly crying is inevitable. 

Ugly Cry Rating: This is a solid 5/10 on the ugly cry rating scale. Expect tears throughout the course of the story (towards the end mostly) and prepare yourself. Short disclaimer, if you don’t like books with cancer, then steer clear of Desperately Seeking Epic, but if you enjoy second chance romances, then that will literally be the only thing holding you together after this ride.


Full Tilt by Emma Scott

“We might not have months or years, but we have moments. Thousands upon thousands of them. Let’s take each moment, seize it and wring it dry.”

You know what irritated me about Full Tilt? The fact that I had no clue what I was in for. There were a few things I had been expecting, but when it finally came to light . . . it was rough. I don’t think it clicked at first for me, but then the ending slowly crept up on me like an unwanted fruit fly and it hit me. Fair warning, the glass art seems cool at first (and it always will be), but you don’t realize how much heartbreak it caused you at first. It seems so innocent and then it shreds your heart to smithereens.  

Ugly Cry Rating: That damn glass art masterpiece. If it wasn’t for that, I might’ve cried a teeny bit less. Ugh. On the ugly cry scale, Full Tilt comes out at a solid 6. It was heartbreaking, but my tears took a bit of time. What pushed me to the edge . . . well, you’ll know if you decide to put yourself through this self-induced torture. 


Making Faces by Amy Harmon

“Everybody is a main character to someone.”

Making Faces was an incredibly depressing story. You could tell from the start that it would be a tumultuous journey. Especially with the bleak tone — that tone, drains the life right out of you. Now, this story is not characterized by cancer. It’s characterized by friendship, loss, war, love, and rebirth. By no means would I consider this a fun read. Even the characters who you met for less than a couple of chapters will have their own lasting imprint on you. It’s that kind of story.

Ugly Cry Rating: By the end of Making Faces, my tear ducts were begging for release. I had already shed a few tears beforehand, but it wasn’t until I began writing my review that everything finally hit me. From the unlucky cards Bailey was dealt, to the “ugly girl syndrome” (not true Fern) and Ambrose’s guilt, it was just. So. Heavy. And for that, I have decided on 6 ugly cry tears.

You can check out my full review here.


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

“All I can say is that you make me . . . you make me into someone I couldn’t even imagine. You make me happy, even when you’re awful. I would rather be with you – even the you that you seem to think is diminished – than with anyone else in the world.”

Me Before You holds a special place in my heart. It was the first book that really made me cry. I knew in advance that it would be a depressing read, but I made a bet with myself that I would not cry. As you already know, I lost that bet. Will Traynor and Lou Clarke were perfection. They made you laugh, sigh and fall in love with them. Then Moyes had to go and write that ending. I remember thinking, maybe he won’t do it, maybe it’ll be what I want it to be. Well, much good that did me. It only set me up for more heartbreak. 

Ugly Cry Rating: 7 ugly cry tears for Will and Lou. There were so many quotes that tore me apart. Especially after the dreaded moment. You know how everything picks up a different meaning when something devastating happens? Yeah, that was this book. And don’t even get me started on the debate that follows this book. My feelings about it were pretty straightforward at first, but then the lines started to blur. Just like the line between Will and Lou. 


A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole

“Kiss eight hundred and nineteen was the kiss that changed it all. The kiss that proved that a long-haired brooding boy from Norway and a quirky girl from the Deep South could find a love to rival the greats.”

Ugh, this book. I think a piece of me died the second time I read it. Let me start from the beginning, I had no clue what I was in for. Of course, I knew something happened since “Poppy fell silent” after Rune moved back to Norway, but I didn’t think it’d be that. I won’t say what, but it’s bad. I could not stop crying after I found it and then as the story progressed, I was a complete train-wreck.

Ugly Cry Rating: All in all, I have to give A Thousand Boy Kisses 9 ugly tears. Tissues will be needed along with some therapy after. It’ll mess you up that much. I wish I was joking. Especially when Rune and Poppy went to Carnegie Hall. That was one of the hardest moments to get through because of that blasted symbolism. By that point, I was a blubbering mess. Bring out the big guns for this one. You’ll need tissues, a blanket, pajamas, hot cup of tea/hot chocolate and more tissues.

You can check out my full review here.


The Girl and Her Ren by Pepper Winters 

“Wild forever and always.”

The Girl and her Ren is the most recently read on this list and truth be told, it was the one I least expected to ever be placed on this list. From the first book, The Boy and his Ribbon, you would never guess the sequel would become such an emotionally draining rollercoaster. I was personally taken aback when that dreaded moment came up when everything went from a peaceful hike in the wild to a disastrous plunge off the cliffs of Mount Everest. And when I found out the reason for why everything went wrong, oh, it boiled my blood. I wanted to sucker punch those rotten, good-for-nothing monstrous scummy fleabags for what they caused.

Ugly Cry Rating: The Girl and her Ren reigns in with 10 incredibly UGLY tears. Honestly, it wasn’t only tears, more like quiet sobs. For 30 minutes, there was a broken pipe in my eye. The tears just kept coming over the simplest of sentences from Ren and Della. They officially broke me by the 80% mark. Really prepare yourself for this one and enjoy The Boy and his Ribbon while it lasts. The Girl and her Ren is not as forgiving.

You can check out my full review here.