11 Of The Best YA Books Guaranteed To Make You Ugly Cry
Perfect for anyone in need of a good blub.
You know what? Sometimes we just want to have a good cry, and nothing helps that along better than a) re-watching the plane crash episode of Grey's Anatomy (gutting, we know) or b) reading one of these beautiful but utterly devastating YA books.
Seriously, these bad boys are like a sucker punch to the heart strings, so grab your tissues and get ready to snotty cry.
1. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey.
But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life - and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two, one of whom was her sister's boyfriend.
2. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a class project, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: only with Violet can Finch be himself, all weirdness included, and only with Finch can Violet forget to count the days and actually start living them.
But as Violet's world begins to grow, Finch's begins to shrink and what follows is sure to have the tears flowing from your eyeballs.
3. The Memory Book by Lara Avery
Sammie has always been an over-achiever, but when she's diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset dementia that threatens her memories, she decides to start living the life she's always wanted, documenting every step in her very own memory book.
The memory book will ensure Sammie never forgets the most important parts of her life - the people who have broken her heart, those who have mended it - and most of all, that if she's going to die, she's going to die living.
4. Looking For Alaska by John Green
Clearly The Fault in Our Stars would be the obvious choice when it comes to John Green books that fit this category, but if that one stamped up and down on your heart, let's just say that Looking For Alaska is going to tear it right out of your chest cavity and rip it into teeny tiny pieces.
Meet Miles Halter, whose whole life has been one big non-event, until he meets Alaska Young.
Gorgeous, clever and undoubtedly screwed-up, Alaska draws Miles into her reckless world and irrevocably steals his heart. For Miles, nothing can ever be the same again - especially when tragedy strikes and Miles is left to pick up the pieces.
5. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, Charlie is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.
What follows is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that combines the pains of first love, friendships, family and betrayal - sometimes by ones you've always loved the most.
6. Eleanor And Park By Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor might have wild red hair and the wrong clothes, but for Park she makes everyone else seem drabber, flatter and never good enough.
Park might be from a whole other walk of life, but he knows Eleanor will love a song before she even hears it and for that she loves him.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
7. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
One February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices playing on her mind are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.
An utterly tragic but beautiful book, this heartaching tale explores the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the dreadful choices we may all one day have to make.
8. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies. True love. The truth.
Read it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
9. Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
Grace isn't who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys' clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her.
It's obvious there's something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again.
Definitely not your average story of boy meets girl, this story nails the bittersweet bliss that is first love.
10. I Was Here by Gayle Forman
We know If I Stay is already on this list, but Gayle just has a talent for writing books that will have you ugly crying in even the most public of places.
In this heartbreaker of a book, Cody struggles to put her life back together when her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room.
Cody didn't even know she was depressed; how could she, Meg's best friend, have missed the signs? And how will she ever be able to move forwards in the face of this utterly unspeakable loss?
11. Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira
It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.
Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger and Amy Winehouse.
But it's not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path.