Tag Archives: Books That Made Me Cry

All The Bright Places

Read from 13-14th June, 2015

Author: Jennifer Niven

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5 Stars

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The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
 
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

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 project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

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I am so emotionally drained right now it’s not even funny…

All The Bright Places had me tearing up, laughing and full-out crying. I don’t usually dog-ear pages, but…

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… See that? Those document all the times where I laughed, cried, or just read something that I really, really liked.

At first, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to connect with the characters – but that fear was thankfully squashed reasonably early on in the story.

I loved how unique both Finch and Violet were and that their voices were distinct from one another as the story was told from a dual point of view. I also appreciated how their characters had such depth to them – going beyond the surface level and how everyone else might see them or expect them to be. Also, Violet loves to read.

Most of all, I loved (I really need to stop repeating that word… oh well) how Violet and Finch challenged each other to be better versions of themselves. From strangers to friends to something more, it was apparent that their relationship helped both characters grow in themselves and in each other. It was believable and heartwarming and heartbreaking.

Aside from a rare few, (I’m looking at you Roamer, Mr. Finch) I either loved or somewhat liked all of the characters.

There was a strong family aspect to this book, which I really appreciated and – I’m sure many others would agree – is something that is extremely lacking in YA.

I adored the wanderings! They were so fun and awesome and unique. I loved how both Finch and Violet went about it and it was just so fun! (One of the first dog ears is a shout out to book fans everywhere). Even better, these are all actual places that exist in the world (i.e. Indiana).

Reading the acknowledgements, I found out that All The Bright Places is actually a rather personal story and it comes from some of Jennifer’s own experiences, which definitely shows.

“I wanted to write something edgy.
I wanted to write something contemporary.
I wanted to write something though, hard, sad, but fun.”

Congratulations Jennifer, you did just that.

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All The Bright Places is June’s book pick for The Book Club of the Opinionated Hufflepuffs.

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Nothing But Shadows (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #4)

Read on 20th June, 2015

Authors: Cassandra Clare & Sarah J. Maas

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5 Stars

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Simon challenges the setup of the Shadowhunter Academy and in doing so learns the story of James Herondale and Matthew Fairchild and the unusual way that they became friends and parabatai.

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As I repeatedly find myself saying, these installments just keep getting better and better… There is absolutely nothing about Nothing But Shadows that I didn’t like – the characters, the storylines, even the title…

I loved all of the characters. Aside from Simon, Catrina and all our other favourites, we see more of Ragnor (who is just as brilliant as I recall from The Bane Chronicles), James Herondale, Matthew Fairchild, as well as Thomas and Christopher Lightwood (cousins). The main cast from The Infernal Devices were also referenced and some had cameos.

Despite its short length, Cassandra and Sarah really fleshed out these characters and added hidden depths that you do not see coming. I’m completely in love with James (he’s an adorable bookworm for one and his “legacy” is super awesome too) and half in love with Thomas – but they’re all absolutely brilliant.

A fast, enthralling read, Nothing But Shadows had me hook, line and sinker. As I was reading, I either bookmarked or highlighted pretty much every other page.

I highly recommend Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy to any and all existing Cassandra Clare fans. That said, Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy is not a standalone – there are spoilers for people who have not read The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Also, it’s a much more enriching reading experience as you are able to pick up on and appreciate the cameos and references that are scattered throughout these installments.

Love, Rosie (Previously Published as Where Rainbows End)

Read on May 4th, 2015

Author: Cecelia Ahern

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5 Stars

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A story about love.
And how life gets in the way.

Best friends since forever, Rosie and Alex have shared their hopes, dreams, awkward moments – and firsts. But their bond is threatened when Alex’s family move to America. They stay in touch, but misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck seem to be conspiring to keep them apart. Can they gamble everything – even their friendship – on true love?

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I am a mess.

I honestly believe that I have never cried in a book more than I have today with Love, Rosie. My eyes are actually hurting now… Make no mistake about it, Love, Rosie is way more emotionally taxing than any Nicholas Sparks book.

For those of you who are unaware, this story is written entirely through correspondence – be it emails, instant messages, letters, cards, texts, you name it. At first I was slightly wary of this fact, but it had absolutely no impact of the quality or fluidity of the novel. In fact, because of its unique format, I believe that it may be easier for someone who doesn’t read that often to pick up and immerse themselves in the story.

Filled with angst and touching on issues such as teenage pregnancy, growing up, friendship, adulthood, love, marriage, relationships, parenthood, childhood, divorce, dreams and simply life in general, Love, Rosie is so real and touching and unique. Spanning over approximately 50 years, we are able to really get to know and connect with a large cast of characters from what is essentially three different generations. Patterns become evident and I really enjoyed the somewhat cyclical nature of this novel. I loved being a part of the characters’ lives, and I became quite attached to them all (aside from the notable morons who deserve a hi five… in the face… with a brick).

The silence. I just – that was certainly the best part for me.

I highly recommend this book and look forward to seeing how well Love, Rosie has been translated into film (I refused to allow myself to watch it while it was in cinemas as I had not yet read the book). However, I do warn you that while it does come highly recommended, you should prepare yourself for  frustration and tears – while it does have its high points I, at least, found this story to be quite emotionally taxing.

The Moment Collector

Finished on 5th March, 2015

Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson

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5 Stars

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A haunting mystery, romance in the vein of The Lovely Bones by New York Times bestselling author.

“The yard of this house is a graveyard of moments and everything left behind is a clue. And I am here to dig.”

There’s a ghost haunting 208 Water Street. She doesn’t know who she was, or why she’s still here. She does know that she is drawn to Maggie, the new girl in town, and her friends – beautiful, carefree Pauline and Liam, the boy who loves her.

But the ghost isn’t all that’s lurking in Gill Creek… Someone is killing young girls all across the county. Can the ghost keep these three friends safe? Or does she have another purpose?

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“We are souls at a common cause. We are only here to love. That was my great story all along. We are here to take chances, and fail, and keep trying.”

I received The Moment Collector from my friend Little Nerdling for my birthday last year and I’m honestly not sure what I was expecting – it didn’t seem like something I would have picked up if left to my own devices.

So, after five months of having it in my to-read stack, I can gladly say that The Moment Collector is a hauntingly beautiful, emotional (at least for me) novel and I am so, so happy to have encountered this book. Despite having a supernatural element (the ghost), it read more like a contemporary than anything else. One might also name it a mystery. If I were to categorize this, I would class it as plot twisting contemporary with a ghost – not necessarily as a paranormal book.

Right from the start, I was  attached to the characters. They were each so well crafted that I either fell in love with them or loathed them with a passion. I mean, there were some really minor characters that were kind of meh, but as a general rule I was emotionally invested in pretty much all of the characters – which made it even harder when the Anderson took those emotions and mercilessly yanked them around.

The Moment Collector enthralled me, drew me in. So much so that as I was reading (and even when I wasn’t), I was constantly theorizing possible outcomes and if something was really foreshadowing or if I was just delving too much into it.

If I had had the time, I could have consumed this book in a single sitting, but in a way reading it at several different times made the book all the more well read – at the back of my mind several different outcomes and theories were playing out at any one time.

The Moment Collector is one of those books that you can’t talk much about in fear of accidentally spoiling someone. So I will leave it there with my highest regards to this book.

If anyone has already read The Moment Collector or is planning to read it, please drop a comment and we can discuss.

Falling into Place

Read from 25-26th January, 2015

Author: Amy Zhang

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5 Stars

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On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect?

Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

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Falling into Place is a hauntingly beautiful, heartbreaking novel and is the saddest book I have ever read – more so than Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Victoria Roth’s Allegiant combined.

I cried continuously throughout Falling into Place – I don’t think I ever quite stopped. I loved getting to know all the characters and my heart kept breaking for them. Over and over again.

All of the characters were great, but Liam and Ms. Greenberg stuck out in the best way.

I love Liam. Totally and completely. He vaguely reminded me of Liam from Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds in that they were totally understanding, cute, forgiving and embraced the fact that they were misfits. They were both so pure and true to themselves and underrated.

Ms. Greenberg, although she only appeared briefly, was totally awesome and reminiscent of McGonagall. That speech? Wicked.

I went through several theories about who the narrator was, but it only became apparent about three quarters through, and only conformed at the end. When I got over the frustration of not knowing, it was kind of cool – after all, they had perspective and insight that no one else could.

Falling into Place outlines the stark realities that a lot of people face and challenges you not to judge or take people for granted; to not leave unsaid what ought to be said. It is the tale of a girl who attempts suicide, and pieces together her life and what drove her down that road. It mentions anorexia, bulimia, depression, drug abuse, sex and alcohol consumption. It is a story about mistakes, and lives interlocking with one another but never truly connecting.

There is more to life than cause and effect.

Champion (Legend #3)

Finished on 21st January, 2015

Author: Marie Lu

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5 6 Stars

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He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

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“Blows the socks off Hunger Games”
— Wyck Godfrey, Producer of The Twilight Saga

Damn right.

I’m sorry everybody, but the Legend trilogy is now officially my favorite series. Intelligent, action-packed, brilliant, realistic, thrilling and emotionally traumatizing, Marie Lu is a true genious. There is not a dull moment in this spectacular finale to an absolutely phenomenal series.

You will laugh, you will cry, you will scream at the world. But most of all, you will believe.

Beautiful. Brilliant. Breathtaking. Champion is amazing beyond your wildest dreams.

Go. Read. Now.

P. S: Anden is mine. (Day and June are my OTP)

Sentinel (Covenant #5)

Read on 6th October, 2014

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5 Stars

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It’s a beautiful day for a war.

As the mortal world slowly slips into chaos of the godly kind, Alexandria Andros must overcome a stunning defeat that has left her shaken and in doubt of their ability to end this war once and for all.

And with all the obstacles between Alex and her happily-ever-after with the swoonworthy Aiden St. Delphi, they must now trust a deadly foe as they travel deep into the Underworld to release one of the most dangerous gods of all time.

In the stunning, action-packed climax to the bestselling Covenant series, Alex must face a terrible choice: the destruction of everything and everyone she holds dear… or the end of herself.

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That has got to be the best ending ever. I’m still laughing and crying really heavily right now, but it feels so good. Gosh – what a perfect ending to a perfect series. Sentinel blew my mind and then some, I simply can’t express how amazing this book is – I just… Can’t.

All through the series, the titles have connected with a character but Sentinel… I’m not quite sure, but somehow I think it’s referring to her Dad. It would make sense, wouldn’t it? Half-Blood referred to Alex, Pure Aiden, Deity Apollo, Apollyon Alex and now Sentinel her father. Of course, Armentrout could be talking about any number of characters, but I just have a feeling that it’s Alexander. After all, when Alex “talked” with him he was not wearing servant’s garb but the Sentinel uniform and he is referred to a Sentinel on server so occasions. It makes sense.

I’m so happy – I love Seth again!! For a while, I was hot and cold on whether to trust him or not, but he pulled through in the end. I actually think that I may be in love with him… Especially after what he did for Alex and Aiden. I’m so happy that he finally saw the light – it seems Ares was good for something, it seems.

While I loved all of the characters (even Perses had his moments – “Make war for the pure bliss of it, but never make war in order to take control.” – only he would say something like that), I have to say that one of the main highlights of Sentinel was Athena – proper, old-fashioned Athena – saying “Army of Awesome”. I just- wow. It majorly cracked me up. Another highlight is Apollo’s timing. Leon was bad enough, but Apollo? He was absolutely brilliant. The amount of times he scared the heck out of everyone present, not to mention popping in on an inappropriate moment… Priceless.

During the latter part of the Covenant series, we have established that an Apollyon can only be created by a female pure and a male half-blood, one of whom must be a descendent of Apollo. “You were supposed to be the First, Alex. All the Apollyons came from Apollo. I was created for this-for what Ares wanted. It was the same with Solaris and the First.” So my question is (aside from the obvious “how the heck did Ares manage to create Seth and Solaris’ First?“) – why establish the Breed Order in the first place? Surely there aren’t that many descendants of Apollo (then again, this is Apollo we’re talking about). The conditions are certainly rare. How is it fair to ban all relations between Pures and Halfs? But then again, the Council established the enslavement of Half-Bloods and claimed it to be decreed by the gods, when it that was not the case. At least the fact that he was “created” explains how Seth had amber eyes even before he Awakened…

An absolutely stunning series, Covenant is something everyone should get behind. Witty, strong, hilarious, hot, sexy, tear-inducting, swoon-worthy, heart-breaking, inspiring, Armentrout has hit the nail on the head with this one. – I might even go as far as to say that it is better than the Lux series, but I have yet to read the final book so I cannot make a comprehensive judgement there. My point is, the Covenant series is absolutely amazing – certainly one of my favourites – and 100% worth the read.

If I had to rank the series, I would have to go with…
1. Sentinel
2. Deity
3.Apollyon
4. Half-Blood
5. Pure
(Keep in mind, there is very little difference between the ranks)