Top Ten Books That Broke Your Heart A Little

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovelies at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's Top Ten theme is: Top Ten Books That Broke Your Heart A Little

This week's topic is a little difficult to post about as I really don't want to post any spoilers. Theredore, I've decided to just post a sentence or two about each. I'll do my VERY best not to give anything away!

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
This is the third book in the His Dark Materials trilogy. I wept like a baby at the end and every time I read it I wish and wish for... well, I suppose I can't say, can I? Go read the trilogu for yourself and find out what I mean. 

Before I Die by Jenny Downham 
You know from the beginning of this book what's coming, and still it breaks your heart. This is beautifully written book which is completely, agonisingly wonderful. 

Watership Down by Richard Adams
You wouldn't think a book about bunnies could be so compelling, but this one really is. It's charming and lovely and sad. If you're looking for another powerful tale of hard-done-by rabbits, try The Book Of Bunny Suicides, by Andy Riley.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
This is another beautifully-written, tragic book that broke my heart repeatedly. Sebold's imagery is vibrant and her narrative is driven by excellently created characters. 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Death himself narrates this book and he warns you, he bloody-well-warns you what's going to happen. And you think maybe he's trying to fool you...

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
This is a trilogy I can't recommend highly enough. While it mdoesn't seem to be as well known or as widely lauded as some series, I honestly think it's one of the best out there. Comparable even to HIs Dark Materials.

Romeo and Juliet - Shakespeare
Okay, okay, so it's a bit obvious. But I don't care! I've read this play a bazillion times and taught it a bazillion more. And every single time I wish that things could've turned out a little better for the poor, eponymous characters. 

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyne
This is another book I've had to teach several times and which has stood the test of teaching. Who can fail to be moved by the tragedy of this tale, and of the truth that inspired it?

The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks
You won't hear my say this very often at all. Such incidences are so rare as to be almost non existent. Here goes: "I preferred the film." 
*awaits a tumult of abuse* 
I'm sure plenty of you will disagree with me and I'm not trying to deride the book in any way, it's on the list isn't it? I just think that the chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in the film, really added something. That's not to say that I didn't bawl my eyes out when I read the book, just like I did when I watched the film, though!

Entangled - Cat Clarke
This is one of those books that I finished with my mouth agape and an expression of indignant horror on my face. How could an author be so cruel?! How could Cat Clarke perpetrate such evils?! She broke my heart with this one...and ensured that I'll buy pretty much everything else she ever writes. 

So there you have it. The top ten books which broke my heart a little. I think it's worth adding at this point that I was tempted to put Breaking Dawn, by Stephenie Meyer and Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling on this list. They, however, broke my heart for different reasons. That was the heartbreak one feels when something they've loved for so long finally ends. Even happy ending can be heartbreaking.

Let me know your thoughts!


  1. I've not read Cat Clarke's books... I admit, I'm intrigued (even if I don't like crying... lol). I didn't watch The Notebook; after crying while reading the book, I didn't think I needed to see the movie.

  2. @MJ

    Cat Clarke rocks and is more likely to make you cry because she doesn't pull her punches, as opposed to being soppy.

    And I wholeheartedly recommend "The Notebook", especially on Valentine's Day with a whole lot of chocolate and tissues!

  3. Oh man, The Amber Spyglass... So, so upsetting (and Northern Lights didn't have a very cheery ending either!)

  4. As much as I hate that The Notebook is on this list, and how every single Nicholas Spark novel has the same structure, they still make me sob every time. Must be hardwired into us.
    The only one of these I didn't like is Before I Die, which annoyed the hell out of me for no reason I can find. Still, love Pullman and Watership Down. Plus I think you leant me Book Thief and Lovely Bones, both of which I adore.
    Can I suggest the addition of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Absolutely heartbreaking. And also, the only film in which I've ever liked Keira Knightly...

  5. @Catrin I can't STAND Kazuo Ishiguro. I just can't forgive him for "The Remains of the Day". Must I try harder..?

  6. Ah, I haven't read that one, I'm presuming I should stay away? If you haven't read Never Let Me Go, it's fantastic. Try harder :p

  7. Also, Seamus Deane, Reading in the Dark. Talk about a beautifully written book.

  8. Great post! I love the sentence or two about each book. I have read many on the list and agree with you. The Book Thief is a favorite of mine. Lovely Bones haunts me!I haven't read The Boy in the Striped Pajams- but it has been on my list for a long time. I have to read it. Entagled sounds fascinating. Thanks for sharing!


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