TTT: Top 10 Books That Broke Your Heart a Little

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. And this is the anti-Valentine’s Day top 10!

Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart a Little (or a lot, in some cases)

1. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – Oh, sweet little baby Jesus. I know opinions are mixed on this book overall and I can certainly understand why, but I can honestly say that no book has ever made me sob until I was literally hiccuping and doubling over the way this book did. I cried SO EFFING HARD while reading this book that it wasn’t even right. And it wasn’t just the last chapter. It was, like, 3/4 of the book.

2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – Obvious reasons. Plus as the child of a cancer survivor, it wasn’t hard for me to relate to Conor.

3. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand – I will never stop recommending this book. Never. And it really is heartbreaking.

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I’m starting to feel like a broken record with this one, but it’s just such a beautiful book. One thing in particular made me do the ugly cry, but the whole thing is heartbreaking.

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling – Obvs.

6. The Road by Cormac McCarthy – Just totally bleak, depressing, and yes, heartbreaking.

7. A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown – Every now and then I read a book that makes me really, really thankful for my life, my parents and my stable upbringing. This is one of those books.

8. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – This one broke my heart a lot. A LOT.

9. Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi – Because it makes me endlessly sad what women are willing to do to themselves in order to attain an unrealistic standard of beauty.

10. Big Fish by Daniel Wallace – I’m not really sure which made me cry harder, the book or the movie.

What were your choices? Please leave a link so that I can check them out!

Leave a comment


  1. i agree with Deathly Hallows, i cried from the dedication through the epilogue. i’d also add Half Blood Prince to my list since the end of that one really crushed my world when i first read it. Also, The Year of Endless Sorrows by Adam Rapp.

    • Yeah, Half Blood Prince was a cryfest as well! I think it was just the Deathly Hallows being the end of everything that made me so heartbroken. I really loved that series.

      I’ve not heard of The Year of Endless Sorrows but it sounds like a heartbreaker, haha. I’ll have to look into it.

      • Did you ever watch Ally McBeal? that show always had a specific structure, the first 20 minutes were hilarious, the second 20 while still funny set up the more dramatic elements, and the last 20 were pure drama. The Year of Endless Sorrows felt very much like that to me. so while parts are hilarious, the end can get you. Adam Rapp is mostly known as a playwright, two of his shows have been performed at City Theatre on the southside. he’s written a number of YA books, though i haven’t gotten into any of those yet.

  2. Nice list! The only books I’ve read from your list are The Lovely Bones and The Deathly Hallows. Both are heartbreaking. I really need to check out The Book Thief.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Oh, for sure check out The Book Thief. It’s a wonderful book (though heartbreaking at times). After The Hunger Games it’s probably my most recommended book.


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