Friday, December 30, 2011

[The End of 2011] Favorite Emotional Reads

During 2011 I've read a couple of books that made me cry the famous ugly cry. Sure, there were plenty that had me tear up, or shed a tear, but there were only a few that made me cry properly. And I love that books are able to do that. These books touched me emotionally and I bawled my eyes out!

I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler 
Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. Yet the smiles of her picture-perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn’t hold it together, who will?

Goodreads page
I'm Not Her is a raw and emotional story about a girl who is trying to deal with the fact that her sister has cancer. It's not only about the illness itself, but also about how people cope with it, not only the patient herself. This one gripped me and I had to put the book away when I was positively sobbing because I got so emotional while reading (review). To think that this is Janet Gurtler's debut novel, is extraordinary.

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she's been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return. That's how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn't seen in ten years, and Cora's husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it's a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?

Goodreads page
The fact that this one was so overwhelmingly emotional for me, came as a surprise. I had read more of Sarah Dessen's books before and even though they are about teens with problems, this one just grabbed me and didn't let me go (review). There was something about the neglect and abuse that Ruby experienced that had me tear up and when the story continued, I found myself crying and I had to wait until I could read more. Lock and Key is still my favorite Sarah Dessen book.

Sing me to Sleep by Angela Morrison
Beth has always been "The Beast" - that's what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth's only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she's selected to be her choir's soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever. When Beth's choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek's untethered passion - for music, and for Beth - leaves her breathless. Because in Derek's eyes? She's not The Beast, she's The Beauty. When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek? The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek's been hiding a dark secret from her that could shatter everything.

Goodreads page
When I picked this one up, I hadn't heard much about it. I started reading it with the expectation of a nice contemporary, but I got so much more than I was asking for (review). It was a story that grabbed my heart, squeezed it and left me just crying my eyes out. I had to put the book away and could only continue reading the next day, when I was calm again. It instantly became one of my favorite books ever, and it is among those still.


Those are my favorite emotional reads of this year. There were more books that made my cry, but didn't get me so emotional as the ones named above. Other books that made me cry (although not as much as the books mentioned before): Before I Fall, The Hunger Games, Hallowed and Entangled

For next year I'm hoping to read You Against Me, Forbidden and Elsewhere and I hope I can put those in next year's post. What are some of your favorite books that got you emotional?


  1. Have not read sing me to sleep, will be sure to add it to the ever growing TBR's.

  2. @Deb Marshall
    I haven't seen it around much, but it's a great book - I loved it, even though the make-over is a little bit too much for my liking. Hope you can get to it - let me know what you think if you do! :)


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