Sunday, June 8, 2014

10 Question of the Week: Do You Like Books That Make You Cry?

Hey everyone! Clara Kensie here. A few times a month at Adventures in YA Publishing, I post a question for you and the Adventures in YA team to answer. The questions cover all topics important to writers and book lovers: craft, career, reading, books, and more. Join the discussion!

Question of the Week:

Do you like books that make you cry?
photo credit: Emily's mind via photopin cc
Alyssa Hamilton: I LOVE books that make me cry, but I don't cry easily in a book. If it's a movie, I'll be pouring tears, but a book is much harder. My most recent book that had me extremely close to tears was The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson and it's easily become one of my favourite books. The choked up feeling I had the entire time I was reading is an awesome sign for me. It shows me how deftly an author was able to wring my emotions out of me. If they actually make me cry, even better!

Lisa Gail Green: I cry at almost everything. That’s the truth. So it could be a totally fun, lighthearted book, and I’d still bawl. But yes, I do like reading books that have an emotional impact, but I have to be in the mood.

Martina Boone: I definitely like books that make me feel — emotion is a HUGE, HUGE draw for me. (In fact I cry and smile when I’m writing, and if I don’t, I figure I’m not doing my job.) My favorite books make me tense and make me laugh out loud. The best of those often make me cry. I cried at almost all my favorite books, but some of the two-boxes-of-Kleenex reads include: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, If I Lie by Corinne Jackson, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson, The Book Thief by Marcus Zuzak, If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Jan Lewis: I am super sensitive, so I cry very easily. I have been known to cry as soon as I start reading a book, just because I was so excited to read it. The most recent books that made me cry were COMPULSION by Martina Boone and FORBIDDEN by Kimberley Griffiths Little, and they each made me cry for different reasons.

Clara Kensie: I love books that make me cry! When I signed with my agent, the lovely Laura Bradford, in 2012, she said one of the things she loved about my manuscript was a scene that reminded her of one of her favorite books: Linda Howard’s CRY NO MORE. I immediately bought CRY NO MORE (and yes! There is an amazing, powerful, heartbreaking scene in CRY NO MORE that’s so incredibly similar to a scene in my manuscript!). So of course, I loved that book. And despite the title, I cried, cried, cried. I read it the same day my husband and I were hosting a Superbowl party later that night, and I was late coming downstairs to greet our guests because I was upstairs being an emotional mess. It was fantastic. (By the way: my manuscript is now a book, and it is the first serial from Harlequin TEEN. The first book in the RUN TO YOU series released in February 2014 in three parts: First Sight, Second Glance, and Third Charm. The sequel releases in July 2014, also as a three-part serial: Fourth Shadow, Fifth Touch, and Sixth Sense)

IF I STAY by Gayle Forman is another book that made me cry. Oh my, that scene with the grandpa? If you’ve read the book, you know which scene I’m talking about.

I also cried over ELEANOR AND PARK by Rainbow Rowell. I was reading it while waiting for my daughter’s soccer game to start, and before I knew it, it was already half-time—I’d missed the entire first half of the game, and my cheeks were soaked with tears. Beautiful, beautiful. What a wonderful, moving book.

I originally wrote and answered this question a few weeks ago, but I had to come back to edit my answer because I’m currently reading another book that’s making me cry: PRETTY GIRL-13 by Liz Coley. Back in 2011 for NaNoWriMo I wrote a manuscript on a similar subject, and now I am revising it. I recently bought PRETTY GIRL-13 to read as research. I don’t know if this book will make anyone else’s list of books that make them cry, but the subject is one that hits me right in the heart. And wow. Wow, wow, wow. I cannot stop crying. I can only hope to make my manuscript as powerful as PRETTY GIRL-13.

YOUR TURN: Do you like books that make you cry? What books have made you cry?


  1. Of course I cry when I read! I was a hot mess reading The Fault in Our Stars. One for the Murphys, Rose Under Fire, and Orphan Train are others that came to mind.

  2. Absolutely!! I'm huge fan of books that make me cry. My faves? The Notebook tops the list. OMG. Amazing. Also Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. Oh, and The Fault in Our Stars. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'll for sure bring tissues.

  3. Wow, thank you, Jan, for the lovely words about FORBIDDEN! I'm honored--and so glad I made you cry, LOL.

    The most powerful books I've read during my lifetime are ones that made me cry. And I never finish writing a book that doesn't, at least once, make me cry, too.

    Books that make us weep means there is powerful emotion inside that story and a special connection between the story, the invisible author, and the reader.

  4. Most of my favourite books are ones that make me cry - The Book Thief, The Passage, pretty much anything by LM Montgomery. If a book moves me to tears, the author's done something (or a lot) right!

  5. If I Stay, by Gayle Forman, amazing book. I hate to cry, but when I do, it means that the book has me...and if I am drawn in that much, it is a winner.

  6. Absolutely, and it's interesting how some very subtle moments can make me cry, especially if I've been on a close journey with a character. I've been trying to pay attention to how authors make these moments happen. Laurie Halse Anderson's novels usually move me to tears at some point.

  7. Great books, everyone! I'm going to add the ones I haven't read to my TBR.

    I haven't read TFiOS yet, but I did see the movie. My daughter begged me to take her to the special "Night Before Our Stars" showing last Thursday night with the live simulcast with the cast, director, and author, the exclusive movie poster, and commemorative charm bracelet. How could I say no? Of course I cried, but I knew how it ended, so I didn't cry as hard as some of the audience members who weren't expecting it to end the way it did. Now I just have to read the book!


  9. Emotion is one of the main things I factor into how good I thought a book was! I don't like crying (who does?) but I love when an author can create characters that are so real, that I care and cry about what happens to them. So my answer is yes, I like when books make me cry or feel any strong emotion really, it almost always means the book is amazing (to me, at least!)


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