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August 2023

books that make you cry

Have You Ever Heard About Books That Make You Cry

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Have you ever read a book that has made a lifelong impact on you? Or a book that you were not able to put down because it made you cry? Whether you’re a retired veteran or a young and lively teenager, reading books that make you cry will always get you in the feels. Most of us have a complex to acknowledge our feelings. We try not to succumb to our emotions and yet validate ourselves with reality. I Need A Smoke’ by Leianne McNair is a great depiction of just that. Life challenges us in different situations and events; therefore, we often forget how to navigate life carrying our emotions. McNair’s novel teaches you to embrace life through all its ups and downs. Indulging in an emotional read can help you escape reality, reduce stress, and alleviate your sadness!

Why is reading emotional and sad books important?

All of us attain different sorts of media on a daily basis in order to relate to something that is happening in our own lives. We usually tend to opt for activities or be in situations that we are actively going through. This is mainly why many readers prefer to pick up a sad and heartfelt book since it helps reduce anxiety and stress. When you pick up a book to read, your brain automatically blocks every single thing you’re thinking about. As a reader, you start to envision yourself as one of the characters or be present in that situation. Your brain is actively trying to find solutions as to how the protagonist inside the novel can be saved. The reader tries to predict as to what might happen next, using their critical thinking.

In this way, it allows the reader to explore their imagination and recognize their own terrifying thoughts. Reading emotional books also allows the reader to understand similar situations and envision their personal problems. The feelings that we bottle up inside of us and refuse to process seem a lot less stressful after reading books that make you cry. Personally, I believe that reading books that make you cry has a strong place in your mind. It’s hard to forget about books, let alone the message they give you in a short period.

Discover the real gems that can make you cry:

In the sea of books that make me cry, here are some of my favorite recommendations:

  • Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

To no one’s surprise, ‘Thousand Splendid Suns’ has to be on the top of the charts. It is a global favorite, and for the right reasons. This story is about two fearless Afghan women, a mother and daughter duo, Mariam and Laila, who go through unimaginable hardships and domestic abuse. It is a vivid representation of how women in Afghanistan survive and make ends meet despite their struggles. This is a heart-touching yet astounding story that will make you sob for hours.

  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

‘The Boy in the Striped Pajamas’ is a historical fiction that is set in the Holocaust era. Bruno is a nine-year-old German boy who is forced to move to Poland because of his father’s job as a Commander. Persistent in making friends, Bruno befriends a Jewish boy, Shmuel, whose family lives in the concentration camps. Despite their worldly differences, Bruno and Shmuel become the greatest of friends.

  • Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

We often hear people say, ‘A dog is a man’s best friend,’ and they are not wrong. Rawls narrated this beautifully by writing the novel ‘Where the Red Fern Grows.’ Billy Coleman is a young, adventurous boy who is determined to buy two newborn puppies, nurture them, and train them to be hunting dogs. Along with this determination, he wanted to embark on his journey to the Ozark mountains and hunt for rare raccoons. The only reason why Billy is allowed to go hunting on these mountains is because he brings back rare skins, and his grandfather gets to sell them. Although some serious unfortunate events unfold, this story is one that will definitely make you cry and hug your pets tighter.

  • Horses of God by Mahi Binebine

Mahi does a phenomenal job of illustrating real events that took place in Morocco in 2003. ‘Horses of God’ is about four best friends who grew up in the slums of Sidi Moumen, known as the poor and shady part of town. Despite poverty, drugs, and sadness all around them, ‘The Stars of Sidi Moumen’ was their only escape from reality. Fuad, Ali, Nabil, and Yachine all belonged to the one and only boys’ soccer team, where they played barefoot. They were inseparable. After a while, these boys are caught up and brainwashed by a local religious extremist who traps them into believing that there is a better life after this world. Therefore, ‘The Stars of Sidi Moumen’ go and do something awfully disrupting.

  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

“I don’t know what’s worse: to not know what you are and be happy, or to become what you’ve always wanted to be, and feel alone.” –  Keyes.

Charlie, who is 32, is aware of the mental disabilities that he was born with. He struggles to read and write properly; therefore, he believes that it is beneficial to undergo an experimental surgery to improve his IQ, which is where he meets Professor Nemur. Professor makes Charlie take all these tests and hearings. The only other living thing that undertook this surgery was a lab rat. Keyes took a very different approach to writing this short story by breaking each part into progress reports. The author did a phenomenal job in narrating what an individual truly suffers through when they are battling mental illness. This is one novel that is definitely a page-turner.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1: Why is it important to read books that make you cry?

Reading books that make you cry can help you feel the real emotions and feelings that a human being goes through in real life. Not all stories are about exciting events and happy endings. Sometimes, reading books that include pain, grief, and struggles alters the way you think.

Q2:  Are all books that make you cry based on true life events?

Not at all. Most books that make you cry are purely written from the author’s imagination.

Q3: What if someone claimed that a book makes you cry and it does not make me cry? What should I do?

There is no need to stress. Emotions and feelings vary from person to person. Not everyone will love the same book you love. Therefore, if you’re not tearing up because of a book does not mean anything!

Q4: Should I read a book that makes me cry if I am in a state of depression or feeling low?

If you are or know someone who is in a state of depression, then you should refrain from reading somber books. Some books that make you cry may have triggering content that you may read about, which could deteriorate your mental health.


Reading books that make you cry expands the reader’s imagination and gains a vast majority of empathy that leaves a mark in their brain. Just as life never goes accordingly, reading novels from this genre helps us gain more patience and understanding of our worldly problems. After reading ‘Horses of God’ and ‘Thousand Splendid Suns,’ you grasp the true meaning of life. ‘I Need a Smoke’ by Leianne McNair, as well as all the great novels mentioned above, fall into the same category. Devouring sentimental stories about others and their fair share of suffering makes us feel a little less lonely. It goes beyond just reading sad stories like these. Reading sad books like these leaves an everlasting impact on the reader, which improves their mental health and relieves their stress and discomfort. So go ahead and grab these novels as soon as you find them!