Books That Have Made Me Cry!

Whenever Halloween rolls around, I always comment how there are no really scary books. As in, there aren’t a lot of books that actually having me putting the book down in favour of something lighter so that I can sleep that night. BUT when it comes to books that make me cry – there are a LOT of those. I mean, I could feel pretty so-so about a book and then BAM! Something happens, or someone says something, and my eyes are tearing up and the whole book just takes a turn for me. Usually for the better, if crying while reading a book is good. Personally, I think it’s good because shouldn’t we be feeling emotions while reading a book? Isn’t that the goal?

Here are just some of the books that have made me cry:

Every Note Played by Lisa Genova

Oh my gosh, this book just had me BAWLING. All of Lisa Genova’s books deal with medical mysteries and those diseases that don’t have a cure, so there’s always that inevitable end that whatever ailment someone has (from Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s) isn’t going to magically be cured by the end. For some of her past books, I’ve just felt that intense emotion while reading, but this book had me in tears about 3/4 of the way through and I just felt completely spent by the end.

I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

I seem to have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Gayle Forman’s books. I loved her books in the beginning, but her previous YA book to this one didn’t wow me at all and I declared myself done with her YA writing. But then I got sucked into this one at the bookstore and bought a copy. The funny thing is that it feels like this book was just written in a way that was too easy, where things just happened too perfectly (even when the things that happened weren’t perfect), but there was the odd line that came up that had me tearing up. This story is all about the characters helping one another find their way and even when things were just too convenient, I still fell for it and fell in love along the way. It wasn’t my favourite book, but it was one that had me feeling plenty of emotions.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Another author I have a love/hate relationship with, Morgan Matson can really be hit or miss with her books, in my opinion. This was the second book of hers that I read and I remember sitting on the edge of my bed, finishing this book and I just couldn’t stop crying. It was like it just hit me all of a sudden while reading, certain events that were happening just grabbed onto me and didn’t let go.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

So much of this book seems almost fantastical. You know that there are events happening throughout the book that will be heartbreaking, but they’re not really dwelt upon in the beginning, until it hits you towards the end of the book. The fact that this story is about a little boy is almost was cinched it for me. I remember reading this book for the first time when there was a lot of hype surrounding it. It had just come out and I didn’t believe it was as good as everyone was saying it was – I mean, there was no way, right? But alas, I was wrong. This book was just beautiful and horrible and just so so sad.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Oh man, this was another one of those books that I was sure I wasn’t going to like. I don’t actually think I had read any of Moyes’s books before reading this one and this was one of those books that was just really hyped up. However, Moyes just writes her stories in such a way that you are gripped right from the get go and her characters feel real and flawed and you just feel the emotions along with them. This isn’t a happy book at all and it had me in tears the few times I read it AND when I saw the movie.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I know, I know. I feel like John Green writes his books in this way that you wonder if any teenagers actually act or talk in the way they’re written in real life, and this book is no exception. The story is about a young girl who’s dying of cancer and the boy she falls in love with, but it wasn’t even their story that made me cry. There was one line in the book where Hazel’s mom says, “I’m not going to be a mom anymore” and I just lost it. Being a mom now, that line just kills me and I can’t even imagine, fictional family or not, how anyone can go through a situation like that. Yes, the book romanticizes cancer, but the feelings the mom was having? That hit hard.

What books have made you cry? Do you like books that make you feel a heavy amount of emotion? 

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[Book Talk] The Simple Wild by K. A. Tucker

Book Details:

Format: Ebook
Source: Publisher
Read: August 2018

Synopsis:

Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

My Thoughts

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for a copy of this book for review!

Over the past year or so I’ve been diving into Kathleen Tucker’s books here and there, loving everything I’ve picked up, but I don’t think it was until I picked up her latest, The Simple Wild, that I found myself falling completely in love with her writing, thus adding her to my auto-buy author list. Basically, I am here for whatever she writes next because I just love her books that much!

I might be slightly biased with this book, though, because I have this overwhelming love for all things Alaska. It’s a place I visited nearly 10 years ago and it hasn’t left my memory. I think it’s just the vastness of the place, it being the last frontier. I love stories about homesteaders moving to Alaska to make a living, about families in Alaska, and now this – a story about a girl who left her father in Alaska when she was just 2 years old, only to go back, 24 years later, to get to know the man she never got to know when she was growing up.

It would be easy to say that I loved Calla’s character, and I think I did in a way, but lots of times throughout the story I wanted to throttle her. I found her to be one of those characters that was hard to love, only because she had certain qualities about her that drove me nuts. BUT as the story goes on I loved seeing how Calla grew up out of her superficial ways, realizing what the important things in life actually were. I feel like Tucker wrote her journey so well that you almost forget what her character was like, living in Toronto with her mom and step-dad, going out to clubs, most of her focus going towards her looks and showing perfection to all of her social media followers. If there was ever somewhere that would open her eyes, it would be Alaska.

I loved how Tucker showcased the state as well. I had read other books that take place in Alaska but are more historical fiction than contemporary, and so it’s easy to think that Alaska operates like every other state, but when you hear of the fictional town of Bangor, you realize that life isn’t all about convenience – and that’s not only when it comes to things like clothing or food, but even just medical necessities. The story made me realize that Alaskans are made of tough stuff and while I might live in the country myself, it’s nowhere near being the country that Alaskans live in.

As this book is categorized as a New Adult read, I found that it was the kind of New Adult fiction that I love: one with grown up characters who don’t approach life looking for the bad boy or new sexual situations, as well as major character development and familial relationships. I mean, I LOVED the romance in this book and swooned majorly over Jonah and the slow romance that takes place, but the relationship between Calla and her father is what brought me to tears. I got so emotional over this book during the last 20% or so and that’s really what cemented me in loving Tucker’s writing. She writes phenomenal relationships where you end up knowing a character so well it’s like they’re your friend or family in real life, and her stories take you on a journey of self-discovery and awareness.

Honestly, I’m happy that I was reading numerous books at the same time as I was reading this one because had I not been, I would have suffered a HUGE book hangover after reading this. I loved all of the characters, the story, Alaska, and everything in between so much that I didn’t want the book to end. When I reached the last page, all I wanted was for there to be a sequel or something (and I HATE sequels) because I wasn’t ready to let these characters go!

If you haven’t picked up anything by Kathleen Tucker, PLEASE GO AND PICK UP ONE OF HER BOOKS NOW! I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend The Simple Wild if you’re looking for beautiful family relationships, characters who are flawed and who grow as the story goes on, and a slow burn romance that will bring out all of your swoons and keep you up late at night reading.

Watching Movies Based on Books! (#1) (Warning: There may be spoilers!)

My Cousin Rachel 

Book by Daphne du Maurier
Movie: 2017

I’m not too sure how I feel about this movie. I had heard so many people talk about how much more they loved the movie than the book, but I found the movie to be dreadfully slow. I did enjoy Rachel Weisz’s acting and felt like Philip was just as whiny and self-indulgent as he was in the book. One thing I loved about the book was how effective it was for Rachel to constantly be referred to as “my cousin Rachel” and how she always had the black veil, but neither seemed to happen in the movie. The “thriller” part of the movie is very slow and it didn’t seem to feel creepy until Philip signs the fortune over to Rachel. Like I said, though, I loved how whiny Philip was – just as in the book, he seems young and just wants what he wants without thinking about any of the repercussions. Although, while I think Rachel is supposed to be the creepy one, I found Philip’s adoration of her to be SO creepy. I mean, who was the real villain? I felt like it was a good adaptation of the book but I do think the book was better.

Crazy Rich Asians

Book by Kevin Kwan
Movie: 2018

I. LOVED. THIS. I think it helped that I finished the book about a week or so before seeing the movie, but it just made me so happy. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know it starts with a scene where Eleanor and her kids are treated rudely at a fancy hotel because they’re Asian and so they end up buying the hotel. Well, this started the movie perfectly and I was just grinning ear to ear! The casting was wonderful for everyone – my favourites, aside from Constance Wu (Rachel) and Henry Golding (Nick) of course, had to be Awkwafina who played Goh Peik Lin who was HILARIOUS, as well as Gemma Chan as Astrid. I love that we got Astrid and Michael’s relationship, that we saw the ridiculousness of Eddie (who I so wished got what he deserved in the movie as he did in the book!), and oh my gosh, the extravagance! I hadn’t seen photos of Singapore since my parents visited when I was really young so it was amazing to see the gorgeousness of the country. Of course, everyone should read the book before seeing the movie, but I will say that both the book AND the movie are amazing, which is pretty rare. Jon M. Chu – as well as the entire cast – really brought the book to life and I can see myself watching it again and again. Also, can this please be made into a trilogy of movies? I need more!

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Book by Jenny Han
Movie: 2018

If you’ve been on Twitter, you’ll see that this Netflix release was HUGELY hyped up (though not so much on Netflix – I wish it had had a banner or something to get more people watching it). This is the first book in Han’s trilogy about Lara Jean and her sisters and the hilarity of Lara Jean’s letters to her previous love interests being mailed out to each of them. I loved this first book in the series and the movie did not disappoint. For starters, the movie was just so beautiful – the sets, the scenery, the colours – it was just so eye-catching. And while certain characters annoyed me a bit in the books (like Kitty and Peter), I liked them so much more in the movie. I didn’t like the romance between Lara Jean and Peter in the book and felt like it was set up to be something else, but the movie made it work for me. I really hope, just like Crazy Rich Asians, that this is turned into a series of movies.

Stand By Me

Story by Stephen King
Movie: 1986

Alright, I *almost* didn’t watch this movie because it was released in 1986 and while I love old movies, sometimes the old formats just don’t agree with me. However, I kept watching and LOVED this adaptation of the Stephen King novella. I enjoyed the novella a lot, despite Gordie’s really long stories. I liked the way his wanting to be a writer was brought into the movie (though, if you’ve seen the movie you might recall the super cheesy vomiting scene, which made me laugh at how fake it looked) and I loved how all the boys were cast. Also, there are so many big names in this movie! So funny seeing them all so young. As for the story, dare I say I almost preferred the adaptation to the novella? I love the relationships between all of the boys and for some reason the movie brought out their journey to the dead body more than the story did for me.

Jane Eyre

Story by Charlotte Bronte
Movie: 1996

After finishing reading Jane Eyre, I had to look into the movie adaptations and didn’t realize that there were so many! I had PVR’d the 1996 version and so when my kids were at quiet time, I decided to watch it. Obviously I have no other versions to compare it to, but I did like this adaptation. I think I liked the casting of Jane and Mr Rochester the best, with neither of them being as attractive as we usually see in movies like this. In the book, Jane is plain and Mr Rochester isn’t handsome and that definitely comes across in the movie. I also felt like this adaptation was somewhat faithful to the book, though we don’t get the gorgeous prose of Charlotte Bronte. However, when it comes down to it, I’d love to see another version, maybe the miniseries which might have more of the book brought into the movie. There were so many wonderful themes that should’ve been brought into the movie so I’m definitely going to look into other adaptations.

Have you watched any movies based on books recently? What have been your favourites?