Tearjerkers

As a reader, do you seek out books that make you cry? Or do you avoid them?

I think I can handle the rough journey if everything ends on a upbeat note. I think that’s true for most readers. That’s all I ask: just let them live. Oh, and please let them be whole in body and spirit please, thanks.  I will never understand an author who kills off their own characters especially those who are beloved by many readers…hello Sandra Brown.  Dana Stabenow has done it as well as Charlaine Harris.

Bronze Horseman, TheWho is the one author that writes the most depressing stuff for me? Paullina Simons. I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to read Tully and how depressing it was for me to read Red Leaves. Then there was The Bronze Horseman that left me frantic. I still have her last book, hopefully, in the trilogy, The Summer Garden on the bookshelf. I am just not in the mood to go through that emotional journey right now. I remember reading an author interview with Ms. Simons where she mentioned that she enjoyed writing about pain and angst. What?  Why? I love angst as long as it ends happily (thanks Laura Kinsale).

Kristin Hannah is another author who is known for her tearjerkers. I find her work manipulative and it doesn’t make me cry. Then I read The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneggar and I personally hated the ending but then I kinda accepted it and had such a sinking feeling in my stomach when I read the end as the author foreshadowed Henry’s death. I can’t reread that book no matter how captivating it was for me. Some books are meant for me to experience once. Must say that it ended on a bittersweet note at least.

What are some of your favorite tearjerkers? Do you find them manipulative? Do you avoid them? Seek them out? Do you love a good cry?

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About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
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14 Responses to Tearjerkers

  1. Jane says:

    I agree that there has to be some emotional payoff at the end of the story for the reader else the journey is simpy too taxing. Barbara Samuel’s book: No Place Like Home was a 10 hankie tear jerker for me. The sad ending was inevitable. I think we all knew what we were in for from the opening pages. It helped to have the heroine find a love, to reclaim a place in her family, to celebrate her relationship with Michael. Without those joyous elements, I don’t think I could bear to read it.

  2. Keishon says:

    What works for me is knowing ahead of time – I didn’t care for the way Paullina Simons just threw a monkey wrench into the ending and initially she wasn’t going to write a sequel. I hate to be blind-sided by the death of a character.

  3. Jorrie Spencer says:

    I can only speak to The Time Traveler’s Wife which worked for me because, as you say, she lets you know what is to come. It would have been a different book to have a different ending.

    I usually don’t like sad endings, but there are exceptions and I want the author to play fair. Angst for angst sake is only acceptable when the characters are going to pull through.

  4. Keishon says:

    I can only speak to The Time Traveler’s Wife which worked for me because, as you say, she lets you know what is to come. It would have been a different book to have a different ending.

    Yeah, well, I was hoping against hope that it would be different. This book was captivating read from start to finish but it left me depressed in how it ended.

  5. Angie says:

    I almost never read anything that’s going to be a tear jerker, for whatever reason, but oh man, I read My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, which had me sobbing like a baby but I loved that freaking book. I will never, ever read it again, but I will recommend to anyone who will listen, lol.

  6. Karen Scott says:

    Linda Howard’s Cry No more is the ultimate tearjerker for me, but I then when it comes to anything baby related, I’m just a big softie anyway!

  7. Amanda says:

    I love tearjerkers. Always have. Upbeat HEAs are nice, but not totally necessary. If the author has submerged me into their world deeply enough that I cry~ they did their job. Angst, dying characters, doesn’t matter. Bring it on.

    It needs to be carefully done though. I really need to be 200% into the story to actually cry. Many of my keepers are tearjerkers. I’m just weird that way I guess.

  8. Kristie(J) says:

    The first “romance” book I ever read that made me cry was Tapestry by Karen Ranney. Parting Gifts and Sweet Lullabye by Lorraine Heath also had this effect years ago. I didn’t find any of them manipulative – just very well written emotional stories. And I wouldn’t read The Bronze Horseman until I knew there was a sequel and that Tatiana and Alexandre found each other again. I knew I couldn’t make that big an emotional investment without them being reunited some time.

  9. Keishon says:

    I love tearjerkers. Always have. Upbeat HEAs are nice, but not totally necessary. If the author has submerged me into their world deeply enough that I cry~ they did their job. Angst, dying characters, doesn’t matter. Bring it on.

    Wow, Amanda, you must list some of your favorites for me. Have you read Paullina Simons yet?

  10. Amanda says:

    Keishon- I’ve not read Paullina Simons yet. Sounds like I need to though.

    The first couple of tearjerkers that come to mind: Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson (a surprise gift from Husband which I didn’t expect to grab me), The Secret Swan by Shana Abe, Lynn Kurland’s historical set time travels, the third book of the Kushiel trilogy (you’d need to read the first two for the best effect, though, lol) by Jacqueline Carey.

  11. Keishon says:

    Ok, I have Jacqueline Carey’s first book in my TBR pile so I look forward to reading them. I haven’t read Lynn Kurland but I’ve been tempted but with so many books in the TBR pile already – I’ll have to keep her in mind. Now, Shana Abe – I read and really enjoyed The Smoke Thief but haven’t had much luck with her backlist. Anyay, thanks for the heads up, Amanda! And if you do read The Bronze Horseman you’ll need the sequel handy, which I’m not sure is available in the US yet. But that book sounds right up your alley!

  12. Tara Marie says:

    I have to be in the right frame of mind for a good tearjerker. I find Catherine Anderson is good for a cry, kind of like the old movies of the week, aka tearjerker of the week.

  13. Keishon says:

    “Catherine Anderson is good for a cry, kind of like the old movies of the week, aka tearjerker of the week. ”

    Unfortunately, I find her stuff too sweet, too unrealistic. Isn’t her stuff manipulative tho? Just asking. You might not think so but I’ve read a couple of her books, Annie’s Song and Phantom Something and Anderson deliberately makes her characters weak and pathetic, to me, despite how inspiring they may appear. I’ve had a beef about her books for a long time now so please don’t get upset. as I am not attacking you. I’m venting a little here, too. I would do a smiley face but I’m not smiling about it. Just being honest and I love getting different perspectives. Maybe that’s the one thing that Anderson can do right is make the reader escape completely.

  14. Bev (BB) says:

    Definitely avoid.

    Avoid. Avoid. AVOID.

    Not clear enough? :p

    Really, if anything I go in the opposite direction and look for humorous books most of the time. Not so much LOL ones but those that “love life” with upbeat tones, a distinction that isn’t always clear to people when humor is mentioned. Just because I see humor in life and want that reflected in my reading material as much as possible doesn’t mean I want every page in books to be a chuckle-fest.

    Of course, that said, a really good chuckle-fest isn’t bad on occasion either. 😀

    Mention tearjerker or hankies in comments on a book and I’m usually looking elsewhere, though, unless I’m also given a good reason not too. It has to be one whopper of a reason and, quite frankly, there ain’t too many of those I’ll be interested in.

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