5 YA Books That Have Broken My Heart

Sunday 5 February 2017

This post may contains affiliate links. Read my disclaimer policy here.

I think I've started to realise that I like to rate a book on the amount of tears shed while reading it. It's not that I go seeking for tear-filled books, it just seems to be the ones I end up reading. If I can really feel the emotions from the characters, or worse, relate to them, then I'll be sobbing for days. A complete emotional wreck. One hell of an over-emotional sap who will cry at anything remotely heartbreaking. Yes, that is me.

young adult books broken my heart

When I planned this blog post, the working title was '5 YA Books That Have Melted My Heart'. As I started writing, it soon became very clear that these books weren't melting my heart, but breaking it.

Breaking it into very small tiny pieces.

There are fragments of my heart all over the floor. Okay, that might be a little dramatic, but these books have left a slight huge aching feeling in my heart.


"So why don't you go home for vacations?' I asked her. I'm just scared of ghosts, Pudge. And home is full of them."

young adult book looking for alaska john green

Miles Halter, a teenager, has decided to moves from his home in Florida to a boarding school in Alabama. This wasn't a decision forced upon by his parents, but by François Rabelais and his last words, 'I go to seek a Great Perhaps'. You see, Miles is fascinated with famous last words, and inspired by Rabelais', he is on a journey to find his. He settles in with his roommate Chip "The Colonel" Martin, and is soon given his own nickname "Pudge." He is then introduced to Alaska Young. Alaska is full of life; a life that is very different to Miles'. She smokes, she drinks, and is very impulsive, but hides a secret. Miles is instantly attracted to this new way of living, but will Alaska help find his 'Great Perhaps', or will she stop his journey completely?

Miles' obsession with famous last words is one of my favourite themes throughout the book (my favourite would have to be "now comes the mystery" by Henry Ward Breecher). They play a huge impact on his life, and he is constantly using them to justify situations and ideas. He very much loves life, and I guess, wants to fulfil a purpose so one day he can share his last words. You experience a lot of anticipation while reading this book. Each chapter is split into 'days before', so throughout the book you are constantly trying to guess what this is leading to. Is it relating to Alaska, or will Miles find his 'Great Perhaps'? I'm usually quite good at guessing certain plot lines, but I had no idea the 'after' would be what is was. I love the character Alaska. She is really confident and gutsy, but as we go through the book, and as she gets closer to Miles, he was able to delve deep and find out some personal things, so we get to really understand why she is who she is. This is John Green's first novel, and my favourite. You go through this adventure with Miles, learning new experience and feeling new emotions.


Boy Toy by Barry Lyga and This Is What I Did by Ann Dee Ellis



"So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be."

young adult book the perks of being a wallflower stephen chbosky

Charlie is a shy and compelling boy and has no real friends. He is about to start high school and wants things to be different. As a socially awkward kid, he finds it hard making friends, but meets two seniors, Patrick and Sam, who take him under their wing and show him how to be a typical American teen. They take him to parties, keep him out all night, get him drunk, and find him his first kiss. Growing closer to the pair, he learns they aren't as carefree as they seem, both revealing deep secrets. Charlie learns to open-up to them, which leads him to starts remembering things about his past. Will he learn that he is, and will always be a wallflower, or will his past bring up something to explain it all?

The books takes the format of diary entries, where Charlie is writing to someone anonymously. Is he writing to us as readers, or to someone we meet in the book? You instantly get a clear understanding of who Charlie is as he talks about the recipient of the letters being his only friend, and always questions why he is telling them so much. I don't know whether this is because he thinks his life is uneventful, he doesn't want to reveal too much, or he doesn't know what is acceptable to share to a friend. I find the naivety of Charlie so endearing. You see him going from starting high school, to having hopes about his future, to pulling these troublesome memories from his past. This is a great novel to see the world through the eyes of a hopeful teen, who didn't know the answers were always in himself.


It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini and Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma



young adult book the fault in our stars john green

"You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices."

Hazel Grace Lancaster is your typical teenage girl, except she has terminal cancer. She is forced to attend a support group, which is always the worst part of her week until she meets Augustus Waters. Augustus is instantly fascinated with Hazel, but she doesn't want him to get to close as she knows this won't last forever. The two take on a journey together trying to make each and every day count.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know exactly how this story goes, but just in case, I still won't reveal any spoilers. I actually watched the movie before I read the book, but I felt more emotionally attached to the characters in the book, meaning, I shed tears only while reading. The relationship between Hazel and Augustus definitely brings back memories of first loves. I love the charm and wit of Augustus, he is one of those guys who are always full of surprises. Delving into the lives of two teenage cancer patients, you are faced with hope, worry, pain and their desire just to be normal. This is a heartbreaking story which will bring tears to your eyes, and hold a special place in your heart.


A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes


Check out these 5 books that have left me broken hearted


"My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn't go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath."

young adult book the sky is everywhere jandy nelson

Lennon (Lennie) Walker is a seventeen-year-old girl who is grieving the loss of her older sister, Bailey. She feels angry, confused, guilty, and lost. Returning back to school, she meets Joe Fontaine, the new kid in school all the girls want. Does Lennie want him too? Well, she is thinking about him a lot, but that can't be right. Her mind should always be on Bailey. Bailey is the one who can never feel these feeling again, so neither should Lennie. How can she fall in love and be grieving at the same time? Unable to talk about how she's feeling to those close to her, she seeks comfort in somebody she least expected, and it turns her whole world, and those around her, upside down. All she wants is her sister back, she always knew what to do. While sorting through her things, Lennie discovers Bailey has been keeping the biggest parts of her life a secret, but can Lennie forgive her for her wrongs, like she is hoping Bailey can do for her.

The Sky Is Everywhere broke my heart, but sort of mended it too. The poems and notes inside the book are written on what they were found on, which gives the book a personal look into Lennie life. It's as though we as readers are going on this journey to finding these secret heart-wrenching handwritten pieces of sorrow. A part of you just wants to get inside the story and help Lennie out. She is truly lost without her sister, and you can really see how scared she is that anything from now on will either ruin her sisters' memory or forget them completely. The books truly explore the emotions, thoughts and feeling surrounding grief.


You Against Me by Jenny Downham and That Boy by Jillian Dodd



"The thing I realize is, that it's not what you take, it's what you leave."

young adult book all the bright places jennifer niven

How could I write about books that broke my heart and not include All The Bright Places? I've already mentioned it in a previous post, so if you want a summary and overall review, you can go over there and have a read. What I am going to mention though is how raw the pain from the characters really make you feel. It literally feels like you've stepped inside their brains, taken all the emotions out, and you are now living them. As the book is based on the personal experiences of Jennifer Niven, you can justify the emotions caused. I have been through a similar (not as tragic) experience, hence why the book holds such a close place in my heart.


Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson and My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga


Let me know in the comments below if you have read any of these books, and any book which has left you feeling like an emotional wreck.