Books to Not Read on Valentine's Day (Top Ten Tuesday)

This year's Valentine's Day Top Ten Tuesday is a bit of a twist on the expected and rather than look at great love stories or great romances, today's list topic is Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart A Little.  Interestingly I can think of a lot of books that really made me cry for their shocking death scenes, tragic circumstances, or agonizing subjects but I thought I would challenge myself to keep this about love stories.  Today I am featuring books whose romantic resolutions made me cry, cringe, or complain (though in many cases I wouldn't write them any other way!) Underlined titles link to my reviews.

1. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
If you've read this book, I needn't say anymore.  I think I also listed this one on my list of top ten jaw dropping endings but despite wanting to throw the book across the room when I finished I wouldn't end this one differently even if I could.

2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Before there was Team Edward or Team Jacob I think there was definitely a Team Laurie and Team Professor (why can't I ever recall his name?) even if they were never officially labeled as such or gained a rabid teen following.  I admit that after reading the book (and not just watching the movies) I was slightly swayed out of my Team Laurie fervor, but this still remains a love story pairing with which I never quite agreed.

3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I won't say that I specifically disliked the ending of this one, but there was certainly tearfulness in the way it played out.  Sometimes even though the couple I prefer ends up together, the surrounding circumstances leave even the correct match up bittersweet. 

4. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
This entire book is difficult to read with dry eyes, but the relationship between Alice and her husband is perhaps one of the most heartbreaking aspects of the work.

5. The Ghost King by R.A. Salvatore
I had to include a fantasy novel on here since it's a genre I'm passionate about and I also can't think of a more appropriate example of a novel that broke my heart than this one.  I won't say much since to do so would give spoilers, but I definitely finished this one in tears.  Lots of tears.

6. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
This one is an equal balance of love it and hate it of the love story within.  The relationship between Anne and Gilbert was so frustrating and though I appreciated the subtle nuances of how their feelings for each other were revealed to the reader, the situation that ultimately brought them out of animosity was a tearjerker.

7. Romancing Miss Bronte by Juliet Gael
There is plenty in this book to cause readers to reach for the tissues but the resolution of the primary love story really did break my heart.  I read this one not knowing a lot about the life of Charlotte Bronte so the end was a surprise to me which made it that much more devastating.

8. Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes
Part of my love for this book stems from spending a good two thirds of it as confused as the main character.  And I know that sounds crazy, but the impact of the story is amplified by the way Keyes unravels it.  Again, I won't say too much, but it more than earns its place on a list of heartbreaking books.

9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Okay, it's the obvious choice and the love story is one between young kids so it's never overly serious, but it's still powerful enough to rip your heart to shreds.

I'm going to stop at 9 and let the tenth be filled in by suggestions from others.  What's the most heartbreaking book you've ever read?  I'd love to hear your suggestions - or any of my choices that you agree or disagree with - in the comments below! For those new to the feature, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely bloggers of The Broke and The Bookish.  Check out their site for upcoming topics and to link up your own list and click here for previous Top Ten Tuesdays on Her Book Self.

7 Response to "Books to Not Read on Valentine's Day (Top Ten Tuesday)"

  1. Nea says:
    February 14, 2012 at 4:59 PM
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  2. Kate Scott says:
    February 14, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    I wouldn't mind reading Anne of Green Gables on Valentine's Day, but Mockingjay would be a horrible choice! That book was so depressing!

  3. Sam (Tiny Library) says:
    February 15, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    I always felt that Jo should have married Laurie, I remember being very disappointed when she turned his proposal down!

  4. Gilion at Rose City Reader says:
    February 15, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Great post. I think I am currently reading the most heartbreaking book I've ever read -- Half of a yellow Sun.

    I found your blog on Tiny Library's Literary Blog Directory and am so pleased that I did.

  5. Anonymous Says:
    February 16, 2012 at 5:10 AM

    My pick would be either Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay or The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

  6. Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic says:
    February 17, 2012 at 4:00 AM

    Lol I loved your twist on the traditional love list. I agree with you about most of the books you listed. But your entire list made me smile.

  7. lisa :) says:
    February 17, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    nea barabea - No offense, but I removed your comment just in case anyone reading this post has not yet read Mockingjay. You pinpointed why I found it so heartbreaking, but I don't want to spoil the plot twists for anyone encountering the series for the first time!

    Kate - As I mentioned, I do still love the story in Anne of Green Gables but I think the angst within the love story made it worthy of this list.

    Sam - Team Jo/Laurie remains strong!

    Rose City Reader - Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I will definitely be following your blog from now on!

    Man of la Book - Both excellent choices, but again I was trying to pinpoint books with romantic love stories that I found heartbreaking and/or bittersweet rather than just books that made me cry a lot. I suppose Sarah's Key could fit, but from the very start of that one I disliked the husband.

    Alexis - Thanks a bunch! And making people smile is a primary reason I run this blog in the first place!

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