Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Heartbreakers

Happy Valentine's Day everybody!  Instead of talking about love, though, today's Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is all about those books that took our hearts and broke them into a few pieces. 

1. Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger - This story about a pro baseball player who forms an unlikely friendship with a big-mouthed kid is one where you can see the heartbreak coming a million miles away and still be utterly shattered.

2. After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell - I'm always talking about this book so I'll just give you two words:  Ugly cry.

3. When We Were Romans by Matthew Kneale - This story has such a believable child narrator that it's heartbreaking watching his mother lose her marbles from his perspective.

4. Black & White by Dani Shapiro - A daughter becomes her photographer mother's muse and can't separate what should be a mother's love from being used to bolster her mother's career.  And then the mother falls ill and the daughter has to decide whether to revisit the past and repair the relationship.  There are a lot of really well done flashbacks and, yeah, a little heartbreak, too.

5. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson - The end of this book made me cry before anything that could be construed as entertainment could make me cry.  I can't talk about it because it's the end, but yeah, heartbreaking for sure!

6. A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs - It's heartbreaking how horrible Burroughs' father was to him, and heartbreaking how well he tells it in this book.  Also heartbreaking?  That there are plenty other kids who get more terror from their fathers than love.

7. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness - This book is like a minefield of heartbreak.  But the part with the dog, that's the worst kind of heartbreak.  If you've read it, you know what I'm talking about.

8. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein - For everyone that kind of believes their dog is more than just a dog, and that maybe they understand more than meets the eye, and for everyone who's ever lost a beloved family pet, your heart will be in a few pieces before the end of the first chapter.  Kind of in a good way, though.

9. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - My biggest frustration with this classic?  The heartbreak that comes from nothing ever going right for long for a family that you've been made to care for. 

10. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen - Teenage girl trapped in abusive relationship.  The whole dynamic of it is heartbreaking.

What books have caused you a little heartbreak?


  1. Bridge to Terebithia definitely would have made my list if I'd made a list for this topic...

  2. I've not read Bridge to Terabithia, but from watching the movie I know it would have made mine if I had. The others--I'm not familiar with. Thanks for the heads up :-)

  3. The Art of Racing In the Rain made my list too. A tearjerker, but such a good book!

  4. Bridge to Terabithia is on a few lists, I haven't read it, but the movie made me cry and I'm sure the book would make me ball


  5. I actually didn't like The Knife of Never Letting Go much, but that part with really was heartbreaking!

  6. The Art of Racing in the Rain for sure!

  7. Ditto on The Grapes of Wrath... and Knife of Never Letting Go. I'd forgotten about that one! So sad!

    P.S. I tagged you for a meme today. Hope that's okay! But feel free to ignore too!

  8. I really need to read After You'd Gone!

    Is Dani Shapiro's book fiction? I read one of her memoirs, Devotion, last year and thought it was great.