I’m A Cry Baby!

Sooo I’m doing Top Ten Tuesday on MONDAY this week because I have a special book review for a tour that’s scheduled for tomorrow and I really dislike when I post two good, content filled things on one day. I’m fine if it’s more of a promo-y thing or a giveaway with content but I hate putting two full of content posts up on one day. OVERLOAD for me for sure in getting it done and maybe even for you? Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Books  That Made Me Cry — I am definitely a crier! I cry over books, movies, tv shows, commercials….and it makes Will laugh sometimes. Lovingly of course. So I cry often while reading but these are the TOP OF THE TOP.  I’ve done this topic before (this topic was originally done November 2010 when Top Ten Tuesday was still new) so you can check out that post HERE (books like Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close & The Book Thief). So I’m going to refrain from listing those ones here.

 TT1TT2

TT3TT4
TT5

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler: Oh man. This was such a sweet book. Loved the father/daughter relationship and I loved the romance that was also in this one. But it definitely made me cry. Highly recommend!

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor (review to come)
: I was just reading this recently while babysitting and
pretty much I couldn’t stop crying at the end and I was like, “OMG these children cannot wake up from their nap because I cannot control myself right now.”

If I Stay by Gayle Forman (ALSO, WHERE SHE WENT): Between If I Stay and Where She Went Gayle Forman owns so many of my tears. So many parts in IIS (especially the headphones scene) and WWS = the bridge scene!

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: Interestingly I didn’t bawl the first time I read those threeeee little words. (KISS ME HARDY). I teared up but mostly I was just too stunned. But I bawl like a baby when I think of that book now.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson: This was so many straight pages of me bawling. Will made me STOP reading because I was doing that choking thing when you cry. There are few books (The Book Thief is the only one I can really think of) that have made me cry THIS hard. A lot had to do with how I could very much relate to this.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: SOB SOB SOB. God, this book. It takes a bit to get into this one but WHEWWWW…the payoff is worth it.

The Impossible Knife Of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson: I cried like a baby at the end of this one. I really loved this book!

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: Ending gutted me. So many feelings.

Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller: I was at the pool reading this and I was crying and had to submerge myself into the water to wash away the tears so nobody could tell I was crying!

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: I’m not saying anything about this but there was a part and I just burst into tears and curled up in the fetal position.

 

So tell me…what books have made you cry lately?? (Please tell me because basically I love books that make me cry/damage me/etc.) Any of the ones on my list?

Review of Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Book Title/Author: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Publisher/Year: : Little Brown Books For Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Series: No – standalone!
Other Books From AuthorFixing Delilah, Bittersweet & out in May 2013 — The Book of Broken Hearts

Amazon| Goodreads | Sarah Ockler’s Website

Every girl dreams of their first real romance. When Anna finally experiences this she is dying to tell her best friend Frankie. Only problem is that her new boyfriend is Frankie’s brother. A tragedy occurs before Anna and Matt can tell Frankie the truth and Anna keeps the truth hidden from everyone — especially Frankie. A year later, Anna is still holding on to her lost romance with Matt and Frankie decides that Anna is in need of a summer romance. Whilst on their summer vacation together at Zanzibar Bay, Frankie plots that for every day they are there (20) they will have a competition to see who can snag a new guy each day. Under the weight of her secret, Anna halfheartedly agrees to go along with the plan though conflicted with being true to her love for Matt.

I got interested in this book back when the whole Scroggins-was-a-douche-and-tried-to-ban-this-book-without-reading it drama llama happened. I procured a copy and so it has sat on my shelf like a lot of other books I really want to read. So this summer, as part of  my Read Backlisted Books Plan, I decided to read it. So take that Scroggins, your stupid little tirade made a lot more people interested in this book. SUCKER.

Seeing as though it was part of a banning debacle, I kept WAITING for something “bad”  or “edgy”. I was waiting. And I just didn’t really understand why this was being challenged at all. Ok, so teens drink sometimes (a pretty minimal part in this book)?? Shocking. And they sometimes have sex (SAFE SEX with a condom in this novel) and think they want to lose their V card? Really? And this is different from what teens are experiencing for real in their high schools? Different from things they are seeing on tv and the movies?  I don’t know. I’m not seeing why it’s so dirty and filthy.

I thought Twenty Boy Summer was so powerful — no light, fluffy beach reading here. That grief just gnaws at your heart throughout the book — just as you see it doing to Anna (and Frankie too obviously). The general grief and pain, Anna’s secret, the what could have beens, etc. just are written in such a way that you can’t help but feel an immense amount of sorrow. I felt the complete and utter devastation of love lost. You can feel Matt’s presence in her heart. Sarah Ockler doesn’t lose him in the novel. He’s not easily forgotten. I felt it to be very realistic portrayal of grieving and coping and trying to put back those pieces. This book was one of those where I could feel my eyes and nose starting to sting because the tears were a comin’ and I was trying to hold them back so much. It annihilated my heart. More quietly and over time than say If I Stay where I was in full out SOBBING mode. But still. Shredded. Minced. Diced. What have you. Sarah Ockler didn’t hold back on my heart. I’ll say I felt hopeful and a little bit of peace at the end but there is no reversal to this type of slaying. Certain books leave their mark like that on me.

Sarah Ockler’s writing was just perfect for me — right from the beginning as she hooked me with such a sweet, playful & innocent romance. My heart. She also nailed the setting for me. I had to look down at my pasty white skin to remind myself I was not actually enjoying their summer fun on the beach. I really connected with Anna right away and I could tell that behind the messy exterior of Frankie there was a really great character that I’d grow to love. You could just tell. She grieved her brother like my sister grieved my mom. A little more attention seeking and rebellious…and attention turned to boys. I also thought some of Frankie’s family interactions were written were just brilliant to be honest; though I was quite disappointed that they seemed SUPER oblivious to what was going on all summer. Grief is just this big ol’ elephant in the room and sometimes it decides to show itself in the strangest of ways, places and times. I could relate to it.  And the way the secret came out – HEARTWRENCHING.

 

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler is just one of those books that you easily get sucked into (the pain evoked experiencing a sweet love lost, the jump-off-the-pages variety of characters, the gorgeous setting, etc.) and find yourself come tumbling out of the pages hours later; bruised, tattered & with a heavy sense of something in your heart. Sarah doesn’t totally pulverize your heart as you see the beauty of friendship & family, hope,  and a new found appreciation for every day. It’s a good mix of heavy & uplifting. I do not understand AT ALL why this book was challenged. I expected something way more scandalous and promiscuous based on the title and then on the whole Wesley Scroggins thing. I will say that I’d be more likely to hand this to older teens as there is a little bit of drinking and sexual situations involved.

 

Young Adult Contemporary Novel Twenty Boy Summer

 

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, books from Jennifer Echols, Moonglass & In Honor by Jessi Kirby, books from Sarah Dessen

 

Did any of you read this book? Did you agree with Scroggins assessment of it? Tell me what you thought!

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I StayTitle/Author: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Publisher/Year: Speak (imprint of Penguin) 2009
Where I Got It: Borders–with the 40% off coupon!
Why I read it: It had been on my TBR list but after hanging out with Melanie and having her highly recommend it, I decided to bump it up.
Rating: 5 stars. I read it in 4 hours because I couldn’t will myself to put it down. Enough said.

Live can change in a moment–a single moment and everything that you once knew as your life has vanished and is replaced by a new reality. Mia, a high school senior and talented cellist, finds herself in one these moments and faces an impossible choice between leaving it all behind or forging a new life out of the pieces that are left behind. It’s either life or death. Literally.

WOW. I finished this book feeling a myriad of emotions. My boyfriend looked over to ask me how it was as he heard me close the book, in the signature way I do upon finishing a book, and saw me sitting there with tears streaming down my face. He started to ask about it and I just started mumbling incoherent things and slammed the book on the table and kept saying, “Wow. Just wow” and “I’m never going to freaking be able to wait until April to get my hands on the next book.” This book was pretty powerful for me.

I need to first point out that if you see the paperback copy of this book and notice that there is a blurb by USA Today saying “Will appeal to fans of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight”—make sure you ignore this. Apparently the person who wrote the blurb and I disagree immensely. Just saying. Yes, there is a romantic element to this book, but I did not see any sparkly vampires or Taylor Lautner-esque werewolves roaming the pages of this book. Aside from the romantic aspect, which is a part of many books, I could not really grasp that correlation. So please, I beg you to listen to ME and not USA Today. While we are on the topic of the romantic element, it is a sweet romance that isn’t annoying or over the top. I loved their relationship. It makes you love “love” and appreciate it in the rawest of moments.

If I Stay is emotionally gripping and will genuinely move you. I think that it is realistic nature of the tragedy that gets to you because we’ve all either experienced something similar or have seen it on the news. It’s one of those truly tragic stories that you know could happen to you–and that is frightening. I’m such a worrier and think about death too much anyways because of grief that I have experienced in my own life so this one hit me hard. Nobody wants to start thinking about losing loved ones but this book certainly elicits strong enough emotions to carry over into that kind of thinking. It felt authentic and real rather than contrived like the author was playing puppeteer to your heartstrings.

Gayle Forman wasted NO time in delivering the blow. It took me off guard like any tragedy does in real life–one moment life is just rolling on and BAM. When everything happened I said, outloud, “Well, SHIT.” I don’t know if I said it to my boyfriend or just to myself outloud but I couldn’t keep it in but from that moment until I finished this book four hours later, I felt completely invested in the life of Mia and her family. I felt like I was a part of this tragedy and being in Mia’s head was no easier. I kept asking myself what I would do. I couldn’t come up with a clear answer even having dealt with situations were I had to keep on trucking through life without someone.

I thought Forman did an excellent job balancing the present with memories from the past and learning more about her family, friends and Adam made it all the harder. I felt the weight and the importance of Mia’s decision. I love when an author makes me feel so connected to characters! This isn’t a book where things are happening over a span of time. It’s kind of slow-moving but this makes sense and I never found myself bored at all despite the fact that the present takes place in a span of 24 hours. I won’t say much about the ending but I’m going to cry, scream and kick to get my hands on an ARC of the next book so I don’t have to wait until April 2011. There is just no way I can do that.

My final thought: Gayle Forman has created an emotionally stirring novel that will leave you contemplating life, love and those moments that matter. There is much beauty alongside the sadness of loss and the complexity of grief; the glimmer of hope and beauty is what keeps you from having a complete mental breakdown while reading this book. It’s that real. If you are an emotional person like myself or have experienced loss, you’ll need to break out the box of tissues. Make sure it’s the extra soft kind.

Discussion: For those of you who have read it, what would you choose?

Grab a box of tissues–ten books that made me bawl like a baby!

This week over at my other blog, The Broke and the Bookish, we are talking about the top ten books that made us cry. It’s funny because I used to not be a person who cried during movies or books. Now, I find myself crying during books, commercials, tv (even reality tv..like when a certain Real World cast was saying bye to each other on the season finale lol) and movies. I am such a sentimental sap and I don’t know when the switch was turned on to let the waterworks come whenever they so desired.
Anyways, here are some books that moved me to tears for various reasons–personal connections, subject matter, etc.
1. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (aka the love my of life..apple of my eye..aside from my boyfriend) – This is one of my favorite books and it made me cry harder than most others. Oskar is such an amazing character and this book gave me “heavy boots” for a long time. I think I would be accurate in saying that I cried for a good portion of the end of the book.
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak– Ok, this book literally had me doing that I was making that funny crying noise where you can’t really breathe that kind of sounds like hiccups but it’s not. I was close to wailing I think. I stayed up and read this book until I finished it a 4am and I went through almost a whole roll of toilet paper and my nose was as red as Rudolph the next day and my eyes were reminiscent of the kids who were always high as a kite in high school. Freaking so SAD (yet beautiful at the same time) this book is..but I don’t want to give an ounce of it away.
3. Night by Elie Wiesel — I was reading this one a plane which was not one of my brighter moments. I mean, who does that, really. Reading something written about the Holocaust BY A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR on a plane is just, in general, not a good idea. You need to read something like that by yourself in a quiet room so it receives the respect it deserves and you can let your emotions figure themselves out. I was trying my hardest not to start bawling while trying to not let myself my foot get run over by the cart and trying not to punch the annoying lady sitting next to me who had to use the bathroom every 2 seconds. Needless to say, this was a gut-wrenching read that haunts me still and is a chilling reminder of what hate and indifference breeds.
4. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - I don’t want to spoil this for people who haven’t read this but there were a few parts that made me cry. If I say anything, I think it ruins it. However, there was one scene that I can mention without spoiling, that made me cry. It’s just a tiny paragraph and it’s in the morning and he gets up and turns the tv on and watches as the events of September 11 unfold. It just made me so sad at the thought of knowing something like that was going to happen and knowing there is nothing you can do about it. It made a huge impact on me for some reason.
5. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson – I’ve never gone through what this main character went through in this book but it tore me to pieces knowing that others have. The story of this girl was authentic and I hated knowing that other people out there felt like they didn’t have a voice, that they had to live with something like that, with fear and guilt.
6. A Grief Observed by CS Lewis — This books is basically CS Lewis’ journal when he lost his wife. I received this from a good friend when my mom passed away and I was instructed to read this when I felt like I could handle thinking about things. I think I read it too soon but either way the two times I read it I got something new out of it. I felt deeply in some way. It felt nice to read the words of someone who had gone what I had gone through and to know that I wasn’t crazy in what I was feeling. There is nothing more amazing than to know that in that moment. I cried tears of joy and sadness but mostly of grief. I needed to, I think, because I was hellbent on not letting it out any other way.
7. Love is A Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield — Another favorite book and this one hit close to home. I think it impacted me the most on a personal level; aside from the CS Lewis book I mentioned.  Sheffield bear his soul and his memories through one of my favorite things–music– a shared passion between my mother and I. I think of my mother when I think of a lot of music that she blared as we rode top down in that red Firebird convertible. I live in those moments of Meatloaf, Journey and Creedence Clearwater Revival sometimes.
8. History of Love by Nicole Krauss — What a moving work of fiction! That’s all I’m going to say about that. You need to read this little gem for yourself.
9. A Child Called It by David Pelzer – I read this in high school and it was the only book, at that point in time, that made me cry. This was hard to endure and I only stuck it out because I felt like if he could endure what he did in his childhood, then I could read it. Also, it was for a school project, but that isn’t important. This book still haunts me and makes me want to do terrible things to people that abuse their children like that. I feel remiss even calling it abuse–it was honestly torture.
10.  The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath — I read this during my senior year in high school– a time when I had temporarily moved out of my house and had found out that my mother had brain cancer. This book mirrored some of darkest feelings and I think it made me cry because I didn’t feel alone but it also made me cry for the people who felt way worse than I did. I knew I would get through it and I felt deeply for people who could just never see that light at the end of that dark, depressing tunnel. This was one of those books that found me when I needed it for whatever reason.
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