There is nothing I love more than a book that will bring on the ugly tears. You know the kind, the ones that you can’t stop (and don’t even try to because you know it’s futile) from pouring from your eyes and soaking your face, clothes and most probably your book too!
(Don’t you just want to give him a hug?)
My non-bookish friends always find it really strange that I like books that make me cry. They are always asking me questions like:
“Why do you want a book that is going to upset you? Isn’t reading meant to be fun?”
Well yes…but also no.
Reading is meant to be enjoyable, but that doesn’t meant that you should spend the entire time you are reading with a massive grin on your face.
(I love a good Arnie smile!)
Books are meant to MAKE YOU FEEL something. Books give you characters and a story to invest your self in and that you will route for. A book is meant to make you smile, laugh, snort and swoon but it’s also meant to make you frustrated, angry, devastated and heartbroken, because all of these things mean that you are FEELING something. And that is what reading is all about.
(I couldn’t NOT include this gif in my post. I love this scene in Mean Girls!)
I’m not really into humor novels, I don’t read crime or erotica or science fiction. But what I do love to read are books with characters who are broken in some way. Characters who find themselves in the worst place possible (whether literally, physically or mentally) and have to find the strength to pull themselves out.
Characters who are grieving the death of a family/friend, characters with illness’ or disabilities, characters who have been attached or abused, characters who are dealing with the repercussions of a bad childhood, characters who have lost the person they love whether through death or a break up.
All of these things sound pretty depressing, and none of them sound like they are going to make an enjoyable story. But you would be wrong, because these are the characters who are going to make you feel the most.
These are the characters that you will cry with and you will route for and when things go wrong for them you will be angry for them and throw your book across the room (and then cry because you hurt your book).
You will stick with these characters right until the end, through anything. And if the worst should happened and they don’t make it to the end of the book then you will ugly cry and sob and grieve for this character you loved so so much. But you will also be inspired by the incredible life that that character lived and the strength they showed through the dark times and you will leave the book with this deep sense of acceptance because you realise that this is how life goes sometimes.
Or you could read a book with a happily ever after. Your character survives, or they get back together with their love or they simply find their way out of the darkness that they started in and you are left feeling thankful for how beautiful life can be and inspired to do more with your own.
All of these you could feel in just 300 pages.
I read a similar post by Cait @ Paper Fury a little while ago and had to quote her in my post because she really does perfect it with the following statement…
“can we take a second to point out that A COUPLE OF DEAD TREES GLUED TOGETHER WITH BLACK AND WHITE SCRIBBLES ON THEM ARE GIVING US FEELINGS???? Because that’s amazing. And really weird, when put that way…”
So, on a final note I want to say BIG THANKS to all the amazing authors who have torn my heart to pieces, made me ugly cry in public, caused mascara streaks down my face, made me suffer through book hangovers and basically just caused me to be heartbroken and beautifully inspired over and over again.
“So if people ever look down upon you for crying for fictional characters, you should give them a gentle pitying look and feel bad for them. If they’ve never cried for a character, then they’ve never loved one (and what a joy that is). If they’ve never cried a a book, a movie, a piece of music, then they’ve missed one of the great please life has to offer. Just because fiction does not contain things that are real doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain truth, and we find truth through the alchemy of our tears” – Cassandra Clare
So thank you! Because you made me feel, and I love you all for it!