Today, I’m pretty sure Shanah @ Bionic Bookworm is asking which books emotionally DESTROYED ME, and honestly? I’m happy to share. Here’s the top five books that have wrecked me (but also made me enjoy every second of it)!
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
If I think too hard about it, I’ll cry.
This book is one of the first I can remember that really had a major emotional impact on me, and even today, I can’t keep it together when I read the part about the crashed airplane and the teddy bear. It absolutely destroys me, without fail, but it’s so good all the same. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve reread it at this point, but I know for sure I sob every time.
A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab
This book had all the range of emotion a series finale should, and it’s still on my mind, nearly three and a half months after finishing it (in one sitting, mind you). It had its highs and lows, it made me cry, and it ended on such a hopeful note that I felt like everything was going to be okay, even if I was a little exhausted from the ride. An emotional roller coaster for me, but easily one of the best books I’ve ever read in my entire life.
Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray
While I love the first two books in the Diviners series, it was the third one that got to me. It gets deeper into my favorite character’s past, which was of course a major investment for me, and the stakes rocket right out through the roof in ways I wasn’t prepared for. There were tears shed. Panic was felt. And if the tension has left me, someone should really let me know, because I feel like it’s not done hanging around. Before the Devil Breaks You was intense as anything, and I’m still reeling in the best of ways.
The Archived by Victoria Schwab (yes, that’s VE)
Oof. This one felt rather personal, because the main character has recently lost her younger brother, which has made a hell of a hole in her family’s lives. As the oldest of three, I couldn’t help but getting deeply emotionally invested in this book, and I still need to get my hands on the next one (and then cry some more because the series is likely to remain unfinished). It just felt so personal, and thanks to my anxiety (tbh no thanks at all), I spent a lot of time worrying about my younger siblings after reading this. It was emotionally draining for sure, but a good read nonetheless, and one I’ll probably go back to once I feel like I can steel myself for what’s inside.
Storm Siren by Mary Weber
Okay, I’ll give you ONE book that was emotionally draining and not for good reasons. When I read Storm Siren this summer, I wanted to bang my head against the wall until maybe the story started to be better, which did not happen. I was SO FRUSTRATED with how dull it was, and by the time it started leaning heavy on the mentor-student romance, I wanted to hurl it across the room. Honestly, I should have DNFed it, but I was hoping against hope it would get better, and that the storm magic would be interesting, and the characters would be anything more than whiny and self-centered.
WASTED HOPE, AND ALL MY EMOTIONS SPENT ON ANGER.
Not a good feeling. Anger is not fun for the length of a book. Would not recommend WHATSOEVER. Which is why I gave this one star and didn’t even bother to write a full review. I think I have better things to do with my time. Much better things. Like read the other four books on this list!
What have been the most emotionally exhausting books for you to read? Is that a good thing for you? Bad thing? Tell me all about it, and give Shanah’s challenge a go!