Let’s be real—sometimes, even if everything seems like it’s going fairly well in your life, you just need a good cry. We all do! It’s natural to want to let your emotions out, to feel your feelings and that sweet release a good cry can bring. And sometimes reading an evocative, beautiful YA story can help those tears along. What book should you read next if you’re in the mood for a story that will make you cry? No need to stress about it! We’ve rounded up a list of seven YA books guaranteed to make at least one, solitary tear run down your cheek. Read on for our sob-inducing recommendations! If you’re a mood reader, you know there are times when you crave the kind of book that propels you into a full-on, deeply cathartic ugly cry. Check out this list of books to read when you need a good cry that left us in a puddle of tears. We’re not crying! You’re crying!
Coming Up for Air by Nicole B. Tyndall
This YA novel touches on addiction and loss, and is perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and those who love coming-of-age stories. How can you persevere when things fall apart? That’s the question at the core of Coming Up for Air, and it’s bound to provoke a tear or two as you read.
Donuts and Other Proclamations of Love by Jared Reck
This YA novel is all about first love, dreams for the future, and grief, and it’s sure to both make you smile and cry. It’s also a good reminder that the future isn’t promised, so we need to make the most of the time we have with our loved ones.
Fierce as the Wind by Tara Wilson Redd
This YA novel is both heartbreaking and hopeful. It tells the story of Miho, who, after a crushing breakup, decides to train for a triathlon. With the support of her family and friends, Miho will dig deep to overcome obstacles and heartbreak to work toward her goal.
In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner
Jeff Zentner returns to Appalachia in his latest YA novel, a story about love, grief, and family—both the kind you’re born into and the kind you find on your own. As with all of Zentner’s novels, this one will tug at your heartstrings for sure.
Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
If you can make it through this book without crying, we’ll be impressed. It’s practically guaranteed to make your heart swell and your tear ducts well up! Run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookstore or library or ebook retailer to pick up bestselling author Nicola Yoon’s latest YA novel.
Last Witnesses by Svetlana Alexievich
This one, adapted for young adults from its adult edition, is a nonfiction book about Russian children who were taken from their families during World War II. Many of them were never reunited. It’s harrowing, riveting, and often sad, but it’s also a reminder of the resilience of the human spirit.
You’d Be Home Now by Kathleen Glasgow
Bestselling author Kathleen Glasgow’s latest is as heart-wrenching as her previous YA novels. You’d Be Home Now is a story of addiction, a small town, and figuring out who you really are and how to cope with all of life’s pain and beauty. If you’re looking for books to read when you need a good cry, put this one on your TBR immediately!
What are your recs for books to read when you need a good cry? Let us know in the comments or on social media at @getunderlined!