Best of the Saddest Young Adult Books
Dear readers, having recently experienced some drama in my personal life – the sad kind – I felt inspired to make a list of the best of the saddest young adult books that I have read.
Let’s get to it!
10 – The Perks of Being a Wallflower
This book’s atmosphere in general made me sad. It’s an extremely beautifully-written story focusing on Charlie’s emotional responses to diverse situations and his overall thoughts about the world around him.
Now, this is the type of book that will make you both laugh and cry your heart out, if you’re emotionally linked to the characters. There’s a fatal theme to the book that makes it painful to think about it without shedding a tear. YET, it will bring a smile on your face at multiple times.
8 – If I Stay
Oh my. This small, heartbreaking book. It’s a short story, but such a powerful one. It’s sad because it’s intensely intense; therefore your eyes are probably going to stay red for the whole reading time. The movie did not have the same effect on me, but the book is a masterpiece.
7 – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Alright, so this book is heartbreaking… but in the good way. The main character is oblivious about a lot of things, especially love. When he discovers it, his whole world lightens and it’s splendid. You need this book in your life.
It’s hard for me to swallow when I think of this book. It starts out in such a light way that you have no idea it will eventually break your heart. But it will. I’m not going to say more, b/c that would be giving you the punch, but let me tell you that it won’t leave you emotionless!
5 – Hopeless
This was one of the first books I’ve read dealing with abuse. Many have followed afterwards because of my good experience with this one, but it’s a very hard book to read, and b/c of that, you might not even be able to finish it. It’s worth it though, if you think you won’t fall apart reading it. (PS. It’s technically ‘New Adult’ but it can be considered as YA as well. Bottom line: it’s debatable.)
4 – All the Rage
All the Rage made me mad and sad. It’s a book dealing with bullying and the author sugar-coats absolutely nothing. It’s raw and shocking and heart-shattering. The heroine, however, is a true hero. She deserves so much love from the reader. I absolutely loved this terrifying book.
3 – Talker
Oh my god. This was one of my first LGBT books that I’ve read and it put my world upside down. I didn’t know how to function after I finished it. I couldn’t do anything but stare at the wall and recount everything that happened. The plot is not the most original you’ve ever seen, but god it’s emotional.
2 – Little Peach
I feel like the more I go down this list, the more I sound like a broken record. Nonetheless, this book threatened to have my heart killed. No, really. It’s almost as short as a novella but hella powerful. The subject is very delicate – prostitution – so it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s such a memorable story though, and thought-provoking, too.
1 – Puddle Jumping
This is a short story as well and it deals with autism. Somehow, books with autism always make me cry. I can’t help but sympathize with autistic people and give them all of my attention, even in books. This is one of the most beautiful young adult romance stories I’ve read between a girl and an autistic boy. It’s just…sigh. You need it in your life.
Thank you for reading. Feel free to share your own ‘best of the saddest young adult’ titles.
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Hope things start looking up for you 😢
I hope you’re feeling better!!!!
I know that these books are FULL OF TEARS!! I have had my fair bunch of waking up with puffy eyes because crying due to these books.
Oh my god IF I STAY and MORE HAPPY THAN NOT – especially this one because this one did not make me happy. Is it weird that I find some trace of happiness in reading sad books? Sometimes you just need a good cry, you know?
I hope things will get better for you! Ari and Dante is one of my favorite contemporaries 🙂
I rarely cry but there’s a book called Three Meters Above Heaven that was originally written in Italian but I’m not sure if it was ever translated into English. That one made me cry so bad…
There is a movie and it is soooooo good, if you’ll have a chance check it out. It’s a Spanish movie.
Also, Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger makes me cry every time I read it.
And I read it a lot of times in my life.
I hope things will get better !
Perks is one of my favorite YA books ever. The end is sad—and shocking. I hope life starts getting easier for you!
I agree with all the ones on here that I’ve read and the rest I need to read. All the Rage, More Happy Than Not, and Puddle Jumping especially! Fantastic list!!
Ive read some of the ones one the list and I completely agree! great post.
Love Little Peach! I will read Aristotle, I think I have it. It’s giving me “The Alchemist” vibes
I don’t generally do well with sad books, especially about young people (like The Fault in Our Stars..major ouchies) but some of these look really good, and I wouldn’t have expected a couple of these to be sad based on their covers!
I totally get your inspiration with this list. I hope things get better for you! I can relate.
I loveeee this list. Perks Perks Perks. It seems like that’s been an under-the-radar book in YA or maybe just among the few people I’ve asked about it.
I agree with TFIOS, If I Stay, and More Happy Than Not. I didn’t think Aristotle & Dante was too sad, but I adored that book. I think Little Peach is a little hopeful, but it is still sad and dark. Very eye opening.
I haven’t read the others on your list though. Though I own Hopeless and All The Rage and have been really interested in Puddle Jumping.
Ooh, the saddest books for me? All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and Fans of The Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa.
And I have only read one there, Hopeless! I need to read more of them! happy reading!
I haven’t met many people who’ve read ‘Puddle Jumping’ and I love that you enjoyed it as much as me!
I am so sorry about the drama going on. Sometimes when I am feeling down, I love books that make me cry. They just make me feel so much more. I haven’t read some of these books, but I may have to. One of the most devastating books I have ever read was The Book Thief.
I have read numbers 10-8 so I guess I have to read the rest! 😀
I would love to add All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven in this list. ❤
How are you Lola! 🙂 I browsed through my old posts (like year-old posts) and saw that you are my first blogger book friend who I used to chitchat with. ❤ I missed you! 🙂