Jun 23 2011 12:17pm

Ugly Cries: When Authors Bring the Sob-worthy Goodness

Tissues by IChrisI via Flickr**SPOILER ALERTS LIKE WHOA!**

I started out thinking this post would be a Delicious Despair post; then it morphed into “damn it, that author made me ugly cry!”

Be warned, this post is going to bring up sad memories, and snot-nosed cries *hands out Kleenex* and if you haven’t read any of the series we are about to talk about, step away, read the book, then come back to me.

Kim Harrison was the first author to make me cry. I don’t even mean a few tears; I mean full-out heaving sobs of despair.  My heart broke in a million pieces and I would have yelled at her, had she been in my vicinity. Why did she make me cry, you ask? Just go read For a Few Demons More. She even had arm-bands made to mourn the loss of this character!

The death of a character is something that always hurts, but this totally came out of left field. Same goes for Rachel Vincent’s Shifter series, full on sobs came out of my body when she killed off a character. I couldn’t believe it! The characters dealing with the aftermath of the death just about did me in, totally not something to be reading when you are an emotional PMS nightmare.

I polled our other bloggers for their favorite ugly cries:

Tori already told us about her sob-worthy scene.

Amanda Collins: The Book of Scandal by Julia London: the hero and heroine are married, but have been living separate lives because they each handled the death of their toddler son in different ways. It totally WRECKED me.

Also, Toni Blake’s One Reckless Summer: the hero, Mick, is caring for his dying brother and when he finally dies, it’s awful to see how much it hurts Mick.

Janice Rholetter: Linda Howard’s Cry No More, hands down, is the romance that caused me to weep most. I can’t say much without spoilers. Milla Edge’s infant son, Justin, is abducted, literally torn from her arms. A decade later, her sole mission is  finding Justin and helping others find their lost. The ending is so wrenching that I get emotional just thinking about it. It wasn’t a keeper for me because I knew I could never bear to read it again.

Charli Mac: Diana Gabaldon’s The Outlander. These are two quotes from Jamie to Claire.

Here Jamie explains how he felt before Claire almost left...forever.

“I prayed all the way up that hill yesterday,” he said softly. “Not for you to stay; I didna think that would be right. I prayed I’d be strong enough to send ye away.” He shook his head, still gazing up the hill, a faraway look in his eyes. “I said ’Lord, if I’ve never had courage in my life before, let me have it now. Let me be brave enough not to fall on my knees and beg her to stay.’” He pulled his eyes away from the cottage and smiled briefly at me. “Hardest thing I ever did, Sassenach.”

Here Jamie talks about the choice to be tortured and raped in place of Claire. Yup, he was tortured and raped.  

“I can bear pain myself,“ he said softly, ”but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have.”

So now I ask you all, what books have made you do the ugly cry? And does someone have some Kleenex handy?


Natasha Carty reviews Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy on her website Wicked Little Pixie and lives in Toronto, Canada, with her cat, Seamus.

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Carmen Pinzon
1. bungluna
"Cry no More" is the one book that I just couldn't bear to re-read. I felt such pain and rage about the whole situation, I almost tore it appart into little bits. It's the most cry-ugly-worthy book I've ever read, bar none.
Jen at Red Hot Books
2. Jen at Red Hot Books
As soon as I saw this title, the first thing I thought of was For a Few Demons More. I cried for an hour after it was over and I still felt gutted, days later. I didn't even want to read the next book. (Of course, I did eventually. --Then I ended up crying at almost every single Rachel Morgan book that followed.) No book has ever made me cry like that before, or since. Thank God.
Natasha Carty
3. WickedLilPixie
@Bungluna - I haven't read that and now I'm afraid! @Jen - Same! I can't even look at the book in my bookshelf without having flashbacks!
Jen at Red Hot Books
4. wrytersblock
Both of my ugly cries (that I recall) occurred outside of the romance realm: first was Jodi Picoult's "My Sister's Keeper," which had me nearly incapacitated, I was crying so hard. Most recently, I cried at the end of the young adult book, "So You Want To Be A Wizard," by Diane Duane. The ending completely shocked me, and was so gorgeous and moving, that I wept and had to struggle to read through my tears.
Carrie Strickler
5. DyslexicSquirrel
The first book that ever made me full-out ugly cry was P.S. I Love You. I wept through so much of that book I'm not even sure how I got through it. And then a few years later I read it again calling my self all kinds of an idiot. It made me cry just as much the second time.

Other than that, the only books I can think of that made me sob were Immortal Highlander (in the second half of the book) and Unholy Magic, more so with UM because I thought they were going to kill off that particular character and even after they didn't, I cried because I was in shock from the scare and also out of relief that he didn't die! I was a pathetic mess all day. I cried myself to sleep.
Jen at Red Hot Books
6. JacquiC
I just read Barbara Samuel's No Place Like Home where the heroine goes back to her small hometown to live and nurse her best friend (a gay guy) through the last stages of AIDS. GOD. So sad.
Natasha Carty
7. WickedLilPixie
@wryters block - My Sister's Keeper made me so mad at the end, I couldn't cry lol @DS - Loved that book so much (P.S) @JacquiC- Oh I would be a mess reading that!
Jen at Red Hot Books
8. DiDi
The Wreck by Marie Force and The Reluctant Dom by Tymber Dalter (BDSM, Menage) are two that had me in ugly tears.
Megan Frampton
9. MFrampton
I know it's not a traditional romance, but The Time Traveler's Wife made me sobby.
Sandi Logsted
10. sandlog
Oh god yes, The Reluctant Dom just the relationship between two men who have been friends their entire lives. The last third was just crying, only to calm down and start crying again.
Natasha Carty
11. WickedLilPixie
@ DiDi - Why? I wanna know why?! LOL - N @Megan - I haven't read it!! @ Sandlog- Ohh thank you! I wanted to know why a BDSM was a tear jerker! lol
Jen at Red Hot Books
12. Mrs. Petrie
The Thorn Birds: super ugly crying! I read it as a teenager, so maybe I was under the influence of major horomones.
Jen at Red Hot Books
13. LindaR
Broken by Megan Hart. OMG. For days afterward I couldn't even start thinking about it without tearing up.
Jen at Red Hot Books
14. bch238
The first book that comes to mind is Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I'd waited years for Ash's story, getting hints along the way that he'd had a really rough childhood. 'Rough' doesn't begin to describe the something like 300 pages of unthinkable abuse he suffered over and over again. I was in tears for hundreds of pages! And in the second half of the book when he is on the way to HEA, when he was able to open himself up and share his story Tori in such small bits and pieces made me cry even more!
Jen at Red Hot Books
15. Lucky4
Gena Showalter's - The Darkest Passion comes to mind...Aeron's story. I just read it last summer so that's my most recent one. Tear-jerker!

Oh, and Marley and Me and Last Song.
Sandi Logsted
16. sandlog
@Mrs. Petrie -- Totally agree with you on Thorn Birds, didn't read it until 80 or 81 when I was finishing high school. At the time thought it the most romantic book EVER. @bch 238 -- Acheron was such a hard read for me, I had to keep skipping ahead to the present day, because his past was too hard to take in one big swallow.
Jen at Red Hot Books
17. Cye
Susan Carroll's The Night Drifter I had to put down and collect myself, weeping pretty loudly into a nearby towel! Me too MFramton, The Time Traveler's Wife was a sad one for me and finally Lover Revealed, when Vishous was dealing with the aftermath and possible death of Butch. Totally freaked out my husband with the way I was blubbering!
Jen at Red Hot Books
18. Anette
Eloisa James' - Potent Pleasures

Sherrilyn Kenyon - Acheron.

No need to say more.
It shredded me from the inside both of them.
I read Acheron on a holiday on a Greek island (very appropriate for the book if you think about it) - but it nearly undid me, and I had to sit there amongst all the German sausages on the beach and look like I wasn't going to cry any minute for Acheron's sake. 300 years of abuse, torture and even .. oh no, can't say it. So I'll just stop here.
Jen at Red Hot Books
19. Shelly E
Acheron was a sad story, but Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn made me bawl!! When Julian went back into the book I thought I would never stop the tears!!
Anne Waxlax
20. AnnieW
My three biggest "ugly tears" moments weren't from romance novels. They were Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, Roadkill by Rob Thurman (just thinking about it can still make me tear up) and of all things, the scifi, Blood Music by Greg Bear. The last I first listened to as an audiobook, before buying the book to reread. I had to pullover and stop driving, I was so shook up at one scene. Kim Harrison's book had already been spoiled for me, so as sad as it was, I was prepped.
Jen at Red Hot Books
21. BevQB
My first ugly-cry, the book that made me realize how powerful the written word could be was LITTLE WOMEN. I can pretty much recite Beth's death scene in my head to this day. . As for latter day books, there's been quite a few that made me cry- from many of Bertrice Small's books (ah Niall, ah Adam, how I miss ye) to the death of our beautiful boy in FOR A FEW DEMONS MORE. . However, I have never and undoubtedly will never be able to re-read CRY NO MORE. I sobbed- out loud- and was absolutely emotionally devastated. Egads, I tear up even thinking about the last few chapters. When people ask for recs for men and/or non-romance reading women, CRY NO MORE is the one I rec because you'd have to be a stone not be emotionally affected by that book!
Jen at Red Hot Books
22. LadyM
Lover Mine by J.R. Ward You feel the characters pain. In the beginning and during a "shattering" scene.
Jen at Red Hot Books
23. Marci
I couldn't keep reading Acheron--I had to skip to the second part and then come back to read about his early life. There have been many heartbreaking moments in J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I've been watching the trainwreck of Blay and Quinn for several books and hope they'll eventually have some kind of HEA, but no one seems to come out completely unscathed in her books. Also, I was so heartbroken after For A Few Demons More that I read the next book to find out what happened, but haven't recovered enough yet to read the later ones.
Jen at Red Hot Books
24. 392OhMyGoodness

I'm new to commenting, so please bare with me. "P.S. I Love You" just tore me up, the movie and the book. I found myself sniffling and sobbing out the main characters late husband's name. Then I read young adult story by Elzabeth Chandler, "Kissed by An Angel." I just picked it up and thought it was an interesting plot line... had I known I would get a case of the ugly cries I would never have bought it. Reading that story while listening to Kelly Clarkson's song 'Already Gone' just did me in. I had kleenex all over my bedroom floor.

Tiffani Sanders
25. Sanders
The Outlander is the only book that has made me cry so hard that I couldn't see the pages. Jamie made me fall in love with him over and over again. The events that occured just tore me apart. No amount of tissues helped me, my waste basket was full by the end. There are other books that have made me cry, but nothing comes close to what I shed for Jamie. I have yet to read the rest of the series, so I wonder what my opinion will be once I get that far.
Yvonne Sandidge
26. yvonnesschool
I agree with those of you who mentioned Linda Howard's "Cry No More" I read that book only once, when my first child was about 5 months old. Needless to say, I was a mess throughout that book but I just had to finish it. I remember holding my baby and crying. I'm teary-eyed just remembering that moment. It's been quite a few years and two more children later, it's still on my bookshelf. I don't know if I'll ever be able to read it again.
Jen at Red Hot Books
27. joleen L
The book that if I just pick up & even glance at the epilogue to start to cry is Julia London's "The Secret Lover." I really only need to start reading it & I tear up & IT'S NOT PRETTY!!! Also, alot of Nalini Singh's Psy-changelings series. Vision of Heat, Blaze of Memoirs, Bonds of Justice & even her newest Kiss of Snow. I LOVE THESE BOOKS, BUT have you noticed how many of her lead HEA are all going to die because of their psy ability? & there's no known way to save them?
Jen at Red Hot Books
28. Vicky CK
I have to agree with several already posted. From Little Women when younger, Outlander years ago, all the way to Time Traveler's Wife (great book but not sure if ever want to read it again after that ending). But one recent read not mentioned yet that had me really crying was Forever Freed by Laura Kaye. What I really loved about that is that I got into the emotional part of it, really cryed, was unsure how things would work out even if I was reading a HEA story, yet everything works out in the end. I like when I get involved in my reading, it pulls me out of life for a while. And a good cry can be "cleansing", but I don't like loosing a good character to achive that cry and I still want my happy ending. Impossible tasks I keep setting for authors...
Jen at Red Hot Books
29. rdsangel127117
I was just a mess after reading Part One of Acheron. There were times while reading it that I didn't think I could make it through it. I cried and agonized so much. I literally dragged myself through it and finished. By that time I was emotionally and physically drained. Just thinking about it gives me shivers. I've re-read the second part of the book, but I just cannot bring myself to even attempt to read part one again any time soon. It was just too heartwrenching.
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