We all know those books. The ones that coax the tears out of your eyes, despite your best efforts to hold them in. Most of the time, these are also some of the most hopeful books out there. Well, we have a lot of those this year. Here are five favorites that have already been released! 🙂
We Are Okay
You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…
Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.
Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.
Nina LaCour’s newest is deceptively small–but it is packed with so much emotion that you forget it’s only 230-ish pages, because you feel like you’ve been caring about Marin your entire life. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with a Nina book, because even the saddest moments are complimented by a hope about the future.
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
The first day of senior year:
Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.
Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?
I convinced myself through the first 100 pages of the book that I wasn’t going to cry. And then I finished the rest of the book, and I cried. This is one of those fantastic friendship stories that you just want to insert yourself in the friend group and hug all of them.
History is All You Left Me
When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.
To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.
If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life
Shocker, I know. Friends, I love More Happy Than Not. I love it so much. History blew it out of the water for me. Holy crap this book is incredible, and like We Are Okay, you still leave the pages feeling like there is hope for the future.
Fire Color One
A father and daughter reconnect after a life spent apart to find their mutual love of art isn’t the only thing they share.
Sixteen-year-old Iris itches constantly for the strike of a match. But when she’s caught setting one too many fires, she’s whisked away to London before she can get arrested—at least that’s the story her mother tells. Mounting debt actually drove them out of LA, and it’s greed that brings them to a home Iris doesn’t recognize, where her millionaire father—a man she’s never met—lives. Though not for much longer.
Iris’s father is dying, and her mother is determined to claim his life’s fortune, including his priceless art collection. Forced to live with him as part of an exploitive scheme, Iris soon realizes her father is far different than the man she’s been schooled to hate, and everything she thought she knew—about her father and herself—is suddenly unclear. There may be hidden beauty in Iris’s uncertain past, and future, if only she can see beyond the flames.
Okay I shouldn’t have even gotten emotional at this one because you find out on the first page what happens in the end. But I was still so upset, which is the mark of a good book. This one had a under-the-radar release back in January, and I just absolutely loved it.
Can a text message destroy your life?
Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, there could be a criminal investigation into the deaths.
Then Blake’s grandmother asks Carver to remember her grandson with a ‘goodbye day’ together. Carver has his misgivings, but he starts to help the families of his lost friends grieve with their own memorial days, along with Eli’s bereaved girlfriend Jesmyn. But not everyone is willing to forgive. Carver’s own despair and guilt threatens to pull him under into panic and anxiety as he faces punishment for his terrible mistake. Can the goodbye days really help?
*glares at Jeff Zentner for making me cry (again)*
Look, Jeff is an incredible writer. His books are the epitome of cry-fi–they create tears but good tears, and once again there is a force of hope.
What are some of your favorite cry-fi novels? Have you read any of these?