Okay, my zodiac sign is Cancer, and we get a bad rap as overemotional crybabies which is often NOT true for me… except when it comes to books. I have been known to break down a time or twenty when something devastating has happened to my favorite fictional characters. Non-readers don’t get it, and it’s a running joke in my family that I’m the weirdo that cries over things that didn’t even happen, but I don’t care! I love having a strong emotional connection to what I’m reading, and if it makes me weep like a little baby, then I know it’s a terrific book! If you’re looking for your new favorite ALL THE FEELS™ read, check out these sob-inducing suggestions.
When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family’s grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.
Suddenly, Evan isn’t invisible anymore—even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy’s parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he’s doing can’t be right, but if he’s helping people, how wrong can it be?
No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He’s confident. He’s a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.
A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.
Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.
Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.
Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.
Freshman year at Harvard was the most anticlimactic year of Danny’s life. She’s failing pre-med and drifting apart from her best friend. One by one, Danny is losing all the underpinnings of her identity. When she finds herself attracted to an older, edgy girl who she met in rehab for an eating disorder, she finally feels like she might be finding a new sense of self. But when tragedy strikes, her self-destructive tendencies come back to haunt her as she struggles to discover who that self really is. With a starkly memorable voice that’s at turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Love & Other Carnivorous Plants brilliantly captures the painful turning point between an adolescence that’s slipping away and the overwhelming uncertainty of the future.
George M. Johnson, activist and bestselling author of All Boys Aren’t Blue, returns with a striking memoir that celebrates Black boyhood and brotherhood in all its glory.
This is the vibrant story of George, Garrett, Rall, and Rasul—four children raised by Nanny, their fiercely devoted grandmother. The boys hold one another close through early brushes with racism, memorable experiences at the family barbershop, and first loves and losses. And with Nanny at their center, they are never broken.
George M. Johnson capture the unique experience of growing up as a Black boy in America, and their rich family stories—exploring themes of vulnerability, sacrifice, and culture—are interspersed with touching letters from the grandchildren to their beloved matriarch. By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, this personal account is destined to become a modern classic of emerging adulthood.
When Marvin Johnson’s twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.
The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it’s up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean.
Jonathan Hopkirk, a Walt Whitman fan, and Adam “Kurl” Kurlansky, a football player, are partnered in English class, writing letters to one another in a weekly pen pal assignment.
With each letter, the two begin to develop a friendship that eventually grows into love. But with homophobia, bullying, and familial strife, Jonathan and Kurl must struggle to hold onto their relationship—and each other.