I avoid books guaranteed to upset me or make me cry. Even when I need a cathartic weep, I just can't do it. I've collected tears in my eyes with many a book (the last one was Jane Green's The Accidental Husband), although I've never actually sobbed and sobbed. Film and TV is another story, however; I'll bawl my eyes out. The written word is incredibly powerful and I find reading certain situations just too upsetting. The words linger in my mind for days whereas, with film and TV, I'll watch, weep, then move on.
Step up then my Novelicious colleagues. For, it appears, one or two of them have cried a lot while reading. And when I say a lot, I mean big racking sobs. Often in public places.
While their bouts of tearfulness and gulping blubs have caused some embarrassment (one of the team can never take the number 32 bus from Golders Green to London Victoria again), they all maintain a good cry over a well-written novel can be incredibly good for the soul.
The books that have made them cry the most? Here are their picks:
1. The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman – Due out at the end of January, Kelly, our Novelicious reviewer, has already read it and confirmed it broke her heart. Several times over in fact. Claire and Greg are a normal couple in love. Then it becomes apparent that something isn't right. Claire has an illness – her memory is beginning to fade. Heartbreaking times are ahead. Keep your eyes peeled for Kelly's review, coming soon.
2. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne – Our Kerry cried buckets after reading this. Actual buckets. Bruno is a nine year old German boy and knows nothing about the cruelties that are going on in the rest of Europe at the hands of his country. All he knows is, he has had to move from a nice house in Berlin to a house in a desolate area. Then he meets Shmuel, a boy who wears striped pyjamas and lives on the other side of the fence.
3. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – This made Debs cry for simply ages. Lou likes to play it safe. She still lives with her parents and other members of her family on a council estate. Will is the opposite. He aims high, is athletic and travels the world. Then he's involved in an accident. And along comes Lou, freshly redundant, to become his carer.
4. This is How It Ends by Kathleen MacMahon – Cressida describes this as 'the weepy to end all weepies', and was a total wreck after she'd read it. The official reviews on Amazon give you an idea of what this book will do to you. A 'weeping mess', 'I was a wreck' and 'emotional rolercoaster' are just some of the phrases used. This is about 38 year old Addie and 50 year old Bruno, and what happens when their worlds collide.
What books have made you cry the most? Have you ever found yourself in floods of tears in a public place, as you frantically turn the pages of a book?