books The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written  

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List Rules Vote up any good, very sad tearjerker books that make you cry.

This list is about the most heartbreaking novels ever written; it answers the question, “What are the saddest books of all time?” If you’ve ever read one of these tear-jerkers, you know that these sad stories will tug on your heart strings in a way that no other novel can.  The best sad stories like this will warm even the coldest of hearts! We’ve all felt the pain of loss, the agony of heartbreak and the joy of falling in love: we all relate to sad stories. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter provides us with a sense of empathy for an underdog, a woman that is forced to wear her sins on her sleeve for the world to see. Natalie Babbit’s Tuck Everlasting pulls on that secret place deep down in each of us that longs for love to never end, but teaches us that what seems like a blessing to us now may be a curse in the future. Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha shows us how life can be in another part of the world, moving us from our self-centered perspectives about life into a compassion for those less fortunate. These stories mold us into who we are and show us where we came from. Most importantly, these novels teach us that we’re not as different as we may think.
list ordered by

1
390 102
Where the Red Fern Grows is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

2
309 93
Flowers for Algernon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
carlybobarly added Flowers for Algernon Daniel Keyes

3
301 103
Bridge to Terabithia is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Bridge to Terabithia Donna Diamond, Katherine Paterson

4
329 83
Old Yeller is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Old Yeller Fred Gipson

5
349 97
Charlotte's Web is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Charlotte's Web E. B. White

6
408 97
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck

7
246 62
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
but chickens double d added The Outsiders S. E. Hinton

8
375 104
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

9
153 41
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
stubb added Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

10
250 67
Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Les Misérables Victor Hugo

11
248 72
A Child Called
A Child Called "It" Dave Pelzer

12
374 168
The Fault in Our Stars is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

13
300 83
The Book Thief is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Book Thief Markus Zusak

14
226 86
The Kite Runner is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini

The Best Novels Ever Written

15
211 79
My Sister's Keeper is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
My Sister's Keeper Jodi Picoult

16
299 133
Harry Potter and the Deathly H... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

17
147 48
Wuthering Heights is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
slaft added Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

18
110 57
Atonement is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Garvin added Atonement Ian McEwan

19
190 81
A Walk to Remember is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
A Walk to Remember Nicholas Sparks

20
201 90
The Giver is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Giver Lois Lowry

21
179 57
Black Beauty is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Black Beauty Anna Sewell

The Best Current Procedural Dramas

22
155 71
The Help is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
CourtneyRoseSampson added The Help Kathryn Stockett

23
138 60
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Brave New World Aldous Huxley

24
103 36
The Little Prince is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
punksnotdead added The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

25
108 40
Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
slaft added Great Expectations Charles Dickens

26
164 58
A Tale of Two Cities is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens

27
200 84
The Lovely Bones is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold

28
186 77
Marley & Me: Life and Love wit... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

20 Books to Read in Your 20s

29
120 61
Island of the Blue Dolphins is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

30
91 40
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
rachel hatton added Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë

31
88 21
The Velveteen Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Velveteen Rabbit Margery Williams

32
118 67
Never Let Me Go is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro

33
84 21
Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Hamlet William Shakespeare

34
141 86
Mockingjay is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
but chickens double d added Mockingjay Suzanne Collins

35
111 62
A Thousand Splendid Suns is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
BethSmoothMoveRothwell added A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini

The Best Female Characters in Literature

36
63 36
Uncle Tom's Cabin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
slaft added Uncle Tom's Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe

37
134 58
Anna Karenina is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy

38
91 30
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Animal Farm George Orwell

39
77 39
The Phantom of the Opera is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
slaft added The Phantom of the Opera Gaston Leroux

40
94 33
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

41
129 61
The Time Traveler's Wife is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Time Traveler's Wife Audrey Niffenegger

42
79 44
For Whom the Bell Tolls is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
For Whom the Bell Tolls Ernest Hemingway

The Best Rolling Stone Covers

43
180 100
The Notebook is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Notebook Nicholas Sparks

44
151 106
The Hunger Games is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
but chickens double d added The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins

45
53 25
Tess of the d'Urbervilles is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
MarylyleMcCue added Tess of the d'Urbervilles Thomas Hardy

46
132 70
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne

47
149 84
The Perks of Being a Wallflowe... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

48
85 34
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Lord of the Flies William Golding

49
114 83
If I Stay is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
If I Stay Gayle Forman

50
128 69
Memoirs of a Geisha is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden