Books The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written  

Ranker Books
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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.

1
435 111
Where the Red Fern Grows is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

2
333 108
Bridge to Terabithia is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Bridge to Terabithia Donna Diamond, Katherine Paterson

3
342 99
Flowers for Algernon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
carlybobarly added Flowers for Algernon Daniel Keyes

4
348 89
Old Yeller is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Old Yeller Fred Gipson

5
384 105
Charlotte's Web is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Charlotte's Web E. B. White

6
444 103
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
278 71
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
275 70
Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Les Misérables Victor Hugo

9
428 116
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

10
174 49
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
stubb added Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

11
322 87
The Book Thief is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Book Thief Markus Zusak

12
269 80
A Child Called
A Child Called "It" Dave Pelzer

13
406 179
The Fault in Our Stars is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

14
327 142
Harry Potter and the Deathly H... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

15
229 94
The Giver is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Giver Lois Lowry

16
235 83
My Sister's Keeper is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
My Sister's Keeper Jodi Picoult

17
244 92
The Kite Runner is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini

18
191 62
Black Beauty is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Black Beauty Anna Sewell

19
119 40
The Little Prince is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
punksnotdead added The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

20
164 55
Wuthering Heights is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
slaft added Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

21
205 81
Marley & Me: Life and Love wit... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

22
121 61
Atonement is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Garvin added Atonement Ian McEwan

23
199 85
A Walk to Remember is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
A Walk to Remember Nicholas Sparks

24
149 64
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Brave New World Aldous Huxley

25
180 61
A Tale of Two Cities is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens

26
165 77
The Help is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
CourtneyRoseSampson added The Help Kathryn Stockett

27
118 44
Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
slaft added Great Expectations Charles Dickens

28
215 89
The Lovely Bones is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold

29
105 24
The Velveteen Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Velveteen Rabbit Margery Williams

30
104 48
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
rachel hatton added Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë

31
101 27
Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Hamlet William Shakespeare

32
127 68
Island of the Blue Dolphins is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

33
122 64
A Thousand Splendid Suns is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
BethSmoothMoveRothwell added A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini

34
126 72
Never Let Me Go is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro

35
70 38
Uncle Tom's Cabin is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
slaft added Uncle Tom's Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe

36
113 38
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

37
143 62
Anna Karenina is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy

38
104 35
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Animal Farm George Orwell

39
86 42
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
152 99
Mockingjay is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
but chickens double d added Mockingjay Suzanne Collins

41
85 47
For Whom the Bell Tolls is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
For Whom the Bell Tolls Ernest Hemingway

42
100 38
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Lord of the Flies William Golding

43
189 106
The Notebook is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Notebook Nicholas Sparks

44
133 65
The Time Traveler's Wife is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
The Time Traveler's Wife Audrey Niffenegger

45
59 26
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
162 89
The Perks of Being a Wallflowe... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

47
161 120
The Hunger Games is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
but chickens double d added The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins

48
119 84
If I Stay is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
If I Stay Gayle Forman

49
135 74
Memoirs of a Geisha is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden

50
116 60
Tuck Everlasting is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written
Tuck Everlasting Natalie Babbitt