Top Ten Saddest Books

Surely we have read a novel or two in our life. If it wasn't a novel study in English it may have been a long train trip or so forth. I hope this inspires you to read them if you haven't already. What do you think is the saddest book?

The Top Ten

1 Night - Elie Wiesel

This book really brought the life in the concentration camps vividly to the reader. Quite emotional

I'm reading this book right now. I've read multiple memoirs of people who have survived the death camps and so far this one is beyond the most tragic of them all.

The prologue literally describes how his dying father begs him to hold his hand

Epic. The ones who say divergent, dude, read some books. I’m not even a high school student yet, read some books, it benefits.

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2 Where the Red Fern Grows - Wilson Rawls

A heartwarming story about love and an inseparable between dog and boy. Little Ann has the brains and Old Dan has the brawn. This is a true adventure for all ages to enjoy. Not only is there a boy impaled by an axe, but there are many other fun and happy events! Such as... Dangling entrails, skinning rodents, abusing cats, and so much more!

Made me cry more than any other book. I don't cry easy. besides this I have only cried on mockingjay and anne frank.

We were reading this at school. When we read the end, I cried. Other people cried too, but I cried the most

The red fern grows on the grave signaling that the dogs are blessed
WAAAHHH!

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3 Old Yeller - Fred Gipson

It was heartbreaking when Travis had to shoot Old Yeller, his best partner and friend-- it all happened so fast.

4 The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

Beautifully written, but it did not make me cry. Despite being a young teenage girl this was an amazing book to read but it did not pull on the heart strings as much as I would have hoped. The book was well paced, had brilliant language techniques and rounded off the conclusion quite nicely. At the end of the book I felt that it was sad but it was inevitable, they were both prepared for the wost and they both fell in love knowing that one of them was not going to continue for too long. Us as readers were well prepared and throughout the book there was no false hope that they were gonna live happily ever after. His death was accepted by himself and his loved ones-he already had been fitted for his death suite.

This was terribly written, and I didn't cry. I cry at many things, and most books do make me cry, but this one didn't. I found it boring, and I personally know someone who had cancer, who told me people with cancer are nothing like that, and she found it quite disrespectful. - pjo

Always makes me cry every time I think about it. I love the strong connection between Hazel and Gus and it's so sad that Gus dies at the end. His note is really heartbreaking and it tells us that he really did love Hazel.

This has been the only book till now which has actually been able to bring tears to my eyes and also made me grumble about-
*SPOILER ALERT*
-Augustus's death. I seriously couldn't stand it. SOB! SOB!

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5 Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson

I must admit, when children die, it really gets me

Oh my gosh I LOVED this book. It was so unexpected and it really kicked me in the feels.

This is very sad I almost cried at school when I finished it!

Really heart touching book

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6 The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - David Fickling

This book made me bawl my eyes out as I read it and made me quite depressed for days afterward, this deserves a higher spot on the list. It reflects real world problems and though it is fiction, it makes you realize how absolutely horrific the Holocaust actually was, from the point of view of one of it's victims. Anne Franks diary was also very sad, and from the point of view of a Holocaust victim, but it's more inspiring than depressing and while it is very tragic, it's more a story about hope and pushing through to the end. While this book, it's just downright SAD. - SassyEquine

This book is so sad. I cried a cup full of tears. Another really sad book is Letters From Rifka. This may just be my opinion because when we were reading this book in my class. My teacher and I were the only one crying.

"It's alright. I think we're just waiting here until the rain stops."

This book hit me right in the feels at the end...

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7 The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank

10 when I read this, it was only a year ago so it's still in my mind- I had to read the afterword and the ending 20 times to believe that was really what happened. 15. God dang it, Hitler. She was 15.

The holocaust has always interested me because I have always wanted to learn more about it.I cried when I read this book because it really tugged at my heartstrings

Made me cry knowing what she went through. thank goodness I read this first at 11 and at least didn't understand a 4th of it. probably would've cried more, but it was confusing.

This book, Night, and schindlers list are the saddest books ever

8 My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult

I've never read the book, but after watching the movie I basically know what the book is about. When I grow up I will surely cure Cancer because of this book. The relationship between the two sisters is amazing. The elder sister has Cancer, and thinks that she's ugly. The younger one was only born so she could donate body parts to her older sister to help save her older sister Kate's life. Anna, the younger sister, wants to sue her parents for the rights to her own body. Her parents are mad at her for suing them. Anna wants her sister to live, but she doesn't want to donate her kidney. It's just such a sad movie, saddest I've ever seen. So, I'm guessing this is a sad book too.

I have only read half and it Has a very depressing storyline. I guess if like the sad ones, this one you would like.

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9 Allegiant - Veronica Roth

I honestly didn't really like these books. I mean, I might have, but I read a lot of dystopias( They're my FAVORITE genera) and I have REALLY high standards when it comes to these kinds of books. To me, this series was pretty bland compared to things like Hunger Games and Children of Eden( which isn't my favorite but I find it interesting), and it's just so confusing and unnecessarily complicated that I couldn't really get into it. Flowers for Algernon though, that made me cry so hard, I think it should be above this one. - SassyEquine

This book can destroy you. I red a lot of intense books but this ending was just very very emotional! I cried a lot and this story will stay with me forever. Thanks Veronica for this beautiful adventure, you change my life!

This series is absolutely amazing. Despite the tragic, tear-jerking ending, it is so happy and romantic in the best way. I wish there would have been another way, but I know my tears fall for the only possible way to end the wonderful Divergent series.

Why Veronica Roth? Me and my friend hugged eachother at school and burst into tears because Tris! This whole adventure, how awesome she was... I want to cry right now.

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10 Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes

I read this in 8th grade and it destroyed me

It's horrible how his I.Q. rises, but then goes back down.

The Contenders

11 The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

To some readers this wasn't sad. But if you comprehended it and knew the story its very upsetting because SPOILER/SPOILER/ Charlie discovers his flashbacks of Aunt Helen molesting him after Sam kisses him and feels his leg

You then realize the whole time why he misses her so much and has the trauma. His breakdowns and everything alone with the film. Will have you in tears and speechlessness

I could really relate to Charlie. I've always felt like someone that people fall back on when no one else is there. When Charlie was sad, I felt sad.

Apparently some people related to this book and found it rather sad. I dunno, but it wasn't that sad.

12 The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

This is the saddest book I have ever read, and I have read The Fault in Our Stars. The deaths at the end and Liesel's reactions are some of the best described I have ever read. The book seemed less distant than the Fault in Our Stars, probably because I know people Liesel's age, and because I know about WWII. The Fault in Our Stars, on the other hand, while sad, seemed far away from me, most likely because I don't know any teenagers with cancer. I do know young men and women who are close friends, and it makes me think about what would happen if this was real among the people I know. That's what makes it sadder than The Fault in Our Stars.

Hands down one of the best but most upsetting books I've ever read! A great story with a very interesting narrator...death himself. The story had a fresh perspective and was rich in emotions.

The first (and only) book that's ever gotten me totally sobbing uncontrollably. But its sadness and the way the entire ending was written is just stunningly beautiful.

Favorite book of mine, quite a tearjerker.

13 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

This book is probably one of the saddest books of all time. Right after getting to love the characters, the one you are most connected to gets killed by his only friend who you are also very connected to.

I can't believe it's not higher than #20... This book made me wanna bawl my eyes out'

This should be way higher that 29th place!

This book I see absolutely amazing and heart breaking. I love the characters like Lennie and George.

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14 Band of Brothers - Stephen E. Ambrose

Shows what life was like for soldiers in ww2 very vividly, based on true events.

15 Wonder - R. J. Palacio

This was dip resisting, but I didn't cry. It's not really sad, but at the same time, it is

Ok if this book is #20 then the whole hunger games trilogy should be in this list. I did indeed find this sad but definitely not as sad as like tfios or Allegiant. You should read The Julian Chapter all in Julian's perspective. It was just as sad. I still love this book so much and did think it was a little sad but not #20 sad. I love wonder!

This book actually made me cry

Never judge a boy by his face

16 The Power of One - Bryce Courtenay

It actually left quite a memorable mark on me! Even though it took me a while to get through it, it was definitely worth it!

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17 The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
18 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling

A tragic and heart-breaking, but amazing end to a 7 book series.

The prince's tale

759 pages of sadness. - PianoQueen

What? it wasnt sad voldemort finally died and every liged happily ever after - pouria_mt

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19 The Road - Cormac McCarthy

I know this book is fiction but it deserves to be in the top 10 at least.

20 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

This books is something that will stay with me till the day I die!

Saddest book I've ever read

Made me cry in class

21 1984 - George Orwell

Why is this #31?!?! I can't believe it! This book is the most depressing book I have ever read! I started crying at the end, and it made me so scared of the future... Trust me, this is one of the best books ever written.

I agree,the ending was so...so devastating,the fate of humanity in the parties hand,the torture put forward to mark,I...l was really shocked at the end,this is one of the best books I have ever read - Toucan

22 Out of My Mind - Sharon M. Draper
23 The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett

It goes well with the mini series and if you have read the book, the films probably will bring a tear to your eyes too.

24 Champion - Marie Lu

Spoiler:
THEY ALMOST KILLED THE MAIN CHARACTER!

25 The Death Cure - James Dashner

If you're a Newt fan, do not read this. I did and it brought me so much pain. Been emotionally unstable for 3 days until I accepted what happened. Either way, one of the best books ever.

Please Tommy Please

Kill me. If you've ever been my friend, kill me.

R.I.P sweet Bloody shank

26 Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins

I have read this book fifteen times cover to cover and I cry EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Finnick and Prim and I might as well throw in Peeta because he'll never recover from what the capitol did to him and holy crap this series was awesome and tragic and I loved every second of the journey. - SassyEquine

Made me cry when buttercup and katniss are mourning prim.

Poor prim! Same here random person, same here

Another series where I started sobbing. - PianoQueen

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27 A Child Called It - Dave Pelzer

This book is sadder than any of these books! It is about a boy who is abused by his mother I cannot say anything else as it would announce spoilers but believe me just read it!

This book is easily one of the most depressing works I've ever read. True story or not, I still cried a pail of tears over David's hardships.

Oh my god this book was so sad and the 2 other books after it got me right in the heart

Not the saddest but still pretty sad

28 Stone Fox

This one should be closer to the top ten in my opinion. Willy's dying grandfather reminds me of my grandfather who died, but I didn't even know he existed until after his death. I wish I could've met him, seen him, or heard his voice.

Very sad book about Little Willy, Grandfather, and their dog Searchlight. - littlestpetpet41813

29 She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb
30 If I Stay - Gayle Forman
31 Looking for Alaska - John Green

This book was immensely sad... Why is it not ranked higher?

I've never cried this much during a book

How is this only 43? in my opinion it was a lot better than tfios and I cried a lot harder in looking for Alaska

32 Les Miserables

Literally the saddest book that I have ever read. So many emotional parts!

I've only seen the movie, but it was so emotional that I couldn't stop thinking about it for days afterward. And while it is incredibly sad, it is also inspiring and hopeful at the same time. I have the book on hold, and I look forward to reading it. - SassyEquine

One of the saddest books to ever be written... Just an incredible story!

33 Freak the Mighty

I read it for a novel study and a young kid dies.

34 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins

Prim and Finnick die. Why did I have to put this up this should be number 1 already

35 A Monster Calls
36 The Bad Beginning - Daniel Handler

This is the saddest book in the galaxy! It made me wanna cry so much I felt like throwing it in the fire!

37 All of My Friends are Dead
38 Ostrich Boys - Keith Gray

I was actually teary as I read the ending. And I never had that with anything else I've read, any songs I've read or any films I've seen, no matter how sad. This book at the end really got to me. - PositronWildhawk

39 What the Dog Said - Randi Reisfeld

This book was super sad. It may not sound very sad and at first I found it more funny than depressing... but I learned to love the book.

I loved the main character Grace from the very start. She was going through the loss of her father. My parents are alive, so I wasn't really able to relate to her. But then I started to like her a lot. Especially the other main character, the dog Rex who started talking to her and helping her understand who killed her father. In the end, when Grace figures out who killed her dad it's right around the time when she has to give away Rex who she's been training as a service dog. I cried so much when she had to let him go... It was devastating. This book was beautiful and sad and it deserves higher up on the list.

40 The Giver - Lois Lowry

This book is so not sad.

A sad book but not as sad as tfious

41 The Art of Racing In the Rain - Garth Stein

Very sad... You get so connected to Enzo and his family and then poof it's gone... But I treasure those hours

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42 The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Victor Hugo

Extremely sad book... And very well written also!

43 The Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman

One of the saddest books I've EVER read

44 Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

It was so sad.
Think of everything the sister could've been. She was so smart. I cried.

45 The 100 - Kass Morgan

It is about these people that live in space after a devastating nuclear war. 300 years later the government sends 100 juvenile delinquents to colonize Earth and see if it's safe. I can't spoil much more. This book series is very depressing.

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46 We Were Liars - E. Lockhart

The end was really depressing and I cried a lot

I had a deep sadness after reading it

47 Wuthering Heights

Wow... A list about depressing books and Wuthering Heights is ranked last -,- What is wrong with you people?

Basically depressing and shows the dark side of humanity without resorting to Sci-Fi plots

48 The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton

Stay pony gold boy

Here's a few reasons:
Johnny
Dally
Nothing gold can stay
Johnny - AnonymousChick

49 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling
50 A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemingway

One of those books that stays with you. Undoubtedly a downer but the emotion that Hemingway pulls from the reader makes AFTA a true masterpiece.

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List Stats

400 votes
68 listings
4 years, 187 days old

Top Remixes

1. Night - Elie Wiesel
2. Old Yeller - Fred Gipson
3. The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank
gman6102
1. Old Yeller - Fred Gipson
2. Where the Red Fern Grows - Wilson Rawls
3. The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
RockStarr

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