Category Archives: Tear-jerkers

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If I stay by Gayle Forman

Living’s all about making choices.  Dying’s no different…

Everything is good in Mia’s life.  She has great parents, an adorable little brother and Adam is her boyfriend.  She also has dreams of becoming a great cello player and is well on her way to achieving this. Suddenly everything changes, Mia and her family are involved in a car accident…her parents and brother are dead and Mia is fighting for her life.  Mia becomes an invisible observer, watching as her body lies in a coma. Alternating between past and the present Mia thinks about her life, about her family, friends and her boyfriend Adam.  She has to make the decision to fight for her life or to die.  Adams love for Mia helps her to make her decision.

Before I fall by Lauren Oliver


Wow, what a book! It is like the movie Groundhog Day, where the main character lives a day over and over again, and it is really good. The main character, Samantha, dies in the first chapter. Each chapter thereafter is that day lived over and over again, but things change. Samantha tries doing things differently, outcomes are altered, people’s secrets are revealed, love is questioned. The author asks the reader to consider if they would act in the same way: What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?. Why is this happening to Samantha, and what can she do to stop it? This book will get you hooked! A must read.

What do you think of the ending?? (leave a comment)



Go ask Alice by Anonymous

go ask aliceThis is undoubtedly a confronting book. It is said to be the diary of a teenage girl (Anonymous) and treks her hopes, dreams, and need for the next hit. It is a sad look at a life lost to drugs and how possible opportunities to help her get out of the drug scene slipped by. The main message I got from this book was how naïve the girl was about drugs. She had no idea what they could do to herself or her family. It was sad to see an innocent girl excited to be writing in her diary become so dependent on drugs and get caught up in a crowd that didn’t care about her. It is amazing to see how powerful the diary and writing is for Anonymous, as it becomes her only link to her self in some of her darkest hours.



The beginner’s guide to living by Lia Hills

beginnersThis novel gets you thinking about your own beliefs and may even get you picking up some books on philosophy.

The beginner’s guide to living treks the main character’s attempts to come to terms with the tragic death of his mother. We find Will struggling to get through one day at a time. To cope, he writes down questions he needs answered, which leads him to philosophy to try and figure out the events in his life. These events don’t just  include death, but new love, new experiences, and new family dynamics. To cope further, Will uses his mum’s treasured camera, and the reader can see the photos he takes.

Everybody can get something out of this book if they want to. Whether it is understanding from the philosophy quotes, or new questions you yourself want answered; heartache for Will and his family as they come to terms with loss, or; finding a new ‘out’, like photography, this book is worth reading.



The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Little Brown & CompanyThis is a very confronting story of a teenage girl named Susie Salmon. The first chapter is pivotal to the story and leaves the reader struggling with a range of emotions. The rest of the novel is narrated by Susie from heaven. The writer cleverly manages to show the range of behaviours and emotions that she and her family go through during their bereavement.

This a great book! I highly recommend it to all teenagers and adults. During our life on earth, we all experience the death of family and friends. I feel that reading this novel will help prepare us to handle this grief.

JT        9/10

Before I die by Jenny Downham

DefinitionsBefore I die by Jenny Downham.

Great book!  Kept on wishing there was a cure for Tessa’s cancer!  The novel outlines Tessa’s relationships and trials as she lives through her last years with leukaemia.  Her Dad and brother, her best girlfriend, and the new boyfriend all help her achieve the “things” she wants to do before she dies.  She is 16, and has a list.  Some of these things are sad, some are funny, and all the while her wonderful character makes you laugh, cry and agonise with her.  Tissues came in handy while reading this.

LD.  9/10. 

Insideadog review          UK newspaper review         USA newspaper review