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Friday, May 12, 2017

5 For Friday: 5 Books That Made Me Cry


I'm well know in my family and friendship circle that I cry over fictional stuff A LOT. While real life I can usually bury stuff until it overflows (a bit like in Highlander), fictional stuff makes me cry so easily.

These 5 books though manage to make me cry so much that I get blotchy and red-faced and hiccup. Spoilers for all the books because its usually a spoiler offense that makes me want to cry.


WIZARD OF THE GROVE by Tanya Huff



In the age of gods--dwarfs, centaurs, and other Elder Races roamed the lands freely, and the race of mortals was created as a mere plaything for Lord Death.

In the age of wizards--the power games of these immortal children of gods went too far, and so the dragons flew to bring wizards down in flames.

In the age of mortals--the Elder Races have withdrawn almost completely from the world of humans. But one wizard still survives, a master of evil bent upon domination. No mere mortal can stand against him, so the Elder Races have chosen to intervene one final time. Their gift is Crystal, the Child of the Grove, the last-born wizard who will ever walk the world. And thus the final battle is about to begin....

This is actually a duology containing Child of the Grove and The Last Wizard, I read it when I was 16 and boy did that ending wreck me. Child is largely a coming of age novel for Crystal as half the book is spent with the lead up to her birth. She's an older teen when the book finishes in fact. Last Wizard however, which picks up with Crystal into her early 20s, follows an aimless girl who doesn't quite understand her place in the world any longer. With the "Great Evil" dead she fulfilled the whole reason the Elders basically had a breeding program for four generations and they never gave any indication she would SURVIVE that duty. Unfortunately as anyone can tell you its not that easy to get rid of a "Great Evil" and in the end to save everyone she loves she has to sacrifice herself. That's not the heart-wrenching part. 

The heart breaking part is the last few pages are dedicated to her mother, who was just an ordinary girl (more or less) that fell in love with a mysterious guy and had a daughter with enormous potential. As she sat in the garden, having realized Crystal had died (because a mother knows) she reflects on how not so long ago her daughter was a child running freely to and fro secure that her mother would protect her. She doesn't remember when exactly Crystal grew too old for her to protect, but she feels she failed her by not being more.

CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by Sarah J. Maas


From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie... and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

Wanna know the quickest way to make me bawl my eyes out? KILL MY FAVORITE CHARACTER. Look I should have known better after Sam (my poor...poor...SAM) and I honestly thought Maas would kill my favorite male character, Chaol. BUT NO. Instead she murders Nehemia. Nehemia who's only sin is wanting to be more for her people, who understood that personal sacrifices had to happen. I'm still bitter.  

MOONSPELL by Gwen Hansen


Every seven years, the unicorns of Arren must journey to the distant mountain land of Ryudain to replenish their power--and Sheila and her warrior friends are duty-bound to escort them there safely before the next full moon. but many dangers await them on this trip--including the mysterious terrain, violet rainstorms, a savage tribe who want to sacrifice the unicorns to their angry gods...and the evil sorcerer Mardock. Ready to strike out at Sheila for thwarting his plans for unlimited power, he is determined to use his magic to destroy her--and any chances she has of getting home... 

This is the sixth book in a...young adult I guess technically (Sheila is 14), but these books are super short, more like young reader so I'm not sure. ANYHOW. This series, "The Secret of the Unicorn Queen" is hands down one of my fondest memories of childhood and one I thought I made up (look I grew up before Goodreads, Amazon or Ebay ok?) for a very long time. Its hookey as hell, but oh so fun.

Why did this make me cry though? Aside from Sheila having the life I wanted (portal jumping! Handsome guy named Darien! WARRIOR WOMEN WHO RIDE UNICORNS), this book ends with basically Sheila like "Wooo I made it home, but okay gotta go back now I have this super important mission to complete!" and her scientist friend being like "Uhhh...about that..." Reader, at the tender age of 11 I felt the flames of READER ANGER envelop me and I wrote a very upset letter to the publisher. Who never answered, likely because the book was, by year 1995, out of print for half a decade.

You can actually read all the books (for free!) here at this angelfire (yes angelfire) page. Or just go to the page because it still exists even though its angelfire. Its like finding an intact, still functioning, geocities page. Memories.

THE DEAD SLEEP ETERNALLY IN THE WILDERNESS Pt.2 by Yukako Kabei


 
Kieli, Harvey, and their companions are trapped inside the Church’s headquarters, which is still surrounded by monsters. But the biggest and most terrifying monster of all turns out to be an old friend—Jude. This is a fight that needs to be won before either Harvey or Kieli can move on, though they have very different ideas on how to go about securing victory…

Around Book 2 is when I realized this series could in no possible way end happily. This is Book 9 and boy howdy was I right. This series in general has a very melancholy feel to it as you slowly realize that Harvey has no future, Jude has no future, Bea has no future, the Corporal has no future, Kieli's future AND past are drenched in sorrow, and never mind the tragic romances running around...

In a way it does end well for Kieli - she's able to lay her friends to rest, to find closure on her past and find a path forward that she herself carves out that is meaningful and enriching. Its the most bittersweet thing though because she watches Harvey slowly fade away - the unit that powers him being corrupted and dying. I wept so hard at the end of this book I had to buy a replacement copy because my tears had destroyed the last chapter so badly.

EVERY HEART A DOORWAY by Seanan McGuire


Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

So on the one hand I cried because Nancy is my everything and she made me look at myself more closely. On the other hand I cried because McGuire put into words EVERYTHING I needed to hear as a teenager. This book is honestly less about the content and more about what it represents that made me cry. 

Here's a girl who, on paper, fits in the school. Just as on paper all the other kids seem to "fit" in the school because they all share a particular trait. In reality this couldn't be farther from the truth of course and watching Nancy try to both open herself up to the possibility that this is it, thanks reality and hold onto the hope that she would return to the world where she felt comfortable and at home was heart breaking. Eleanor doesn't promise any of them that they will find their "door" (whatever form it takes) again, but she also doesn't discourage them from looking for it because like them she is looking for her "door" once more.

So how about you? What books have made you cry?