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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois chapter.

Time to rise, fellow bookworms! There is nothing more devastating than finishing your favorite book and feeling empty inside. For those of you who are not avid readers and never got to experience this feeling, this is the list that might start your reading journey. We all need a good cry sometimes, don’t we? Here are five books that are going to leave you sobbing on your bedroom floor at two in the morning.


It Ends With Us is a story about two young people who had experienced a lot of pain in life. An aspiring florist, Lily, and a handsome neurosurgeon, Ryle, cross paths one evening not knowing that this one moment is going to change their lives forever. Everything seems great until Lily stumbles upon a boy from her past, revealing Ryle’s true colors. This is honestly the most heartbreaking book I’ve ever read. The author did an incredible job at deceiving the readers of who the villain is. “Lily, you fell,” is probably one of the most heartbreaking sentences in this book.


Four teenagers spend each summer on a private island owned by their families. Each character is hiding a secret that they wish would never come to light. This book is filled with emotions and heart-wrenching sentences that will make you throw the book across the room (totally not speaking from experience). You’re either going to absolutely love this story or you will regret wasting three hours of your life on a weirdly formatted novel.

3. thirteen Reasons why by jay asher

I was lucky enough to read Thirteen Reasons Why before it was turned into a show. And that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made as the show doesn’t even come close to telling this heartbreaking story of Hannah Baker, the teenager who recorded thirteen tapes as the reasons to why she committed suicide. Keep in mind that this book is not the best representation of depression/suicide and it might be hard to read some of the scenes.


Sky has been homeschooled her whole life and is recently coming to a realization that she doesn’t feel a lot of emotions the same way others do. That is until she meets a stranger with a familiar soul named Holder. They click, both feeling like they have already met in the past. I was way too young when I first read Hopeless, but this book is always going to have a special place in my heart as it made me a crying wreck for two days.

5. eleanor & Park by rainbow rowell

Two misfits meet on a bus ride to school and realize that they have more in common than they thought. This is not a typical YA novel but instead, this is a raw story of hate, internal struggles and thinking that the future might never come.

Make sure you check all of the trigger warnings for each of the books! Reading is a beautiful thing but make sure you take care of yourself first. If any of the books mentioned in the list above might seem like too much for you, try to consider other books written by the same authors.

Liv Barwinska

Illinois '24

Hi! I was the previous VP of Editorial for the Illinois chapter and I majored in Journalism. Writing has always been a big part of my life and Her Campus allowed me to follow my passion, while being surrounded by amazing and supportive girls. These past two years with HC have been incredible and I'll forever be grateful for my time here. Go Illini! All the love, Liv xx