Thursday, May 27, 2010

What Makes Me Cry

A confession: I am a really easy crier. I cry at most things. I cry when I'm frustrated, stressed, overjoyed, upset, angry, tired...and probably a few other times too. It's just my body's default mode of expression. (Sidenote: I don't generally cry when I get physically hurt. That, for some reason, is no biggie.) Crying easily was one of those things that in elementary school was often embarrassing for me, so I learned to get better at controlling it. But still, it happens a lot. On the occasion that my husband and I will have a disagreement, the tears usually start rolling before the fight's even close to being a useful resolution to something. The tears make my husband stop, because it makes him feel bad, which in turns leads me to get even angrier and yell something melodramatic like "Ignore the tears!! I'm still angry at you!!" because really, the tears have nothing to do with what's going on. It's just a reaction.

Movies and TV especially get to me. Hallmark commercials? Forget it. The girl I wanted to win won on America's Next Top Model? Pass the tissues. And don't even get me started on the last Lord of the Rings movie. I saw it three times, and by the the third time around I started tearing up when Faramir's father says he wishes it was him, not Boromir, who died, and I couldn't even see the screen by the time they make it back to the Shire.

Case in point: here is a terribly unattractive photo from my wedding, which I'm sharing with you, my 630 and so best followers. It might have been taken at the end of my Maid of Honors' speech. It might have been taken in the first 30 seconds. I can't really tell, because I was bawling before they even started talking.

But there's one exception: books. A book has to be just right to make me cry. If I get to the emotional climax and I can feel that the author's forcing it, or rushing it, or that it's just a little bit off or pre-programmed, I'm a no-go for launch. I'll still enjoy it, of course, but there be no tears staining the page. And over the years, I've kind of embraced my tears as an emotional meter of much things are effecting me. So if I'm not crying, I feel like the book is missing a little something (or, perhaps, was meant to be fluffy in the first place, so in that case, no harm done.)

Recently I've felt like a lot of the books I've read have made me cry, so I wanted to give a shout-out to them, in case you're looking for something to make you a little weepy. In no particular order:

Pedro and Me by Judd Witnick. This is a graphic novel written by one of the cast members of the Real World: San Francisco. It's about Judd's experiences living with Pedro, another cast member who had AIDS and was an AIDS educator. Need I say more? Tissues, for sure.

This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer. This is the third in the Moon Series, following Life as We Knew It and The Dead and The Gone, so you'll need to read the first two to get the full effect. No worries, though, because they suck you in and go by so fast. Hopefully Donna & I will have a co-review of this series coming soon, because I can't tell you how highly I recommend it. Like, I will never think about the moon--or canned goods--the same way again. As in I'm still have moon-related dreams, 2 months after the fact. As in, read them RIGHT NOW but have tissues.

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan. Again, this is the last in a series--the Percy Jackson series this time. So you'll need to commit to reading five books for the full force of the finale, but once again, it's enjoyably worth it. I had several different people (adults and kids) recommend this series to one before I started it, and it was totally worth it. It's like a faster, historically-based Harry Potter, with lots of funny bits to break up the action. But once again, tissues.

Going Bovine, by Libba Bray. Donna and I tried to co-review this one, but it's kind of a book that goes beyond words--straight into awesomeness. I think of it like Wizard of Oz meets Norse Mythology meets The Everyman meets the Apocalypse meets a Kevin Smith movie. But, like, a Kevin Smith movie with some serious sniffling at the end. Also, did I mention it won the Printz? Cause yeah, it did that too.

Linger, by Maggie Stiefvater. Now I know this one isn't out until July, so maybe it's not fair of me to put it on this list and say "go read this!" when chances are most of you can't...but...go read this! Or, read it as soon as it comes out! I'll even own up and say: I was skeptical about Linger. I liked Shiver, but after reading it, I wondered about its emotional staying power. While I read it, I was totally into the moment, sucked into Sam & Grace's world, but I felt I could distance myself after I finished. Linger, on the other hand, is definitely going to be giving me some wolf-related dreams for some time to come. I thought of this snappy little comparison: both books do exactly what the title says. Shiver made me shiver, being in the moment and worrying about the cold along with them. But's staying with me.

So, there you go. Five books that have made me cry recently. What about all of you? What books made you shed a few tears?

(Btw, be on the look out for a co-review of Linger, as well as a give away of our much-cried over ARC! (Don't worry, we didn't cry on the pages.))


  1. A movie can definitely make me cry way before a book, but I've come across a couple books that made me bawl. The first one was a book my mom made me read in 3rd grade: STONE FOX. I was so angry she made me read it that I literally threw the book at her...then cried while she held me in her lap. Although I haven't read anything quite that emotional in a while, DEAR JOHN by Nicholas Sparks definitely made me tear up.

  2. Personally I LOVE that picture from your wedding! But, that's just the photographer in me appreciating the awesome composition and capturing of pure, honest emotion! I rarely have that kind of luck because people always catch me getting ready to shoot them and change their expressions or turn away! Also, I totaly agree with you on the Moon Crash trilogy and Going Bovine - I wept PUBLICALLY while reading those books (couldn't help it I was on the bus and, dang, they were just so ... dang!). My goal in life is to write a novel that makes someone cry. Weird, I know, but there you go!

  3. I was a hot mess after reading BEFORE I FALL and IF I STAY. I'm definitely a crier.

  4. really like watching moviews , always touch me and make me cry

  5. I also am guilty of crying, whether it is a movie, tv show or a really great book, I always end up with tears in my eyes. You're not alone =)

  6. I have never cried in a book/movie, yet.. :) I'll check these out


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