Love or Hate the Holiday: Valentine’s Day Reads That Might Break Your Heart

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday post is all about being anti-Valentine’s Day and reading books that might break your a heart a little.  To be honest, I’ve always been a romantic at heart, so this was a hard list to compile.  I love stories about love, but I also love stories that make me cry (Is that weird?).  Whether you’re not feeling the love today, or maybe you just want to read a book that will tug at your heart strings, I recommend reading one or all of the following.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen (Goodreads)–Caitlin is experiencing what she believes is true love until Rogerson starts abusing her.  Her story is one of heartbreak, isolation, and much more.  By the end of this book I was hiccuping with tears.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman (Goodreads)–First of all, if you haven’t read If I Stay, don’t read Where She Went until you do.  Adam’s story tore me apart.  I’ve said this before, and I’ll continue to say this, Gayle Forman is a genius for writing this book from Adam’s point of view.  He’s so lovesick and torn up, that you can’t help but feel every ounce of his pain and love.  Love it, love it, love it.  I cried for more than one reason while reading Where She Went.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (Goodreads)–Lennie is grieving over her sister’s death, and in the midst of this she gets involved in a complicated love triangle.  Part of this love triangle involves her dead sister’s boyfriend.  Jandy Nelson’s writing is lyrical and poignant.  Lennie is a poet who writes her poetry on different objects like tree branches and discarded paper cups.  The Sky is Everywhere is heartbreaking and hopeful.

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (Goodreads)–Don’t judge me.  I know not everyone likes Nicholas Sparks because so many of his books follow the same storyline, but seriously.  I read The Notebook when I was in college and stayed up all night reading it and sobbing simultaneously.  Like I said, I’m a romantic.  I will say that I hated the movie; they completely butchered it.

I Know It’s Over by C.K. Kelly Martin (Goodreads)–Talk about heartbreak!  Nick is completely broken up over his break up with Sasha, and to make matters worse, he finds out weeks later that Sasha’s pregnant.  He can’t get over Sasha, and he doesn’t know how he feels about Sasha’s decision about her pregnancy.  Nick’s voice is incredibly authentic.  I’d be surprised if someone read this and didn’t feel Nick’s heartbreak.

But I Love Him by Amanda Grace (Goodreads)–This book has made it to a couple of my lists, and it’s because it’s so excellent.  This is another book about abusive teen relationships, but it’s written in such a manner that it was hard for me to pinpoint when I would have left Connor.  Ann is an excellent student and an all-around good girl.  She falls hard for Connor, but unfortunately their love isn’t perfect and right like Ann wants it to be.  The story switches between present day, which is a year into their relationship.  Ann is in a dark room and badly hurt.  Then we flash back a few days and get a chance to see what’s been going on with Connor and Ann.  This back and forth gives readers a clearer picture of their roller coaster relationship.

Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal (Goodreads)–This book.  This book hit so many emotions.  I positively adore it!  It’s the perfect story about first love and all the heartbreak that comes with it.  I read it close to non-stop and recommend it whenever I have the opportunity.

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson (Goodreads)–I love Bobby and Nia’s story.  They’re so in love, but that love is tried when a baby enters the picture.  I can’t say too much because I don’t want to give the story away, but this one is sure to break your heart.  Bobby is a wonderful narrator that I couldn’t help but connect with.

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson (Goodreads)–Jacqueline Woodson is a beautiful writer, and she’s written a beautiful story about Jeremiah and Ellie.  Ellie and Miah fall in love, but they keep it a secret in fear that their family and friends won’t understand or approve of their relationship.  The ups and downs of their relationship might tug at your emotions, but the ending is guaranteed to.

Running Loose by Chris Crutcher (Goodreads)–I wasn’t expecting the love story that’s tied into Running Loose, but I really enjoyed it.  It’s another example of first love, but it’s heartbreaking.  If you read Running Loose, make sure to read Deadline which is a loose companion where you can see Louie as an adult coach.


  1. I love Nicholas Sparks, his books always get to me. Here’s my Top Ten
    Happy Reading!
    Cathy @ Addicted to Books

  2. I don’t like to cry.. so I *don’t* like Nicholas Sparks.. lol… but he made my list twice:

  3. I have If I Stay on my bookshelves waiting TBR, one day I will get to the book, especially since it has been on a few lists today.

  4. I have not read Dreamland yet, but I love Sarah Dessen’s writing so I can see how this could become an emotional read for me..:)

  5. I adore The Sky Is Everywhere!! This book is so so beautiful to me! And OMG Where she went is so good! I loved it so much while reading! Great list 🙂

  6. Ann Perrigo says:

    The Sky is Everywhere was my favorite book from last year. Such beautiful writing, and such a heart-wrenching story!

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