1) Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (review)
This is going first simply because it’s the most recent. I only read it the other day but I’m pretty sure it’ll be depressing me for the rest of my life. In it, a mentally disabled man is experimented upon to make him a genius, but when a mouse than underwent similar surgery died, Charlie knows his newfound intelligence may only be temporary. I’m going to need therapy to get over this one.
2) My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (review)
I didn’t have such strong emotions the second time I read this because I knew what was coming, but when I first finished it… What the flip!? It hurt me so much I cried for about an hour. Twice.
3) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer (review)
Again, this is a recent one, but it cause an entirely different set of emotions from Flowers for Algernon. I swear, this book made me feel so happy I felt like Mary Poppins. The characters are so warm and chattery and everything ends exactly the way it should. Ahh, I’m smiling just thinking about it.
4) The Time-Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
I actually really enjoy the book until the end, at which point I want to curl up in a ball and sob until the end of my days. I loathe that ending. It’s such a happy book, and then it rips it all away like pulling a plaster of a poorly knee. Next time, I might just stop reading a few pages from the end – I can’t deal with that again!
5) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
This is one of those books that makes me so happy I get that tight feeling in my stomach and I feel a little bit sick. It happens a few times, but mostly when the Houses all point their wands at the Slytherins and when Harry defends McGonagall. I don’t get the same feeling from the film but I still cry at the book and I’ve read it three times now.
6) Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
I don’t have strong emotions about this book because of events that happen inside the book, it’s more a complete and utter sense of hate for the book itself. I’ve never actually despised a book quite as much as this one. It read like really badly written fan-fiction and nothing that happened made any sense. I’ve only read it once and I never, ever plan on reading it again.
7) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The scene where Elizabeth receives the news about Lydia in the Lake District and Darcy rushes off gives me the same tight feeling in my stomach as Deathly Hallows. I love this book so much I have 30 copies; you know a book affects you emotionally when you feel the need to collect different editions.
8) The Handmaiden’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
I haven’t read this in years, but I really need to reread it. It’s a violently dramatic book – a dystopian story before they were the in-thing. It’s the ending that really does it for me, as it still shocked me the last time I read it even though I knew what was coming. Each time I reread it, I couldn’t stop hurting over it for days.
9) The Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris
This is the sequel to Chocolat, although I haven’t read it nearly as many times. The scenes involving Anouk’s betrayal of Vianne make me so angry and hurt that I struggle to read them. I know that most people think this book is the weaker of the two, but those parts are wonderful.