22 Heartbreaking Book Quotes That Will Make You Cry

The first time I read The Fault in Our Stars, I was prepared for a sad story, but I thought I could handle it. I remember the exact moment I started tearing up, and then, with the flip of a page, I was a complete and utter mess. I've never been a big crier. It takes a lot for tears to stream down my face, but time and time again, books have found a way to make me cry.

Books are major emotional roller coasters, and it's almost always an amazing ride — even when you end up in tears. And that can be a good thing, because it shows how empathetic you are toward the characters and their fictional problems. It can also help you solve your own problems in life, whether you're going through a rough, breakup a loss, or something else. Books are the best therapists, as far as I'm concerned.

I go to book quotes whenever I'm looking for something to relate to. So even when I'm feeling down, it often helps to go back and read some of the more sad, but emotionally powerful book quotes out there. Maybe you're a natural crier and tear up at everything — including adorable commercials. Or maybe you're like me and it takes something personal to get you going. Either way, sometimes the best way to heal or overcome sadness is to let it all out. And in case that's where you're at, get your tissues ready, because here are 22 of the saddest and best book quotes ever.

1. "I guess that’s what saying good-bye is always like — like jumping off an edge. The worst part is making the choice to do it. Once you’re in the air, there’s nothing you can do but let go."

— Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall

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2. "She had tricked him. She had made him leave his old self behind and come into her world, and then before he was really at home in it but too late to go back, she had left him stranded there — like an astronaut wandering about on the moon. Alone."

— Katherine Patterson, Bridge to Terabithia

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3. "Breathing is hard. When you cry so much, it makes you realize that breathing is hard."

— David Levithan, Love is the Higher Law

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4. "So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be."

— Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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5. "I know so many last words. But I will never know hers."

— John Green, Looking for Alaska

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6. “There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood.”

— Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

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7. "You know, a heart can be broken, but it keeps on beating, just the same."

— Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

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8. “These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections-sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent-that happened after I was gone. And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it.” 

― Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

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9. "I buried Little Ann by the side of Old Dan. I knew that was where she wanted to be. I also buried part of my life along with my dog."

— Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows

10. "And Percy was shaking his brother, and Ron was kneeling beside them, and Fred’s eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face."

— J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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11. "The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself. As if the things we'd done were less real and important than they had been hours before."

— John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

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12. "When someone you love dies, and you’re not expecting it, you don’t lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time — the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers."

— John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany


13. "I take no joy in mead nor meat, and song and laughter have become suspicious strangers to me. I am a creature of grief and dust and bitter longings. There is an empty place within me where my heart once was."

— George R. R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire

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14. "Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart."

—Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl


15. "As the light begins to intensify, so does my misery, and I wonder how it is possible to hurt so much when nothing is wrong."

― Tabitha Suzuma, Forbidden


17. "I must have loved you a lot."

— Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

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16. "The term 'forgive and forget' doesn’t make sense to me. Forgiving does allow us to stop dwelling on an issue, which isn’t always healthy. But if we forget, we don’t learn from our mistakes."

— Meg Cabot, Abandon

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18. "You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me."

— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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19. "It is such a secret place, the land of tears."

— Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

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20. "Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living."

—Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


21. "I will not tell you our love story, because — like all real love stories — it will die with us, as it should."

— John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

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22. "Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, 'It might have been.'"

— Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle

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Images: coloredgreyMiroslav Petraskoryuu ji 竜次, Chiara Cremaschi, Lauren C, Santhosh Janardhanan, @sage_solar, Brett Sayer, Paul, Maciek Lulko, Pandiyan V, Jordan Dawe, Maria Teresa Ambrosi, frankileon, Neville Nel, Johnny OuYang, lauren rushing, Lou Bueno,  Nikos Koutoulas, Jenna Carver, Silvia Sala, Jonas Tana/ flickr; giphy (1)

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