BOOKS THAT WILL MAKE (AND BREAK) YOUR HEART

Hullo, bookdragons!

Everyone’s been publishing all their Valentine-themed posts while I sulked in the corner having no idea what to post for the day of hearts because I am not really a fan of the occasion. Yes all the roses and cupids make me so… eh (I’m the queen of eloquence don’t @ me).

Because I’m a bitter sack of rice (such a thing exists shhh), I made this post so you can choose books to cry over on Valentine’s Day! What is happiness even like?? I ONLY KNOW PAIN.

We also have to admit here that the most painful books are oftentimes the BEST books. I unapologetically cry a lot because of books. I even cry over acknowledgements and author’s notes because books are transfigured onions. It’s really difficult to hide the tears from the mortals but it’s a challenge I have learned to deal with as a bookdragon.

Anyway, I would like to thank my Twitter mutuals (a.k.a the best people in the world) because if not for them, this post would not be possible. I wasn’t able to include all of their book recommendations in this post because I got about 300+ replies and will probably die before I finish formatting a post of that scope. THANK YOU ANYWAY. I LOVE Y’ALL. I’ll post the link to my tweet at the end of this post in case you want more suggestions of heart-wrenching books. We ALWAYS have that particular mood to cry over books. It’s kind of a bookdragon brand.

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Here are 30+ books that can make and break your heart (ft. my personal picks and the picks from the Twitterverse):

PERSONAL PICKS

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Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare

Danger and betrayal, love and loss, secrets and enchantment are woven together in the breathtaking finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices Trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Read more…

I remember reading this book and weeping as if I’ve lost ten of my internal organs. This book B R O K E me into a million pieces until the epilogue brought me back to life. Clockwork Princess proved to be a fitting conclusion to The Infernal Devices trilogy. I also want to put it out here that I will kill for Jem Carstairs and anyone who will harm one hair on his head will know the full extent of my wrath. Even though I haven’t finished reading all the Shadowhunter books yet (it would probably take me a hundred years to finish them all tbh), I must admit that I am in love with the world Cassandra Clare created.

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The Weight of Our Sky by Hannah Alkaf

A music-loving teen with OCD does everything she can to find her way back to her mother during the historic race riots in 1969 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in this heart-pounding literary debut. Read more…

Hanna Alkaf didn’t fail in delivering a heartfelt #ownvoices story about a girl with OCD who will stop at nothing until she finds her mother amidst the bloody riot races in Malaysia during 1969. There are a lot of heavy themes on this book including racism and graphic violence but Alkaf addresses both so well. I also loved the characters of this book and the protagonist’s character development is truly remarkable. This historical fiction book will warm your heart (and break it) and make your blood race at the same time. This is really something worth reading.

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Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas

Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s #1 New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an epic, unforgettable conclusion. Aelin Galathynius’s journey from slave to king’s assassin to the queen of a once-great kingdom reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world. . . Read more…

I have no doubt that Kingdom of Ash can kill someone in its 984-page glory if you drop it on their head but guess what?? Simply reading it can end you too. Kingdom of Ash is pain cosplaying as a book and I will stand by this notion for as long as I live. I cried approximately 46688369 times while reading it which makes it a perfect Valentine’s Day read. It will definitely drain all the tears in your body.

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Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) by Victoria Schwab

THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING. Read more…

Have you ever uttered the word “NO” one hundred consecutive times because you just can’t cope with the painful truth of what you just read?? This is what I felt with Our Dark Duet. You bet I just NONONONONONONO-ed myself into oblivion because I couldn’t handle all the pain. Schwab truly never fails us with her stabby writing.

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The Burning Maze (Trials of Apollo #3) by Rick Riordan

The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg. Thanks a lot, Dad. Read more…

I always turn to Riordan books whenever I want to laugh and forget all my problems. I really didn’t expect Uncle Rick to stab at my poor heart until it beat no longer. This is still the most emotional Riordan book and thinking about The Tyrant’s Tomb (the fourth installment in this series) makes me want to curl up and cry again. I’m surely in for more pain. Apollo help us all.

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Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Read more…

Who gave this book the right to be so beautiful and painful at the same time??? I love the Grishaverse and this book in particular because The Dregs are on a whole different level of angsty here. If you’ve read this book already, you know too well how emotionally devastating it is. I miss my fierce children so much I wanna spend three days off school and re-read this duology. I STILL DON’T HAVE MY KING OF SCARS COPY YET AND I’M SUFFERING EVERY SECOND. I want more of this world. I can’t wait to meet Nina and Nikolai again. 

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The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.

She didn’t.

And then she died. Read more…

I cried for five minutes after reading this because it was THAT beautiful. I think the fact that I read this via audiobook made the experience so much MORE if that makes sense. This creative take on A Christmas Carol is a perfect Christmas read but it works anytime in the year too. It has a romance subplot that gives you all the feels so it’s perfect for the season of hearts too.

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A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews

An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music – because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence. Read more.. 

It was difficult to hide my tears while reading ATPN. It has the most precious characters with the purest Hufflepuff Beck and August who’s a total legend for winning Beck’s full trust by feeding him cakes. FOOD PLAYS A VITAL ROLE HERE TBH. Despite its fluffy romance subplot, this book also explores dark themes like domestic abuse which was hard to read at times because I just wanted to throw the Maestro off a cliff for hurting Beck. A Thousand Perfect Notes is a soulful novel you don’t want to miss.

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9781432841690_35d92The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Read more…

THUG is phenomenal in every sense of the word. Starr’s story really resonated within me and it’s something that will leave an imprint on your heart even long after you’ve read it. This is an empowering book that will teach you the importance of friendship, family, and the value of speaking up and finding your voice amidst all the proverbial noise.

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Read more…

This book deserves all the hype from the bookish community because it’s the kind of book that will make you FEEL a lot while reading it. TSHOEH is a well-written book with rich backstories and interesting characters.  Evelyn Hugo has a lot to tell you in this book and you will regret it if you don’t hear her out. Major heartbreaking moments ahead too. Guard your heart.

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The Shadowglass by Rin Chupeco 

In the highly anticipated finale to the Bone Witch trilogy, Tea’s life—and the fate of the kingdoms—hangs in the balance. Read more…

Allow me to scream once more: WHY IS THIS SERIES SO UNDERRATED??? The Shadowglass is the last book to The Bone Witch trilogy—my latest favorite diverse YA series that has a three-headed dragon, necromancy content, and a protagonist as formidable as Daenerys Targaryen herself. Even though I haven’t been invested in this series for a long time, I found myself immediately attached to the characters and the world. I certainly cried A LOT because I will miss all of them. Y’all should watch out for this book’s release on March 5th. Watch out for the PH blog tour too! It’ll be amazing ✨

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PICKS FROM THE TWITTERVERSE

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The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear. Read more…

 

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They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.

Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day. Read more…

 

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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Read more…

 

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A List of Cages by Robin Roe

When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he’s got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn’t easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can’t complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian—the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years. Read more…

 

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found. Read more…

 

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The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

It’s not the journey that counts, but who’s at your side.

Nana is on a road trip, but he is not sure where he is going. All that matters is that he can sit beside his beloved owner Satoru in the front seat of his silver van. Satoru is keen to visit three old friends from his youth, though Nana doesn’t know why and Satoru won’t say. Read more… 

 

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All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die. Read more… 

 

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. Read more… 

 

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The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not. Read more… 

 

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A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back. Read more… 

 

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The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are.

France, 1939
In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another. Read more… 

 

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Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake 

Mara and Owen are about as close as twins can get. So when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can the brother she loves really be guilty of such a violent crime? Torn between the family she loves and her own sense of right and wrong, Mara is feeling lost, and it doesn’t help that things have been strained with her ex-girlfriend and best friend since childhood, Charlie. Read more… 

 

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. 

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. Read more… 

 

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Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943 – A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun. Read more… 

 

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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had. Read more… 

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MORE BOOKS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT

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And that’s it! Here’s the link to my tweet and you can bookmark it if you want more recommendations of heart-wrenching books:

You can always go back to this post if you ever have the urge to cry for five hours straight. I wish this post helped you one way or another. *sends you all the chocolates*

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Do you love reading heartbreaking books? Do you always find yourself crying over a book? Which book made you cry the most? 

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46 thoughts on “BOOKS THAT WILL MAKE (AND BREAK) YOUR HEART”

  1. I personally love a good emotional book– when they punch you in the heart it is done so beautifully and normally means you are so invested in the story which I love.
    I haven’t read any shadowhunter books but I have always been meaning to steal… I mean borrow my sister’s copies of the infernal devices because they sound so good.
    I have brought the seven husband’s of Evelyn Hugo last month and I can’t wait for it to break me!!
    I can’t believe you haven’t got your copy of King of Scars yet– that’s so unfair. I hope it arrives soon/immediately!!
    I will definitely accept all the chocolate while I work my way through a good emotional read!!
    Thanks for the recommendations 😊

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    1. Stealing sounds reasonable 😂 the Shadowhunter world is huge and I hope we’ll get to it soon. I WANT TO READ KOS SO BAD I’M CRYING. Enjoy your chocolates and good luck on your emotional reads!

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      1. Haha 😂 then I am definitely doing it!! Yes hopefully I want to see what it’s all about!! 😊
        Aww… I will perform a demonic ritual so it arrives to you faster!!! 💛
        Thank you– I am sure I will.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh gosh I love a book that makes me cry – ultimate sign you’re invested in it. Most of these are still on my TbR pile but Infernal Princess gets me every time! Brilliant post!

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  3. I’m having so many flashbacks just looking at this list. Ugh, yes, Crooked Kingdom!! I think I read that certain passage that shall not be named twice because I was in shock the first time, then I had to read it again to properly grieve and cry all my tears. What a whirlwind.

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  4. Some absolutely fantastic books in this list! One book that broke me (and still does when i think of it) is the lion tamer who lost by Louise Beech! Just completely destroyed me one afternoon

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  5. OH NO! Is it scary that I haven’t read the Burning Maze by Rick Riordan and I’m QUAKING that this book is on this list! What is going to happen to my babies???? I love every one of those characters, and if anything were to ever happen I think I’d freak out! Well, I guess this means I have to either forget about it, or read it ASAP. Great post!

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    1. YOU’RE IN FOR A LOT OF PAIN. I’m not saying anything more though. The fact that you haven’t been spoiled yet is a miracle. I hope you get to read it soon!

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  6. Oh man, this is just… SUCH an A+ list. I love a good tearjerker (reading Second Chance Summer right now and I’ve already gotten emotional way too many times in the first 60ish pages?? I’m fine I swear) and I’m 100% bookmarking this for the next time I need a new sob-worthy rec. ♥

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  7. Thank you so much for putting this list together! I’m sure it was a lot of work!
    I don’t cry with books often; it really takes a looooot for me to cry in any circumstance, really. I can get teary-eyed, but shed actual tears? I don’t think this has ever happened; except with Allegiant, because then I cried like five minutes in the shower, lol. But I completely agree with The Hate U Give; I definitely got teary-eyed by the end of that one! Recently, I read All American Boys, which follows similar themes, and I almost cried as well. Even though I can not personaly relate with the matters, I think anyone would be emotional with these stories.
    Awesome list! I’ll definitely be checking some of those out when I’m in the mood for an emotional ride!

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    1. You’re very welcome. I passed through nine levels of hell to format this post but it’s worth it.

      True! I don’t personally relate to THUG but it tore up my heartstrings because I felt Starr’s story deep within me.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Clockwork Princess completely destroyed me. I actually threw my book across the room beause of certain character death. You can keep Jem and ‘ll protect Will at all cost. I wish I had enjoyed KoA as much as you did.

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    1. Aww I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy KoA that much. I’m going to protect Jem and you look out for Will. I actually wanted to throw the book when I was reading Clockwork Princess too 😂

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  9. RAIN PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE COMPLETE LOST SOULS AND HEAVENLY FIRE! IT HAS SUCH *CUTE* JESSA MOMENTS PLUS SIMON IS SUCH A HUGE PART OF IT ALL. AND YOU’LL LOVE CLARY AT THE END. HONESTLY, HEAVENLY FIRE WILL MAKE YOU CRY WATERFALLS. IT’S ALMOST AS BAD AS THE BURNING MAZE AND THE KITE RUNNER.
    btw i just saw your no. of followers, ratings and reviews, i just want to say you put the dragon in bookdragon, girl! Way to keep it up!!❤

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    1. DID YOU JUST SAY SIMON??? I actually want to finish TMI for his sake. He is my man and I miss him so much. Maybe I’ll finish Lost Souls and Heavenly Fire this year?? For Simon.

      Aww thank you so much for your support sis! Love ya forever 💕

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  10. Aaaah A Clockwork Princess broke me too sis, *sniffles quietly* Our Dark Duet also hurt me too when I read it. I’ve not yet read KoA though, I want to reread the other books and read ToD before that…and I’ll probably be lying in a puddle on the floor haha. ATPN was soooooo good, I adored it and it hurt me too (we really do enjoy being hurt don’t we xD)

    I’m about 70 pages into THUG and I really want to finish it this month, well try to anyway. I’m also planning to get to the Bone Witch series too this year, I’ll need to buy the books first though xD I’ve found myself crying over books more than I used to, maybe I’m just older so I can relate more? Or the books have broken me and I’m just an endless sobber now haha. Loved this post sis, and I’m sorry you had to go through hell to format this on your phone *squishes in hug* it looks awesome.

    Like

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