The Ultimate “Marmy” Book List – The best jaw-dropping, ugly-cry, super-angsty awesome reads!

by Maryse on December 4, 2016 · 53 comments

in Book Recommendations

I know… some of you are shaking your head, maybe even rolling your eyes and thinking, rolleyes what the heck is she talking about now? Her and her crazy made-up words. neutral What is a “Marmy” list?

Tee hee!!! *giggles with glee*

Some however, who have been actively chatting books with us for months, maybe even years now, know exactly what it is, ’cause it’s YOU guys that have dubbed these books the “Marmy” books.

Marmy books are those that my “book-twin” (Amy) and I always seem to love. Maryse & Amy = “Marmy” (ergo “Marmy” books). If one loves it, the other surely will. And generally, the more traumatic, or emotionally stunning, the better. ;)

For some of you, THESE are the books that get your adrenaline racing, your blood boiling, have you hyperventilating, ugly-cry facing, and/or experiencing jaw-dropping gasps. Any of those. Sometimes… all of those.

It doesn’t mean they won’t have an HEA. Amy and I LOVE HEAs!!! But… a Marmy book means, anything goes. ;)

  • It could be the ultimate risqué/forbidden guilty pleasure drama, and end in an unconventional HEA, or
  • It could be easy-going happiness and end in a jaw-dropping, unexpected twist.
  • It might tear your heart out in the beginning. It might tear your heart out at the end.
  • It might have an HEA even with all of the heartache (and/or distress) that it makes you suffer through.
  • It might not have an HEA at all…
  • It might have you questioning your own morals and ethics. It might have you relating to a character you’d never admit to being able to relate to.
  • It might have you HATING a character wholeheartedly, and yet completely unable to put it down, because you’re hooked hard.
  • It might have you gasping in shock. It might have you wanting to put it in the freezer… it might have you wanting to throw it across the room (I don’t recommend either of those). ;)

But what it will have you, is feeling, experiencing and NEVER forgetting the book… ever. And most often, recommending it to everyone you can (even if it’s one you wouldn’t have normally chosen for yourself… or for the person you’re recommending it to).

Basically… I think it’s pretty much any book Amy and I have devoured and that freaked us OUT. Dark ways… or sad ways, or shocking-exciting twist ways.  Some seem gentle but are so clever and intense in emotions that we become a part of the story and it affects us as if it were real, some took a crazy turn that we didn’t see coming, and some are complete mind f**ks. But it has to be well written, captivating, and one we can’t stop thinking about and/or talking about. BUT!!!!! If there’s “shock-value” (scary or sad or twist-wise) it has to have merit.

Some of you steer clear of this potential book-trauma, and specifically request that we dub them the “Marmy” books, for your own reading-safely.

Jan: keep those Marmy books away from me! *holds crossed fingers towards Marmy list*


And bev, too. She doesn’t do “Marmy”. LOL!!!

Nay: what does ‘Marmy’ mean?

Maryse:  Nay… “Marmy” is a combination of the names “Maryse and Amy” (me and Amy!! ;) ) and it refers to the kind of rip-your-heart-out, gut-puncher, -crazy-twist, or “crazy-ending” type books that we LOVE! I will quote Amy’s explanation of “Marmy” which is pretty much perfect: She says:

YEP!!! The Marmy twins always have time for book hurt!! LOL!!!

So, for the newer friends here… a Marmy book will *potentially* do any (or all) of the following: make your tummy eat itself from angst, make your chest clench from trepidation, cause splotches from anxiety, rip your heart from your chest before pummeling it and stomping all over it, punch you in the ovaries, blindside you with a sledgehammer-to-the-chest twist, or make you ugly cry and snuffle all over Manny (our sweet, stuffed manatee). Also, there MAY or MAY NOT be an HEA…but we don’t do spoilers here so it could go either way. And we love ‘em both. ;)

BUT! Just because we both love the same book doesn’t make it a Marmy book. For example Cocky Bastard or On the Island (hey, there’s one for the low-angst list!). Okay, jumping off my big-mouth soapbox now…

bev: So, to any newbies or anyone wondering a Marmy book does not equal a death club book. Death club actually came from somewhere else. I tease them about it because they are not afraid of them. In fact they love any book that has an uncertain ending.

Uncertain can mean more than just death. Any twist or mind f***. But also a hard won hea. Maybe just not a traditional hea. Marmy books are just books that are extremely high angst and makes the reader feel extreme emotions. Sadness yes but also anxiety, fear, confusion, anger, and etc. Me Before You, Thoughtless, Jezebel, Hausfrau, Avoiding Commitment, Arsen, The Opportunist, and Rainfall all Marmy books.

I do have to say that I actually think the majority of those that comment and read this blog love a Marmy book and maybe a death club book too. I think us more conventional romance readers are in the minority here. Which is probably why I do not always understand you all.

… A Marmy happy ending doesn’t mean they are always happy together.

Oh yeah… ;) The Death Club. *blush* That’s us, too. That’s what they dubbed all of us that don’t mind a major character dying in a book. :D !!! Oh… don’t get me wrong. We MIND… (we cry our eyes out until we can’t breathe)… but we can love it, anyway.

What the heck is our book-problem? :P

LOL!!!!! And many of you have specifically requested that we once and for all, put up a Marmy-book list so you can indulge in the most intense reads that your heart can stand.

Cait: We could call Maryse and Amy wait for it….. Marmy!! Lol This book list is right up my alley I actually don’t know where to start!! Whoop

R: OOOH is there a Marmy list already? I think I’ve seen the ugly cry list, but throwing in high angst AND ugly cry adds another level of hurt!

Maryse: OMG. A MARMY list. THAT IS SO GONNA GO UP SHORTLY!!!!!!!!!!! *squeeeeeee* all of our favorite crazy intense books on ONE LIST!!!!!

Nay: count me in as a Marmy book lover too! Is there a Marmy list or do we just go by ‘what to read after…’ lists that we know are gut-wrenching?

Renee: The Marmy list is coming soon Nay! But They’ll happily give recs in the meantime!

Melinda: I would Love a Marmy List. Ooooooh where to start the best books.

Renee: Emma Scott just asked me what Marmy means. I think it’s time to trademark it! And she said to tell Maryse “she hopes her stuff gets classified as Marmy.” :D

Emma: Renee is my ugly-cry pusher. “Psst, hey. You wanna try some of the hard stuff? I got God-Shaped Hole and some TJR. Real primo. Or maybe somethin’ exotic? Hausfrau? I got it all. Say the word and my buddy Prime will have it to you by Tuesday. Legit.”

Maryse: Oh sheeeeeesh. Okay… if Emma is looking for Marmy books, it’s time I posted the list. ;) That will be my project this week. :D !!!! AND HECK YES!! She absolutely has one on here. Two. ;)

Renee: I love ugly cry books but the crying needs to take place before the end!

Amy: WOO-HOOOOOOOO!!!!! A Marmy list!!! I’ll get a list over to you soon, Maryse…this is gonna be FUN!!!! *wiggles in seat*

Nay: I love most all of them–Death, cheating, love triangles–anything that rips my guts out… Anyway–I LURVE angst!!!  …what’s really awesome is that before you sob those happy tears, your guts get chewed up and spit back out over and over again! Such a delicious feeling for angst lovers!

Kim: I love when a book is so angsty that I actually feel my stomach drop at certain parts. Oh, and if there’s a death that shocks me oh I cry. I absolutely adore books that put me through the ringer. There’s something wrong with me lol

Maryse: Right there with you Kim. :) That would make you an honorary member of the “Marmy” club (Maryse & Amy super-angst, shocking twist type books)

Lisa: Sounds like Larks might be a good holiday book. Its about time I tackled a marmy…its been a while.

Nay: Oh yay! The Marmy list too! I’ve been watching for that oneI can’t wait for both of those!

Leslie: Nay is definitely part of the “Marmy”! She loves getting her guts ripped out and wants big angst!! Hee hee.

Grey: I am also ready for the ultimate grey marmy haha! (Those are the dark ones, I want ones that will give me pretzel tummy and stomp on my heart LOL – I know, I’m not asking for much, right?!?)

Amy: Holy moly, R…I know for a fact you haven’t hit the, er, brilliant turn of events. Because no way would you be this calm.

Dang…Hausfrau, Thoughtless, Rainfall. Woman, you need to pace yourself on the Marmy books. You’re going to build up a tolerance and then books like Badger and Jezebel and Forbidden aren’t going to have the desired effect.

Amy: Okay…proof that not every book which obliterates our hearts is a death book. One book which I will not name by title (because spoilers) absolutely destroyed some of us and is a Marmy book, but there was NO death in it.

Leslie: Btw Amy, I am only teasing you about the Marmy books! I know not all Marmy have death and several have HEA….but they def put you through the ringer. Not all of us are as tough a cookie as you, Maryse and the other brave ladies.

There. They exist. ;)

And this is the day. Ready? Hold on to your hats, my friends…

Amy: Okay lady, what do you think the criteria for the list should be? Obviously books like

Maryse: YAY!!! Yes to all of those! :D Jezebel for sure!!!!

Amy: Yes to Jezebel!! Not just because of the ending (LOVED IT!) but what Celeste went through near the end. Holy moly, my heart was aching and breaking for her. …*sigh* I get kind of sad when I think I may never find another one that will have the same effect on me. That’s my inner book nerd rearing it’s head there. ;) (P.S. Maryse’s Book Review)

Jennifer: I first read Jezebel this past weekend and was blown away. I 5 starred it but wished to learn more about the aftermath but thought that may have lessened the impact of the story. Now I know, it did not…perfect!

Theresa: I just finished Jezebel…absolutely fabulous. Can we just say cuckoo for cocoa puffs!!!! I thought I had it all figured out and then SLAM! I think I sat there with my mouth open for like ten minutes! I know this is not about this post but I had to throw it out there!!! I feel better now.

Maryse: Drowning Instinct <— (Maryse’s Book Review)

Amy: Drowning Instinct…will anyone ever, ever, EVER listen to us about that one?!? Maybe they will after the Marmy list, DANGIT!!!

Amy: Drowning Instinct…holy moly, I am so not kidding when I say that it is different from all of the other teacher-student books. I started it at one point and then stopped (I was probably in a mood), but when Maryse reviewed it I had to go back and BAM! It kicked my mind’s a$$. And my heart’s a$$. And my a$$. In other words, it was perfect. :D

Sadie: great book! So glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. :)

Maryse: and Rainfall <— SO POIGNANT, STUNNING AND FOREVER ONE OF MY FAVORITES!!!! Still in the mood for a shocking love story. Have you read Rainfall yet? I’d suggest an immediate move into that one. (Maryse’s Book Review)

Amy: Rainfall STILL kills me. I wanted it to go so differently and yet it wouldn’t have affected me the same way if it HAD gone that way. It still hurts. :(

Lisa: Rainfall, Rainfall, Rainfall!!!! I love that book. The ending destroyed me for days….even when I think of it now, I get the feelz.

Melinda: It’s captivating. The writing is so so good. Gutted is such a great word for this book.

Leslie: I can tell you right now I would hate Rainfall. I came very close to reading it, realized I couldn’t handle it, then read a ton of spoilers…so I know what happens and big fat nope!!

Maryse: *snort* You are missing out… how it plays out is AMAZING *sigh* LOVE it. When it all comes together… wow.

Maryse: Stolen by Lucy Christopher (Maryse’s Book Review)

Kathy: Just finished Stolen by Lucy Christopher. I know it was one of your dark read Maryse. I think I have Stockholm Syndrome. Crazy to have sympathy for a kidnapper! I still don’t know how I feel.

Vivien: Stolen a Letter to my Captor by Lucy Christopher. I read that book in one sitting, I cried, and it sparked by love for reading. I force feed that book on everyone I know. I read the book at least once every year.

Carla: Because that was my first personal case of Stockholm syndrome. lol

Rebecca: You rock! I’ve been working my way through your “dark reads” list and Stolen by Lucy Christopher blew my mind

and Forever, Interrupted: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid <— Oh GAH!! Forever Interrupted and After I Do did me in. And I LOVED every second of it. Books. Always and only in books. (Maryse’s Book Review)

Amy: obviously we know from the blurb that he dies at the beginning, but I wasn’t expecting to fall for the guy through the flashbacks AFTER he died, and I wasn’t expecting to cry as much as I did…like, big flat ploppy tears that just kept running out of my eyes for most of the book. And I loved every minute of it, even though I wanted to break things and kick things by the end because I didn’t want him to be gone. GAH!!! …OMG Forever, Interrupted hurt my heart in a different way from any other book. She made me fall in love with him AFTER he died, and that was just a whole new kind of heartache to experience!!

Jeannie: I absolutely LOVED Forever, Interrupted,

Maryse: Of COURSE Me Before You: A Novel by Jojo Moyes (Maryse’s Book Review)

Amy: Me Before You goes without saying. So beautifully heartbreaking.

Wilda: I read it years ago, but it still gives me heartache.

Nicole: The book that I just had to share with others is Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. It made me re-examine many things in my life.

R: I wanna play too!! Me Before You was pretty light, right? *scrolls through books* Nope. I got nothing! :D

Maryse: Held by Edeet Ravel <— I LOVED the ending of this one! Held is about a kidnapped teenager but OMG it is SO good. Held in a room… of course Stockholm syndrome and all. (Maryse’s Book Review)

Greg: I just got Held by Edeet Ravel from the library it’s great reading. Chloe Mills actually feels for her hostage taker she has Stockholm syndrome. I can imagine how she must be disgusted with herself for feeling this way.

Amy: Held…aw man, Maryse! You KNEW how much that one would mess with me, didn’t ya?? I’ve been running through it over and over for days now and STILL can’t wrap my head around it. …Held made me freak out at the end (which is SO much fun!)

Amy: The story was going along all calm and without anything major happening, almost to the point where I was *wanting* something bad to happen just to shake things up, and then…and then…the *spoiler* and…and… *scratches head* No. It’s *spoiler*. *spoiler*. Because he *spoiler*…he *spoiler*…and she *spoiler*… No way. Nuh-uh. *shakes head and crosses arms* They just want to *spoiler* *spoiler*. They are *spoilers*. Because no way did…

Right? RIGHT?!?


I just don’t know. :?

Maryse: The Reluctant Dom by Tymber Dalton <— back when BDSM love stories were rarer (this one made everyone cry… I don’t know if it would get the same effect today but I think so). (Maryse’s Book Review)

Danielle: The Reluctant Dom by Tymber Dalton made me cry so hard I thought I was going to hyperventilate!

Lori: The one that broke the dam was Reluctant Dom by Tymber Dalton.

Maryse: How to Kill a Rock Star <— Maryse’s Book Review (and God-Shaped Hole even though I haven’t read it, I think I know how it ends) by Tiffanie DeBartolo

Amy: How to Kill a Rockstar…definitely. DEFINITELY! God-Shaped Hole…GAH!! That’s all I’m saying. GAH.

Jean: So, How to Kill a Rock Star… it going to kill me?!?!?!? I am so anxious about reading it because I’ve wanted to for over a year now! I know I will have you girls for support though!

Tracy: just finished How To Kill a Rock Star. So wonderful.

Janet: you were spot on with ‘How to Kill a Rock Star’ – great recommendation!

Maryse: You: A Novel by Caroline Kepnes <— creepy!!! You is mature (by way of adults/college students), he’s a hipster type and a stalker and falls for a girl. Stalks her, but she doesn’t realize it and begins associating with him. I’ll stop there. ;) (Maryse’s Book Review)

Marina: Just finished You by Caroline Kepnes and LOVED IT!!! Wow, how did I just finally read this book?!?!?!?!? It has been on my TBR for AGES, since your review Maryse in 2014?.

Michelle:  This one was fantastically creepy and was a great read – Maryse has reviewed it as well.

Maryse: Butterfly Weeds by Laura Miller <— a little gentler but def. has the cry factor (Maryse’s Book Review)

Amy: Butterfly Weeds is a lighter, gentler one for sure…but the ending is still a heart-wrencher!! *sniffle*

Jami: another book that I read on your reccommendation that hurt me was Butterfly Weeds by Laura Miller.

Cheryl: Finished Butterfly Weeds, oh yeh, I cried. Amy/Maryse- did you read the follow-up book My Butterfly? Debating how much crying I can handle…

Kathy: my absolute favorite book boyfriend is the sweet and honest Will from Butterfly Weeds by Laura Miller. He’s my wish-I-had-a-boyfriend-like-him-in-high-school-but-he-didn’t-exist boyfriend.

Tammie: I just read butterfly weeds and had some really teary moments and my heart felt so heavy at the end of the book it was good to read a good light funny book!

Amy: Okay, we can’t forget about:

Amy: THERAPY, but OMG that is a Marmy book. The angst, the heartache, and the “hasn’t she been through enough yet???” were a combination that worked me over in the most delicious way. ;) Amy: Okay, how about these…

Maryse: OMG YES!!!! So shocking, and painful… and what an ENDING!!!!! YES PLEASE!!! :)

Amy: RIGHT?!? With Arsen and with Tristan and Danika, I swear by the end of both of them I was exhausted and aching yet sobbing happy tears…throw in some sweating and panting and I might as well have just given birth, LOL!! I am SO FREAKING EXCITED for this list!!! Giddy, I tell ya…GIDDY!!

BUT!!!! There’s more!! :D

It Ends with Us: A Novel by Colleen Hoover <— *ooooooomph*!!!!!!!! (Maryse’s Book Review)

Maryse: I waited until the last minute to read it and OMG!!!

Amy: MARYSE!! Is it a Marmy read???? Is it? Is it?? IS IT?!?

Maryse: Oh Amy it IS. But I don’t want anyone getting assumptions just because it’s a Marmy book!!!! READ IT. Seriously!

Amy: Sooooo…it’s a Marmy book but not a SCARY Marmy book. Hear that, all y’all? Nothin’ to be scared of!!! :D

bev: A five star Marmy book. But not one of THOSE Marmy books. Nothing else needs to be said. Trust me. Lol. I don’t trust it. When I first read Slammed I was really into it. Then I read it again a couple of years later and I was like, Whoa Lake. Slow your roll girl. Those are some big serious consequences that don’t just affect you two.

Amy: *glares at Bev*

Maryse: *glares at Bev* *chucks a peanut onto bev’s nose. Just because*

bev: Yeah, I think that missed me.

Amy: I am STILL hurting from that one. She took an issue which is usually black and white for me and made it all kinds of gray. And dammit, that gray area put me through turmoil.

Lisa: This was the perfect read, leaving behind such a powerful message! I have so much respect for Colleen and her family<3 I loved ALL the characters, even when they were “just people who do bad things.” Help!! My first official book hangover since Suanne Laqueur’s Fish Tales :( (((((

An Exaltation of Larks by Suanne Laquer <— HECK. YES!!! Actually ALL books by this author (so far) have been angsty, gasp-inducing, OMG NOOOOOOOO… and OMG YESSSSSSS!!!! NOTE: All of her books are intense and yet a little “lighter” in the Marmy-trauma-format, but definitely addictive, and will make you gasp in dread and delight the entire way through. (Maryse’s Book Review)

Fabi: I’m a little surprised that The Man I Love and/or An Exaltation of Larks isn’t in the list. Those are the two most recent “Marmy” books I’ve read.

Nay: My favorite for November was also An Exaltation of Larks. NO question.

Cheryl: I am LOVING this book. It’s so beautifully written and I’m slowly eating every bit up like a big bowl of pudding. “Desire pooled thick like pudding in her chest, sweet along the back of her throat.” And oh yeh, the name, is it only obvious to the reader?! Waiting for that shoe to fall, along with the BIG fall.

Sharon: I just finished An Exaltation of Larks, and it’s probably one of the best all time reads for me. What a story. It smoldered and burned and hurt and ached. Every one of those characters pulled your heart strings. I was disappointed with the ending, but loved the ending . . . It was just right. I am definitely book hung over now.

The Fish Tales by Suanne Laqueur <— Fish Tales is sooooo good, and shouldn’t be missed… Some readers find it a bit slow in the first third of book #1, but OMG do they enjoy it right after…

Renee:  I cried half the night because I got to a super sad part of the 3rd Fish Tales that I didn’t see coming and today I’m crying because it’s almost over. This is a first. Starting the book hangover before the book ends. Gah.

Lisa: Robin your reaction to Fish Tales is EXACTLY why its on my tbr list gathering dust.

Renee: I’m hungry, I’m considering a mid-day bubble bath, and The Fish Tales may end me.

Grace: Fish Tales! It was oddly addictive from the start for me, but I can’t really tell you why. Fish just fascinated me. Once the drama explodes, I was beside myself with emotions, with needing to devour every single moment just to know what happens! I think it was so rich a story because it was so unique. It wasn’t feeding us overplayed devices set up to break our hearts so we would be emotional about the characters, but genuine pain and confusion and coping difficulties. I became obsessed with getting what I wanted to happen to happen, but had no earthly reason to believe that I was going to get it. These books were epic! Waiting between releases was painful! For anyone who can just read the whole thing back to back right now, there is no excuse not to just dive in!

Reyna: I agree about the Fish tales series. I just bought the third one and am about to read, but the first 2 had me crying and feeling so much for these characters. I swear I felt like I was there with them. This series is at the top of my favorites list. Definately need as box of kleenex very close when reading!

Author Anonymous: A True Story by E.K. Blair (Maryse’s Book Review)

Maryse: it’s a Marmy book. Along the lines of “Arsen” and extremely stressful. But what makes this one so extra-intriguing to me is that it’s called “Author Anonymous” and it’s a true story about an author in our community (NYT Best Seller indie, now traditionally published) BUT!!! She didn’t write it. She told her story to another author (E.K. Blair) who wrote it for her.

Amy: O. M. GEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! Another Marmy book!! Holy moly, this one is going to work me over, isn’t it? And the fact that it’s REAL?? My tummy is already twisting just from your review.  Hmmm…reminds me of another trainwreck-that-I-couldn’t-look-away-from read where the housewife kept making face-palming choices yet I could never dislike her. ;) GAH! Why do we love these kind of stories?!?

Maryse: Oh yes Amy… this is Marmy in full force. And it’s NOT fiction!!!!!! *gasp*

The Turning Point by Freya North <— Amy wants to add this one!

Amy: I’m thinking Turning Point may be a Marmy book as well, but Maryse hasn’t read it yet.  That book. THAT BOOK. I really struggled with the writing style at first (it wasn’t bad, just difficult for me to adjust to) but once I did, I was hooked. And now…now I’m still healing. Still bruised. So of course what do I do? I keep poking at the bruise and then cringing ’cause it hurts so much. That book does NOT shy away from ugly, painful truth of what all happened.

1986 by Morgan Parker <— Amy suggests this one!

Amy: I would say 1986 is a Marmy book. Not a OMG-you-have-to-read-this-NOW Marmy book, but a book you should add to your short list.

I’ll *try* to sum it up quickly and without giving anything away…the writing was pretty good, nothing spectacular but I am more forgiving with male authors writing a female MC. (I am MUCH harder on female authors for whatever reason. Don’t ask ’cause I don’t know why) There were some “huh?” moments that could have been clarified a bit better, and there were some typos which weren’t a big deal at first but were much more frequent in the last one-third of the book. That aside, this isn’t a steamy cheating book like Arsen or Thoughtless…she jumps into the affair right away (no insta-love though), but it is actually believable because she had a history of jumping right into unhealthy relationships with guys before she was married after an emotionally traumatic experience in high school (not rape, so no triggers).

What makes it a Marmy book is the TURN it takes. There were several times where I was thinking “WTF is going on?!?” right along with her, and even *I* didn’t know who she should believe or what she should do. It’s not a mindf&%k, and it’s not a thriller, but given the setting of being in 1986 Ukraine (I love books set in times before cell phones and internet) with the whole KGB fear and being an American who is at risk over there, it was definitely a tummy-twister with a nice punch to the chest when everything is realized. And the ending and epilogue…GAH, bittersweet!

God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo <— Amy read both books by this awesome author, and while BOTH can be read as standalones, THIS ONE (her first book)… sort of crosses over with her next one. Amy didn’t know how exactly, so I told her about the hidden “Easter Egg.” cameo-type thingie ;) And she says:

Amy: YAY!!!!!! *twirls around and tosses candy confetti* Now you have to read How to Kill a Rock Star so you can get the Easter egg. I re-read the scene after Maryse told me what it was and ohhhhhhh, my heart!! (I read HTKARS before GSH so I never put two and two together before) HTKARS has angst and emotion and *GASPS* and gut punches and it’s just wonderful but in its own way unique from GSH. AND they are both contenders for the Marmy list so…there’s that.

Kim: What’s really funny is I’ve owned How to Kill a Rock Star for a few years and that’s the book I’m scared of even though I’ve read every book mentioned above except two.

Allison: Amy, God Shaped Hole is the one I read and How to Kill a Rock Star I haven’t yet because I’m afraid of crying that hard ever again. LOL

How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo <— HELLO??!!! YES. THIS ONE IS OF COURSE ON THIS LIST! (Maryse’s Book Review)

Maryse: Here’s a quote from the book:

Break my heart? Is that what you just said? I have news for you; you didn’t break my heart. My heart’s fine. My heart’s in the best shape of its life. You know what you did to me? You took an AK-47 and blew my soul open.

Just saying… ;) *ooooooooooooomph*!!!!!!!!

Full Tilt by Emma Scott <— Amy says: “I’m pretty sure Full Tilt was an agreed upon book to add to the Marmy list. ;)” (Maryse’s Book Review)

Maryse: You must read Full Tilt!!!! It’s a complete book, except I realize “All In (Full Tilt Book 2)” is DEFINITELY a sequel and you must NOT read the blurb or even that book, until you’ve read #1. ;) Mind you, if anyone stumbles on #2 first and reads it, they’ll still be able to follow… it’s just much more poignant after experiencing #1.

Amy: You have to read Full Tilt!!! You’ll never look at blown glass the same way again. ;) … all I have to listen to is From Where You Are by Lifehouse and Stars by Grace Potter and BAM! I’m right back in Full Tilt!

R: if you’ve read the blurb, you pretty much know what you’re in for. Full Tilt hurts, but All In heals :)

Cheryl: Amy, Maryse and R- are your ears ringing now? I just finished Full Tilt and I am a SOBBING mess! I kinda *hate* you right now. Beautifully written, but gah I just, ugh, feel so devastated!!! Gonna look at All In…

Tristan & Danika by R.K. Kelley <— Amy also DEMANDS everyone reads this one! “READ TRISTAN AND DANIKA’S TRILOGY!!!!!!! That is a Marmy trilogy if ever there was one!!! I’m not kidding. My tummy and chest just clenched thinking about it, and I want to sob happy tears all over again. I don’t think I have EVER sobbed happy tears over another book like I did with T&D.” P.S. Here are Maryse’s Book Reviews of this series:

The Breathing Series by Rebecca Donovan <— Leslie recommends this one! “Major angst/ugly cry (aka Marmy) – Breathing Series” (Maryse’s review of book #1 Reason To Breathe)

Jezebel by K. Larsen <— GASP-WORTHY AWESOMENESS!!!! Yes… it’s a Marmy book FOR SURE!!!! (Maryse’s Book Review)

R: Is Jezebel Marmy? I LOVED it, but it didn’t feel Marmy to me. We may have to discuss. Hmmm…

Grey: Oh yes. Jezebel is def a Marmy book… It’s a Grey book at any rate LOL! Oomph and Forbidden, that one made the bottom of my stomach fall out!

Amy: *I* think it qualified as a Marmy read because of the *OOMPH!* twist we didn’t see coming. I know I didn’t see it coming, and I’m pretty sure Maryse didn’t either. But I would say it’s one of the “safer” Marmy reads. Not *too* intense but emotional and twisty all the same with a nice WTH! to round it out.

Leslie is not a big “Marmy books” fan, but she has a few that she recommends: “I think the highest angst I have ever read that twisted my tummy, shocked me and made me cry were:

I don’t often read books like these as they tore my heart out. But when I have the guts, WOW, they are brilliant.”

Sadie recommends these! “I just read this post and apparently is genre is my jam. Great list! I loved Held! Can’t believe you haven’t read GSH despite knowing the spoiler. also, Fish Tales series, Emi Lost and Found series. Side note: I think you guys would like one called Boy Toy by Barry Lyga.”

Rebecca: You would know to put The Jack & Jill Series on the list if you would listen to me and READ IT! And, you haven’t read God Shaped Hole? Omg.


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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Karin December 4, 2016 at 8:43 PM

I can’t like Thoughtless. I have tried so hard! I have read and listened to it 3 times and it still does not do it for me. What is it??!!

bev December 4, 2016 at 8:54 PM

Its A Marmy.

Leslie M December 4, 2016 at 8:59 PM

Ok, I guess I’m not as anti-Marmy as I thought! I have read 10 off the list (some are even my faves) and I have 4 on my TBR! *gasps*

Fabi December 4, 2016 at 9:00 PM

No one can say I don’t try “everything”. I have read SIX books on this list. (and survived, thank you very much).

I’m a little surprised that The Man I Love and/or An Exaltation of Larks isn’t in the list. Those are the two most recent “Marmy” books I’ve read.

Leslie M December 4, 2016 at 9:01 PM

Still no death club books though!! I stand firm on that one.

bev December 4, 2016 at 9:05 PM

Leslie, to tell the truth, I’m not that surprised after reading your low angst list.;)

Tasha J December 4, 2016 at 9:05 PM

I’ve read 10 off this list! I never thought I could really be grouped with loving the angsty books, they scare me bad and stress me out, but most all of them I’ve read have ended up being favorites! I suppose I’m just eclectic. I like a little of everything, even if I need to push myself to read those angsty books they’re always worth it in the end!

Maryse December 4, 2016 at 9:09 PM

Oh YEAH Fabi!!!

Adding them now!!! :D

Fabi December 4, 2016 at 9:29 PM

Welp, my count just went up to 10. One I’d forgotten to count and two that Maryse is adding. You guys are a bad (good) influence on me. Great friends make friends ugly face cry and hyperventilate. (by recommending a great book of course) ;-)

Maryse December 4, 2016 at 9:38 PM


Leslie M December 4, 2016 at 9:39 PM

My issue is I seem to be getting whimper. I just can’t take the stressful reads anymore.

Tessa December 4, 2016 at 9:49 PM

Wow. Some of my favorites are on here. Thoughtless *sighs happily* and Tristan and Danika. No words needed for that one. Just… no words. I went to re-read it and my stomach knotted in a HELL NO way. I loved the story, but the journey to get to the end hurts.

Consequence… *kicks, ALOT* That book had me swearing, getting up and ranting, then going back. It’s like a train wreck. You can’t stop watching. Bright Side made me cry. End of story. Next read Gus, it makes you cry too, then it heals you and has you smiling. *shakes head* I honestly didn’t get as much out of Captive in the Dark as the rest of you. I was just rolling my eyes after a while. I know. Weird.

I know didn’t like a certain aspect of this rec, Maryse, but Fear Me and Fear Us are both tummy twisters. So are The Kane Chronicles by Stylo Fantome. :D

Cheryl December 4, 2016 at 9:54 PM

I’m ok with the high angst, but what I really don’t like is a non-HEA or death book. That said I’ve read 19 of the books listed. Still not sure about God Shaped Hole.

bev December 4, 2016 at 10:00 PM

I’m completely outnumbered, aren’t I?

Let’s see. I read The Tied Man. Enjoyed the BR more than the book.;)
I DNF ‘ d Avoiding Commitment and refuse to read more by that author.
Because I associate it with The Opportunist that one has languished on my nook forever. Plus, spoilers.
I have read The Reluctant Dom. It’s been along time so it’s a bit blurry now.
I read the end of Rainfall.
And I’ve read the first Breathing Book.
I started and never finished Butterfly Weeds, could go back.
I also own Thoughtless, Bad Romeo, and Bad Things.
Oh, and DNF ‘ d Consequences.

Leslie M December 4, 2016 at 10:12 PM

Bev, Avoiding Commitment & Opportunist are very similar. Do you remember what upset you about Avoiding series? Just curious. I LOVED Consequences but can understand how it’s not everyone’s cuppa.

Emma Scott December 4, 2016 at 11:57 PM

Robin had challenged me to tackle this list. Challenge accepted! After we BR some stuff Hausfrau is first up. Bring it!!

Jen C December 5, 2016 at 2:07 AM

Karin – I’m the same, can’t get into Thoughtless et al for some reason and I have no idea what it is?

I’ve read about 10 off the list and added the rest. Several of my absolute faves (Opportunist, Consequences, IEWU, and Rainfall) are here so can’t wait to get started on the rest. So many books, so little time!!

Amy December 5, 2016 at 2:08 AM

I missed the debut of this list?!? Where the heck have I been for the last few hours!!!!!

Oh yeah, I had my nose buried in a book (which has me feelin’ all kinds of unpleasant feels right now which will take a bit to sort out) and a hand wrapped around a martini glass… *snort*

I feel like we should have rings that we tap together and then say, “Marmy twin powers…ACTIVATE!” Like the cartoon…remember? Good lord, I’m going to feel so silly if no one knows what I’m talking about…

Lisa December 5, 2016 at 2:29 AM

Well. Initially I thought this list should be re-filed as the Pandora’s Box file (don’t open ever)…because Im a Lily-livered coward.
But I started to really look at it and I am astounded to say I have read a lot of these books…and loved them. GSH and HtKaRS are two faves…Love me With Lies, Tristan & Danika, Bad Romeo…all books I loved.
So. I think I am afraid of heart shredders but if I can just go in blind they usually turn out to be the books I remember. Its the apprehension that does me in.
Great list Marmy! ;)

Amy December 5, 2016 at 2:32 AM

So, I finally calmed down and actually READ everything up there, and I’ve been flooded with emotion from reliving scenes and seeing all the comments and quotes and LOVE for our faves!! I just want to gather all those books up and hug ‘em. Er, yeah. Inner book nerd is alive and well. Obviously.

Yep, this is me…and yep, I’m a dork:

Amy December 5, 2016 at 2:33 AM

See, Lisa?? Our recs aren’t so scary. ;)

Leslie M December 5, 2016 at 3:51 AM

Amy, I get major floods of emotion remembering my fave books…in fact I cry in my car when hearing a song that reminds me of a book. Huge dork here!!

I may have read some Marmy books, but make NO MISTAKE, there are a lot on there that I have to stay far, far away from.

Lisa December 5, 2016 at 3:56 AM

I know what you mean Leslie. When I read GSH I was staying with my mum and I was so distraught I had to go and lie down because I couldn’t stop crying. My dear mum thought I was having some kind of breakdown!!

I don’t think I could re-live that book.

Melinda December 5, 2016 at 7:36 AM

Great list Maryse, I’ve read nearly all the books on the list except maybe 2.
Love it.

Georgia Nikolaros December 5, 2016 at 7:48 AM

The Signal Bend Series- Susan Fanetti. You need a box of tissues for each of the 6 books. The best Motorcycle series by far that I have read. Raw, Hot, and quite realistic! Enjoy!

Nancy Parken December 5, 2016 at 9:17 AM

I’ve read almost all the books on the list. I’m not a huge fan of this type book, but doesn’t mean I don’t read them. Katy Regnery’s Ginger’s Heart made me cry ugly and grieve. I love all her books, but this one has the “Marmy” factor that the others don’t.
Eminent Love by Leddy Harper was the first book I read by her and again I cried ugly and was full of grief.
I always can tell if the book did me in, when I’m crying writing a review and struggle to not give the details of the story away or how emotional I am.

Nancy Parken December 5, 2016 at 9:32 AM

I can’t believe I didn’t list A THOUSAND BOY KISSES by Tillie Cole. My granddaughter is a big fan of John Green’s books and said this book was sadder and she cried more than A FAULT IN OUR STARS.

Nay December 5, 2016 at 9:51 AM

Maryse–thank you SO much! This list is FREAKING FANTASTIC!! (Yes, I’m screaming it!)

To my surprise, there are quite a few books on it that I haven’t read yet, 27 to be exact. So I had already decided that my resolution for the new year was going to be something to do with books, and now I know what it is–I’m going to read every one of those 27 books by the end of 2017! I’m adding two shelves to GR–’Marmy books’ and ‘Marmy to read in 2017′. SQUEE!!!

Ela December 5, 2016 at 11:48 AM

Uhm MARYSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Transcendence by Shay Savage….HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Amy December 5, 2016 at 12:34 PM

A Thousand Boy Kisses was okay for me, but then again it was quite similar to another book (same kind of plot) so I was constantly comparing. Totally a “me, not the book” thing, I think. ;) But I will be checking out Ginger’s Heart and Eminent Love!

*sigh* Transcendence…I can’t say it’s a Marmy book (for me) but oh, my heart…was it beautiful.

Grey December 5, 2016 at 1:16 PM

Wow, I haven’t read quite a few of these… I’m kind of ashamed of myself! If anyone wants to know what I want for Christmas, haha!

Thanks Maryse and Amy…for being awesome and making this fantastic list. I’m a proud Marmy, bring on those pretzel tummy feels!

Lisa Aiello December 5, 2016 at 2:38 PM

I am a proud Marmy too – I think we need t-shirts. I only had to add like 3 books from that list to my TBRs. I think Rainfall is forever going my favoritest Marmy book though…god, I loved/hated the storyline. I could cry now just thinking how unfair it all was!!!

Leslie M December 5, 2016 at 2:51 PM

Lisa, I lol-ed at your comment!! I love that I’m not the only one who has “breakdowns” over fictional characters. *

Somebody please get Manny, the blankie fort, and stockpile tissues…I’ve just started It Ends With US *gasp*

Ela December 5, 2016 at 2:52 PM

I absolutely hated You well, 1.5 stars hated. For the love of all books I just couldn’t understand that psycho’s actions!

Lisa Aiello December 5, 2016 at 3:22 PM

Ela – I am a bit intrigued as to how “You” is going to work into a Marmy book. It’s on my TBR, but not as a Marmy. I woulda never thought that…but if my Marmy leaders say so, I believe them!!!

Ela December 5, 2016 at 4:21 PM

Lisa, I have to say that I did not find You to be a Marmy book but more of a Romance/psycho-thriller along with Her Master’s Courtesan and Consequences…but hey that’s just me.

Grey December 5, 2016 at 5:20 PM

Oh yes… I suggested T-shirts way back… Maryse where is that post when I decided what our shirts would look like? That should definitely be added to this post, haha!

Emma Scott, I’ll BR Hausfrau with you, I haven’t read it yet either… and Maryse and Amy tell me I must read it… *shrug* I’ll be going in completely blind, I purposely avoided all talk on the blog about it, because I knew that I’d read it at some point and I need a 5 star, I haven’t had one in a LONG time!

Amy December 5, 2016 at 5:57 PM

Yes Grey…go into Hausfrau with NO spoilers. That is the best way to get the full effect of it.

Her Master’s Courtesan…again, *shudder*

Amy December 5, 2016 at 5:59 PM

Oh Leslie…I still have a lingering ache from It Ends With Us. Even now I find myself trying to rationalize and bargain around things from it. You’ll see what I mean. ;)

Leslie M December 5, 2016 at 6:51 PM

Amy, I’m kind of dying of curiosity right now. I’m at 27% and nothing earth shattering has happened. I’m biting my nails in anticipation.

Maryse December 5, 2016 at 7:39 PM

Keep reading Leslie… ;)

I went in blind and I was all… NO WAY!!!!

Leslie M December 5, 2016 at 7:47 PM

Ugh!! My curiosity just got more piqued!

Carla December 5, 2016 at 8:20 PM

Maryse this list is just WOOOOW! I can see that I’m definitely at The death club and I don’t even know if that’s a good thing. lol
I love HEA, we need them, right?! But at the same time. I just love when it hurts very much and some of those book had a huge impact on me. They feel so real. Life doesn’t always have a HEA.

Well, I read some of these and I couldn’t agree more with you and Amy. Seriously, there are gems here. Some of them, I’ll never forget.

I still have to read lots of them, like Rainfall, Author Anonymous, Fult Tilt, Arsen, Bright Side, The Man I love, Jezebel, Badger and Forever Interupted but at least I already bought them, I’m just waiting for the right time.

Thanks! You reminded me that I still have to read some of them. ;)

Cait December 6, 2016 at 3:53 AM

So when this list popped up in my email I thought he’ll yess, these two will rock my world with this list!theres a few I haven’t read so now I’m sorted as Iv been in a book funk! I also forgot that I named you pair Marmy!! Lol

Amy December 6, 2016 at 1:44 PM

GAH Carla!!! I’m so jealous that you still have all those amazing books ahead of you!! You will have SO much fun with them. :D

Actually, I’m jealous of ALL of you who will be virgin-reading these books. ;)

Maryse December 6, 2016 at 4:54 PM

LOL Cait!!! I’m so happy I found that comment from you where it allllllllllll first started…


Maryse December 6, 2016 at 4:55 PM

Carla… the list you just listed that you still have to read… OMG IT WILL ROCK. YOUR. WORLD!!!!!


Maryse December 6, 2016 at 4:55 PM

Grey… I shall search out the t-shirt comment!!!

WOW that would be SO FUN to create!!!!

Cait December 6, 2016 at 5:01 PM

Your a genie really Maryse!! I had forgotten completelyy! But seriously this list is the business! There’s a few I haven’t read so I’m sorted for the next week or so! I lovvvvw angsty books!!

bev December 6, 2016 at 10:46 PM

Leslie, what about Avoiding Commitment…..hmm. You’d think I’d remember better why I took such a dislike. I see the author’s name on books and I’m, Nope nope nope. Not for me.” I’m this way with a few authors though.
If I remember correctly I bought the whole series or at least the first two. I think I randomly skimmed some in second book before the hard DNF of the first.
Let’s see. I didn’t like the heroine, her bf, or the “hero”. Could not for the life of me see the attraction between them. Maybe because they were both narcissist and so it was like looking in a mirror? Or just physical? Seems like the heroine’s physical attributes were written about ad nauseum, as if that was her character. I do not think they showed any depth of character or growth.

Young December 7, 2016 at 12:35 PM

Ok, this is the list that I need to avoid at all costs. Although I floved Thoughtless! Normally I’m not good with cheating (Thoughtless was an exception) ,ugly tears an scary angtsyness!!

Leslie M December 8, 2016 at 6:46 AM

Bev, I see what you mean about Avoiding Commitment….but sometimes for me the characters negative traits is what makes me like it. I know it’s weird…but it’s the whole “love to hate” thing then also seeing the characters changes throughout the series.

Young, I hear you!!! I have a hard time with overly depressing reads. I absolutely cannot do “death” books. A lot on this list scares the heck outta me. However, I was surprised that I have read and loved so many. You may actually be able to handle a few.

Fran September 1, 2017 at 1:27 PM

I just read Something in the Way by Jessica Hawkins. OMG! I almost forgot to breathe and my pulse was over 180 ;-) The story is super angsty and I suffered with both of them. It’s a trilogy but the third book comes out this October (can’t wait).
Teenage girl falls in love with construction worker. But he gets together with her older sister even though he’s in love with the younger one.

The other one I recently read is Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center. That book is her most angsty one and it also has the younger guy older woman theme in it :-D
Woman in her thirties goes on a survival trip with her younger brother’s best friend. He is madly in love with her and she fights it and has to watch how he meets a beautiful girl his age at the camp :-)

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