But of COURSE, you just KNOW I had to make this list. So many of us went crazy for Me Before You. We sobbed through it. We rejoiced, and despaired in it. And many of us would love to experience that wonderful connection again, relating to such amazing, human, realistic characters, and their difficult plight together (and apart).
Sharon: Help. Just finished Me Before You. I am speechless. This book just hit me so deeply. I cried and I cried. Real sobbing tears. Not just tears in my eyes. They were the kind I needed a moment and lots of tissues. I couldn’t read through them. My problem is, what do you read after this?
MichelleS: I finished Me Before You today …It was FANTASTIC. I cried…. of course…. but it was so well written… Not sure what I am in the mood for after THAT.
Lynn: I’m not sure anything will surpass he effect Me Before You had on me. I still can’t talk about that damn book without tearing up. Hmph.
Cindy: Just started Me Before You! I always search for those amazing books where there is that perfect amount of chemistry between characters! Love it!
What happens when the worst thing that could ever happen to you, that threatens your will to live, your freedom, and your dreams and expectations, guides you to some of the happiest moments of your life? To a new outlook. To a new life (no matter the outcome).
And while this list will of course highlight on a similar genre (a caretaker and a patient developing an incredible bond, whether it be falling in love or developing a beautiful friendship), but we can also suggest heartfelt, emotionally deep books that gave us this “buzz”. For example, The Fault in Our Stars. Not a similar “plot” (caretaker and disabled patient) but certainly a similar emotion.
The ending (HEA or not) doesn’t need to be a determining factor for this list. It’s all about the depth of the emotion that we experience with characters (family, lovers, friends or strangers) that are dealing with, adapting to, or overcoming a life-altering situation together.
And right off the bat, I’m going to bring up Emma Scott’s awesome book, “RUSH (City Lights: New York City)“. He’s not paralyzed, but he’s blind and needs an assistant and it has all of the heartwarming, and infuriating Me Before You touches that we loved. Here’s my review and Annie agrees! “I really enjoyed Rush. It had a Me Before You feel that I loved. Thanks!”
Holli suggests The Realm of You and Samantha agrees! “I am 55% into The Realm of You and it’s really an interesting book. Very different, but oh so good!!!!”
Jeannine suggests “Falling From the Sky by Sarina Bowen. She’s a doctor and he’s an Olympian who can’t move his legs. It’s an amazing read — my favorite in the series.”
Rachel: Adam’s Fall by Sandra Brown. It’s exactly that description!
Bright Side by Kim Holden <— SO many here recommend it!
Tessa: “Honestly, Bright Side was a fluke for me to read. GUTTED me and yet, it was probably my favorite of 2014. *sighs*”
Cheryl: Bright Side is a beautifully written gut-wrenching ugly cry of a story!! Grab a buddy to read it with you
Maria: my most favorite book I would give to my friends would be Bright Side by Kim Holden.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green <— I have yet to read (or watch!!) this one, but it’s one of the most beloved, heart wrenching/heartwarming books, so I’ve heard:
Sheila: The last book that did that to me was The Fault in Our Stars, and I still don’t think I’m over that one after many months! (Even though now it’s like an addiction that keeps me re-reading it over and over again)\
Katherine: I would definitely say read The Fault in Our Stars first! I was scared to read it and now can’t believe it took me so long to read it! Enjoy!
Anna: Re: The Fault in Our Stars- Read it! Read it! Read it! Don’t let the fear of reading something you know will be emotionally intense get in your way. I feel my life is better “knowing” the characters in that book. I’ve both read it and listened to the audiobook (which is fabulously narrated) multiple times. There are quotes from this book that make my life better having read them. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole <— a recent one that had many crying and loving it:
MichelleS: I just finished A Thousand Boy Kisses and I am wrecked. Just wrecked. …Man. This one did me in. Why oh why oh why do I read this stuff????? (I need Kleenex).
Cait: Finished a thousand boy kisses and omg I loved it I was a blubbering mess by the end of it but I can’t stop thinking of it all day!
Ann-Theres: “i recently read Live For This, by Kathryn R.Biel!! The plot is kind of the same, but has a good twist also” and Jeanie agrees: “Loved Live For This”
Come Lie with Me by Linda Howard was suggested by Heidi!
Heidi: …a similar, easy read.
Heather: I read it at least once a year. He’s angry, withdrawn and in pain. She’s a physical therapist with walls of her own. It’s so poignant. Such a beautiful story, with strong themes of mutual healing (his physical and loss of hope, hers abuse).
Night Road by Kristin Hannah
Cindy: Lets see…emotional…Night Road by Kristin Hannah. I’m still not over it.
Erin: If you want a book that will make you bawl read “The night road” by Kristin Hannah. Omg!!!! This one hits all the fear and pain when you are a parent. So so so good. I also just read “Home Front” by Kristin Hannah. Also made me cry but not quite as good as the night road.
Cindy: I have read Night Road and Winter Garden (and recently finished The Nightingale) and loved them all. Same sad mood in each of those and all so haunting.
The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes <— More from this awesome author!!!
diane m: I’ve read almost every Jojo book and while all are probably worth reading, the big three are Me Before You, The Last Letter from Your Lover, and The Girl You Left Behind. Even though MBU was probably the best, the love story set in the 60′s in Last Letter (the one compared to Brief Encounter) was the most emotionally overwhelming I’ve ever read. There is a ~15% stretch in the middle that is unforgettable for me and I re-read it all the time. I think of Jojo as the Colleen Hoover of traditionally published authors, but with more mature characters and subject matter
The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley <— A bit different, plot-wise, but sounds exactly like what would break our heart in two, in regards to difficult choices, and forever-love. “Matt Beaulieu has loved Elle McClure since he was two years old. Now married and expecting their first child, Elle suffers a fatal accident. To keep the baby alive, Matt goes against his wife’s wishes and keeps his wife on life support…”
Jeanie: I’m 55% into The Promise of Stardust – I’m enjoying it but my god, what happens in this book is so fricking tragic!!!
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma <— MUCH loved by many here, and deals with many heartbreaking, and taboo issues with incredible storytelling.
Brenda: I just finished this book last night. Even though parts were hard to read I’m glad I did. It’s one that left me crying. But after having a chance to think about it I feel like it was truly a love story. It’s one you will always remember. If you love this book I would recommend Me Before You.
Amy: ALL of you who still haven’t read Forbidden, Bright Side, or Me Before You because you are scared…seriously, READ THEM!!! They will stay with you. Exceptions: Anyone who may have a trigger with the taboo issue in Forbidden…
Marion: Forbidden has stayed with me even 2yrs after reading it, ive never been so conflicted. It says alot about the author that I started out feeling one way about this taboo story and ended up feeling the total opposite!
God Shaped Hole: A Novel by Tiffanie DeBartolo
Marina: I read Me Before You then Fault in Our Stars then God-Shaped Hole back to back to back at the end of last year. It was quite the trifecta! All awesome books. I’ve said it before on your site… love Tiffanie’s writing. LOVE. I’ll read anything she writes and hoping there will be more!!!
Melanie: Just finished God Shaped Hole. How can books be horrible and so beautiful at the same time? I’m a sucker for tearjerkers. Thanks to everyone for all of the recommendations!!
Jeannie: I love these kinds of books – the ones that stay with you for days but have you wondering if you enjoy self-torture reading books that leave you an emotional wreck! …God Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo. I loved it, but it was tough to read and it stayed with me for days.
Lisa: Maryse you have to add God Shaped Hole to this list. It’s the most heart wrenching soul wringing book I’ve ever dared to read.
And being the opposite to yourself and Amy (terrified of angst and heart ache not drawn to it) I’m pretty chuffed that there are a few on here I’ve read. Go me.
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger <— ABSOLUTELY THIS ONE! I only watched the movie, but it was intense, and heart-wrenching!!!
Diane: The Time Traveler’s Wife and that book wrecked me (like me before you also).
Jessica: I bawled my eyes out when I read Time Travelers Wife, the ending had me actually saying, through tears, WTF?
Fabi: Time Travelers Wife tricked me into reading it by that title and premise. Then, BHAM, knocked me out with its viciousness. No, it’s not romance, no, it’s not sci-fi. Although it has aspects of each …
bev: The Time Travelers Wife kicked me in the gut and is so freaking gorgeous. Fell hard for it.
Lisa: OMG Time Travellers Wife….how much I love this book and Henry. This is a regular re-read for me. Read with tissues at the ready…
The Empty Jar by M. Leighton <— BEAUTIFUL SOB FEST!!! Ela says: “The Empty Jar by M. Leighton is a huge ugly cry through out the ENTIRE book!!!!!”
Ela: THE EMPTY JAR IS A SOBBBBBBIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNGGGGGG FEST OF A BOOK! IT’S SO SADLY BEAUTIFUL BUT OH SO DAMN SAD TOO!!!!!!
Brandi: This is such a beautifully written and personal story!
The Summer Remains by Seth King <— Irene suggests this one! ”How about The Summer Remains by Seth King. Superb well written emotional story.”
Jean: The Summer Remains!!!! …….sigh…. I was completely overcome with emotion by the end! Loved it! Guess I need to read Me Before You now…..
MJ: If you want a beautiful book that will tear you apart and make you smile through your endless tears…The Summer Remains by Seth King. Unbelievably amazing. He’s a young author with a true gift. YOU MUST CHECK IT OUT. You will be happy you did