Top Ten Tuesday: (FREEBIE!) Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart A Little

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is FREEBIE WEEK — topic of your choice or go back and do one you missed! I’m going to do a theme from back in 2012 that I didn’t get to participate: Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart A Little  Lot.


1. Bright Side by Kim Holden

22669832 Secrets.
Everyone has one.
Some are bigger than others.
And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks.

They both feel it.
But they each have a reason to fight it.
They each have a secret.

And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.


2. When It Rains by Lisa De Jong

 One night changed my life forever.

Beau Bennett has been my best friend since I can remember. He was my first crush before everything came crashing down, and now he wants more, but it’s more than I can give him. Things are different now. I wish I could tell him why, but I can’t.

I haven’t told anyone.

I never knew how much I really needed him until the day he left for college, and I was completely alone.

Then one day, Asher Hunt rides into town with his dark, captivating eyes and cocky grin. He doesn’t care who I used to be, he’s simply breathing life into what’s left. People warn me to stay away from him, but he helps me forget the pain that has held me hostage for so long; something I thought was impossible before he walked into my life.

I’ve been hurt.

I’ve been saved.

And I’ve found hope.

I thought my story was written that night, but now I know it was only a new beginning. Until one secret turns my world upside down…


3. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

 Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.


4. So Much More by Kim Holden

 Love is strange. It comes out of nowhere. There’s no logic to it. It’s not methodical. It’s not scientific. It’s pure emotion and passion. And emotion and passion can be dangerous because they fuel love…and hate.

I’m now a reluctant connoisseur of both—an expert through immersion. I know them intimately.

When I fell in love with Miranda, it was swift and blind. She was the person I’d elevated to mythical status in my head, in my dreams.

Here’s the thing about dreams, they’re smoke.

They’re spun as thoughts until they become something we think we want. Something we think we need.

That was Miranda. She was smoke.

I thought I wanted her. I thought I needed her.

Over time reality crept in and slowly dissected and disemboweled my dreams like a predator, leaving behind a rotting carcass.

Reality can be a fierce bitch.

So can Miranda.

And I can be a fool…

who believes in dreams.

And people.

And love.

Note from the author: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is recommended for mature audiences only.


5. Left Drowning by Jessica Park

 What does it take to rise from life’s depths, swim against the current, and breathe?

Weighted down by the loss of her parents, Blythe McGuire struggles to keep her head above water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she doesn’t expect—an undeniable attraction to a dark-haired senior named Chris Shepherd, whose past may be even more complicated than her own. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she’s been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family’s traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.

*This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content.
Note: due to mature content recommended for Ages 17+


6. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

 When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.


7. Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

 Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.

Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.

But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgiveable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.


8. The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

 Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year.


9. The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin

 Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.


10. A Child Called It by David Pelzer

 This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games–games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother’s games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an “it.” Dave’s bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He had nothing or no one to turn to, but his dreams kept him alive–dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son.

47 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: (FREEBIE!) Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart A Little

  1. I love the cover for The Year We Fell Apart – if I do get around to reading it one of these days soon, it will be because the cover won’t let go of me lol. My TTT

    • I thought it was a really good book. The cover was what initially drew me to it, too! 🙂 I’ll be stopping by your post soon.

  2. I can’t say I’ve read any of these books. I mist say I’m always wary of book I know will make me cry. I’ve got to prepare myself for the emotional turmoil haha. I will get round to reading Me Before You eventually.

    • I get that. The right mood/setting is very important depending on what you’re reading. I hope you enjoy it when you’re ready for it. 🙂

  3. Great post! A lot of these books are on my TBR and I’m reading Me Before You right now…I’m slightly worried because almost everyone has told me to be prepared for the tears…:)

    • Thank you! Be prepared for tears. There have been three books that have absolutely made me bawl and it’s that one, Bright Side and When it Rains. But maybe you’ll be spared since you’re prepared. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I can’t honestly say I’ve ever had a book break my heart, but then again I don’t really read much in the genres that are prone to that. (or maybe my heart is just made of ice :p) I gotta ask, though, do you enjoy the books even though they break your heart? Is it a confusing sort of hurt? I’d like to understand this phenomenon.

    • I wouldn’t say I like having my heart broken, but those books usually touch me in a way other books don’t. Some teach me something meaningful or put life in perspective. Some are just beautifully written. Does that make sense?

  5. I love your list! Bright side and Me Before You are great choices. I’ve always looked at picking up Ugly Love but for some reason have never done it. Will have to add it to my list 🙂

    • You must! Oh, and you should definitely read When it Rains, if you liked Bright Side. Thanks for stopping by!

    • It is! It is one of my favorite books ever. So inspiring. I hope you love it! You’ll have to let me know.

  6. SO many gems here! I still haven’t read Me Before You. Can you believe it? I’ve also been wanting to read The Way I Used to Be.

  7. These all sound like books that would shatter my poor, fragile heart. I’ve heard fantastic things about The Way I Used To Be, and now that I’ve recovered from the heartbreak of Me Before You, I should really get around to reading it 🙂 excellent TTT this week!

    • Thank you! I thought The Way I Used To Be was sad in a frustrating way, but not in the way Me Before You was. I highly recommend it and hope you like it. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Yay! I love hearing that. I hope you enjoy them when you get to them. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

    • It did. I can’t explain why without giving too much away. There was just something in it that would destroy me if I was one of the characters. You could give it a try. I could see the writing style in part of it possibly bugging you, but I would LOVE to hear your take on it. It’s my favorite of her books still after reading all of them.

  8. Great picks. I have a few of these on my to-read list already; Me Before You, which I think is going to completely destroy me, and The Year We Fell Apart. They both sound like amazing books so I can’t wait to get started on them! 😀

    • I love that title, too! I alays get it mixed up with one of my other favorites, The Year We Fell Down.

  9. I’ve only read Me Before You from your list and I still need to watch the movie adaptation for it! I hope I’m able to catch it before the cinemas here in Singapore stop playing it. I know this would sound a little bit funny but books that break your heart or make you cry are the best kind of books. Because they made you FEEL for the characters.

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