What does it take for a book to make you cry?
I don’t read a whole lot of book reviews (because honestly I just haven’t read enough books yet), but I do love talking about books. And in so doing, I find that a lot of people seem to have emotional reactions to the books they’re reading.
They have strong responses whether it be sadness, giddiness, anger, embarrassment. They actually physically feel something towards whatever is currently happening in the book, and I’d really love to delve more into these responses. But… that could be a lot! So, let’s start with just one emotion:
Okay. Maybe I’m super emotionless or just… insensitive or whatever, but I almost NEVER cry when it comes to fictional characters or their plights or anything. Like I see something, I know it’s sad, but it doesn’t really… hit the point (or string) in my heart to evoke an emotional response.
(Yes, I’m a heartless, soulless ice monster. Nice to meet you. 😉)
Now, like most people in the world, though, I do cry for animal deaths and I do so a heck of a lot more often than for people deaths, but animal deaths don’t seem to exist in YA, (my main reading choice.) Still there are plenty of other things to cry about. I mean, I read dystopian for goodness sake! TONS of people die, are maimed, tortured, etc. But I never cry for them!
Is it possible I’m able to subconsciously discern fictional from realistic and therefore am compartmentalizing my emotions? Is it possible the characters just aren’t written well enough for me to care? Is it possible that these stories just aren’t triggering my heartstrings?
I ask because I have cried for a book before. And yes, a book. Just ONE book. (Not that I’ve read that many books before, but of the books I’ve read) I’ve only ever cried while reading ONE and that book was If I Stay by Gayle Foreman. HOLY. GOODNESS. Is that book sad!!! 😭
The thing is, I know I connected and empathized with the main character, Mia. I had quite a bit in common with Mia and could understand the struggles she faces. So maybe that was why I ended up crying. Or maybe Gayle Foreman is just that amazing of an author! Who can really say why that particular book. The important thing to note is that I know I can cry for stories. So, why don’t I?
Well, the most obvious explanation is that I truly am a cruel, heartless, soulless vampire-monster Queen… thing.
(I mean… I am, but… 😏)
Maybe I just don’t experience as strong of emotions as other people. Or perhaps my sadness trigger is buried so deep, deep, DEEEEEP down in the black abyss of my core (probably next to wherever I hide the souls I steal 😜) that it’s just harder to find than say… my anger trigger (which I’m sure EVERYONE on my blog has witnessed in my reviews. 😉 )
There’s always the possibility that I’m reading in the wrong genre. After all, dystopians aren’t really designed to make people cry. They’re supposed to be dark, cruel, heartless (and… this could explain why it’s my favorite genre. >.> Hmmm….) Neither is sadness and emotional heartstrings the intent of scifi, fantasy, or horror. Those all focus on different elements: adventure, action, motivation, etc etc.
But contemporary fiction on the other hand…
It would actually make a TON of sense that the reason I haven’t cried much while reading is because I’m reading the wrong books. After all, If I Stay is one of the few contemporary novels I’ve read. I stay very far away from that genre, but of the like… 3 books I’ve read in contemporary, one just happens to make me cry? Coincidence?
I THINK NOT! 😠
But, as I’ve stated, I don’t cry much for books. So… maybe I’m not the best person to really analyze what snags on those emotional triggers and makes someone cry. Maybe other people do cry for scifi and fantasy and horror. Maybe I really am a callous, insensitive, brutal, monstrous Vampire Ice Queen of Unpopular Opinions. 😝
What do you think?
Do you cry while reading books?
Leave your thoughts below!
And check out my discussion from last week: