What are the best depressing books?

asked by Anonymous
401 contributors
17 solutions
  1. 42

    #1The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye is J.D. Salinger's 1951 classic about teenager Holden Caulfield, who was used as an icon of teenage angst and rebellion. The controversial book has caused debates, mainly because of its vulgar language and themes.


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    Martha Hunter
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "It seems like ok book to read."
  2. 37

    #2The Fault in Our Stars

    The Fault in Our Stars

    The Fault in Our Stars tells the love story of Hazel and August, cancer-afflicted patients who met in a support group and developed a deep relationship revolving their situation.


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    Gregory Clark
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "good book for people of all ages "
  3. 34

    #3Thirteen Reasons Why

    Thirteen Reasons Why
    Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher narrates how Clay Jensen learns about the reasons why his classmate, workmate, and crush, Hannah Baker took her own life. Hannah Baker left cassette tapes so Clay and everyone involved could listen and discover why.

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    Judy Sandoval
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "Horribly sad story when anyone takes their life. I'm sure this tragedy could have been prevented somehow. "
  1. 34

    #4Bridge to Terabithia

    Bridge to Terabithia

    Jess and Leslie started a unique friendship. The other day, they were competing against each other. The next day, they were inseparable. Together, they created the magical world of Terabithia where imagination is their only limit.


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    Kathy Newman
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "Bridge to Terabithia is one of those classic books from childhood that always hangs with you. It's beautiful, but also incredibly sad, dealing with growing up and gut-wrenching loss."
  2. 30

    #5The Book Thief

    The Book Thief
    The Book Thief is a young adult novel by Markus Zusak set in Germany during the height of the Nazi regime which centers on a young girl named Liesel who is close to her foster parents, friends, and a Jewish fist fighter.

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    Diane Harvey
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "If someone wanted to search for the best depressing books, Amazon is a decent option. You can search by genre to find out what the most popular books are in eat category and from there find summaries, editori and customer reviews and even purchase the book there on the page. "Depressing" isn't a category though so you'll have to get a little creative there in what you decide to search. A topic such as "holocaust" is certain to lead to the results you're looking for."
  3. 29

    #6My Sister's Keeper

    My Sister's Keeper

    My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult centers on Anna, who was conceived for the sole purpose of providing bone marrow for her sister Kate, who is suffering from leukemia. Anna questions her life's purpose and starts to decide on her own.


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    Emily Reid
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "I mean if you want a book to make you want to squall your eyeballs out, this is the book for you. After the hardest year of my life, I was emotionally spent, that there were no tears for me. Or so, I thought. This book showed me just how human and that there is plenty of tears left in me. "
  4. 26



    Speak is the multi-award winning novel by Laurie Halse Anderson. It is a harrowing young adult story about rape, post-traumatic stress disorder, and isolation in teens. It was published in 1999 and was adapted to film in 2004.


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    Anika Lobo
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "Speak is an excellent depressing book. It tells the tale of a high school student who has gone through a lot and is now isolated and living with post traumatic stress. I read this book about a year ago and I still remember everything about it. It really makes you think about what young people today have to go through in their lives. I recommend this book, but be ready with some tissues."
  5. 24

    #8If I Stay

    If I Stay
    If I Stay is a young adult fiction book by Gayle Forman that tells the story of Mia, who was the only survivor of a car accident that killed her family. Critically injured, Mia must decide whether to stay and live or follow her family.

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    Albert Coleman
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "One of the most compelling and heart breaking books to come out. It will leave you wandering about the meaning of life."
  6. 22

    #9Flowers for Algernon

    Flowers for Algernon
    Flowers for Algernon is a novel written by Daniel Keyes. It tells the story of Charlie, who agrees to be a human subject for an experimental brain operation, following the success of the operation on Algernon, a white mouse.

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    Andrea Nichols
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "Flowers for Algernon does not have a feeling of depression when the boy operation becomes experimental. He finds he becomes smarter through a brain opertation. How can that be depressing?"
  7. 22

    #10The Bell Jar

    The Bell Jar

    The Bell Jar is a book by Sylvia Plath that tells the story of Esther Greenwood, a young woman living in New York, and her descent into madness while trapped in the suffocating "bell jar" that is depression. 


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    Zachary Snyder
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "I loved this book - I can relate to so many things and really encapsulates what it feels like to be depressed. It is humorous at times, which makes this novel a great read."
  8. 18


    Willow is an exceptional story about a girl that has to live with the memory of a terrible tragedy and a boy who want to be with her.The author, Julia Hoban, captures perfectly the real emotions of a teenage girl.


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    Barbara Palmer
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "I would seem to agree with the reviews on this book. It definitely seems that I would be drawn in to this heartbreaking story. I may go out and buy it!!"
  9. 17


    Night is the first book in Elie Wiesel's historical trilogy about the Holocaust. Night shows the worst side of humanity during World War II, when familial relationships blurred because of hunger, pain, and fear inside concentration camps.

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    Anna Long
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "Definitely a beThis book although short is packed with a powerful message. Elie Wiesel was sent to the concentration camp at a very young age and survived. At age 15, his captors told him he was 18 and separated him from his mom and sisters. This book details his life in the camp as well as surviving until it was liberated. It's a hard read, but I think it is a book everyone 16 or over should read."
  10. 16


    An anorexic Lia Overbrook harms herself after finding out that her best friend Cassie died of bulimia. She blames herself for not being with Cassie during the time she needed her the most and the idea to live becomes even more difficult for her.


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    Marie Watkins
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "This was a very interesting and heart wrenching book. I couldn't put it down. I love this author and her writing style , the way it keeps you entralled with non stop enjoyment . I recommend this highly readable book. Good for teenagers and adults alike."
  11. 12


    Cut is a  young adult and realistic fiction novel written by Patrick McCormick. It was published February 1, 2002 by PUSH. It closely follows the struggle of a person with mental challenges.

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    Tom Tan
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "The novel is about pain so it is probably depressing. Not sure it fits into the best category however. As there are more popular and better rated books out there. "
  12. 10

    #15Hold Still

    Hold Still
    Hold Still is a contemporary realistic fiction book written by Nina LaCour for young adults published on October 20, 2009 by Dutton Books for Young Readers. The book revolves around the story of moving on from a friend's suicide.



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    William Beck
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "This is a gripping story about suicide, grief and regret. You can't help but sympathize with the main character as they go through their journey. Really sad and makes you think."
  13. 8

    #16Before I Fall

    Before I Fall

    Before I Fall is a fiction novel for young adults written by Lauren Oliver. This book was originally published in February 2010 by Harper Collins. It has a film adaptation released in 2017.


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    Craig Miller
    Written on May 20, 2018
    "I actually watched this movie before I knew about the book. It starred one of my favorite young actors in Zoey Deutch, Lea Thompson's daughter. I really enjoyed the movie and when friends told me it was based on a book, I knew I had to go and order the book online. Now this isn't your typical story. It's such a great concept. It's about a teen girl who suffers a certain tragedy and finds herself waking up to the cycle everyday. I know it sounds a bit like Ground Hog's Day and in a way it is, but the way that Oliver handles the characters in this story is nothing short of amazing. You really understand Samantha's struggles as we see her go from having everything to having it all taken away. The book proses the question, what would you do if you had one day to live? Well this story chronicles all the things Samantha has to figure out and what type of life she wants to leave behind as she goes through the same day trying to figure out what she did wrong to try to escape this cycle she's in. I loved this concept and I loved this book."
  14. 3

    #17Cutters Don’t Cry

    Cutters Don’t Cry

    Cutters Don’t Cry (SoCal Series Book 1) is a mental health, young adult and realistic fiction written by Christine Dzidrums. It was published April 1, 2010 by Creative Media Publishing.


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    Ángel Santos
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "Cutters Don’t Cry follows a girl who engages in self-harm by cutting herself. While a fiction title, it highlights the struggles that she goes through and is relatable towards those who initiate similar behavior. It followers her story about depression and is an engaging read for those curious to learn people's train of thoughts during difficult times."


Best What are the best depressing books
1The Catcher in the RyeBooks 42 Paid
2The Fault in Our StarsBooks 37 Paid
3Thirteen Reasons WhyBooks 34 Paid
4Bridge to TerabithiaBooks 34 Paid
5The Book ThiefBooks 30 Paid
6My Sister's KeeperBooks 29 Paid
7SpeakBooks 26 Paid
8If I StayBooks 24 Paid
9Flowers for AlgernonBooks 22 Paid
10The Bell JarBooks 22 Paid

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