What are the saddest novels for teens?

asked by Anonymous
306 contributors
23 solutions
  1. 30

    #1The Lovely Bones

    The Lovely Bones
    Susie is a 14 years old girl who has the chance of seeing how life goes on after she dies: she is able to see how everyone copes with her loss, how her family still has hopes of finding her despite being already dead and how the man who raped and killed her continues his life.

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    Russell Peters
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "This book is VERY sad which I didn't expect going in. It's not a murder mystery so don't expect that either. Very well written, serving some similarities to "Lolita" in narrative style. Gripping. Read this whole book in one long and inspired sitting. I recommend you enjoy with some early grey."
  2. 29

    #2The 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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    Ralph Ferguson
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "I saw this tile and had to read it. You will love this too try it out."
  3. 28

    #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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    Verónica Orozco
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "This is an heart wrenching novel. I feel like it would be good for teens, but I also feel that a parent should read it along with them and talk to them about it. "
  1. 27

    #4Just Listen

    Just Listen
    Just Listen is a book by It tells the story of Annabel from a girl who has everything to a girl who has nothing. Her best friend dumped her, and her sister is anorexic. She feels unwanted. Her life starts to change when she meets a tall, dark and music lover Owen Armstrong.

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    Allen Ye
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "This novel is very sad and not at all uplifting. I'm not personally a fan of sad novels but for those of you who are, this is a read for you."
  2. 26

    #5The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a book by Stephen Chbosky that tells the story of Charlie. The book revolves around Charlie's writings in his diary. His struggle as a unique teen, trying to live his life happily. 


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    Megan Meyer
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "This book made me very emotional. It took my back to my teenage years and I really enjoyed those memories. I felt as even though the world has changed high school and what teens go through has not. "
  3. 24

    #6All the Light We Cannot See

    All the Light We Cannot See
    All The Light We Cannot See is a vividly-written story about Marie Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a German boy in the Nazi army. Winner of a 2015 Pulitzer Prize, it shows that there can still be beauty amidst the tragedy of war.

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    Cheryl Sandoval
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "I was in the mood for the best sad novels for teens. I found out about All the Light We Cannot See, and it has been great. A winner of the Pulitzer Prize and has a great story line to it."
  4. 22

    #7The Secret Life of Bees

    The Secret Life of Bees

    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd depicts loss and betrayal. This book was a New York Times bestseller and has won the 2004 Book Sense Book of the Year Awards. In 2008, this novel was turned into a movie.


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    Russell Davis
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "This is an interesting novel. It has nothing to do with bees as the title would lead one to believe. The book is actually about loss and betrayal experienced by humans. Can bees even comprehend loss and betrayal?"
  5. 19

    #8Looking for Alaska

    Looking for Alaska
    Looking for Alaska is an award-winning young-adult fiction novel by John Green published in 2005. This book follows the story of a boy named Pudge who's obsessed with famous last words and his quirky group of friends. 

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    Zeng He
    Written on April 10, 2018
    "I like books that present the main character will challenges. This book gave the character many, many challenges. There are places in this book that will literally break your heart. The book is very well written and the author really does a great job of making you feel the emotions from the characters. This is a pretty sad book, only read it if you can handle crying your eyes out in places."
  6. 18

    #9Salt to the Sea

    Salt to the Sea

    Salt to the Sea is a historical adventure novel for young adults written by Ruta Sepetys. It was a New York Times Bestseller a winner of the Carnegie Medal. It is set in the dying days of World War II and is a remarkable story of survival.


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    Rose Martin
    Written on April 8, 2018
    "I really enjoyed this story and so did my sister. There's definitely a reason it's a bestseller! What a truly remarkable story. "
  7. 16

    #10Orbiting Jupiter

    Orbiting Jupiter
    Orbiting Jupiter is a book by Gary Schmidt that tells the story of the young father Joseph. He is only thirteen but he is already in a juvenile facility. When his time came to be fostered, he will do everything to find his daughter. 

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    Cheshta Rao
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "My teen picked out this book, and I was hesitant to let her read it, as I looked up the content and it seemed to be quite intense. I decided to let her read it, as it does contain real content. After she was finished, we discussed the things in the book. Although it was somewhat sad, she said that she enjoyed it, and I appreciated the lesson, and opportunity to discuss some difficult topics with her."
  8. 15


    Dreamland by Sarah Dessen is published in 2000. This young adult novel tells the story of Caitlin who forgets everything whenever she is with Rogerson. Caitlin is stuck in a quite unreal semiconscious dreamland.

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    Joe George
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "Dreamland is a tale with a fantasy atmosphere that has a somber theme. A title that is innocent but has pretty dark themes throughout"
  9. 13

    #12The Truth About Forever

    The Truth About Forever
    The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen tells the story of a young girl named Macy who is grieving for her father's loss. Things happen unexpectedly when she meets an artistic and talented boy named Wes. 

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    Carolyn Gutierrez
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "This is a great book that I have actually wound up reading several times now. It is a very sad story, because the main character's dad has died, but it is also a love story so for those who love romance you will enjoy this aspect. Overall while it is sad it had parts that made me laugh. The characters are very well developed and you will enjoy getting to know each one, for each one has their own story to tell. I highly recommend this book!"
  10. 8

    #13Second Chance Summer

    Second Chance Summer
    Second Chance Summer is a dramatic and inspirational novel written by best-selling author Morgan Matson. It was first published in 2012. It is about a family spending one summer together to renew connections.

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    Mildred Cole
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "I need a break from contemporaries. Because, honestly, I don’t think my heart can take another punch like that anytime soon. Get ready to become an emotional mess, people, because Matson will gut your heart out with this one. My heart is aching and my nose is running, even as I type out this review. I should probably take a deep breath, but how can I, when I feel like I need to get everything out? I knew from reading a couple of reviews, beforehand, that this book was going to be crushing. However, I wasn’t expecting those last couple of chapters to completely undo me. But undo me, they did. Family was such an integral part of this novel. It was in every page and buried between every line. Taylor’s family has never been that much close—always keeping busy and rarely together. But when Taylor’s dad gets sick, they decide to spend one last summer together in the place that once brought them so much peace. As the summer develops, we start to see a family slowly come back to each other, all the while learning and healing. It was a bittersweet thing to read, knowing the inevitable outcome that they faced. Yet, it was necessary, because otherwise, this book wouldn’t have been what it is, without that crushing reality. "
  11. 2

    #14When Jeff Comes Home

    When Jeff Comes Home

    When Jeff Comes Home is a fiction book written by Catherine Atkins that tells the story of Jeff. After getting kidnapped, he began to change. He enjoyed the sadistic actions of his kidnapper and he started to have an affair with him. 


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    Jane James
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "If you can handle stories of rape and you don't need a lot of suspense this could be a good, sad novel. I don't recommend it for teens in general because they would have to be older teens and very mature. They need to have a good understanding of how the human psyche works and why people might do or feel really messed up things. I would rather read a non-fictional account of a similar story but this is ok for a fiction work along these lines."
  12. 1

    #15American Flowers

    American Flowers
    American Flowers is a contemporary young adult novel by Michael A. McLellan. It tells the story of two teenagers, Chris and Allie, who turn to drugs to escape from the world of neglect they grew up in.

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    Nathan Crawford
    Written on April 6, 2018
    "American Flowers is a sad novel that while stays true to its genre, it's not mindblowing. The storyline is nothing you haven't heard about before, but it's okay for what it is."
  13. 1



    Rx is a young adult novel by Tracy Lynn. It tells the story of Thyme Gilchrest, a high school student who supplies her schoolmates with all the prescription medication they need, fueling their addiction—and hers.


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    Sue Kong
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "This books look like its interesting."
  14. 1

    #17The 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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    Steven Clark
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "My favorite novel I read as a teenager is The Fault in Our Stars. It is a tragic but heartbreaking story, but is still funny and thrilling."
  15. 1

    #18The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance

    The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance

    The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance is a young adult novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde. It tells the story of Cynnie, a 13-year-old girl with an alcoholic mother and a 3-year-old brother with Down syndrome.


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    Daniel Gaytán
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "This novel is pretty sad, but what a great read it is. It is good for teens, and about a bad home life trying to cope."
  16. 0

    #19Tyler Johnson Was Here

    Tyler Johnson Was Here

    Tyler Johnson Was Here is a heartbreaking realistic novel for young adults written by Jay Coles. It was released in March 2018. It is about a young man trying to find justice for his brother's unjustly death at the hands of a police officer.


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    John Hernandez
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "Anyone who likes to read the best sad novels for teens should definitely check out Tyler Johnson Was Here. This gut wrenching tragedy is about a is about a young man trying to find justice for his brother's unjustly death at the hands of a police officer. It is a powerful and moving story that explores racism and true sadness."
  17. 0


    Crank is a young adult novel written in verse by Ellen Hopkins. Drawing from her own experiences with her daughter, Crank tells the story of Kristina, a girl with an addiction to crystal meth. 

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    Kathryn Herrera
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "My teen daughter has just started exploring different genres of book and has become quite interested in sad novels. So, I bought her Crank written by Ellen Hopkins. The book was appropriate for her and she could handle the story very well."
  18. 0


    Pillbillies is a suspense novel by bestselling author K.L Randis. It tells the story of Jared Vorcelli, who gets in trouble with the law after his drug addiction causes the death of his 3-year-old sister.

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    Tammy Anderson
    Written on April 10, 2018
    "I found this book to be graphic and disturbing. It really brings to the fore the ugly world of drug addiction. I would recommend this book to someone with a strong constitution and not over sensitive because the details will linger with you. "
  19. -1

    #22Ice Candy Man

    Ice Candy Man

    Ice Candy Man is a powerful drama novel written by Bapsi Sidhwa. It was originally published in October 1988. It is about a young girl, her nanny, and their experience during the war that led India to the 1947 Partition.


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    Wu Gao
    Written on May 19, 2018
    "Ice Candy Man was a profound book; while it was a very emotional read, I was glad to experience it. Even though it is a fictional book, the author has clearly taken great pains to include a large amount of historical detail, which makes everything feel that much more momentous. I liked the focus on how non-familial relationships can be just as important as any other."
  20. -1

    #23Gym Candy

    Gym Candy
    Gym Candy is a young adult novel by Carl Deuker. It tells the story of a high school football player, Mick Johnson, as he turns to supplemental drugs to improve his performance in the field.

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    Lorena Vásquez
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "I liked how the author set every little detail up. Their wasn't a word in this book that was strictly a filler. i think that the story was really fun and a quick read. I flew through it in a weekend, but how he set up the ending of the story by small details at the beginning of it is truly a remarkable feat."


Best What are the saddest novels for teens
1The Lovely BonesBooks 30 Paid
2The Book ThiefBooks 29 Paid
3Thirteen Reasons WhyBooks 28 Paid
4Just ListenBooks 27 Paid
5The Perks of Being a WallflowerBooks 26 Paid
6All the Light We Cannot SeeBooks 24 Paid
7The Secret Life of BeesBooks 22 Paid
8Looking for AlaskaBooks 19 Paid
9Salt to the SeaBooks 18 Paid
10Orbiting JupiterBooks 16 Paid

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