The Most Emotional Books I’ve Read

(Last Updated On: February 1, 2020)

Greetings friends and welcome to Patreon Adventures where the topic is decided by my Patrons over on Patreon. Once a month I add an extra post to my schedule, and it could be about anything.

It’s been awhile since the last Patreon Adventure and for that I am sorry! One of my biggest goals for 2020 is to remain committed to this particular series because it is so much fun to have some content driven by the people who visit!

This month we are talking about EMOTIONAL BOOKS. The books that made me FEEL ALL THE THINGS, both positive and negative! Many thanks to Destiny @ Howling Libraries for suggesting this post topic and to my patrons for casting your votes!


My Most Emotionally Devastating Reads

Most emotionally devastating reads: A Spark of White Fire, This Mortal Coil, The Storm Crow, Kingsbane, and King of Fools

This Mortal Coil (Mortal Coil #1) by Emily Suvada

It comes as a surprise to no one that this tops my list given how much I scream about this book everywhere. Reading this book is a wild ride full of revelations and hurt hearts and tears. I am sure that the third book in the trilogy will equally destroy me, which is partially why I took my time with my re-read. (Also I was savoring it!)

Goodreads  My Full Review

King of Fools (Shadow Game #2) by Amanda Foody

Ace of Shades was the first time that I actually bought a physical copy of a book that I owned an eBook copy of because I loved it so much, but King of Fools rended my heart in new ways that I didn’t think was possible. It’s been a year since I read it and I still want to cry when I think about it. I love how the characters develop in the course of this series and how unafraid Foody is to emotionally devastate her readers.

Goodreads  My Full Review

Kingsbane (Empirium Trilogy #2) by Claire Legrand

Despite my not 100% loving the narrative style of this series, this book is at the top of WHAT THE EFF in terms of emotional devastation and intricate plotting. I love how this trilogy makes you question everything you thought that you read the more that you read it with its intricate web. But we need answers.

Goodreads  My Full Review

A Spark of White Fire (Celestial Trilogy #1) by Sangu Mandanna

The sequel A House of Rage and Sorrow also is emotionally devastating, but I don’t think anything can top how heartbroken the first book in the trilogy made me. The worldbuilding is beautiful and the characters have my whole heart. I AM SO INVESTED.

Goodreads  My Full Review

The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1) by Kalyn Joesphson

This book made me feel so seen in a time that I really needed it. I don’t talk about it often, but I suffer from MDD and this is the first time that I’ve read a book (YA or otherwise) where the main character has depression. Honestly this book made me cry a bunch because it helped me realize that so much of what I go through on a daily basis is experienced by others. Maybe one of these days I will write a post diving into how much this book means to me and the power of representation, but today isn’t the day.

Goodreads  My Full Review


My Most Rage Inducing Reads

Rule (Rule #1) by Ellen Goodlett

I swear, reading this book was like all of the things I despised about Pretty Little Liars rolled up into one package and the only good thing about this book was buddy reading it with Destiny. I found the characters one dimensional and there was little to no justification for their actions in the book. I was doomed the moment that like 85% of the plot hinged on “conflict that could easily be resolved by people communicating.”

Goodreads  My Full Review

The Babysitter’s Coven (Babysitter’s Coven #1) by Kate Williams

I think this is the worst book that I’ve ever read. From the cringey use of acronyms throughout the book to the absolutely atrocious main character & narrator, it was just all around not a good time. But then you add on the fact that the worldbuilding is essentially a find-and-replace from Buffy the Vampire Slayer with some incredibly creepy behavior from their “watcher,” it veers into I-don’t-recommend-teens-read-this territory. Or anyone, for that matter.

Goodreads  My Full Review

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

My hatred of this book goes all the way back to 2001 when it made its ways into my AP English curriculum. It’s long and needlessly wordy, with pages upon pages used to describe how the dust moves. I made it as far as the turtle chapter and then this was the first book that I ever DNF’d… I wrote my essay using Cliffsnotes and did just fine. Fun fact: I found my 19-year-old copy of this book when I moved and felt the rage rise up. Part of me wants to yeet it into the sun, another part wants to try rereading it for a blog post.


The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

To this day I don’t know where this book came from or how it wound up in my apartment. But I rue the day in 2017 that I picked this up. The main character Ani is unforgivably vapid and unrelatable, and the story is kind of flat, but I did keep reading it to find out what happened. A page turner, but not a very interesting one… which I think is somehow a feat.

Goodreads  My Review

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan

I found it really difficult to motivate myself to read this book because it was boring with uneven pacing. The more that I read, the less interested I became in the book and honestly I probably would have DNFd it if it weren’t a Mortal Squad buddy read. I never reviewed this book because by the time my annoyance with what I had read subsided, the author was acting like an edgelord jerk on Twitter and I decided I didn’t want to promote the book at all. I unhauled my copy and this book will sit on my RTC shelf for all of eternity.



Basically it all boils down to the characters and whether or not I love them or hate them. My favorite books often are the ones that break my heart and emotionally devastate me; I am not sure what that says about me as a person but whatever!

What are some of your most emotional reads? Do we have any in common?


Thank you so much to my Patrons for supporting me and my content! I hope you enjoy this month’s post and I can’t wait to see what you all choose for February.

Michelle  |  Sam  |  Haley  |  Leelyn  |  Vicki  |  Destiny  |  Bex  |  Meeghan  |  Rea  |  Cassie

spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!


  1. Haley

    January 31, 2020 at 2:44 AM

    Hey Kal, this post is AMAZING. I didn’t get to read it until today because Thursday is like chaos in a jar here, but, I LOVED that you included books that also made you rage lol because I feel that on a spiritual level! There are some books I still think of that make my blood boil lol. Also, there’s this argument in my household, husband loves Steinbeck, I hate him, I’ve read two or three of his books, I hate every one of them. If I could tapdance on that man’s grave, I would.

    I think for me I found House of Salt and Sorrows to be an emotional read, and way back when Harry Potter books 5-7 just had me wrecked for days after reading. I also find myself crying over Inkdeath and so many more, I love that you made me recall what books made me emotional…Still haven’t forgiven you for getting me addicted to TMC and A Spark of White Fire

    1. Kal

      February 17, 2020 at 3:10 PM

      Ahhh, I am so glad you enjoyed this post so much, Haley! And I don’t normally talk about books I hate like this, but it seemed like a good time to talk about some of the stinkers that I’ve read lol. I HATE STEINBECK.

      Awww, I am sure Harry Potter would top a lot of readers’ lists! I didn’t read them until I was 30 years old, so my experience with the series is completely different and lacking in nostalgia. You know that you love me for your being devastated by TMC and A Spark of White Fire!

  2. Kate

    January 31, 2020 at 5:25 AM

    Ooh this reminds of how much I need to read The Storm Crow and King of Fools! Great post Kal 😀

    1. Kal

      February 17, 2020 at 3:10 PM

      Yesss, read them Kate!!!

  3. Sibby

    January 31, 2020 at 3:35 PM


    I’ve been dying to read your post. And I LOVE it, Kal.

    1. Kal

      February 17, 2020 at 3:29 PM

      KINGSBANE DESTROYED ME. I’m still not over it.
      I’m so glad that the post lived up to your expectations, Sibby!

  4. Jamie @BubblyBooks

    January 31, 2020 at 3:48 PM

    I’m dying to read The Storm Crow! Another book I’ve read where the MC had depression was in A Court of Mist and Fury by SJM and King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo and both portrayed depression in their characters really well in my opinion. Lovely list!

    1. Kal

      February 17, 2020 at 3:30 PM

      Ahhh, I didn’t know about the depression rep in ACOMAF!!! That actually makes me want to read those books now. I hope you enjoy The Storm Crow as much as I did, it is such a freaking special book.

  5. Bex

    February 1, 2020 at 4:53 PM

    SA;LDKJASLDJA first off. I love that a read with the squad made it in both the crying & rage categories! Honestly, we’ve gone through some good & bad when it comes to buddy reads, lmao. I’m glad we made it through together. <3

    1. Kal

      February 20, 2020 at 3:01 PM

      I didn’t even make the connection about the crying and rage squad reads, hahaha! But I love my quad, more buddy reads pls and ty

  6. Gerry

    February 2, 2020 at 8:12 AM

    I think you had me at ‘edgelord jerk!’ I swear tea came shooting from my nose because I couldn’t agree more. I think I’ve rolled my eyes so hard at some of her tweets that I’ve come close to passing out. If I think of emotional books the first that comes to mind is ‘A Monster Calls’ by Patrick Ness because I cried so much when reading it.

    1. Kal

      February 20, 2020 at 3:03 PM

      *cackles* I’m glad to not be the only one rolling my damn eyes at her! And ooh, I am going to have to check out that book, thanks for the rec! (also where has your blog gone?)

  7. Charvi

    February 3, 2020 at 1:40 AM

    Oh I absolutely agree with A Spark of White Fire and A House of Rage and Sorrow! I’ve been so emotionally scarred. Ooh Ace of Shades is on my TBR and I loved Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. Have you read that one? One of my most emotional reads is The Upside Of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli 🙂

    1. Kal

      February 20, 2020 at 3:04 PM

      I haven’t read Daughter of the Burning City yet but I do have a copy on my kindle! Happy to hear you loved it, that makes me want to pick it up.

  8. Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

    February 3, 2020 at 10:38 PM

    Honestly I’m glad I skipped out of reading Grapes of Wrath and a few other books from AP English and other English classes… also I think it would be fun to see what your thoughts are so many years later? But also, why the hell would you want to torture yourself with torturous material from high school?

    I haven’t read ANY of the books on your list (at least not yet) other than This Mortal Coil, and uh… it wasn’t as emotional for me (but it still gave me a mind fuck, thanks for that Kal). I’m still scared of reading This Vicious Cure though…

    1. Kal

      February 20, 2020 at 3:13 PM

      Yeaaaaa… you really dodged a freaking bullet there. I also think it would make for amusing content, but I really don’t want to have to read the freaking thing again.

      This Vicious Cure will give you more mindfucks…

  9. Lisa @ waytoofantasy

    February 6, 2020 at 5:17 PM

    I didn’t hear about the Emily Duncan drama but now I’m curious…lol.
    Great topic, Kal! Had a feeling This Mortal Coil would be on there. 🙂

    1. Kal

      February 20, 2020 at 3:22 PM

      If This Mortal Coil didn’t make the list, I would need to be checked for being a pod person! Haha
      Ugh I wish I remembered more specifics or took notes, but it was a yikes fest lmao

  10. Catarina @ Pages & Plots

    February 11, 2020 at 8:49 AM

    ngl I’m tempted to check out This Mortal Coil just because the main character has my name 🙈

    1. Kal

      February 20, 2020 at 3:27 PM

      *whisper-shouts* Do it do it DO IT!

  11. Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books

    February 17, 2020 at 10:34 AM

    AH this is SUCH a great post, I love it SO much! I have to admit that the only book I’ve read here is This Mortal Coil, but damn, I agree, this book gave me EMOTIONS, like I felt out of breath when I was reading it and even when I wasn’t reading it, it was that emotionally intense. I need to catch up with the next books! 🙂

    1. Kal

      February 20, 2020 at 6:43 PM

      This Mortal Coil gave me all the feelings and my mind is still reeling!!! I hope you enjoy the rest of the trilogy when you get to them, and thanks for stopping by!

  12. Heather @ The Frozen Library

    February 18, 2020 at 7:12 PM

    Wow, that’s a lot of feelings. XD I haven’t read any of these though, so I don’t share them. I remember what it was like to read the worst book I’ve ever read, though. It was SO bad. XD It was supposed to be a murder mystery but ended up being the trashiest, most unrealistic teen romance ever. The mystery barely even played a part at all it was infuriating. XD

  13. Krisha

    February 19, 2020 at 7:24 AM

    Ahh such a great list!! I agree with A Spark of White Fire. It is an extremely emotional book to just think about! I have The Mortal Coil and King of Fools on my TBR so I hope I can get to read them soon!!! Great list, Kal 💛✨

  14. Meeghan

    April 29, 2020 at 3:28 AM

    I have so many of your emotionally devastating books on my TBR, but only one of the rage ones!!

    1. Kal

      May 1, 2020 at 2:07 PM

      I hope these books give you ONLY good vibes and not any rage, Meeghan!

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