We love a good rom-com but sometimes we find ourselves in the mood for chest-pinching, eye-watering, heart-wrenching romantic moments. So if you’re like us and just want to really feel the heart-ache in your next romance read, we have a few suggestions for you.
10 Heartbreakingly Romantic Books that Will Make Your Heart Hurt
1. When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert
Kelly Loy Gilbert’s writing is so beautiful that this book will leave you a little emotionally raw by the time you finish it. In When We Were Infinite you’ll experience the messiness of relationships through the eyes of Beth as she tries to find the balance of how much of herself she’ll give up to help her friends.
2. Five Feet Apart by Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott
If you’ve seen the movie of Five Feet Apart you know that this book will have you sobbing. Stella and Will both have cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that causes damage to the lungs and other organs, which means they can’t be within six feet of one another without risking their lives. But as Will and Stella fall in love, they decide to steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them. Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too? Now available in paperback!
3. All This Time by Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott
From the team that brought you Five Feet Apart, comes the next heartbreaking romance. Brace yourselves, because it’s a doozy. Kyle and Kimberly have been the perfect couple all through high school until their car crashes right after Kimberly breaks up with him and Kyle wakes up in the hospital to discover that she is dead. Kyle thinks no one will understand him until he meets Marley, who is suffering her own loss, and Kyle sees in her all the unspoken things he’s feeling. As they grow closer Kyle can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t right…
4. Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon
There’s nothing as heartbreaking as friendship break-ups. Sophie has always loved her best friend Peter and she finds out that she’s a match for the kidney transplant he needs, she doesn’t hesitate to donate one of her own. But Peter’s life post-transplant isn’t what either of them expected. He fears he’ll forever be indebted to Sophie and Sophie isn’t sure who she is without him. Then one heartbreaking night twists their relationship into something neither of them recognizes, leading them to question whether their friendship is even worth fighting for.
5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a beautiful and powerful book of self discovery that follows two boys, Ari and Dante, with seemingly nothing in common, after they meet one summer and slowly begin to form a special friendship. As they learn more about themselves and each other that friendship begins to grow into something more. Once you finish this book, don’t miss the sequel Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World!
6. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Belly measures her life in summers. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer — they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along. Once you’ve read The Summer I Turned Pretty, don’t miss the second and third books in the trilogy: It’s Not Summer Without You and We’ll Always Have Summer, and be sure to catch the new TV series inspired by the books, streaming this summer!
7. The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
What if your town was sliding underwater and everyone was ordered to pack up and leave? How would you and your friends spend your last days together? For Keeley, that means taking one last shot at the boy she’s loved forever. It’s the end of Aberdeen, but the beginning of Keeley’s first love story. It just might not turn out the way she thought. Because it’s not always clear what’s worth fighting for and what you should let become a memory.
8. Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
Emergency Contact is the perfect combination of funny, awkward, and heartbreaking. Penny and Sam swap numbers when Penny finds Sam in the midst of a panic attack on the side of the street. Soon the two of them become digitally inseparable as they share their deepest anxieties and secret dreams to each other with the humiliating awkwardness of being face-to-face.
9. Come Back to Me by Mila Gray
I suggest you have a couple tissues ready as you read this book. Kit Ryan is a Marine home on leave who finds himself falling in love with his best friend—and fellow Marine—Riley’s sister Jessa. Unsure of how to tell Riley, the two keep their passionate romance a secret until Kit is set to deploy once more. Neither one is ready to say goodbye and Kit promises to come home to her. No matter what. But as Jessa stands waiting for the Marine Chaplain to break her heart, Jessa knows that either Kit or Ryan has been killed in action and only one will be coming home to her.
10. Together We Caught Fire by Eva V. Gibson
Along with some truly heart-wrenching moments, this book also has its fair share of spice! Lane’s life is turned upside down when her father marries the mother of her long-time crush, Grey. There’s no denying that these two share mutual forbidden attraction for each other, which is made all the more forbidden because of Grey’s girlfriend, Sadie. To distract herself from her feelings, Lane befriends Connor, Sadie’s brother and the black sheep of his family. But as the two become closer and start to open up about the traumas in their respective pasts, Lane begins to question her conviction that Connor is just a distraction.