Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Books That Made Me Cry

I'm sure there are people out there who haven't shed a tear for a book because imagination can only take you so far. To cry, I think I need to visualisation done for me (movies) and to have real, tangible characters tell me their stories (people).

So, should I be relieved that when I stared at my bookshelf, looking for one such book... and found a measly amount? I can only recall two tear-jerkers in my entire book-reading life. Two. That fact is amusing.

The first Nicholas Sparks book I read, read it five years ago -- during which I thought Nicholas Sparks is a woman. You read that right. How on earth can the name Nicholas insinuate to how he is a female escapes me! Mum fished this out from her company's library and I remember being put off, thinking: ew, this book looks so old. It didn't matter after a couple of pages, it was a sad, gut-wrenching cancer story. It's about an average popular, bad boy who meets your not-so-average reserved, shy Reverend's daughter. Mutualism was fostered; he learned to walk the path of a better man, and she walked the path of life. Back then, I thought it was amazing. Now that I'm more 'weathered', so to speak, it was a great coming of age story. I wouldn't say it was amazing like what other people think, but it made me cry so the characters and the story must have made an impression. The movie of which I watched for who knows how many times made me cry too so I suppose I'm not void of sentimentality, eh. ★★★

This is a more developed tear-jerker. It's still another leukemia story, but not just another. I read it also years ago so I'm a little rusty but it's about 13-year old Anna who is a genetically engineered baby, designed to be a genetic match for her sister, Kate, who has acute leukaemia. Anna has spent her life giving blood and bone marrow to Kate. She is conflicted when asked to donate her kidney to Kate. Now Anna wants to sue her parents for the right to her body. One would probably sympathise with Anna outright, and hate her mother. I did hate the mother, I didn't like her at all. She loved Anna, that I don't doubt, but the way she doesn't get it throughout the book irked me. Still, the book is a bit morally grey, you can't point your finger at who's right or wrong. Each character got their own say in the book and I thought that was a smart move, given the issues the book raised: right and wrong of genetic engineering, life and loss, family and love. If you've seen the movie and are deterred from reading the book, don't be. The portrayals are quite different, the ending as well. I can still remember the emotions this book stirred, sigh. ★★★★

PS. I remember how Liza had rows and rows of Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult on her bookshelf! It was an awesome sight. 

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