Generally, I cry more at films than I do books – and when I was younger I always cried at films. You name it: Bambi, Dumbo, Beauty and the Beast – yep, Disney got me every time – they bump off a lot of cute animals and nice characters in those films – it’s pretty harsh! As I got older, I graduated to crying at things like Titanic – yep, pretty much from when they went into the water, to when Rose unstuck their frozen hands and let Jack float away. I cried so much in the cinema watching that for the first time, that my then boyf refused to walk out into the lights with me – I’m cool, eh?
Anyway, I’ve obviously gotten tougher as I’ve grown up – sit me in front of a Disney film these days, and I’ll only sniffle as the little old lady passes away in Up, or when Flynn/Eugene buys the farm in Tangled.
The thing is, when you cry when you’re reading, you can’t actually read – that becomes a problem, whereas a film continues unrelenting, as you blub into your popcorn. But, that said, there are some books that have made me cry:
Mocking Jay – *spoiler* This possibly seems an odd one, and perhaps it’s not the part you think of immediately (Prim). The bit that got me was when Peeta is rescued and they find he has been conditioned against Katniss – their first meeting is such as shock and twists your expectations – it definitely raised a sniffle from me, as did some of the ‘real or not real’ conversations afterwards. Not necessarily full-blown bawling, but I found my heart clenching a little, every time one of those moments happened.
Noughts and Crosses – *another spoiler* It’s the ending that got me, because like every cheesy romantic, I wanted love to win the day and make things better. When it doesn’t, it’s realistic, almost expected – but it broke my heart a little for the characters and the hope that I’d had for them. This has stayed with me still, so that I’ve not managed to continue reading the series, despite them being sat on my bookshelf. I really liked this book for the ideas it raises, and the author’s style – it’s just hard to go back into that world, when a character I loved isn’t there anymore.
Hands down, the book that made me cry so much I had to stop reading (multiple times) was Marley and Me. If you’ve watched the film, but not read the book, you might think I’m mad (the film didn’t get to me btw, because it’s very different from the book and focuses on the comedy, rather than some of the deeper, emotional aspects of being a dog owner).
In the book, towards the end, you see the gradual deterioration of Marley’s health and the ongoing emotional struggle of the owner as he goes back and forth to the vets. Marley’s life had, until that point, rolled alongside theirs: as they grew together as a couple, matured and had children of their own – he was part of those changes and their relationship in a way that nothing else but a dog could be. One of the most touching parts of the book is where the wife has to spend several months in bed, during a pregnancy to avoid going into early labour – through that whole time Marley spends his days lying on the floor beside her. He’s a difficult dog, that’s for sure, but he also loves his owners and when it comes to the end of his life, these are the parts that stick with them: the changes in their lives, the good and the bad, that Marley was with them for. A dog is for life, in every possible way.
And so that’s why Marley and Me made me cry, more than any other book ever has. As a dog owner myself, it made me realise what I had to come, when that part of your world goes away. It’s even tougher than it seems when you read it in a book.