I’M HERE TO LET YOU KNOW THAT I DO IN FACT HAVE A HEART. IT BEATS. IT GUSHES BLOOD. THERE ARE VEINS AND MUSCLE. AND IT DOES FEEL MUSHY, EMOTIONAL THINGS OCCASIONALLY.
As a general thing, I do not cry when characters die. I mean, hell yes, I get super emotionally connected to the book characters. I’m romantically involved with more than I dare share with you, dear reader. I call even more of them some of my most trusted friends. And I know pretty much the summation of you reading this understand what I’m talking about.
(Looking at you, High Lord of the Night Court, Aedion, and Noah Elliot Simon Shaw)
All that being said, I can count on one hand the number of times the death of a character has cleaved off a fraction of my soul. You can probably name the most heartbreaking character death you’ve ever experienced and I can almost assure you that, if I read the book, I did not shed a tear. I probably didn’t even blink.
Unless it was an animal. Then there’s a pretty good likelihood I either didn’t read the book (Old Yeller, Marley and Me) or stopped reading it immediately.
If you follow me on Twitter or Goodreads, you’ll know I binge read the Throne of Glass series early August because one of my friends finished my collection as a late birthday present. (THANK YOU MY DARLING. KISSES.) Well, I was reading Queen of Shadows by the legendary S. J. Maas the other day when I had this both horrifying and kind of surprising revelation.
(spoiler: my heart isn’t made of ice, I do have a heart, and my soul is as much intact as yours is. Take that as you will.)
Y’ALL I START CRYING WHEN CHARACTERS HAVE INSELY HUMAN EXPERIENCES. THE WATER WORKS START FLOWING WHEN THE CHARACTER’S HIT ON MY OWN PERSONAL FEARS. AUTHORS, WHY ARE YOU MESSING WITH ME SO MUCH?
(but also thank you, because you’ve given me hope like I can’t describe)
These are the two books I remember the most that I read and sobbed like a freaking two-year-old who just had their hard-earned Halloween treats stolen from them. (why did you do that?) One of them is the afore-mentioned Queen of Shadows. The other book is Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram.
In these two books my own personal fears pretty much materialized / immortalized themselves forever in paper. I felt like I was reading things that I thought only I knew, and that only I felt. And, sweet heavens above, I didn’t feel alone. In that moment, in the countless times I re-read those passages, teary-eyed and unable to move on with the rest of the book until I got a solid foothold on my emotions, I did not feel alone. And also in those moment, I hadn’t realized that I had felt alone.
Not until I had someone, a character in a book (and soon after a forever fixture in my brain) who actually got what I was feeling. That is why I cried. It’s probably why I don’t cry in books too often.
I’m a pretty happy, motivated human being. But I think everyone has a few insecurities, a few genuine fears. Mine are a little weird. And I usually don’t really know what they are until a character in a book has the same fear. Then it’s like a those were the words I didn’t know I could say, the ones I couldn’t find.
Waterworks, people. Waterworks.
The good kind, though. The relief kind. Where you find someone who gets it.
So anyways, humans, what do you think?