8 Books (Almost) Too Depressing To Read

Every now and then, a book will leave us with an unexpected emotional hangover. Sometimes, the hangover hits in a good way: we feel better, like we’ve processed something, and can now move forward, just like the characters in the book.

Studies show that when something fictional provokes an emotional response, it feels more real, making it a more “enjoyable” experience.

But there are some books (that, shockingly, aren't textbooks) that can leave a reader completely gutted to the point they never want to pick the book up again.

The Road is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that follows a father and son as they travel through post-apocalyptic America, one where vegetation and hope have disintegrated into ash.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

One reader admitted they cried after finishing the book. Another realized that it was one of the only books they’d ever read where they had to take breaks because the book was “causing way too much emotion.”

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Pulling from Plath’s real life, The Bell Jar follows writer Esther Greenwood, a young writer living on her own in New York City for the first time, as she tries not to succumb to her neurosis and the darker corners of her mind.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

In this coming of age story, She's Come Undone follows Dolores Price, a 13-year-old whose love of television and food turns into an obsession that grips her for five years. Now 257 pounds, she wants to try to start living before giving up completely.

She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

In Toni Morrison’s debut novel, 11-year-old Pecola Breedlove is a Black girl who prays for blue eyes. If she has blue eyes, then maybe she’ll be beautiful, be accepted, and fit in with the blonde hair and blue-eyed golden children America loves.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

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