5 of the Worst Breakups in YA Part 2

12 September, 2012 Musing Musers 33 comments

5 of the Worst Breakups in YA Part 2

Warning: This post may contain spoilers for the novels listed.  All the books mentioned are published and available to the public.  Advance with care.

Last time, we discussed worst breakups in the sense that the were done prickishly with horrible intent by the breaker-uppers.  This time, we’re looking at the most heart breaking, tragic, saddening breakups written in YA.  Breakups suck.  They rip your heart out and tear your to pieces and leave you a quivering mess for the conceivable future without the benefit of a quick death to look forward to.   And if you don’t know what it’s like to have your heart poisoned, stomped on, cracked, shattered, cast into the pit of despair, torn, burnt, frozen, ripped, shredded, forced to listen to Nickelback, etc, then you’re a) the luckiest damn person alive and b) able to experience something entirely similar in the following books:

1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

God.  Why?!  WHY?! scratch that, I know why.  But still!  It broke my fucking heart.  And it wasn’t because Karou and Akiva weren’t perfect for each other, it wasn’t because they didn’t love each enough, it wasn’t that they weren’t willing to at least try.  It was a stupid mistake and a stupid decision and crossed wires and misinformation, and information that just came too bloody late.

And what are we left with?  Bollocks.  A complete load of bollocks.  That and enough snotty tissues to match the USA’s deficit.  What the everloving h?  ellAnd it’s not even one of those situations where you’re angry at either party because one is being a jackass and the other is being stubborn or they’re just not communicating properly.  Maybe that would be better because, if they can’t get their relationship together then they clearly don’t belong together.  But no.  Akiva’s actions are justifiable, even expected.  And it’s completely understandable that Karou would respond as she did.  The whole thing’s a clusterfuck of epic proportions.  Excuse me while I weep pathetically.

2. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

In retrospect, we all should have seen this coming.  I guess there never was much hope for ghost girl and ghost hunter boy.  I mean, talk about coming from the other side of the track.  Still!  He loved her, she turned into a gruesome murder beast.  Everyone was happy!  Until, you know.  She had to go and die for real.  Like, go on to heaven and be all ecstatically happy with a pretend version of Cas.  Thus leaving Cas to return to the real world.  Alone, broken-hearted and ultimately without any dead nookie.  And sure, we all sigh at the sweetness of the idea that Cas was her heaven and she could be free to love him.  But also creeped out that there was a replacement Cas and wondering why oh why we were foolish enough to read this wonderful, lovely story in the first place when all it ever planned on doing was breaking our heart all along.  Still, he loved her so much, sacrificed so much for her.  Part of me wonders how he could stand to leave her there and not join her for real.

3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This. Oh, this was just the worst.  As if it’s not bad enough to get your heart trampled on and tossed back to you like so much garbage.  But to have it done publicly, when you’re just trying to save the heartbreaker from disaster?  What’s worse is how Prince Kai is repulsed by Cinder.  The insinuation that even if he could have gone to her, that he probably wouldn’t.  Not for what she’d done or her character, but because of what she was.  Because being a Cyborg was so much worse than anything else.  And after everything Cinder went through to get to that party, the risk it exposed her to, the trouble she will have to endure because of it?  Cut my heart out now and put it through the shredder!  Heartbreak should never come hand in hand with public humiliation and rejection.

4. Where She Went by Gayle Forman

This whole book is one big tear jerker.  This is a book about the mother of all break ups!  And worse, it chronicles Adam’s life after breaking up with Mia.  Adam, Adam, Adam!  I feel you.  I’m right there with you.  Every single frustrated, angry, useless, pathetic emotion is brilliantly captured in this book.  That feeling of wanting to break everything, wreak the world and watch it burn – watch yourself burn.  Adam gets it, Forman gets it, I get it.  This book is one part agony, two parts despair and one part endurance.  If I never again feel the way Adam felt in this book, it’ll be too soon.  And anybody who’s gone through it, who’s had love just destroy everything about them will probably eat this book up, mentally fist bump Adam and try not to remember their own devastation.  Heartbreaking moments?  This book has them in spades.

5. Stolen: A Letter to My Captor

The problem with this break up is that you know it has to happen, and that their relationship never should happen.  You know it’s all wrong, terrible, horrible, despicable.  Yet, somewhere in you heart, after experiencing everything Gemma went through, after getting to know Ty, some sick, twisted, wrong, part of you wants a happy ending for everyone.  Even though you know, the rational, logical, justifiable parts of you know that there shouldn’t be a happy ending for Ty.  Ty belonged in prison.  Ty deserved to be in prison.  What Ty did was inexcusable.  Yet, you can’t help but imagine Ty languishing there, curling up, becoming increasingly disturbed and miserable.  It’s the kind of mindfuck break up that makes you realize how much breakups and heartaches truly unmake you as a person – and this one is worse because it undoes everything.  Even what Gemma should know first and foremost.  The most obvious thing in the world.  Kidnappers belong in jail, not in your heart.  But she didn’t want to send Ty there – and yet she did.   The strength, the weakness, the vulnerability, the guardedness of the passages is brilliant.


Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

33 Responses to “5 of the Worst Breakups in YA Part 2”

  1. cynicalsapphire

    I’ve only read two of these, and plan to read the others, so I couldn’t read about the breakups. Man, Where She Went is brutal though. He’s sort of her reason for living, but she then wants nothing more to do with him. OUCH.
    Also, Cinder. That hurt. Not only all of that but her freaking foot fell off. She’s been rejected for something she can’t help, defeated, publicly humiliated, her only friends are dead or gone, and she’s DAMAGED TOO.

    • KatKennedy

       @cynicalsapphire Gawd I know!  Where She Went – it was just… too much.  And Cinder?  I wanted to weep on her behalf.

  2. Karen

    Girl of Nightmares broke my heart. I guess I saw it coming and the writing was beautiful but yeah…totally bummed me out.
    Where She Went damn near killed me. That was so hard to read at times.

    • KatKennedy

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one!  It was just… he’s all alone!  *whimpers*
      Where She Went really did hit me right in the blood pusher.

  3. Karina

    1 out of 5.  Where She Went is the only book I’ve read so far. That’s so heart-breaking- love lost and found. I also felt for Adam but I couldn’t blame Mia because of what she went through. I heard there are plans for If I stay to become a movie. I wish,just wish they wouldn’t ruin it. Love your post although I just read Where She Went breakup. The others, I have to read them first because of the spoilers.hehe!
    -Karina @Couchpotatoreader

    • KatKennedy

       @Couchpotatoreader Totally understandable!  Don’t read the others until you read the books – but they are all such great books!

  4. Scribing Shadows

    Sigh Daughter of Smoke and Bone and If I Stay, these are just the situations where you can’t just talk it out with one party and “fix it”. Heart wrenching stuff man.

    • KatKennedy

       @Scribing Shadows That’s what made them so bad.  There is no easy solution.  No fix.  No simple diss and make up.  Gah.

  5. Lexxie

    The only book I’ve read among the five you mentioned is ‘Where She Went’ and I agree, I think I cried for 75% of that book. Tears just streaking down my face 🙁 *makes sure the other books are already on TBR*

  6. Anna

    Yeah so the only one I’ve read from this list is Cinder and I totally hated Kai after that bullshit. 
    <a href=”http://www.literaryexploration.com”>Literary Exploration</a>

  7. heykelley

    GAH, I KNOW! The breakup in Daughter of Smoke and Bone sucked so hard. 🙁
    The one in Cinder was gentler, right? I was hopeful they could somehow get together again, when I finished reading that book.
    Well.. Let’s jst keep hope alive for BOTH of these romances. Please? Yes? Right? T_T

  8. Kate C.

    Well, you kind of knew it was coming in Smoke and Bone, so even though it was sad, because well… Romeo and Juliet and all that… it wasn’t NEARLY as horrifying as Cinder.  Just on the level of Prince Kai you SUCKness.  It was the best way to end the book, but man I just wanted to sock him.  That whole ballroom scene made my insides rot. 🙁  Like watching a train wreck.

    • KatKennedy

       @Kate C. I’m one of those pathetic people who still hope Romeo and Juliet make it every time I read the play!  So… yeah, Daughter of Smoke and Bone got me bad!

  9. Liza

    I loved Stolen so much. I don’t think enough people have read it, quite frankly and am glad to see it on the list. Lucy Christopher does go out of her way to mess with your mind and Gemma’s, which is part of the reason I can’t forget this story. 

  10. girlsspeakgeek

    well, I’ve only read one out of these five books but what I really want to know is… am I the only person in the world who actually likes Nickelback?  (I mean, one song off each album but that’s about the odds that I like every other musician so…)

    • KatKennedy

       @girlsspeakgeek Errr, I want to say yes.  But instead I’ll be diplomatic and say, of course not!  Plenty of great people do!

      • girlsspeakgeek

         @KatKennedy haha – fair enough 🙂  Though, for the record I only really like the non-rock songs like If Everyone Cared.  not that it matters, but still

  11. morgan sydney

    Oh my god I cannot even think about Stolen without wanting to burst into tears. And “imag­ine Ty lan­guish­ing there, curl­ing up, becom­ing increas­ingly dis­turbed and mis­er­able”…. ouch. That hurt to read!

  12. christinashoe


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