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7 books that deal with grief in the realest way


Mel in ‘A Tragic Kind of Wonderful’ is struggling with the loss of her vibrant, beloved brother Nolan. She’s lost and her grief isn’t the only thing that she’s contending with, but it is the big one and it’s suffocating enough to force her to shut everything out.

how-do-you-keep-going

Eric Lindstrom’s portrayal of Mel’s grief is 100% spot and that’s seriously hard to do.

Here’s another 7 books that manage it just as well.

the-truth-about-forever‘The Truth About Forever’ by Sarah Dessen

Queen Dessen delivers a completely pitch perfect novel about Macy who lost her father to a heart attack. Squashing it all down, she plans to quietly work in the library during the summer, waiting for her boyfriend to come back from camp. Instead she ends up joining a catering team, falling in love, facing her feelings and making a whole new family for herself. Utterly gorgeous.

amy-and-roger‘Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour’ by Morgan Matson

Amy’s had a bad year and her mom deciding to move cross country isn’t really helping, especially as Amy has to get the car to their new home and refuses to drive after the unexpected death of her dad. She enlists the help of Roger, the son of a family friend and they end up unexpectedly sparking… Sweet, sad and completely immersive – Morgan Matson is wonderful.

love-letters-to-the-dead‘Love Letters to the Dead’ by Ava Dellaira

What begins as an assignment soon becomes an obsession for Laurel – she can’t stop writing letters to the dead. She spills her heart about falling in love, making friends, high school and the devastating loss of May.

Unique, bittersweet and not to be missed.

the-sky-is-everywhere‘The Sky is Everywhere’ by Jandy Nelson

When Lenny’s fiery big sister Bailey dies, Lenny is devastated. And catapulted into centre stage now she’s out of her sister’s shadow. She suddenly finds herself caught between two boys – one who distracts her from her grief, and the other who leads her through it. She just knows that they can’t meet. Funny, sweet, sad and so beautifully written it hurts, ‘The Sky is Everywhere’ might actually be perfect.

the-square-root-of-summer‘The Square Root of Summer’ by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Gottie’s life fell apart when her beloved grandfather Grey died last summer and she got her heart broken. This summer Gottie is getting lost in physics to rid herself of her heartbreak until her former best friend returns home for the summer. Then she starts to experience strange blips in time that let her see what she should have seen back then.

Time travel, romance and an irresistibly hazy summer – Harriet’s debut will make you forget it’s winter!

vera-dietz‘Please Ignore Vera Dietz’ by AS King

Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie. Even after he betrayed her, she kept a lot of his secrets, but now that Charlie has died mysteriously, Vera knows a lot more than anyone, even the police. But will she speak up? Can she?

AS King is always surprising, shocking and full of heart and ‘Please Ignore Vera Dietz’ is no different!

i-was-here‘I Was Here’ by Gayle Forman

In the numb months following Cody’s best friend’s suicide she goes searching for answers to why Meg took her seemingly happy life. The things she discovers make her question everything she knows about herself, Meg and their relationship.

Totally heartbreaking in classic Gayle Forman style.

What are your favourite books that deal with grief? Let us know in the comments below. 

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  1. Sarah Dessen is QUEEEEEN! I think she handles grief, and also general life problems, in such clever and light ways. It’s heavy stuff, but you never lose sight of the story or the characters. Great enjoyment despite ALL THE FEELS!

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Written by Sophie Waters

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Sophie is the Head of Commercial at Maximum Pop! Having studied English Lit and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, she came to MP! to satisfy her passion for books. Sophie is a diehard Hufflepuff and feminist. She's also a huge cat lover, and can often be found rocking her socks off at a gig.