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This past Sunday was National Roller Coaster Day (whee!!), and we have literary roller coasters on the brain. We love books that send us on a journey, digging into our emotions and taking us through the protagonist’s ups and downs in a way that feels like we’ve been dropped right into their life, their body. It’s a beautiful and exhausting experience – and by the end it’s hard to imagine any other book will measure up. To celebrate this silly and momentous holiday, here are some of our favorite books that send readers on emotional roller coasters. Just remember: if you must scream, scream inside your heart.

 

The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob

Mira Jacob’s debut novel is so gorgeously written that we didn’t even mind when she grabbed our heart and ripped is out of our chest. The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing explores what it means to drop everything and be there for family. It’s an intimate portrayal, one filled with humor and heart wrenching pain. The relationship between Amina and her father Thomas is riveting and beautiful and – oh no now we’re crying. 

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | Bookshop

 

 

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

When Kayla Rae Whitaker introduces animators Mel Vaught and Sharon Kisses, the first instinct is to want to separate them from each other – and the literally toxic workspace they share. But then Whitaker makes us fall in love with their dynamic, their passion for the work, and their indestructible friendship, right before she breaks our hearts again. We love it.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | Bookshop

 

 

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

If you devoured The Vanishing Half earlier this summer, do yourself a favor and go on an emotional roller coaster with Brit Bennett’s debut novel The Mothers. She takes her readers on a journey over fast-moving years and physical distance. And by the time she brings us all back to Oceanside, California where the novel begins, we’re aching for these characters to be together and fall apart – all at once. Talk about a ride!

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | Bookshop

 

 

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon is one of our favorite young adult authors of all time, so of course we’re going to include The Sun is Also a Star on this list of roller coasters. This novel takes us on a journey through Natasha’s last day in the U.S. – which also happens to be the day she meets Daniel, a very cute boy with big dreams about what love is supposed to be. We know the ending before the book even begins, but that doesn’t stop us from falling in love with Natasha and Daniel’s story over and over and over again. 

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | Bookshop

 

 

Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston

Even though we knew Bookish and the Beast would end with a happily ever after – or at least a happy for now – Ashley Poston took us on an emotional roller coaster with this one. It’s an enemies-to-lovers story and comes with all the ups and downs that particular storyline allows. And we loved every minute of it. In fact, we’re ready to get back in line and go for another ride!

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | Bookshop


A Book You May Enjoy

Danielle Mohlman's picture

Danielle Mohlman

Danielle Mohlman is a playwright, bookworm, and library connoisseur. You can find her on Twitter and Tumblr. (She has a lot to say.) And on Instagram. (She never foodstagrams.) When she grows up, she wants to be Leslie Knope.