Just because it’s June and the sun is shining and people are outside laughing and Instagramming their frappuccinos, it doesn’t mean that you have to succumb to fun! summer! expectations! Look, I enjoy my friends’ Facebook ~ SUMMER 2014 ~ photo albums as much as the next person, but my sad girl act doesn’t thrive as well in the summer. I’m much better when it’s dark outside at 5 PM.

You probably already know all of the easy ways to maintain your sad girl aesthetic well into August. You have to wear dark colors. Black, obviously. You have to avoid florals and dresses. Don’t tell people you’re listening to Best Coast’s “Up All Night” because 1) it’s an old song, 2) kind of embarrassing, and 3) you don’t want to seem approachable like you’re down to talk about music with the guy next to you on BART. But I think the most important part about being a perpetual sad person is that you have to read sad books, too.

It’s hard to find a list of sad book recommendations for obvious reasons, but don’t worry, I’ve got you. Here are five books that you can read and be sad about all summer long.

WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart

I only wrote this piece so I had an excuse to write about this book. You guys, you have to read We Were Liars. You have to read it and you have to tell all of your friends about it even if they aren’t prone to #sad behavior. It’s a Young Adult book about a group of cousins/friends, their family’s private island, and an accident that leaves one of them with amnesia. I know; it sounds HILARIOUS. We Were Liars is the kind of book you want to read in four hours but also the kind of book you want to savor because the writing is top notch. I heard that a lot of people (not me not me not me) cried while reading this book. (Okay, me).


I haven’t read these books and I don’t plan to, but I’ve seen every episode of Game of Thrones which is basically the same thing. There’s a lot of gratuitous murders of fan-favorite characters (RIP Oberyn/Robb/Renly/everyone I’ve ever loved). This is perfect for sad people who need something to whine about. Each book is about 10,000 pages long and there are currently five books so they should keep you busy and unhappy for the next two years. Bonus: you get to brag about your superior book knowledge to your Twitter followers. They will most likely think you are way cool for knowing what’s going to happen in future episodes. They won’t think you’re smug or arrogant at all.


I know. Sorry. But I had to include The Fault in Our Stars if I want this list to be reputable. It’s the quintessential sad book of the summer and your mom won’t stop talking about the movie. It’s about teenagers in love. It’s also about oblivion and dying and the unfairness of the universe. You know, problems teenagers deal with. Anyway, there’s a pretty good chance #sad people all over the world have already read it. If you didn’t, you don’t have to. Just buy the book and then bring it to the movie theater and wipe your tears with its pages. You’ll seem totally cool and different, but most of all you’ll look sad, which is the effect we’re going for here.


Okay, so not technically a book, but the sentiment still stands. I haven’t read a legitimate poem since my third year of college when I was forced to take a poetry class for my English degree. I don’t remember what any of the poems were about but I remember being miserable for 10 weeks, sitting in class, staring at my watch. Nothing says, “This person is sad and deep and important” like a book of poetry in your hands. Trust me, I know this from experience.

REBELS: CITY OF INDRA by Kendall and Kylie Jenner

First of all, great title. You already know there will be characters who are rebellious who live in an imaginary city, probably in the future. If you’ve never heard of this book, don’t feel bad. Kris Jenner knows that Young Adult dystopian novels are all the rage these days and you can bet she’s going to ca$h in on this trend. How many iterations of The Hunger Games or Divergent will there be before we get tired of them? “Not enough!” Kris Jenner yells, from a distance, probably.

Because I refuse to read it, I’m not sure if it qualifies as a “sad book” per se, but thinking about this book makes me want to avoid people for several days. Isn’t it unfair that Kylie and Kendall Jenner have “written” and published a novel even though it’s widely known that Kendall doesn’t even know how to read? And to top it off, you’re probably out in LA or New York or San Francisco, trying to get someone to care about your screenplay or your novel or your blog. It’s ridiculous, really, that there are people out there who truly Have It All. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had older sisters whose boyfriends betrayed their trust and released their sex tapes? Wouldn’t life be easier if our moms knew how to turn an awful situation into a billion dollar brand? Now I’m upset all over again.