Sick lit is one of the genres that have grown in popularity in the literary world nowadays. Some people thought that the sick lit genre was revolutionized by John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, but, truthfully, it is a genre that has already existed since long ago. However, if you are into this kind of genre, then here are seven sick lit books to consider adding to your bookshelf:
#1. A Walk to Remember
Love is like a wind; you can’t see but you can feel it. That is probably the lesson you will learn with A Walk to Remember. This novel by Nicholas Sparks tells about the story of Landon and Jamie, two polar opposite youths who find a miracle in each other. Originally, Landon belonged to the “popular” crowd in school while Jamie was the unassuming girl who doesn’t really attract attention to herself.
When these two characters are put together in a play by their teacher, they started off as friends, although some “growing up” issues challenge their friendship. Eventually, Landon falls in love with Jamie, but was stunned to know that the latter has leukemia. The road the two walked is definitely a journey to remember.
#2. The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars tells about the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a youth diagnosed to have cancer at the terminal stage. Although she was administered with a tumor-shrinking medical miracle, it was only enough to buy her a few years lease in life. Her end-of-life journey became more fulfilling as she meets Augustus Waters, another cancer patient, at the Cancer Kid Support Group she belongs to.
Upon their meeting, they eventually clicked. They share the same wit and love for books. When Augustus landed a rare meet-and-greet invitation from the author they both love, they embarked on a brief adventure together. During the trip, they discovered more about themselves, their ailment, and each other.
#3. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
A sick lit that focuses on the theme “growing up”, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl follows the story of Greg Gaines. At the behest of his mother, Greg reluctantly attempts to rekindle his friendship with his childhood friend who was diagnosed with end stage leukemia, Rachel Kushner.
Greg, who has an interest in filmmaking, is eventually convinced by his long time crush to make a film for Rachel. Of course, the film simply becomes a mashup of everything that he and his friend, Earl, tried out. When the film gets shown to the entire school, Greg gets upset, which eventually leads to him scratching all of his film DVDs.
Rachel dies a few days after the film screening. Rachel’s death causes a big change in Greg’s life and his future choices.
#4. Me Before You
When a car accident causes Will Traynor to be quadriplegic, he lost the will to continue living. Through an assisted suicide organization called Dignitas, he decided to put an end to his suffering. His family, in an attempt to bring back his enthusiasm towards life, hired Louisa Clark as a caretaker. The two of them shared a short yet meaningful time together, and in that course, fell in love with each other.
Despite the wonderful time and positive encouragement Louisa gave Will, the latter is still unable to accept a life living in a wheelchair. Louisa, indignant that Will won’t change his decision, broke up with him and left.
After Will’s death, Louisa received inheritance from Will that allows her to continue her education. Will also left a letter that encourages Louisa to live well.
#5. Thirteen Reasons Why
A book that talks about suicide, Thirteen Reasons Why depicts the circumstances behind Hannah Baker’s suicide. At the start of the story, Clay Jensen receives a mysterious package containing cassette tapes in his mail.
Upon playing the tapes, Clay finally finds out the reason why Hannah committed suicide. In accordance to the title, there were 13 reasons – specifically, 13 people – who pushed Hannah to the edge.
#6. If I Stay
Written by Gayle Forman, this sick lit novel focuses on the out-of-body experience of Mia Hall after a fatal car crash that involves her entire family. At first, she wasn’t able to realize that she is already living as a spirit and that her body is in a comatose state. Throughout the entire novel, she slowly comes to know how the rest of her family who were with her in the car have all passed away.
The story deals with Mia’s conflict on whether she will stay or move on. Staying will mean living with the fact that her entire family is gone. Moving one means that she’ll be reunited with her family in the other life. While it may seem that moving on is the best choice, there is still one reason why Mia should stay. But will it be good enough to convince her?
#7. Everything, Everything
Everything, Everything is a bit different from the previously listed sick lit novels above. This novel tells the story of a young woman named Maddy who was confined at home her whole life because of SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency), a disease that doesn’t allow her to come in contact with anything that is not “sanitized”.
Olly, a new neighbor, becomes friends with Maddy and communicates with her online. At one point, Olly was “smuggled” inside Maddy’s house with the help of the latter’s caretaker. As the two youths become closer, they eventually decides to travel to Hawaii to revisit her memories of a “normal” family. The trip to Hawaii has given both Maddy and Olly a surprise they’ve never imagined before.
These sick lit novels have stayed in the New York Times bestseller list for several weeks. You will definitely enjoy them. Moreover, these novels have film adaptations you can watch as well. If you want to watch tearjerkers that can tug at your heartstrings, then these sick lit books are worth your time.