Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Other Kind of Scary Story

Posted by: Regan Summers

Confession: I cry through 98% of movies I watch. I’m not ashamed of this, though oddly I’m not much of a crier outside of entertainment. Slightly more shameful is the fact that I cried through of the 100% of cotton commercials, before they switched to that campaign with celebrities singing through their closets. I also cried over the preview for Air Force One. You know, that super emotional movie about Russian master criminal Gary Oldman taking President Harrison Ford’s ride hostage? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. What got me was when pilot of one of the fighter jets escorting Air Force One flew in front of a missile so that President Harrison Ford wouldn't be shot down, which I get because Harrison Ford. But also because of sacrifice, which gets me right in the feely-feels. My sister made me leave the theater until I calmed down, which I did. I then promptly started crying over the movie we were there to watch, the name of which I don’t remember.

I also cry while reading books – I know, shocker! Because I like to read on planes, I tend to upset random seatmates who have generously offered me everything from an understanding ear to tissues to valium. After which I have to explain that there’s nothing wrong with me, it’s these characters, see? WHAT’S TO BECOME OF THEM? And then they look uncomfortable or disgusted and tell me it’s just fiction.

Just fiction. The nerve.

So this is what happens when I read normal books. Sci Fi Romance. Epic Fantasy. Mysteries set in 1970’s Ireland. Frickin’ Vince Flynn books. Horse and Tack magazines with feel-good stories of the pony that didn’t have to be taken out back and shot. Which reminds me: remember the children’s story Black Beauty? About the horse that is forced to toil in poverty while watching other impoverished horses being worked to death? WHY IS THAT A CHILDREN’S BOOK?

Anyway, the reason for this confession (and rant on horrific children’s books) is that I have in my tbr (to be read) stack a few books that I’m actually afraid to read. I either know enough about the stories or have seen the flail before people’s hidden, spoilery reviews to know that these stories are going to end with me being rehydrated on an IV after I cry myself into a hospital admission. (This hasn’t happened yet, but I’m fairly certain it’s possible)

The books are as follows:

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch – The story of two sisters hidden by their drug-addicted mother from their family and, basically, anyone who could help them. I’ve already started this novel a couple of times, and while it gripped me from the first few paragraphs, I just know that its lows are going to be low. I'm planning to take time off from work later in the year to read and recover.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai – I assume my concerns are self-explanatory. This is a story of extreme bravery and sacrifice, and while it currently has a happy ending, the happy isn’t a sure thing for all people.
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews – Ilona Andrews is one of my favorite authors currently writing, from the urban fantasy Kate Daniels series to short, complex The Edge series, to her fun Clean Sweep books. The wife and husband writing team are creative and funny as hell, but as the books have advanced, they’ve created some intensely emotional moments. And these moments tend to sneak up on a reader. The books are quickly-paced and the characters are proactive. Nobody’s prone to living inside their own head or wallowing in angst. There are challenges and monsters around every corner and, just when you’re braced for another brawl, something happens that tears a piece of your heart out. And, as Kate allows herself to connect to more people, and as her identity becomes known, the stakes are getting higher. I will pick this book up the day it comes out, but I’m braced. I’ll read it in a fortress on high ground, with a pallet of tissues at the ready.

What jerks your tears, gentle reader? Are their certain situations, certain authors, certain characters? Are there any books you’re afraid of?

About the Author

Regan Summers lives in Anchorage, Alaska with her husband and alien-monkey hybrid of a child. She is a huge fan of the low profile. She likes books, bad action movies, small plate dining, Corporal Hicks, some aspects of pre-revolutionary France, most aspects of current Italy, and books.

Her Night Runner series, including Don’t Bite the Messenger and Running in the Dark, is available wherever e-books are sold. One Night in Wichita, an urban fantasy short story set in the 1920s, throwing a WWI veteran and lethal ingénue together in a feud between vampires and bootleggers, is currently free on Wattpad, HERE.


  1. I mostly read romance and SF/fantasy precisely because they usually have happy endings. Nonetheless I have bawled buckets over many a fictional character. Early in our relationship my husband was quite concerned when he found me crying my eyes out over a certain scene in The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay. Now he knows better.

    The last book I cried over was Skin Game by Jim Butcher. But please don't dread reading it--no one died, it was more of a cathartic moment when Harry slowed down enough to process some of the stuff that happened to him in the previous three books.

    1. I think that's a defining moment in a relationship with a reader - discovering exactly how far a book will drag them in. :D


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