9 Really Heartbreaking 9 Books With Bittersweet Endings

Welcome to my “Books With Bittersweet Endings” post. The title should explain this very well. Now, this post definitely would get you to come across some major spoilers. So I have the reasons, the Why to be separated into two parts: Non-spoiler and spoiler. If you do not plan on reading the series and don’t mind spoiling, go ahead. But if you don’t want to be spoiled…close your eyes when you come across the spoilers part.

You have been warned.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Books With Bittersweet Endings
Series: The Young Elites #1
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance, Magic

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use it. My turn to hurt.

Non-spoiler version:

Someone very important dies. It was horrible. *Cough* Veronica Roth *Cough*

I had a slow reaction to this. I read Midnight Star three months ago, and I thought about it again three months later and I still sobbed. And it did not help that at the same time, I was just finishing up Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas.

Let’s just say I was not the most environmentally friendly person that day.

Spoiler Version (Close your eyes on this part if you don’t want to be spoiled):

The main character dies.

Adelina dies.

It. Was. Horrible.

And when Magiano just broke down sobbing…


Just avoid this book at all costs if you don’t want to die inside.

Legend by Marie Lu

Series: Legend #1
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance, Action Adventure

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Non-spoiler version:

It’s more of a bittersweet ending, but the ending is similar to the Fallen series, and someone loses their memory.

Spoiler Version (Close your eyes on this part if you don’t want to be spoiled):

Day lost his bloody memory.

You know, at this point I already realized to avoid Marie Lu’s book at all cost. I learned it the hard way.

Don’t make the same mistakes I made.

This was actually one of my first bittersweet ending books. And it’s also one of the books that made me realize I can’t live with HEAs. And how happily ever afters are not cliches, but a vital source of survival and happiness.

Let’s just say I learned the hard way.

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Series: Fallen #1
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance, Angels

What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart.

Get ready to fall . . .

Non-spoiler version:

Non-spoiler version:

A bittersweet ending, just like Legend series.

Spoiler Version (Close your eyes on this part if you don’t want to be spoiled):

Along with Legend, this series was one of the first-ever bittersweet endings I’ve ever encountered. Lucinda and Daniel gave up their immoralities to be mortal so they can be together just once, without obstacles. They both lose their memories, but at least meet and fall in love again.

Anyway, bloody bittersweet ending.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Series: Divergent #1
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction, Romance Adventure

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen.

But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Non-spoiler version:


Spoiler Version (Close your eyes on this part if you don’t want to be spoiled):

Beatrice dies.

Like, what the actual f**k.

I genuinely avoided the series altogether after I realized that ending.

Yeah, like, no.

For once, I’m glad a series was spoiled for me before I ever had the chance to read it.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

Series: Caster Chronicles #1
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Magic, Supernatural

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Non-spoiler version:

Something horrible happens to the heroine or the hero.

You can say whatever you want about the book and the series in general, but the last book is a severe tearjerker.

Spoiler Version (Close your eyes on this part if you don’t want to be spoiled):

Ethan sacrifices himself to save Lena. And at the end of the last book he just goes around, visiting people he loves to say goodbye…

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Teen, Coming Of Age

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Non-spoiler version:

This is not the book for happy endings. It is a beautiful, realistic teenage contemporary love story, but it’s realistic. And it’s John Green.

Spoiler Version (Close your eyes on this part if you don’t want to be spoiled):

It’s realistic. They’re sick. They have cancer. They are in love. It’s John Green.

First Year by Rachel E. Carter

Series: The Black Mage series #1
Genre: High Fantasy, Young Adult, Magic Romance, Academy

Magic. Romance. Rivals. Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Falling Kingdoms, and Tamora Pierce.

Before the age of seventeen, the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice —pursue a trade or enroll in a trial year in one of the realm’s three war schools to study as a soldier, knight, or mage…

For fifteen-year-old Ryiah, the choice has always been easy. Become a mage and train in Combat, the most prestigious faction of magic.

Yet when she arrives, Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Everyone is rooting for her to fail—first and foremost among them is Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived.

Will Ry survive, or will her dream go down in flames?

Non-spoiler version:

This, unlike Air Awakens, is a legitimate bittersweet ending. WHY. So sad since it’s one of the best enemies to lovers I’ve ever read.

Spoiler Version (Close your eyes on this part if you don’t want to be spoiled):

Listen, I understand perfectly that some authors loved to put twists and bittersweet, horrible endings, but can it please not be in my favourite series. I’m begging you.

Darren and Ryiah lost their magic, and PRISCILLA BECOMES QUEEN. Literally the evil villainous female second lead.

Rachel I love you, but I hate you so much right now ?

Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal by Chris Colfer

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Humor, Teen, Coming Of Age

Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal follows the story of outcast high school senior Carson Phillips, who blackmails the most popular students in his school into contributing to his literary journal to bolster his college application; his goal in life is to get into Northwestern and eventually become the editor of The New Yorker. At once laugh-out-loud funny, deliciously dark, and remarkably smart, Struck By Lightning unearths the dirt that lies just below the surface of high school. At a time when bullying torments so many young people today, this unique and important novel sheds light with humor and wit on an issue that deeply resonates with countless teens and readers.

Non-spoiler version:

It was an unexpected ending, and hint: the title is there for a reason.

Spoiler Version (Close your eyes on this part if you don’t want to be spoiled):

My reaction when I saw the ending.

Seriously?! Dead by struck by lightning? Seriously?

Air Awakens by Elise Kova

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Magic, Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy

A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world.

Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

Non-spoiler version:

It was actually one of the least bittersweet endings on this list, but IT’S STILL NOW PERFECT.

Spoiler Version (Close your eyes on this part if you don’t want to be spoiled):

Even though the author tried to make it better by letting them have twins, and Aldrik and Vhalla still successfully got together and became empress and emperor of the empire, THEY STILL HAVE TO GIVE UP A CHILD TO THE NORTH.

Again, not perfect. And at least can endings like this did not appear in one of my favorite series of all time, like, please. And also their bond is broken. Even though she gets her powers back, I love their magical bond I think it adds so much to their relationship. Really sad it was never restored after it was broken.


Non-spoiler version:

Spoiler Version:

(Close your eyes on this part if you don’t want to be spoiled)

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