10 Times Half of Your Favorite Couple Died in a YA Book

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It was British poet Alfred Tennyson who said, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Though some might find this sentiment to be true, it doesn’t ease the pain when the love of your life dies. Take our favorite YA novels for instance — many of the characters are struggling through life, but somehow manage to fall in love regardless. And then at the drop of a hat, it’s taken away!

Check out this list to see the 10 times half of your favorite couple died in a YA book. Make sure to stock pile the tissues! #PartingIsSuchSweetSorrow. (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!)


When Tris sacrificed herself in Allegiant.

When Tris discovers that the Bureau provided Erudite with simulation serums, which lead to the invasion of Abnegation, she decides to find out what else they are up to. Apparently, David, the leader of the Bureau, plans to release the memory serum on the entire population of Chicago so that he can continue his experiments. Tris, Caleb and the others devise a plan to release the memory serum on the Bureau instead. However, the location of the serum is guarded by an active death serum.

Bravely, Caleb volunteers to go after the serum, even though it is a guaranteed suicide mission. But, at the last minute, Tris goes in his place! She gets the memory serum and nearly escapes, but David — who had been lurking nearby, knowing that she would arrive eventually — shoots Tris! She slowly dies of the wound and her love, Four, is inconsolable. They had been through so much together and now his partner in crime was gone forever.

Photo: HarperCollins

When Augustus died of cancer in The Fault in Our Stars.

Instead of bonding over their mutual illnesses, Hazel and Augustus bond over their love of literature. The two cancer patients meet in the hospital and, after getting to know each other, decide to swap their favorite books. Augustus is displeased when he reads An Imperial Affliction, because the novel ends abruptly. After Hazel tells him that the author went into hiding before he finished the book, Augustus surprises her with tickets to Amsterdam to meet the author and learn the true ending. #soromantic

Though things don't go well with the novelist, Augustus professes his love for Hazel! But, by the time the two return home, Augustus' cancer has worsened and he is now terminal and on the brink of death.

After his friends throw him a funeral so that Augustus is alive to hear the eulogies, he passes away a few days later.

Photo: Dutton Penguin

When Will requested assisted suicide in Me Before You.

A young Louisa is hired to be the caretaker of Will, a wealthy adventurer who became a quadriplegic after a motorbike accident. Will is now angry and bitter, which doesn't pair well with Louisa's funny and carefree personality.

Though their relationship is rocky at first, Louisa begins to remind Will how magical life can be. Speaking of magical, the two fall in love! Louisa believes that this will be enough to prove that life is worth living. But, for Will, it's not enough. He flies to Switzerland and goes to a clinic that helps patients commit suicide.

After his death, he leaves Louisa a significant amount of money and tells her to continue living life.

Photo: Penguin

When Jamie died of cancer in A Walk to Remember.

In every stereotypical story, the popular boy in school dates the most popular girl, who usually turns out to be a cheerleader. So, imagine Landon Carter's surprise when he befriends and falls in love with Jamie, a quiet minister's daughter.

After spending time with Jamie, Landon becomes a more loving and charitable person. However, he was so insecure about his image at school, that he nearly ended his friendship with Jamie on more than one occasion. But, finally, he accepts his true feelings and professes his love for her. And what does Jamie say back? I love you? No. She tells him that she has leukemia! Landon is devastated but refuses to part from her.

When it is revealed that Jamie is now terminal and has a short time to live, Landon proposes. The two get married in her father's church, and though she can barely stand, Jamie's father walks her down the aisle. It was always a dream of hers and it was 'a walk to remember.'

Jamie dies shortly after, leaving readers everywhere in a pile of tissues.

Photo: Grand Central Publishing

When Alaska got into a car accident in Looking for Alaska.

You know it's love when you've met someone who makes you want to be a better person and live a better life. That's exactly what happened when Miles (a.k.a. Pudge) met Alaska.

As the new kid in school, Pudge was immediately picked on by a group of mean kids known as the Weekday Warriors. But, rebellious and beautiful Alaska determines that it's time to take revenge to get back at the Warriors. Alaska, Pudge and their friends pull a series of pranks, having fun and getting to know each other along the way. It doesn't take long for Pudge to fall in love with the captivating Alaska, but she insists that she wants their relationship to be strictly platonic. But, after drinking one night, the two kiss and nearly have sex. A phone call interrupts them and Alaska flees in a hurry. But, she gets into a car accident and is killed instantly. No one knows whether it was intentional or not.

Photo: Dutton Children's Books

When Will died of old age in Clockwork Princess.

These days, most beloved characters are killed in a tragic accident or by a terminal illness. So, Will and Tessa's relationship, and subsequent ending, is heartfelt and refreshing.

Throughout the series, there is a love triangle between shadowhunters Will, Tessa and Jem. Though torn by her love for both of them, Tessa eventually chooses Jem and the two become engaged. Will is heartbroken, but knows that he will love Tessa forever. The problem is that Jem has slowly been dying for a while now and the only way that he can save himself is if he becomes a Silent Brother, meaning that he can never have contact with Tessa or Will again. So, Will and Tessa proceed to get married and the two live a happy life together. They have two children and a 60-year marriage. But, since Will is only half shadowhunter, he dies of old age decades later.

Photo: Simon & Schuster

When Finch drowned himself in All the Bright Places.

Have you ever heard of a meet-cute? It refers to the way a future couple meets for the first time, and it's supposed to be charming and adorable. You know how Finch and Violet first meet? At the top of a bell tower when they're both contemplating committing suicide. Yeah, not so romantic. But, the two do become extremely close.

Finch helps Violet, who is coping with the death of her sister in a car accident. Violet tries to help Finch with his mood swings, which turn out to be undiagnosed bipolar disorder. While Violet seems to be improving and working through her grief, Finch begins to spiral. He attempts to commit suicide by overdose, but is luckily saved. Violet becomes extremely worried and tries to help, but no one seems to be as concerned and they chalk it up to Finch's enigmatic personality.

Sadly, the uncontrollable and incomprehensible depression is too much for Finch, and he drowns himself in the lake leaving Violet to grieve once again.

Photo: Alfred A. Knopf

When Gat perished in a fire in We We Liars.

This entire novel was a whirlwind of mystery, but it also had a whirlwind romance.

Cadence Sinclair is the granddaughter to extremely wealthy grandparents, who happen to own their own private island. Every summer, Cadence and her cousins/friends ('The Liars') visit the island and spend time together. One summer, Cadence meets a boy named Gat and she falls deeply, head over heels in love with him. But, their love is forbidden because Gat's uncle used to be a staff member before he married into the family.

Though close to Cadence and her friends, Gat is seen as an outsider and below the status of the Sinclair's. Their relationship, along with other family drama about the will and inheritances, prompts the Liars to devise a plan, which includes burning down one of the houses. However, Cadence mixes up the order in which they're supposed to set things on fire, and the Liars become trapped and all burn inside. Cadence is the only one that escapes, and she has to live with knowing that she was responsible for the death of her love.

Photo: Dell Publishing

When Kate died of cancer in Bright Side.

We don't even know what to say about this book except that it's a super sad version of Game of Thrones, as in everyone dies.

Kate has had the worst childhood imaginable. Her mother was an alcoholic and drug addict who suffered from a mental illness — she eventually hung herself. Kate's father abandoned the family and moved overseas to start a life anew, without ever reaching out to his children. Kate's sister had Down Syndrome and died suddenly while Kate was the only one responsible for her.

But, finally, after a lifetime of tragedy, Kate meets Keller, a young father who has lost his fiancé. The two hit it off and begin to fall in love, only for Kate to reveal that she has terminal cancer! *throws book across the room*

Photo: Kim Holden

When Taylor died of cancer in My Sister's Keeper.

My Sister's Keeper is a drama about a family torn apart by disease. A young girl, Anna, sues her parents for forcing her to give her kidney to her older sister, Kate, who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 2. Anna was born so that she could save her sister, by providing her with blood, marrow, and transplants.

Meanwhile, Anna's older brother, who is perfectly healthy, never receives any attention from his family and has become a delinquent. This story was supposed to be about familial love, not romantic love. So, why did Kate fall in love with Taylor, another cancer patient in the hospital?? We knew that this couldn't turn out well... and it didn't.

After Kate and Taylor meet, the two fall hard and fast in love. They begin spending all of their time together, even visiting each other at chemo sessions. Taylor asks Kate to a dance that is put on by the hospital for patients and the two spend the night together. But, Kate didn't hear from Taylor after the dance. He died suddenly and Kate's mom didn't tell her about it for a month!

Photo: Simon & Schuster

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  • Tasi

    This article has a few errors. In The Fault in Our Stars, Augustus and Hazel meet in a cancer support group in a church not a hospital.

    In Clockwork Princess, Will was a full shadowhunter, Tess was the one that was only half Shadowhunter. Will died because shadowhunters are mortal and can still die of old age.

    You misspelled the title of We Were Liars when you reiterated it in the explanation of the relevant death by putting we we liars.