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Tear Jerker / Lurlene McDaniel

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Given the nature of the author's work, this is a given.

  • Pick a death, any death. Ones that stand out especially:
    • Donovan in Let Him Live. As he's dying, Meg breaks the hospital rules by climbing into bed and holding him in her arms while he takes his last breath.
    • Jenny, aka JWC in The Legacy: Making Wishes Come True. She dies just as 1980 rolls in, her grandmother and the man she loves by her side.
    • We don't actually see Melissa die in Goodbye Doesn't Mean Forever, but Jory's reaction when her mother tells her is heartbreaking.
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    • Finding out Vince from A Time To Die passed away from his cystic fibrosis in Reach For Tomorrow. In the epilogue, we also learn that Sarah MacGregor died when her bone marrow transplant failed, despite her seeming to be recovering well during the story and her time at Jenny House.
    • Amanda's death in Please Don't Die.
  • Beth learning about her family's horrifying death in a car crash in The Girl Death Left Behind. She actually needs to be sedated when she freaks out upon hearing the news.
  • Not just the death of Paul Campbell in When Happily Ever After Ends, but his entire backstory of fighting in the Vietnam War and suffering horribly for it. He never wanted to fight but only did it to please his father, and the experience traumatized him so badly he ended up Driven to Suicide.
  • The death of Shayla in How Do I Love Thee's "Night Visions", largely due to how suddenly it happened. Shayla had never been able to leave her house during the day due to suffering xeroderma pigmentosum, a disease that renders one fatally sensitive to the sunlight, but when the protagonist Brett comes into her life and introduces her to his new friends, she's easily accepted by them and experiences real happiness for the first time in her life. Then one night she goes sailing, gets lost at sea, and doesn't make it home before the sun rises. Despite being rushed to the hospital for treatment, she doesn't make it.
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    • In the same anthology, a girl named Laura is in dire need of a heart transplant and finally gets one...from the boy she loved, an ex-gang member who knew he'd be murdered by old rivals and signed away his heart to give Laura in such an event. Laura is devastated when she learns of this.
  • Pretty much all of She Died Too Young, with Chelsea and her new friend Jillian both in dire need of a heart transplant...but there's only one available heart. If you've read the last three books of the One Last Wish series it's a Foregone Conclusion that Jillian dies, but Chelsea's utter guilt and heartbreak over it is the crowner.
  • The whole story of "Don't Die My Love". It's about two teenagers in love and they discover that Luke has Hodgkin's but then Luke has surgery and before he goes in, he hands Julie a note. She doesn't open it up until the doctor tells them that Luke had died and when she opens it, it's a drawing of a flower, a special thing between her and Luke. But oh no, it doesn't stop there! Then when Julie goes to the new football field, she sees flowers that spell out "I Love You" and finds out from her father that Luke had planted all those flowers during the cold winter nights because he knew he wasn't going to make it.
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