4 Soul-Igniting Novels That'll Melt Even The Coldest Of Hearts

Moving stories to vaporize your worries and anxiety.

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The best novels riff the heartstrings of your soul’s guitar.

Teleported into the story, you feel each character’s pain, joy, shame, loss, suffering, and nostalgia as if they were yours.

I want to share 4 such soul-touching novels.

These books might differ in genre, reading level, length, and style. But they all share one thing in common — the power to warm even the coldest of hearts.

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Step into the pages of these four novels — and worlds of courage, war, honesty, love, loss, and redemption.

Here are 4 soul-igniting novels that'll melt even the coldest of hearts:

1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

Genre: Psychological Fiction
Reading Level: Medium
Length: 320 pages


Ken compressed the entire spectrum of meaning, emotion, and human psychology into one masterpiece.

The most mind-blowing part? It’s set in a mental health ward with only a handful of characters.

One tyrannical nurse. Two devious assistants armed with mind-numbing meds. Ward inmates cowed into meek submission by the looming threat of shock "therapy."

A new inmate disrupts this dictatorial rule — a swashbuckling fun-loving trickster with a perennial grin that refuses to bow down to pain, sorrow or rules.

What follows is a blood-boiling, breathtaking, and gut-wrenching power struggle between the inmate and the nurse.

As Goodreads put it, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is "an exuberant, ribald, and devastatingly honest portrayal of the boundaries between sanity and madness."


If you read only one book from this list, let it be this — one of the best psychological fiction books ever penned.

Scratch that.

It’s one of the best fiction books ever written.


2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Genre: Bildungsroman/ Historical Fiction
Reading Level: Medium
Length: 371 pages

Khaled Hosseini isn’t a writer — he’s a word alchemist.

The first of his concoctions I got drunk on was The Kite Runner — a cocktail of love, shock, nostalgia, courage, melancholy, sorrow, joy, and deep, deep meaning.

A fictional story that drives home soul-stroking insights way better than most "real-world" stories do.

P.S. Yes, this story has been adapted into an award-winning Oscar-nominated movie — which doesn’t hold a candle to the original book. Do yourself a favor by reading the book first.


Two friends. Wealthy and poor. Few bullies. One kite-fighting tournament. A bond-shattering event. Five minutes of mute shock. One ugly truth buried — only to resurface 20 years later.

Continents, seas, and decades away, Amir’s forgotten mistake and truth beckon to him from the depths of war-stricken Afghanistan.

A (slim) chance of redemption.

Will he take this bet? At the peril of his mind, body, and life? For a shot to salve his aching soul?

Find out.


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3. They Both Die at The End by Adam Silvera

Genre: YA/LGBTQ Fiction
Reading Level: Easy
Length: 384 pages

The intriguing title and my fiction connoisseur friend Anangsha’s gushing praise sold me on this book.


In Silvera’s world, DeathCast notifies people 24 hours before they die. The silver lining?

The death-row folks can choose how best to live their last day — a luxury we don’t have in our real world. Here, the grim reaper comes out of the blue to lug us to the underworld.

Back to Silvera’s world. One midnight, two teenage boys with diametrically opposite personalities and lives get Deathcast’s knell.

Bumping into each other, these 2 strangers go on to live a lifetime in a single day.

Meaning. Friendship. Regret. Internal conflict. Adventure. Love. Retribution. Forgiveness. Passion. Sorrow.

In 24 hours, Silvera illustrates them all — as the clock ticks away, your heart begs for a miraculous fairy tale ending.


But the ending tears apart your heart and flings the pieces at your mind.

The premise is excellent, but the storytelling is not that great — despite that, the story and message stab your soul. Goodreads described it best as a "devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day."

In our world, there’s no Deathcast to notify us.

Here, the grim reaper comes out of the blue to lug us to the underworld.

Live each day like you mean it — it might be your last.


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4. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Genre: Romance/Historical Fiction
Reading Level: Medium
Length: 384 pages


So good was The Kite Runner that I thought it was Khaled’s Magnum Opus.

But heck no — A Thousand Splendid Suns is a thousand percent more splendid.

A story of family and friendship, of an unforgiving time, an unlikely bond, and an indestructible love.


A saga of two Afghan women from two different generations — lives violently slapped together by the calloused hands of fate.

Just as they seek solace in each other and develop an unlikely friendship, the Taliban invade.

Amidst war, gunfire, and shellings, these valiant women battle fear, misfortune, starvation, brutality, despair, and insanity.

Persevering against hopeless odds, they survive — but before they can begin to thrive, the threat of misfortune knocks on the door. A threat that demands sacrifice.

A sacrifice so great and so brave only pure love could fuel it.

This masterpiece of a book will boil your blood, pump you with joy, warm your heart, squeeze your gut, and change something fundamental about you.


As Goodreads put it, "A Thousand Splendid Suns is a portrait of a wounded country and a story of family and friendship, of an unforgiving time, an unlikely bond, and an indestructible love."

A stunning masterpiece on the triumph of love over demise, despair, and decimation.


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Neeramitra Reddy is a writer and editor of In Fitness And In Health, Wholistique, and MANXIMIZE.