Fiction Books With Mental Illness


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Drinking: A Love Story By Caroline Knapp

6 must read books about mental health

Caroline Knapps memoir of her love affair with alcohol continues to be relevant as she documents her first drink at 14, her partying years at an Ivy League college, and hiding bottles from her partner behind the fridge. To everyone else, she had it all together. In private, she was drowning.

Many use alcohol as liquid courage to face the stress of difficult life. Drinking: A Love Story shows just how far some go, and the courage it takes to change their life.

Fangirl By Rainbow Rowell


Not every mental health YA novel needs to be about teens with mental illness. No book demonstrates that better than Rainbow Rowells Fangirl, in which twins Cath and Wren help care for their bipolar father. This tender story shows how parents can also suffer from mental illnesses and how that impacts their children. Cath and Wren are used to their fathers moods, but they keep an expert eye on him in case those ups and lows start swinging really high and falling really low. This book definitely has positive mental health representation.

Girl in Pieces

Kathleen Glasgows Girl in Pieces belongs on any list of the best YA books about depression, focusing specifically on self harm. Glasgow covers a host of mental illness topics, including suicide, depression, and abuse, while telling us the riveting story of Charlotte, who finds herself hospitalized for her self harm behavior. Told in a fragmented style, with many chapters a few paragraphs at a time, the narration in Girl in Pieces mimics the splintered mental health of its heroine. Still, this is ultimately an uplifting book that belongs on the the top of any list of the best YA about mental illness.

Highly Illogical Behavior

Ocd Love Story By Corey Ann Haydu

When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that hes her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.

But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea cant stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magneticand has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a lot about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say shes obsessed.

Bea tells herself shes got it all under control. But this isnt a choice, its a compulsion. The truth is, shes breaking downand she might end up breaking her own heart.

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Underwater By Marisa Reichardt

Morgan didnt mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgivefirst someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then herself.

But Morgan cant move on. She cant even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like shes underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school.

When it seems Morgan cant hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside.

Get normal.

The instant Adam Spencer Ross meets Robyn Plummer in his Young Adult OCD Support Group, he is hopelessly, desperately drawn to her. Robyn has an hypnotic voice, blue eyes the shade of an angry sky, and ravishing beauty that makes Adams insides ache. Shes also just been released from a residential psychiatric programthe kind for the worst, most difficult-to-cure cases the kind that Adam and his fellow support group members will do anything to avoid joining.

Adam immediately knows that he has to save Robyn, must save Robyn, or die trying. But is it really Robyn who needs rescuing? And is it possible to have a normal relationship when your life is anything but?

The Spectacular Now By Tim Tharp

Realistic Fiction Books About Mental Illness : 52 Best Young Adult Ya ...

SUTTER KEELY. HES the guy you want at your party. Hell get everyone dancing. He ll get everyone in your parents pool. Okay, so hes not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding mens shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagrams V.O., lifes pretty fabuloso, actually.

Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimees clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and its up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimees not like other girls, and before long hes in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone elses lifeor ruin it forever.

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How It Feels To Float By Helena Fox

Biz knows how to float. She has her people, her posse, her mom and the twins. She has Grace. And she has her dad, who tells her about the little kid she was, who loves her so hard, and who shouldnt be here but is. So Biz doesnt tell anyone anything. Not about her dark, runaway thoughts, not about kissing Grace or noticing Jasper, the new boy. And she doesnt tell anyone about her dad. Because her dad died when she was six. And Biz knows how to float, right there on the surfacenormal okay regular fine.

But after what happens on the beachfirst in the ocean, and then in the sandthe tethers that hold Biz steady come undone. Dad disappears, and with him, all comfort. It might be easier, better, sweeter to float all the way away? Or maybe stay a little longer, find her father, bring him back to her. Or maybemaybe maybe maybetheres a third way Biz just cant see yet.

All The Lonely People By Mike Gayle

This book was my surprise star of the summer so far. I had not heard of the book and thought it sounded great. I loved every minute of it.

Hubert Bird is a widower who has weekly conversations with his daughter in Australia. He tells her amazing stories about how he spends his time. The problem? It is all made up.

Now with his daughter coming to visit, Hubert must find friends and a life to show his daughter.

Hubert gets a second chance at love and friendship but the book dives deeper into Huberts past as well. The depth and sincerity in this book are wonderful and I cannot say enough good things.

Thank you for my copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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Cory Stories: A Kids Book About Living With Adhd By Jeanne Kraus

Cory is like any other kid: He loves bowling, going to karate classes, and even helping his friends with their math homework. Sometimes, however, Cory does things that make other kids laugh at him, like falling out of his chair at school. Cory has ADHD, and this illustrated book goes through his adventures in treatment, therapy, and learning how to be ok with who he is.

Best Books About Mental Illness In 2022


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Books about mental illnesses can help so many people feel less alone. 2022 has been a year of upheaval and intense stress for almost everyone, and escaping into a book has never felt like such a relief.

Sometimes we pick up books to escape from real-world problems. But sometimes we want books to tackle life, raw and unfiltered and sharp, and help us process what were going through.

Books can help us understand ourselves. And also others.

Mental illness is still surrounded by so much stigma. Stereotypes are everywhere and labels are used with confusion instead of accuracy. How often is someone called pessimistic and lazy instead of having their struggle with depression acknowledged? Its said that 1 in 4 people are affected by mental illness in their lifetime. No one should have to struggle alone or in silence or behind closed doors.

We need stories that tackle mental health with care and accuracy, with respect, and also transparency. Not sugar-coating the harsh truths, but not leaving us with hearts empty of hope either.

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Days Til Christmas By Poppy Alexander

I read 25 Days til Christmas because I wanted a lovely, romantic Christmas story. The story is about a single mother who decides to do an advent calendar of activities in the hopes of bringing life back to her home.

A cute guy befriends them and I thought I was getting the romance I was looking for. In actuality, the book takes a dark turn and deals with loneliness, depression, childhood disabilities, and grieving.

It was so much deeper than I thought when looking at the peppy cover. I loved it. Truly. I wanted to personally walk into the pages of the book and lift her up when life knocked her down.

I got the happy Christmas ending I wanted, but in a more meaningful way than I initially expected. I cant recommend this one enough.

The Miscalculations Of Lightning Girl By Stacy Mcanulty

Mental Health Topic: OCD

Age Range: 9-12


Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning. She doesnt remember it, but it changed her life forever. The zap gave her genius-level math skills, and ever since, Lucy has been homeschooled. Now, at 12 years old, shes technically ready for college. She just has to pass 1 more testmiddle school!

Lucys grandma insists: Go to middle school for 1 year. Make 1 friend. Join 1 activity. And read 1 book . Lucys not sure what a girl who does calculus homework for fun can possibly learn in 7th grade. She has everything she needs at home, where nobody can make fun of her rigid routines or her superpowered brain. The equation of Lucys life has already been solved. Unless theres been a miscalculation?

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The Cost Of Knowing By Brittney Morris

What it’s about: Alex Rufus is a 16-year-old who lost both of his parents in a tragic car accident when he was 12, leaving him with the power to see into the future whenever he touches a person or object seeing a little bit further into the future every additional time he touches something. This power would be a burden to anyone, but is especially so for Alex, who already has consistent and extreme anxiety. Alex has had the unfortunate experience of predicting deaths in the past, including the death of his best friend, Shaun, whose death he predicted three years prior, leaving him to deal with the “what ifs” of his own involvement and what he could’ve done with the knowledge he had. So when Alex touches an old family photograph and discovers that his younger brother, Isaiah, is destined to die soon, he decides he must repair their fractured relationship and make sure Isaiah feels as happy and supported as possible in his final days.

This book is a heavy read, but also features a lot of joy despite its often dark subject matter. The portrayal of Alex’s anxiety will hit close to home for anyone with shared experiences. His constant worry about things that may seem mundane to those who don’t have anxiety will resonate perfectly with those who do, and serve to educate anyone who may not understand. This book covers many important topics aside from mental health, and is an important novel that deserves a place on your bookshelf.

Nine Great Books About Living With Mental Illness

BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month: 14 Fiction Books

Reading can be a tremendous source of solace as we navigate the ups and downs of life. Books that contain characters we relate to can provide a way to transcribe the messiness in our minds and understand other people’s emotions.

Mental illness can sometimes make it challenging to find the concentration required to read, but these nine books are worth the effort. As great books do, they teach us new ways of seeing ourselves and the world. They help you remember you’re not alone that others have gone through similar struggles and survived.

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Eliza And Her Monsters By Francesca Zappia

Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything shes worked for begins to crumble.

Rainbow Rowells Fangirl meets ND Stevensons Nimona in this acclaimed novel about art, fandom, and finding the courage to be yourself. A must-have.School Library Journal

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Elizas persona is popular. Eliza cant imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community.

Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Elizas secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything shes builther story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanitybegins to fall apart.

A Report Of The Surgeon General The First Surgeon General’s Report Ever Issued On Mental Health And Mental Illnessthat Report Called Attention To Several Overarching Points That Resonate

Culture, race, and ethnicity, is an outgrowth of the 1999 report, mental health: We pick some of our favourite books for teens and young adults that have come out in 2021, and scan prestigious book awardssuch as the american library association’s michael l. The 100 best dystopian novels ever published, including 1984, fahrenheit 451, the handmaids tale, and more.

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Best Books About Mental Illness

Time to fill your bookshelf with good books about mental illness to read. Im including Young Adult books that have been published in 2020. These are fresh and real, vibrant and full of aching. Reading them might just change your life.

Biz is barely staying afloat as she deals with spiraling mental health in the wake of her fathers death. She still talks to him, even though hes not thereor is he?

After making mistakes and nearly losing herself, Biz is going to find answers.

This is such a heart-wrenching story of loss and love, of questioning your sexuality and trying to pin yourself to this chaotic and often dark world.

Its just phenomenal and will leave you thinking. Set in Australia, its also perfect to pick up for a sliver of Australian life.

In the sequel to Darius The Great Is Not Okay, Darius is back from his life-changing trip to Iran with his family, and ready to be a new person.

Hes on the soccer team, he has an amazing boyfriend, his relationship with his father is much better. But then everything starts to fall apart and Darius doesnt know how to grab at the slipping pieces.

His depression medication makes him vulnerable and teary. Suddenly he wonders if living a life thats okay isnt fair on himself. Maybe he deserves better.

This book is also one of those special and vulnerable novels from and #ownvocies perspective. When an author bares their soul on paper, it gives the book such power.

The Woman In The Window: A Novel By Aj Finn

the best books with mental health rep FROM A THERAPIST! | mental health book recommendations

If you love old movies, you will adore this book. Its a spin on Hitchcocks Rear Window and features an agoraphobic narrator who is often unreliable.

Anna Fox lives alone in her house. She is agoraphobic and cannot leave but, she can sit at her window and watch everyone in the neighborhood.

When she sees something across the street, she is sure that there has been a crime but, what is real and what is imagined? This thriller will leave you guessing until the end.

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Shes Come Undone By Wally Lamb

I often do not like books in which the email main character is written by a man. Wally Lamb does this with ease in this funny and poignant coming-of-age story.

This story covers her eating disorder, her subsequent stay at an in-patient facility, her suicide attempt and more. Its a wonderful, moving story.

We Are Okay By Nina Lacour

What it’s about:We Are Okay is a short, queer contemporary novel about grief and friendship following Marin, who leaves everything and everyone behind after the death of her grandfather. Marin hasn’t told anyone, including her best friend Mabel, the truth about her final weeks with him. It’s been months since her grandfather’s death, and Marin is alone in her dorm room for winter break, awaiting a visit from Mabel and dreading the pain and loneliness that she knows she’ll have to confront upon her arrival.

This novel, like much of what Nina LaCour writes, has a pretty consistently sad undertone, completely appropriate to the way that grief infiltrates the lives of those it affects. This perfectly encompasses the way grief sits with you like a silent companion, causing disinterest in everything around you, and a need to withdraw into yourself. It also perfectly explores the slow way out of grief the way it stays with you but gets quieter with every passing day, the beauty of life and new experiences not necessarily dulling the pain of grief, but drawing attention away from it, bringing joy back into full view. This character-driven story allows us to watch Marin work through her grief and begin to see the light again, allowing the reader to see that as possible for themselves as well.

Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

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