reading · top 7

Top 7: TBR books with good mental health representation

Hey there, and welcome back to the blog. Since May is mental health awareness month, I thought I’d share with you the top books that deal with mental health that are on my TBR for (hopefully) this year. All the synopsis are from Goodreads, and all the books are recommendations from friends or people I follow online. 

  1. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia 

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“Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.”

2. Made You Up by Francesca Zappia 

Made You Up“Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.”

3. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

25322449“What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?

Frances has been a study machine with one goal. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside. Then Frances meets Aled, and for the first time she’s unafraid to be herself.

So when the fragile trust between them is broken, Frances is caught between who she was and who she longs to be. Now Frances knows that she has to confront her past. To confess why Carys disappeared…

Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.

Engaging with themes of identity, diversity and the freedom to choose, Radio Silence is a tor de force by the most exciting writer of her generation.”

4. I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

41473872“When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.”

5. Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley

26109391“Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in?

Enter Lisa.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they’ve built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same.”

6. The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

33158541“When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not.

August and Jack struggle to keep afloat as they teeter between fantasy and their own emotions. In the end, each must choose his own truth.”

 

7. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places“Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.”

Have you read any of these books? Do you have any recommendations that weren’t included? Please let me know in the comments, I love to read books with great mental health rep.

Until next time,

juli

7 thoughts on “Top 7: TBR books with good mental health representation

  1. Ooh thanks for these recs! I heard lots of great things about Wicker King.
    I’ve read Eliza and Her Monsters and loveeeed it. I’ll have to pick up the author’s other book!
    I’ve also read All the Bright Places (totally made me cry), so it’s a total oldie but goodie. Wonderful list!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m really appreciating all the mental health rep we’ve been getting in YA. The only problems that arise from that is when a) the author doesn’t do their research when writing about it, thus misinforming the audience and b) there’s not really any hope offered (e.g. if you struggle with depression, there should be light of hope offered so it’s not “oh you’re stuck in this cycle forever”). I do remember reading Eliza and Her Monsters and that was such a good book! The anxiety rep felt really on point.

    Thanks for the recommendations, Juli! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so excited to read Eliza! My sister also loved it. I feel like we’ve been getting more & better mental health rep in the last couple of years and it makes me so happy. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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