Book List: Mental Health Rep

The first book list of 2023! I believe that representation in literature matters, and as a mental health counselor, I’m especially interested in books with mental health themes. I love that we are experiencing a time where self-care and mental health and experiencing mental health problems is normalized, and we are all learning to take care of ourselves and have empathy for each other. Here are some books with those themes. Check trigger warnings though, as reading books about mental disorders can be triggering to your own!

  • Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Genre: YA Contemporary

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.27

Darius Kellner takes his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming—especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.

  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Genre: YA Contemporary

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.91

It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

  • White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

Genre: YA Horror

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.85

Marigold is running from ghosts. The phantoms of her old life keep haunting her, but a move with her newly blended family from their small California beach town to the embattled Midwestern city of Cedarville might be the fresh start she needs.

The renovated picture-perfect home on Maple Street, sitting between dilapidated houses, surrounded by wary neighbors has its . . . secrets. That’s only half the problem: household items vanish, doors open on their own, lights turn off, shadows walk past rooms, voices can be heard in the walls, and there’s a foul smell seeping through the vents only Mari seems to notice.

  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completley Fine by Gail Honeyman

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.25

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink ever weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled existence. Except, sometimes, everything…

  • The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

Genre: YA Contemporary

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.08

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

  • It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Genre: YA Contemporary

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.09

Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.

  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Genre: YA Contemporary

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.96

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in fragile bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the thinnest. But then Cassie suffers the ultimate loss—her life—and Lia is left behind, haunted by her friend’s memory, and feeling guilty for not being able to help save her.

  • The Silence That Binds Us by Joanna Ho

Genre: YA Contemporary

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.40

Maybelline Chen isn’t the Chinese Taiwanese American daughter her mother expects her to be. May prefers hoodies over dresses and wants to become a writer. When asked, her mom can’t come up with one specific reason for why she’s proud of her only daughter. May’s beloved brother, Danny, on the other hand, has just been admitted to Princeton. But Danny secretly struggles with depression, and when he dies by suicide, May’s world is shattered.

In the aftermath, racist accusations are hurled against May’s parents for putting too much “pressure” on him. May’s father tells her to keep her head down. Instead, May challenges these ugly stereotypes through her writing. Yet the consequences of speaking out run much deeper than anyone could foresee. Who gets to tell our stories, and who gets silenced? It’s up to May to take back the narrative.

By myadventure2017

Writer, Reader, Bookstagrammer, Booktoker, Blogger

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: