Monthly Recommendations is a Goodreads group created and hosted by Kayla Rayne @ Kayla Rayne and Trina @ Between Chapters. I used to do these videos when I was on BookTube, and I really miss them, so I’ve decided to try to do them on the blog every month. April’s topic is books with mental health rep! As a person who deals with mental illness myself, this topic is near and dear to my heart. It’s also an area where I’m always looking for more recommendations! However, I compiled a list of ten books that I felt got mental illness right. I rated all of these books four stars or higher. Let’s get into my picks!
(Covers link to Goodreads)
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde // This was one of my favorite books from last year. It features great representation in general, but as it relates to this topic, one of the POV characters, Taylor, has anxiety. This is definitely one of the portrayals of anxiety in fiction that felt the most true to my own experiences.
Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton // This series always seems to find its way onto my recommendation lists, but it tackles a vast array of topics so expertly. In terms of mental health rep, one of the main characters has an eating disorder, while another struggles with prescription drug addiction. I love this series, and though I cannot personally speak to the representation of these mental health issues, I thought they were handled sensitively and honestly.
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson // This is always one of my go-to recs for people looking for nonfiction about mental illness. Jenny Lawson calls her memoir “a hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety.” It’s ridiculous, but it’s also heartfelt and raw and full of insights about living with mental illness. Highly recommend the audiobook of this one!
History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera // Adam Silvera has spoken numerous times about how Theo’s OCD in History is heavily inspired by his own experiences with OCD.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo // The SoC duology is a perfect example of mental health done right in a fantasy setting. Many of the POV characters are dealing with mental illness, specifically PTSD. It’s heartbreaking at times, but the representation is handled incredibly well, imo.
Heart Berries by Therese Marie Mailhot // This is a recent read, and one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. In it, Mailhot discusses her experiences with bipolar disorder, as well as how her mental illness intersects with her identity as a Native woman. Heart Berries is simply stunning.
Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall // This is one of my favorite books that focuses on mental health as a central issue. It follows a main character with agoraphobia and anxiety.
Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco // In HPD, Audrey Rose deals with PTSD due to the events in the first book in this series. I thought this was a refreshingly realistic portrayal of characters having to deal with the aftermath of traumatic events.
Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke // This book is a gem in so many ways, but I personally loved the depression rep. It felt very true to my own experiences with depression.
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli // Upside is one of my all-time favorite books in general, but the anxiety rep in particular is probably the best I’ve ever read. Again, Molly’s experiences with anxiety feel so true to my own. Plus, she takes medication! And it’s discussed on the page!
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone: Purely-Obsessional OCD rep
10 Things I Can See from Here by Carrie Mac: anxiety rep
Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz: eating disorder rep
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green: OCD rep
Final Draft by Riley Redgate: depression rep
What are your favorite books with mental health representation? Have you read any of the books on my list?