Hey guys! Today I am bringing you a post about books featuring mental health. Admittedly, I haven’t read many books that revolve around mental health but the few I’ve read I’ve really enjoyed and they have been some of my favourite reads. So I definitely need to find more books with this topic. Here’s my picks:
A World Without You by Beth Revis:
This was the first YA book I read about mental illness and I completely fell in love with the story. I thought it was such a captivating read and was told beautifully. I loved how the author combined mental illness with time travel and if you didn’t know Bo had a mental illness, you’d actually believe he really was a time traveller. That’s probably one thing I’d changed about this book because I think it would have had a bigger impact if it was revealed at the end that he is actually seriously ill and suffers from delusions. It’s heartbreaking how the girl he loves suffered from severe depression and committed suicide but he’s acting like she is still alive because he couldn’t live in a world without her. We also got to see how Bo’s illness affects his family, his sister in particular. Her whole life becomes overshadowed by her brother and everything revolves around him. But then his parents shut out his illness pretend he’s fine. It’s an incredibly moving story and I really can’t recommend it enough.
Flutter by Olivia Evans:
This is a mixture of genres, namely: romance, mystery and mental illness. I don’t normally reach for romance but I thought this was too good to pass up because it sounded so interesting. The main character, Dylan, believes his girlfriend, Presley, died six years ago but then he finds out she’s actually in a mental hospital and she doesn’t remember anything about her life or him. Thus begins the story of Dylan slowly unravelling the mystery of how she ended up in the hospital and how he can make her remember him. It flips between the past and the present and there’s a lot of heartbreaking scenes where Presely suffers from severe depression. She doesn’t have supportive or loving parents and how they treat her tips her over the edge. It was incredibly sad reading those scenes and I can’t even imagine how it must feel to be in a situation like that. I loved this book so much and I think it deserves so much more attention.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath:
I couldn’t not include The Bell Jar in this post. I haven’t read this in a few years (possibly longer) so I’m a bit hazy on the details. One thing I remember is it starts off pretty normal with Esther beginning a successful career, but then it’s like a gradual slide into mental illness as she starts to lose her grip on sanity. It was interesting comparing the first half with the last half and seeing how different the narration was. I liked how it was described as being trapped under a bell jar and how Esther could feel it descending on her. It was such a harrowing story and one I might have to revisit at some point!
A Breath After Drowning by Alice Blanchard:
This is definitely more of a psychological thriller than a mental health book but the main character is a child psychiatrist and her world comes crashing down around her when one of her patients commits suicide. Now I don’t have any type of knowledge or understanding about this type of career but I imagine your worst fear is one of your patients committing suicide? I was really impressed with how mental illness was portrayed in this and I loved the therapy sessions. The aftermath of one of her patients committing suicide was interesting as Kate was questioning her ability to help others and bring them back from the edge. She blames herself for what happened and believes she should have done a better job or she should have known her patient was going to commit suicide. You could really appreciate how much time and effort psychiatrists pour into helping their patients get better and how hard it is when sometimes no matter what they do, they aren’t always able to help some people.
Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas:
Again, not really a book specifically about mental health but it does touch upon it and the brief scenes we got, I really enjoyed! The title says the book only has to feature mental health so I think I can get away with this. In this book, two characters suffer from PTSD and I actually really liked Sarah’s portrayal of this. I wasn’t expecting it at all and I’d definitely love to see Sarah explore mental health more in her other books. I think she does this already though because, if I remember correctly, Feyre in A Court of Mist and Fury suffers from PTSD as a result of the events that unfolded at the end of A Court of Thorns and Roses and it explores her journey of overcoming it? Correct me if I’m wrong! Anyway, I should probably read more of Sarah’s books since I liked her portrayal of PTSD in Catwoman.
So one thing this post reinforced is that I definitely need to read more books about mental health! I’ve googled some articles and have a nice collection so hopefully I can read them at some point! I’d also really welcome any recommendations from you guys, so if you have any please leave a comment below! What did you think of my picks? Have you read any of these? I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you so much for reading!