18 YA books about mental health for Mental Health Awareness Month

Hi friends, happy Wednesday! It’s May and with it comes Mental Health Awareness Month. Whether you’re new on my blog or a regular here, you have to know that mental health is a topic very, very dear to my heart and, if I can scream about some young adult books dealing with mental health, I will do so very happily, so…. here I am.

☂️ Related blog post: Shattering Stigmas 2018 – My Story with Mental Health

Before heading into this, please note that these are books I appreciated myself, but sometimes can’t speak as well about its mental health representation as people actually experiencing it. I can only speak from my experience when it comes to anxiety representation. From my small point of view and from what I’ve heard, these books had good mental health representation, but then again it only engages me and the point of views I’ve read.

That being said, I hope you’ll enjoy my recommendations!

You can click on the covers to get to the goodreads page of the book!

☂️ Mental Health YA Books I Read and Loved

All Our Broken Pieces, L.D Crichton

Mental Health Representation 🔎OCD

Why I recommend it 🔎 I thought I’d start with one of my latest read on the topic, All Our Broken Pieces. This book is an incredible contemporary read, intense with its depiction of OCD, adorable with its romance and I just loved it.

📖 read my review

Am I Normal Yet?, Holly Bourne

Mental Health Representation 🔎OCD

Why I recommend it 🔎I’m becoming a huge fan of everything Holly Bourne writes and Am I Normal Yet? was absolutely brilliant. It wasn’t an easy read at times, but its depiction of OCD felt intense and I just appreciated it so much, as well as all the girl-power from this book and ahh.

📖 read my review

Turtles All The Way Down, John Green

Mental Health Representation 🔎OCD

Why I recommend it 🔎 If you know me a little bit, you know I love everything John Green writes. Turtles is his most personal book to date and… I could feel it. I had to put this book down more than once because of how hard it was to read. Still, such an incredible book.

📖 read my review

Highly Illogical Behaviour, John Corey Whaley

Mental Health Representation 🔎 Agoraphobia

Why I recommend it 🔎 Highly Illogical Behaviour was such a great book with adorable characters, friendships and their complications, depiction of mental health without a cure-all kind of storyline and I loved that so much.

📖 read my review

Girl Against The Universe, Paula Stokes

Mental Health Representation 🔎 PTSD, Anxiety

Why I recommend it 🔎 This book is one of my favorite books of all times. I loved Maguire, the main character, so very much, I liked the discussions at therapy and around mental health overall in this book and I loved it SO much okay.

📖 read my review

A Quiet Kind of Thunder, Sara Barnard

Mental Health Representation 🔎Anxiety, selective mutism

Why I recommend it 🔎This book was adorable, had me smiling like an idiot, the anxiety rep was on point and I loved this book and I wish it were more popular because it deserves the world.

📖 read my review

I’ll Meet You There, Heather Demetrios

Mental Health Representation 🔎PTSD

Why I recommend it 🔎 Another favorite book of mine that deserves way more hype than it’s getting. I’ll Meet You There is an incredible story and one of the main character deals with PTSD. The story is one of these gripping, realistic contemporaries that gives you all the emotions.

📖 read my review

More Happy Than Not, Adam Silvera

Mental Health Representation 🔎 Depression

Why I recommend it 🔎 Don’t pay attention to the book title, friends, because this book is an intense, sad and complicated ride, but a must-read, too, as we follow the main character growing up and honestly, trying to survive.
📖 read my review

Eliza and Her Monsters, Francesca Zappia

Mental Health Representation 🔎 Depression, Anxiety

Why I recommend it 🔎 Yes I’m going to scream about Eliza and Her Monsters again, because it’s this kind of book that made me feel seen and I needed it. Eliza deals with anxiety in her everyday life and everything was so realistic and relatable and my heart.
📖 read my review

Under Rose-Tainted Skies, Louise Gornall

Mental Health Representation 🔎 Agoraphobia, Anxiety, OCD.

Why I recommend it 🔎  I already mentioned this book as well, but I need to mention it again, because it’s just THAT good. I loved the mental health rep, I loved the story overall, I loved the main character and how realistic it all was from beginning to end. SUCH a great read.

Queens of Geek, Jen Wilde

Mental Health Representation 🔎 Main character with anxiety and on the Aspergers spectrum.

Why I recommend it 🔎This book is just such a fun ride yet it manages to tackle mental health issues too and has such great, main characters I adored with all of my heart. I love this so much.
📖 read my review

☂️ Mental Health YA & Adult Books I Want To Read

  • DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY ☂️ Mental health rep: depression.
  • MADE YOU UP ☂️ Mental health rep: schyzophrenia
  • THE KISS QUOTIENT ☂️ Mental health rep: main character on the Aspergers spectrum. (Note: this is NOT a YA book, but an Adult book with, from what I’ve heard, some pretty steamy scenes! I personally still want to read it, but if you’re only looking for YA books, well this is not YA 🙂 )
  • MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES ☂️ Mental health rep: depression.
  • FANGIRL ☂️ Mental health rep: anxiety.
  • NICE TRY, JANE SINNER ☂️ Mental health rep: depression.
  • THE WEIGHT OF OUR SKY ☂️ Mental health rep: OCD

☂️ You might also be interested in: 10 YA books dealing with anxiety.

Did you read any of these books? What are some books dealing with mental health that you really enjoyed?

Do you have any recommendations for me? Let me know in comments!





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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

87 thoughts on “18 YA books about mental health for Mental Health Awareness Month

    1. Another great recommendation list Marie!

      I’m getting ready to read DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY this month for #YARC2019, and I’ve very excited to get to it!

      Off this list, I’ve only read Fangirl. I am actually really surprised YOU have not read it… It seems right up your alley!

      I actually JUST finished an adult memoir where the author has bi-polar disorder. Liar by Rob Roberge was a fascinating & heartbreaking read.

      Other books I’ve read this year with mental health rep: Truly Devious (anxiety), Wintergirls (eating disorders), and Speak (PTSD).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahhh I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Darius, it sounds AMAZING. and I know, I’m kind of ashamed I haven’t read it yet, it sounds like it would be a favorite of mine. I’m reading it soon for sure though 🙂
        Ohh I need to read Truly Devious, I’ve heard so many good things about it 🙂
        Thank you so much! ❤


  1. Wonderful list, Marie! I (unfortunately) haven’t read too many of these, but I love I’ll Meet You There and Eliza and her Monsters! I thought the way PTSD and anxiety/depression were handled in the stories was done so well! I can’t wait to check out the books I hadn’t heard of before, on this list! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. MARIE, YOU HAVEN’T READ FANGRIL!??! PLEASE READ IT! I love it so very much! I also haven’t had a re-read in waaaaay too long, so I’d be more than happy to buddy read it with you if you’d like!

    Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I really loved this list! I spotted a few favorites (A Quiet Kind of Thunder and Eliza and Her Monsters) and one that you’ve convinced me to get out from the library (All Our Broken Pieces). And from your TBR, besides for Fangirl obviously, I have a deep rooted love for Made You Up and The Kiss Quotient as well! And I keep eyeing Darius the Great is Not Okay when I see it in the library! I’ll probably read it once I tame my TBR a little more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I…. no. I’m ashamed 😂 BUT I finally have a copy of the book so YAY for that and this means I’m definitely reading it soon 😂 ohhhhhhhhh yes that would be very very very awesome, I’d be so up for that YES 😀

      Ahh I can’t wait to read Made You Up and The Kiss Quotient, both sound incredible ❤ and DARIUS. It's a book we both need to read soon then, I guess 😀
      Thank you so, so much Malka ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great list! Two I’ve read and enjoyed that are not on your list are A Way Out: A Memoir of Conquering Depression and Social Anxiety by Michelle Balge and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (although I think her challenges might be a result of trauma and not mental illness) by Gail Honeyman.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What an amazing post, Marie! I’m blown away that there are so many books that cover mental health topics. I honestly feel blessed to have had a chance to read many on your list, but I discovered some new ones as well, and some that have been sitting on my virtual TBR for SO LONG it’s embarrassing.

    This kind of representation is so important, honestly, and I love how many variations of a recovery narrative exist now. It used to be there was only one kind of mental health story out there, the one where the character is hospitalized, as opposed to all these stories where mental health is just…part of our every day lives. Ugh, I’m just…this post makes me so weirdly happy. Thank you for boosting these amazing books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much Christine!! So happy you enjoyed this post ❤ I am so happy there are more books dealing with mental health, it's so important to me and I hope to read more and more of them ❤ and yes, I agree! I think it's so, SO important to have stories where mental health is part of the characters' lives, because… well it's part of our lives too and it's good to see that represented. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When I was a teen, the only YA books that talked about mental health were the kinds with severe suicide attempts…not only were they really hard to read, but they made me feel like I was depressed enough to really complain. It’s only through reading the amazing books that have come out recently that I’m realizing that I’m not alone in the fact that mental health is a constant part of my struggle, and that’s okay and valid. I’m so grateful to books like these ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! Made you up and the weight of our sky are both on my tbr. I recently read History Is all you left me by Adam Silvera which has OCD rep and it broke me. I mean it was brilliant but I don’t think I’ll ever recover!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! 🙂 Ohh, I haven’t read that one, I should add it to my TBR… I love books that break me, I’m weird like that hahaha. Thank you so much for the recommendation! ❤


      1. Haha. Another book with mental health rep that I LOVED was Carry the Ocean. It’s dual pov between an autistic boy and a suicidily depressed boy who fall in love (no love cure or anything but good rep)


  6. Oooh this is a great list, I’m definitely adding some of these to my TBR! I absolutely loved Am I Normal Yet, and A Quiet Kind of Thunder. The anxiety rep was fantastic in AQKoT. I really want to pick up Eliza and her Monsters now that you’ve said it made you feel seen – I hope I have the same reading experience ❤ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much! ❤ ❤ I'm with you on AQKoT, the rep was amazing for me, too ❤ I hope you'll love Eliza as much as I did, keep me updated once you've read it, would love to know your thoughts! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you these recommendations! Eliza and Her Monsters is one of my favorite YA reads! I also loved The Kiss Quotient but I wouldn’t put it in YA category! It’s a adult novel which contains erotic sex scenes. I highly recommend it if you’re comfortable with that stuff in books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh yes you’re right, The Kiss Quotient isn’t a YA book, I’ll update my list, thank you for mentioning it! 🙂 I definitely still want to read it 🙂 Thank you, Raven ❤


  8. you will love:
    – darius the great is not okay
    – fangirl
    – my heart and other black holes
    the title “under rose-tainted skies” just makes my heart sigh. it just rolls, you know.
    ok, no joke, I was going to do a post recommending 8 mental health books for the month, and now I know that there are sooo many left to read 😂 is it ok if I give a shout-out to you in my post?
    also, a quiet kind of thunder was SO HEART-FELT I APPROVE. it may or may not have made me smile so much to the point where my cheeks started hurting and people started giving me weird looks :))
    shine on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh I really hope so, I have a feeling I could ADORE these three books, fingers crossed I do when I can read them 😀

      Oh of course, please do, this would be so sweet of you and I would LOVE to read your recommendations as well, I’m all for getting more books on my TBR, especially when they are about mental health 😀

      I’m so happy you loved A Quiet Kind of Thunder! This book deserves way more love, it’s such a great read and I loved it SO much ❤
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love these books that you’ve recommended so much, and I’m so happy to see so many books that I hope to read in the future here too 🙂 I really loved the OCD rep in Turtles All the Way Down. It’s probably one of my favorites of his books. I also absolutely loved Eliza and Her Monsters (I remember reading it because you recommended it last year!!) I’m really hoping to read The Weight of Our Sky sometime soon, but I also know it’s super heavy. Fangirl was also super cute and a really great read too. It gives a lot of Eliza and Her Monsters vibes 🙂 I can’t wait to hear your thoughts when you read it!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh Turtles is also one of my favorites, though I love everything he writes ahah. I just love how… personal it felt, too. ❤
      I'm a little scared to read The Weight of Our Sky because of how heavy it's supposed to be…. I definitely want to read it at some point, but waiting for when I'm ready haha 🙂

      Thank you so much!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much Kathy! I feel like it’s so hard to… explain, More Happy Than Not, because I want to say “it’s going to break your heart, but you’re going to love it at the same time” 😂 such a great read! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m loving all the posts I’m seeing lately promoting Mental Health Awareness Month (I may have to plan one myself) and you’ve got some amazing books on this list Marie. I haven’t read all of them but you’ve featured some of my ultimate faves and a lot that are still on my TBR list.
    I hope you love all the books on your TBR list as well, but especially Darius the Great is Not Okay and Fangirl! 😀
    Great post. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have read all these books except All Our Broken Pieces and Girl Against the Universe. I’m reading a book right now (which is adult) called Man Out of Time, which is about menalillness and family, and I’m finding that really interesting. I love A Quiet Kind of Thunder and Turtles All the Way Down! and I remember buddy-reading Rose-tainted Skies with you, that was pretty fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh this sounds very interesting, I’ll have to check it out 😀 and YES rose-tainted skies, this book was so good and I had so much fun reading it with you ❤
      I hope you've been well, Shanti, missing you tons! ❤


  12. Marie, thank you so much for sharing! I’m reading only books about mental-health this month, so this recommendations list is deeply appreciated.
    Another book I would’ve added is The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland, by Rebekah Crane. It follows a bunch of characters in a camp for teenagers with mental ilness, so it has a lot of representation all over the spectrum, but my favorite thing about it was for sure the friendships. I definitely think this one deserves more hype!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Love this post, Marie! I love seeing all your recommendations, because I love reading books that deal with mental health. Quite a few on your list that I haven’t read yet, but really need to finally read! I was just thinking today how I want to reread Turtles All the Way Down, because I loved that book SO MUCH! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley has been a book I’ve wanted to read for years now, but I’ve always let it slip out of my sight — so thank you for reminding me about it! Now I want to immediately go to my library and check it out 😊 I’ve been loving all these book recommendations for mental health awareness month, so I have a feeling my TBR is going to once again expand with more wonderful books. Great post, Marie! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a lovely list, Marie 🙂 I am yet to read so many books from this list. Yay, for Kiss Quotient. I can’t wait to know your thoughts. Yes, it has some steamy scenes but they are good and important to story as well 😀

    P.S. I love your new graphics 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Love these books Marie!! I’ll keep this list in mind when I am looking for a contemporary YA read 🙂
    I read My Heart and Other Black Holes a while back and really loved it. Hope that you’ll enjoy this one if you do decide to pick it up! Great post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh this is such a fantastic list, Marie! 💕🌺 You have named several of my favorite books, but I don’t know nearly allm of the books, so I’ll go check them out. I’m always interested in discovering new mental health books! I will get around to reading Eliza and her Monsters one of these days, as I always say: it sounds so good, I need to read it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I love this list <3<3 I really want to read Turtles All the Way Down, especially because so many people have said it's really different from John Green's other books and that the representation was really good!! I'm HYPED. Also, I'm still sad that there aren't turtles on the cover. YES YES to the representation in Eliza and Her Monsters, I really liked her decisions to stay in all the time because.. well.. me too.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The only one I’ve read on your list is Turtles so I’m totally going to Goodreads right now to look up the rest. Thank you as always for your recs!

    I’ve read Made You Up, Nice Try, Jane Sinner and My Heart & Other Black Holes. They were all beautiful books, I hope you love them as much as I did. ♡

    I don’t know if you’ve read it or have already been recommended it a thousand times but, Words on Bathroom Walls is such a good one!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh you’re so welcome, so happy to be able to give you some recommendations 😀
      I can’t WAIT to read these books, I hope I will love them as much as you did! and I haven’t heard a lot about this book, I need to check it out! Thank you so much 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, definitely check out Words on Bathroom Walls. You’ll love it. I’m currently reading Juliet the Maniac & enjoying it tons so far. I think you recommended it or reviewed it in the past. Thank you for that!

        Liked by 1 person

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