Hi friends! I hope you are doing okay 💛
May has started a couple days ago and May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In case you’re new here, or not aware because I rarely talk about it, mental health is a topic that is very close and dear to my heart and reading books with main characters handling their own mental health on top of their other issues really matters to me and make me feel seen.
Today, I thought I would share a list of my own to celebrate this Mental Health month! I’m going to share 5 YA books with mental health representation that I’ve read and enjoyed and that are, if you ask me, a little bit underrated. Then, I’m going to underline 5 other books I can’t wait to read!
So here goes: some old, new, known and less known books to, hopefully, add to your TBRs!
📚 YA books with Mental Health Representation: Books I’ve read and recommend 💛
Darius The Great Is Not Okay, Adib Khorram
Why I recommend it 🔎 I feel like everyone needs to read this book because it is JUST THAT GREAT. Darius is such an incredible main character, he’s meeting his family in Iran for the first time, he’s dealing day to day with depression and it’s such a wholesome, incredible read overall.
How To Disappear, Sharon Huss Roat
Why I recommend it 🔎 How To Disappear is, if you ask me, a very underrated read with great social anxiety representation. Vicky invents this perfect life for herself on social media, living the life she dreams of living offline, online. I adored this book, the friendships and the main character very very much.
Final Draft, Riley Redgate
Why I recommend it 🔎 I feel like EVERYONE should read Riley Redgate’s books. Final Draft was AMAZING, it’s about this writer main character, letting her anxiety and fear and perfectionism spiral and transforming this hobby of hers into a stressful activity. I loved it and this was very relatable and fantastic okay and it has the softest f/f romance.
You Asked For Perfect, Laura Silverman
Why I recommend it 🔎 My favorite. I’m going to scream about Laura Silverman’s books until the END OF TIME OKAY. You Asked For Perfect gave me anxiety, the anxiety rep was just so relatable, where Ariel, the main character, drives himself to burn out because he wants. to. do. the. perfect. thing. I’m just, I adore this book okay.
Under Rose-Tainted Skies, Louise Gornall
Why I recommend it 🔎 This book is a very, very underrated book that deserves much, much love. The main character in the story has agoraphobia, anxiety and OCD, it sugarcoats NOTHING and honestly, some parts of this book gave me chills it was so intense and relatable. I promise it’s also soft and kind at times and deserves a read for sure.
📚 YA books with Mental Health Representation: Books I want to read 💛
One Way or Another, Kara McDowell
Why I want to read it 🔎 In case you missed it, I was a HUGE fan of Just for Clicks, the author’s debut and am SO looking forward to One Way or Another. I mean: Paige is terrified of making decisions and has crippling anxiety and is there anything more relatable than that? Also this sounds absolutely adorable and I’m already soft for it all okay.
The Wicker King, K. Ancrum
Why I want to read it 🔎 Everyone is screaming at me to read this book, that’s why it’s here. Okay, more seriously though: I’ve heard this book was complex and messy and compelling and wonderful and it has mental health rep that isn’t quite defined just from reading the synopsis, and I’m just so scared and excited to read this?
What I Like About You, Marisa Kanter
Why I want to read it 🔎 One of my most anticipated contemporary reads of this year! It released this April and I am so looking forward to getting a copy and reading about this YA BOOK BLOGGER with anxiety (is that me???), baking cupcakes (wish it were me) and handling complicated online…. and offline relationships.
When We Collided, Emery Lord
Why I want to read it 🔎 This book has been on my TBR since… well, 2016, actually. It sounds like such a compelling read and I’ve been meaning to read some of Emery Lord’s books for forever. When We Collided has a main character dealing with bipolar disorder, apparently it has great characters and food and big families and NOT a story about love curing mental illnesses, so I’m here for it;
Nice Try, Jane Sinner, Lianne Oelke
Why I want to read it 🔎 Jane Sinner sounds like such an incredible book, really. The main character is dealing with depression and I’ve heard she has quite a unique, snarky, incredible voice through the story, it’s written in a journal sort of way and it’s about Jane (big surprise, aerm), signing up for a Big Brother-student version of a TV show and I don’t know why but I’m so here for it!
☂️ You might also be interested in: 10 YA books dealing with anxiety
Do you want to read any of these books? Did you read them already?
What are some books (already released or upcoming) dealing with mental health that you’ve loved and would recommend? Let me know in comments!