Top Ten Tuesday #211


Hi everyone, I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these. It’s my last week at Uni, so I’m spending the week packing up my room which is pretty much my least favourite thing because I despise packing but I am excited to be going home as I’m going to see my friends Zoe and Hannah for the first time in three months next week!

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic was meant to be a Page To Screen Freebie, but since I did that topic last week, I’ve decided to go a little bit off script this week and do something completely different. It’s Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK this week, and I thought it would be great to share Top Ten Books You Should Read For Mental Health Awareness Week. I’ve picked a mix, so some are books where the characters mental illness is central to the plot and others are books where the main character has a mental illness but it’s not a central plot point. So here we go:

  1. Challenger Deep-Neal Shusterman

Challenger Deep follows teenager Caden Bosch as he struggles with schizophrenia, it takes place in parallel timelines, partly in reality as Caden is in treatment and partly in Caden’s hallucinations on a ship to the Marianas Trench. The entire book follows the descent of Caden’s mental illness as his hallucinations slowly start to leak into his everyday life.

2. Under Rose Tainted Skies-Louise Gornall

Louise Gornall’s debut is an unflinching look at OCD, agoraphobia and anxiety, based on her own personal experiences. The story follows Norah and her struggles with these illnesses as she grows closer to the new boy next door, but never fear, there is no love cures all here! It’s not an easy read, Norah’s thoughts are so pervasively intense that reading them can be a struggle, but it’s definitely an important one.

3. Countless-Karen Gregory

Countless is another one that’s quite difficult to read, but it’s certainly a unique story, about a girl with anorexia who finds out that she’s pregnant. She attempts to tackle her eating disorder for the sake of her unborn child, but it’s much harder to get rid of “Nia” (her name for her eating disorder) than she first thought. It’s frustrating and difficult to read about Hedda’s attempts to tackle her eating disorder, but ultimately does end in a hopeful place.

4. For A Muse of Fire-Heidi Heilig

This is an #ownvoices story with the main character suffering from the same bipolar disorder that the author does, which I loved because I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve read a book that features a bipolar character before, especially not one also by an author with the disorder. The story is brilliant too, Jetta (the main character) is able to bind the souls of the dead to shadow puppets and her family travel around the country performing. The world is also a really cool blend of French colonialism and Asian cultures.

5. Radio Silence-Alice Oseman

I have to admit, this wasn’t my favourite book of ever, but it definitely does tackle mental health issues well, Aled suffers from depression (though it would have been better if it was named on page, it’s very very heavily implied) and both Aled and Frances are dealing with anxiety, especially surrounding school. If you love contemporaries, you will probably enjoy this one more than I did.

6. The Perks of Being A Wallflower-Stephen Chbosky

Again, I have to admit, I didn’t totally love this book, but that was mostly a format issue for me, I’m not really one for epistolary novels, so personally, I would go for the film over the book for this one. However, it is a great book for mental health awareness week since a lot of the book focuses on Charlie dealing with his mental illnesses (anxiety & depression, I think) and struggling through his first year of high school.

7. Asking For It-Louise O’Neill

Asking For It follows the aftermath of main character Emma’s rape, in a small town in Ireland. Emma struggles a lot with her mental health following the incident, as can be expected, dealing with the trauma results in serious depression and suicidal thoughts and it’s incredibly harrowing and difficult to read. Honestly I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that has made me this angry before, no one deserve what happened to Emma and the reactions of her town are just……AGHHH.

8. Six of Crows-Leigh Bardugo

One of the main characters Kaz Brekker, suffers from PTSD after a traumatic event in his childhood and as part of this, he also has a fear of touching people and being touched himself, so he constantly wears gloves in order to avoid physical contact. Plus, the story is a brilliant fantasy heist caper, with a great ensemble cast and a wonderful group dynamic.

9. Timekeeper-Tara Sim

The main character in Timekeeper, Danny, is suffering from PTSD and anxiety following a terrible accident which took place before the beginning of the book, he was caught up in a clock tower explosion and his subsequent fear affects his job as a clock mechanic.

10. Rose Under Fire-Elizabeth Wein

Rose Justice, the main character of this novel, when we first find her, has just escaped from Ravensbruck concentration camp and is clearly suffering PTSD as a result of her experiences, she’s unable to dress, eat, sleep, anything for several days following, all she can do is sit and write about her experiences. It’s obviously an extremely tough book to read due to the subject matter, but an incredibly important one as well.

Have you read any of these books? Did you like them? What books would you recommend for Mental Health Awareness Week? Is there anything you would like to see more of in YA books addressing mental illnesses? Let me know in the comments!

That’s all for this week, I’ll be back next week for another Top Ten Tuesday, next week we’re talking Books That I Refuse To Let Anyone Touch, which might be a difficult one for me because I’m generally quite good about lending my books out, but I’ll see what I can come up with. Meanwhile, I’m almost done with my current read, Uprooted, so I should have a review of it up before the end of the week.

57 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday #211

  1. Sammie @ The Writerly Way 14/05/2019 / 2:06 pm

    You’ve got some great picks here! Challenger Deep was a beautiful book, but so hard to read for various reasons. Shusterman did such a good job of writing Caden’s experience, and my heart just sort of broke for him over and over. =/ I haven’t read any of the others on this list, but they sound interesting. Six of Crows and Timekeeper are both on my TBR already, and I look forward to seeing how the PTSD affects the characters.

    Here’s my TTT post.

    • iloveheartlandx 15/05/2019 / 2:35 pm

      Thank you! Yes it was, I think it’s hard to say you enjoyed a book like that, but I definitely think Shusterman did a great job with it. Oh I hope you enjoy them, they’re both great books!

  2. Lilyfae 14/05/2019 / 3:06 pm

    Lovely idea! Yes I’m struggling a bit with next weeks one, I have two small children who I’m encouraging a love of books in so ‘don’t Touch’ is off the cards!! Have to have a think on that one!!

    • iloveheartlandx 15/05/2019 / 2:34 pm

      Thank you! Yes, I’m not quite as possessive of my books as some people, I really like lending them to my friends and being able to share our thoughts. Me too, I’ll have to see if I can work out something else to do.

  3. Marti (Bookish Treats) 14/05/2019 / 3:06 pm

    I haven’t read these books but it sounds like they would be great reads. I have Under Rose Tainted Skies and Six of Crows on my TBR. Great topic!

  4. lydiaschoch 14/05/2019 / 3:39 pm

    All of these books sound amazing. Thanks for the recommendations.

    My TTT.

  5. Jess @ Jessticulates 14/05/2019 / 4:54 pm

    Great topic! Tara Sim, Elizabeth Wein, Louise O’Neill and Alice Oseman are all authors I’d like to check out.

  6. ChrissiReads 14/05/2019 / 6:23 pm

    I love what you’ve done with the list. Mental health awareness is so important!

    • iloveheartlandx 15/05/2019 / 2:32 pm

      Thank you! Yes, I agree, I thought it was a nice way to use this week’s topic since I did the whole book to movie thing last week.

  7. Bobby S 14/05/2019 / 6:27 pm

    Love the topic you chose! I totally agree about perks of being a wallflower, i think i preferred the film as well but both did such a good job of portraying Charlie’s mental health in a realistic way. Rose Under Fire, Asking For It and Six of Crows are all on my TBR but they sound like they all deal with mental health in different ways so looking forward to reading those!

    • iloveheartlandx 15/05/2019 / 2:30 pm

      Thank you! Yes, both are really great at that, I think I just liked the film more because the format of the book didn’t really work for me and the film allowed some of the side characters to be developed more. I hope you enjoy them, they’re all great books!

  8. Louise 14/05/2019 / 6:51 pm

    Challenger Deep is on my TBR. Shusterman’s books always give me the chills.

  9. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 14/05/2019 / 8:23 pm

    This is an excellent idea for a list. I’ve always been fascinated with books that deal with mental illness. My all-time favorite is probably The Bell Jar. I plan to reread it as part of my Classics Club list.

    • iloveheartlandx 15/05/2019 / 2:27 pm

      Thank you! Yes, it’s something I’ve always been interested in as well, especially after I did Psychology at A Level. I’ve never read the Bell Jar!

  10. Brooke Lorren (@Brookelorren) 14/05/2019 / 8:35 pm

    Six of Crows was awesome. Another book that deals with mental health that didn’t get too much coverage last year was When Elephants Fly, where the main character is worried that she may end up developing schizophrenia like her mother.

    • iloveheartlandx 15/05/2019 / 2:26 pm

      It was! Ooh I haven’t read that one, I’ll have to check it out.

  11. Sarah - SWB 14/05/2019 / 9:55 pm

    What a great Top Ten Tuesday. I really enjoyed Countless, if enjoyed is the right word to use. I think it dealt with a difficult subject in a really touching way. I’ll need to pick up some of the others.

    • iloveheartlandx 15/05/2019 / 2:22 pm

      Thank you! I get what you mean, it does deal with it’s subject matter in a very thoughtful way. They’re all good books, I hope you enjoy them 🙂

    • iloveheartlandx 15/05/2019 / 2:21 pm

      Well there’s one in the works at Netflix, so hopefully you won’t have to wait long to find out.

  12. Mir (TBR and Beyond) 14/05/2019 / 11:25 pm

    Great list! Love that you chose this subject. I haven’t read a lot of these but you have one of my all time favourite Six of Crows. I just love how all the charcters are dealing with something and that they are making the best with how they can.

    • iloveheartlandx 15/05/2019 / 2:19 pm

      Thank you! Yes Six of Crows is a brilliant book in so many ways 🙂

  13. Greg 14/05/2019 / 11:34 pm

    I’ve been wanting to read Under Rose- Tainted Skies, the OCD rep sounds great, but I just haven’t gotten to it yet. I really need to…

  14. Keri 15/05/2019 / 12:31 am

    I love how you altered this week’s TTT topic! I just added For a Muse of Fire to my TBR. 🙂

    • iloveheartlandx 15/05/2019 / 2:15 pm

      Yeah, it wasn’t something I’d ever seen before and not something I’ve seen since either, a very unique way of telling the story 🙂

  15. Tracy (@Cornerfolds) 15/05/2019 / 1:51 am

    As someone with anxiety, I have a really hard time reading about characters who also have it. I know lots of people loved many of these though!

    • iloveheartlandx 15/05/2019 / 2:12 pm

      That’s totally fair, I would never recommend people read or consume content that would be triggering for them!

  16. rayasreads 15/05/2019 / 4:41 am

    Great twist of the topic this week. But sadly I’ve only read Perks and Six of Crows from the list.

    • iloveheartlandx 15/05/2019 / 2:08 pm

      Thank you! Ah well both of them are really good books, and I would recommend the rest of these as well.

  17. Rel Mollet 15/05/2019 / 12:33 pm

    Terrific topic! More books to read now 🙂

  18. abookandacup 15/05/2019 / 2:28 pm

    Very interesting !! I would think Eliza and her monsters to this list!! have you read it?

    • iloveheartlandx 15/05/2019 / 2:44 pm

      Thank you! No I haven’t actually, I’ll have to check it out.

  19. Tanya Atkinson 15/05/2019 / 2:40 pm

    Rose Under Fire sounds so powerful but it would take a lot for me to read it. Code Name Verity was a tough read but RUF sounds even more so.

    • iloveheartlandx 15/05/2019 / 2:44 pm

      You definitely have to be in the right headspace for it, it’s quite a tough read!

  20. thebookishlibra 16/05/2019 / 2:30 am

    This is such a great list of books. I especially loved Under Rose Tainted Skies when I read it.

  21. Shayna R 16/05/2019 / 4:16 am

    I’ve only read Perks from this list, and although it really spoke to me, I can understand why people wouldn’t like it so much. Under Rose Tainted Skies is interesting, because you don’t see OCD portrayed too often in novels. It seems to be picking up though, so we might see quite a few more stories like these in the future.

    • iloveheartlandx 18/05/2019 / 11:12 am

      For me it was more the format that didn’t click than the story. Yes, I think it was the first book featuring OCD that I ever read, though I am aware of a few more that have come out in the last few years.

  22. RacheLeanne 16/05/2019 / 7:41 am

    I love how you went off-track and wrote about Mental Health Awareness week instead!

    • iloveheartlandx 18/05/2019 / 11:11 am

      Thank you! It’s a very important topic and I want to highlight as many great mental health books as I can 🙂

  23. pagesandtea 17/05/2019 / 7:39 am

    Love your list because I don’t think I’ve read anything on it at all which gives me plenty to add to my TBR. I really fancy Six of Crows 🙂

    • iloveheartlandx 18/05/2019 / 11:10 am

      Oh yay, I love it when that happens! Six of Crows is such a good book, I highly recommend it 🙂

  24. Annemieke 18/05/2019 / 5:41 pm

    For a Muse of Fire and Under Rose Tainted Skies are two I still want to try.

  25. jaybird 22/05/2019 / 9:51 pm

    I appreciate your thoughtful take on this TTT. I admire Shusterman’s innovative style in the Arc of a Scythe series, seems this is just as original. I will add it:) I don’t love Perks either, but it’s a worthy read. I think I never quite bought the authenticity of the narrator’s voice.

    • iloveheartlandx 27/05/2019 / 3:47 pm

      Ah thank you! Yes, it definitely is just as original. Yeah it’s definitely an important book to read, it just wasn’t for me, I think it was more the format than the voice for me though.

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