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:
- 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.