Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My Favorite Mental Health Reads

So for the "first" post of this event, I wanted to talk about some of my FAVORITE books dealing with mental illness! But while I was gathering books for this post, I realized I haven't actually read a whole lot of books with a mental health aspect. And that makes me sad! So I'm also going to talk about some MH reads that I've heard are wonderful that I haven't read yet but really want to.

If you haven't heard me shout my love for Play On yet, where have you been omg it's only one of my ultimate faves. I'm so glad I took a chance on this little story because it is still one of the best portrayals of MH I've read in a book. And what's unique is that it tells the story through the eyes of a guy falling for a girl who has depression. But it doesn't fall into the "love cures all" pit, nor is it an issue book. It looks at both a character who has a mental illness and a character who loves that person and just wants to understand and support them without making it worse. And it is so, so beautiful.

If you've also been around awhile, you'd know I'm not a fan of the middle grade genre. So it was a little surprising to me how much I loved Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand. BUT THIS BOOK, GUYS. One of the honest and realest portrayals of depression/anxiety I have read, and with a main character you will root for from the beginning. And it's just such a heartwarming story. :)

And oh, When We Collided. My heart. As someone who has a family member with bipolar disorder and knows the ins and outs of it well, I was incredibly happy to see how well this book showed it. But in such an honest way, too. It's definitely a read that isn't easy, with a main character who is hard to love, but for me, it showed both the good and the bad. And I think that is also super important with books like this.

I'm pretty sure Girl in Pieces is only one of a few that I've read involving self-harm. And it was done in such a raw and honest way. It's an important book and one that I hope finds its way into the hands of readers who need it. And it's been an awful long time since I've read Damsel Distressed, but I can tell you that it's a special story. The main character, like the one in WWC, is not someone easily likable. But I felt that made them more real, and I loved both books and characters a hella lot.

Afterward won't be published until September, but it quickly became a book that I feel everyone needs to read. One of the main characters, Ethan, is dealing with major PTSD after being freed from his kidnapper of so many years. And what made me happy is that therapy was a huge part of his recovery process, and the book wasn't about patching everything up all neat and perfect. It's messy and complicated and tells the story of two people trying to find the good in the tragedy that brought them together. It was, simply, amazing. GET IT WHEN IT COMES OUT, GUYS!

I've also read and loved the whole Addicted/Calloway Sisters series by Krista and Becca Ritchie. And I can't really show specific books, because the whole series is mental health positive. As well as therapy-positive, which needs to be a thing in more books with characters dealing with mental illness/life in general. What stands out, and what makes these books better than so many I've read, is how K & B have written these characters and the development they have. The two authors are so conscience of everything, and I loved that they highlighted sex addiction and alcoholism especially. And one of the characters has PTSD and depression, and I thought that was done super well. Just. Gah, read this series, guys, I cannot recommend it enough.


And here are some MH books I *need* to read asap!
 


I also need to make reading more books on eating disorders a priority because they are not given enough attention. And you can find some in this post the wonderful Inge posted where she compiled a HUGE list of books that deal with mental health in some way, and you can view that here. Seriously check it out, guys, because it has *so many* books. And if you're looking for more reads with a mental health aspect, make this your go-to! It also has some of my personal faves from above. :) 

*****

What are some of YOUR favorite mental health books? Any that I should read before 2016 ends, at least? :D