Monthly Recommendations is a group on Goodreads for Booktubers and bloggers alike. Each month, there’s a new topic, and this April is all about books with mental health representation. I feel like I’ve read a lot of books that feature characters who struggle with their mental health or have discussion surrounding the subject, but the books below are ones, in my opinion, that best represent mental health.
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia- Francesca Zappia’s Made You Up is a book that I’d love to reread. I remember eating this one up in two sittings at the beach last summer. Made You Up features a few characters with different mental illnesses, and our main character, Alex, has schizophrenia. As the novel goes on, we see what it’s like for Alex to live with her mental illness and she somewhat performs as an unreliable narrator as we try to distinguish what’s real and what’s not.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green- Although its received some mixed reviews, Turtles All the Way Down is one I’m sure you’ll find in many monthly recommendations posts this month. It was exciting to have another John Green book in the world in 2017 and Turtles All the Way Down is among my top three favorite John Green books. Aza’s mental illness just felt so real, and there were times where I felt sick to my stomach for her.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour– We Are Okay is a diverse read for many reasons, including its spotlight on mental illness. I don’t want to go too much into this subject for the sake of spoilers, but I was pleasantly surprised by We Are Okay’s depth and focus on family. If you need more motivation to pick up this book, just look at its gorgeous cover. It’ll be in your B&N shopping cart before you know it.
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan- The Astonishing Color of After is my most recent read, and I really enjoyed its mental health representation. While there’s plenty of magical realism, the book felt very realistic, as Leigh’s mother struggles with depression. Emily X.R. Pan demonstrates that there wasn’t a single or specific cause/reason behind her depression.
Have you read any of the books above? What are some of your own mental health rep recommendations? Share in the comments!