I absolutely love YA books that deal with themes of mental health and grief. In fact, some of my favourite books of all time, like We Are the Ants and History is All You Left Me, are about loss and mental illness. There’s something about these books that just feels so raw. So powerful. And I always love picking one up and just escaping the word for an afternoon to get to know these characters that I laugh with, cry over, and who end up leaving a permanent mark on my heart.
So today I thought I’d share my top three mental health YA releases of 2019 so far, as well as some that are on my TBR that you should look out for as well! I hope you like my selections!
I seriously can’t even begin to describe how much I adored this novel. I’m always a fan of YA contemporaries with characters who are living with mental illnesses, characters who are queer, and of course I love a bit of romance—and this book had it all… AND THEN SOME. I had such high expectations for this new #LoveOzYA novel, and I just… sobbed a little bit because it was so perfect?! BRB SCREAMING FROM THE ROOFTOPS ABOUT HOW INCREDIBLE THIS NOVEL IS.
It’s about a girl who’s still grieving the loss of her father, struggling with friendship dramas at school, and questioning her sexuality. Helena Fox’s writing style is just spectacular, and I fell in love with Biz from the very first page. Her grief is written in such a raw, realistic way, and her experiences really resonated with me. It was just BEAUTIFUL. So many people are going to fall in love with this novel just like I did. I’m already looking forward to picking it up again for a reread!
HOLY CRAP. I don’t know if I’ve gushed about this series enough yet, but LET ME GUSH SOME MORE. I honestly don’t know why I didn’t read the first book in this series, Truly Devious, until earlier this year, but it has quickly become one of my all-time favourites. A murder mystery? In a secluded boarding school? With a diverse cast of characters? GET ON MY BOOKSHELF. In fitting with our theme of today, the protagonist of this series lives with anxiety and panic attacks, and man, it’s just written so well. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK IS PERFECT. If you haven’t read it yet, you need to add it to your TBR.
ANOTHER BOOK I’LL BE SWOONING OVER UNTIL THE END OF TIME. You Asked for Perfect is seriously such an amazing novel about a boy who’s determined to have the highest GPA and get into the best collage (who also suffers from panic attacks) and is forced to hire a tutor when he fails one of his quizzes at school. *CUE CUTE TUTOR* Ahh, this book is just stunning. It touches on important topics like mental health, and friendship, and family, and I just really saw a lot of myself in this masterpiece. I can’t recommend this one highly enough!
Upcoming Mental Health YA Releases on My TBR!
Solomon and Ash both experienced a traumatic event when they were twelve.
Ash lost all memory of that event when she fell from Solomon’s treehouse. Since then, Solomon has retreated further and further into a world he seems to have created in his own mind. One that insulates him from reality, but crawls with foes and monsters . . . in both animal and human form.
As Solomon slips further into the place he calls Darkside, Ash realizes her only chance to free her best friend from his pain is to recall exactly what happened that day in his backyard and face the truth—together.
There are so many ways the world could end. There could be a fire. A catastrophic flood. A super eruption that spews lakes of lava. Ellis Kimball has made note of all possible scenarios, and she is prepared for each one. What she doesn’t expect is meeting Hannah Marks in her therapist’s waiting room. Hannah calls their meeting fate. After all, Ellis is scared about the end of the world; Hannah knows when it’s going to happen.
Despite Ellis’s anxiety — about what others think of her, about what she’s doing wrong, about the safety of her loved ones — the two girls become fast friends. As Ellis tries to help Hannah decipher the details of her doomsday premonition, she learns there are secrets Hannah isn’t telling her. But with time ticking down, the search for answers only raises more questions. When does it happen? Who will believe them? How do you prepare for the end of the world when it feels like your life is just getting started?
When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.
But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.
Have you read many books about mental health this year? What are some other ones I should add to my TBR? Are you looking forward to these new releases as well? I’d love to know!
Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for providing me with a copy of How it Feels to Float in exchange for an honest review!