Reading Prompt: A book about mental health #16

Mental health is a topic that doesn’t get discussed often enough. We live in the 21st century where we have plenty of information about everything at our fingertips, and yet, mental illness is still regarded with suspicion, and declared a non existent issue by a lot.

The stigma attached to mental illnes should not be a thing in our modern era, but it still surrounds us every day. I still encounter people who “don’t believe” in mental disorders. To me it’s exactly the same as if someone said they don’t believe in cancer or the common cold. Sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it. Or how about people who love a tidy desk, or like to sort their books by colour? Are they all suffering from OCD? Doubtful. Yet, the term is being thrown around like there’s no tomorrow. Weird.

I absolutely loved this prompt, and spent weeks picking out books for it. We still have a long way to go, but with more and more people getting the courage to speak out, and even more people actually starting to listen with compassion, we might just get there eventually.

So, let’s see what we got here.

Turtles All the Way Down
by John Green
The book tells the story of sixteen-year-old Aza and her friends who investigate the mystery of a fugitive millionaire.
Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
Relevance: OCD, anxiety

Sharp Objects
by Gillian Flynn
Reporter Camille Preaker returns to her hometown to cover the story of a double homicide. As clues lead to dead ends, she’s forced to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past and confront what happened to her in the past.
Relevance: self harm, anxiety, other mental disorders #nospoiler

Eliza and Her Monsters
by Francesca Zappia
The shy, weird, and friendless Eliza, creator of the popular webcomic, Monstrous Sea, is accidentally revealed to the world and everything around her, including her sanity begins to fall apart.
Relevance: anxiety

Dancing on Broken Glass
by Ka Hancock
A story of a marriage that logically should never have happened. Lucy and Mickey are both cursed with faulty genes, but their chemistry is undeniable. They make a pact never to have children, be always honest, not blame each other for what’s beyond their control. The news they recive during a routine physical check up just before their eleventh force them to discard all their rules, and redefine what love really is.
Relevance: bipolar disorder

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened
by Allie Brosh
This graphic novel is basically the paper version of the wildly popular blog & webcomic, Hyperbole and Half. Allie Brosh uses exaggeratedly simple drawing style to tell us hilarious stories from her childhood as well as the more difficult ones she faces as an adult. The book includes stories about her experience with depression.
Relevance: depression

The Hounded
by Simon Butters
Fifteen-year-old Monty is at rock bottom. His parents are ignoring him, he’s bullied at school, and has no one to turn to. Until he meets a mysterious black dog only he can see. The black dog gets him talking to pretty, popular Eliza Robertson for the first time. It takes him to places heโ€™s never been.
Relevance: depression, self harm

The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily
by Laura Creedle
Lily Michaels-Ryan lands in detention with the brilliant and beautiful Abelard. When Abelard posts a quote from The Letters of Abelard and Heloise online, their mutual affinity for ancient love letters connects them. The two fall for each other. Hard.
Relevance: ADHD

by Laurie Halse Anderson
Best friends Lia and Cassie are in a deadly competition to see who can be the skinniest.
An emotional story with a strong message.
Relevance: anorexia, bulimia, eating disorder

The Drowning Girl
by Caitlรญn R. Kiernan
India Morgan Phelps can no longer trust her own mind, because she is convinced that her memories have somehow betrayed her, forcing her to question her very identity.
Relevance: schizophrenia


  1. Great list. I agree about the everybody suffering from OCD. I think there’s a general misunderstanding about the breath and extent of that condition. Turtles all the Way Down does a really good job of showing it (at least from my experiences).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, makes me wonder why anyone would want to have a mental health condition just for the fun of it.
      Just finished Turtles and it was great! โค


    2. One of my biggest pet peeves, taking clinical terms that mean something serious, and turning them into something watered down, that becomes part of the common vernacular and breeds wide misunderstanding. Depressed and sad are not the same thing. Liking your towels folded a certain way or not wanting to get your hands dirty is not OCD. It drives me bonkers.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know! People who like their stuff clean are just basically normal, not having a mental health problem. I hear it all the time in the office and it annoys the hell out of me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I completely agree that terms get thrown around way too easily, and that they aren’t always used correctly. It definitely bothers me when I hear it being done and I am always left wanting to educate that person. But fabulous list and I’m hoping to read Eliza and Her Monsters this year. One of my co-bloggers read it and said I HAD to read it. She just loved that story so much. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have OCD. Actual OCD. Most of the time it is completely under control. Sometimes it is a spiral, and it is terrifying because you convince yourself someone will get sick or hurt if you don’t go through the steps (for me, it’s keeping my kitchen clean after raw meat. But like… 7 wipe downs with clorox clean.) When people say they’re soooo OCD, I just want to throw a “you mean you are particular?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m sorry you have to go through all that โค

      I had a close relationship with someone with OCD and for me the hardest thing was that i could do nothing about it.


    1. Gillian Flynn has her way with the nasty stuff! I loved that book. It’s coming out as TV series, i’m kind of excited ๐Ÿ˜€

      Just finished Turtles… oh, all the feels…


  4. What a great theme! Honestly, everyone could do with some more exposure to mental health issues. I’d also recommend Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett and A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I strongly recommend Crazy by Linda Phillips. I haven’t read any of these but I’m adding them to my TBR


  6. I really appreciate when authors bring mental health issues to light. There needs to be more awareness for it – so it gives hope to people who do suffer that it will get better! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wintergirls sounds really interesting. I havenโ€™t heard of it before, now I might have to put it on my TBR list. Thanks! Also really looking forward to reading Turtles All The Way Down and Eliza and Her Monsters. Great post ๐Ÿ˜Š


  8. If you are looking for books that touch on mental illness, Rhodi’s Light by Megan Linski is a great one ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I have a review on my blog if you want more info. But definitely recommend it ๐Ÿ™‚ I haven’t read any of the ones on your list.


  9. I agree it’s really terrible that not enough attention is given to mental health and I hate when people say they don’t believe in it. I love your list here and I especially like that Eliza is on it! And I really want to read Hyperbole and a Half ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There are so many books youโ€™ve listed that I want to read. Iโ€™m planning on reading Made You Up by Francesca Zappia for this prompt. Iโ€™ve heard good things about it, but Iโ€™ve heard a lot of people like Eliza and Her Monsters better.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sadly, I got told many times it were not true (lucky for me, my mom was by my side at all time- as I had to for her .. ) I was 19. Now, at 23 – having finally found what works for me in term of medication (Both antidepressant & contraception pill were needed. my brain could not handle it’s own hormones.) my dr just told me I went through is usually seen in woman of 50 (!!!!) years of age, near their pre-menopause. I did it before even starting my adult life! I was on the butt, it was like THE validation. It was real, and yeah – it wasn’t me who were not tough enough and cowardly wanting to end it. (No worries, I didn’t tried !)

    That being said, Eliza & her monsters is on my must read list !! Thanks to you, I now added Sharp Objects ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, i’m glad you found what works!
      It must have been terrifying, knowing something was not ok, and getting dismissed ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’m sorry you had to go through all that, and kudos for your mum for being so supportive โค

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you ! It has been quite progressive , not in a huge jump but eeeh, a particular experience ruined it all and that’s where it escalated down. im finally believing that yes, it does get better ! And yes, there is such thing as loving your workplace (even if it’s retail) aand it counts LOT in the balance of happiness

        Liked by 1 person

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