Today is actually supposed to be day 6 of the challenge, but yesterday was way too busy for me so I didn’t get a chance to post day 5, which is all about mental health.
I think mental health in books is so important, not only because it is helpful for those who might be going through the same thing, but it also helps to spread awareness about an issue that may not have been very commonly understood. An example of this for me personally came about when I read “The Things I Didn’t Say” by Kylie Fornasier. This story is about a girl with selective mutism and before reading, I had absolutely no idea that this was even a thing. And I’m sure if I had heard about it before, I wouldn’t have had as much compassion and understanding as I do now. Not that I am an expert now or anything, but I am definitely way more knowledgeable about the subject than I was before.
Sitting down to write this list of recommendations, I realise I haven’t actually read many books featuring mental health. However I do feel like mental health issues can be found in almost any book if you look hard enough and pick apart every little thing. Anyway, I’ve tried to pick books that are less commonly known. Some of them are better than others, but they are all pretty decent books that I’d recommend reading.
One Step by Andrew Daddo was an interesting read for me, as it is from the perspective of a boy rather than a girl like most YA books. The boy in this story deals with depression due to feeling left out at school, being bullied and struggling with acne. I felt like this book was very relatable as I could definitely see myself in him. It’s also an interesting perspective as boys are usually seen as “tough” and “emotionless”, so having that different perspective really draws attention to that.
The Things I Didn’t Say by Kylie Fornasier is an excellent portrayal of mental illness in my opinion. As I mentioned before, it is about a girl with selective mutism. It wasn’t caused by a particular event in her life, it is just something she deals with. Not only did I feel this was a very accurate representation of the illness (is that what it’s called?), but I have also spoken with a girl who also suffers with selective mutism and she also mentioned to me how accurate it was. I actually did really love this book however, and gave it 4.5!
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta was definitely not a favourite of mine. I listened to it on audio and the main character just annoyed the crap out of me. With the way she acted to how she would always address her mother by first name. But anyway, the story touches on depression, but rather than the main character being the one suffering, it is her mother. This was so interesting to it showed a different side to mental illness, and that is how it effects the people who are around them. I thought it was done very well, and I did end up giving it 4 stars however I would have preferred the story be told from the father’s point of view.
This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp was such an amazing book. Although the story isn’t focused solely on mental illness, there are definitely mental health issues touched upon throughout the novel. Especially given that it is about a high school shooting, by a seriously messed up teenage boy. This story doesn’t focus on his mental illness, but rather if focuses on the consequences of his illness and how it effects the people around him.
I can think of more to write about, but they are pretty common so there’s no point me writing all this. Also, I am just honestly not in the mood to write a blog post at the moment. Not sure if you can see the mood change in the post from when I was writing yesterday, to today but I am just not feeling it today. I also couldn’t be bothered adding in pictures so, sorry it’s a boring post. Although I’m pretty sure only about 5 people read this anyway. I should just stop.
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