Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a book blog tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Today, I'm going to share my Top Ten More YA Novels About Mental Illness, adding on to the thirteen I recommended in this earlier post. Check them out!
1) Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman. This is a truly fantastic YA contemporary about a boy in treatment for schizophrenia, written in a riotous, confusing manner that puts you right in the head of the patient. It's a well-deserved National Book Award winner.
2) Underwater by Marisa Reichardt. This beautifully paced YA contemporary explores the situation of a girl suffering from agoraphobia after a trauma. Like Challenger Deep, it does a great job of getting you in the mindset of the mentally ill individual so that you can better understand.
3) Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King. This odd YA magical realism tells the story of a girl suffering from depression and a bad home life and how she starts seeing different versions of herself from throughout time as she tries to come to terms with her situation.
4) When We Collided by Emery Lord. This is a beautifully true-to-life YA romance between a girl with bipolar disorder and a boy with a rough family life. It's heartfelt and well-written, highly recommended.
5) How It Feels to Fly by Kathryn Holmes. Though there's no exact medical diagnosis here, this YA contemporary features a girl with disordered eating and a bad body image as she deals with the pressures of family expectations and ballet dance.
6) Made You Up by Francesca Zappia. This YA contemporary features a girl with schizophrenia, but instead of focusing on the schizophrenia, it presents the way that she lives a normal, human, day-to-day life just like other high schoolers.
7) Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick. This is the rare YA novel-in-verse that really spoke to me, a contemporary story about a girl institutionalized for cutting. As someone with self-injurious compulsions myself, I strongly related.
8) Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. This YA contemporary tells the story of a girl with a form of OCD somewhat similar to my own. The portrayal wasn't 100% accurate to my experience, but it had a lot of great moments, and I loved the way that the story went from a soft beginning to a powerful conclusion.
9) Paperweight by Meg Haston. This is an original YA contemporary about a suicidal girl in treatment for anorexia. It explores the issue of eating disorders and the underlying emotional functions and trauma in a way that helped me to see it differently, even with how well-known this problem is.
10) Calvin by Martine Leavitt. This YA contemporary manages to address the issue of schizophrenia in a light and heartfelt way, through the eyes of a boy who believes himself to be Calvin from the comic Calvin & Hobbes. It does a good job at showing the nature of mental illness and at humanizing it.
Go ahead and add these to your to-read list! I will be back Saturday.
Image via ya-aholic.com.
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