Mental Health Awareness Month - Book Recommendations

Book Recommendations // Mental Health Awareness Month

As many of you might know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

As some of you might not know, raising awareness of mental health issues is a cause that is very close to my heart, and I’m immensely thankful to see that more and more books that deal with this subject, especially written by ownvoices authors, have struck a chord with readers across all genres.

So, in the spirit of shining a light on and destigmatizing mental illnesses, I’d like to introduce three of my favorite books that I personally feel have a great depiction of a mental illness, but are also amazing in every other aspect.

01. The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

An immensely beautiful, moving, and magical ownvoices novel by a Taiwanese-American writer, with a story that is set primarily in Taiwan, features a female biracial main character, and deals with depression and its stigmatization (primarily in Asian culture).

This book is not only filled with quotes that will leave tiny, sparkling imprints on your soul, it has a synesthesia rep (!!!), and a wonderful exploration of family dynamics.

02. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

A classic that is relevant, even to this day.

The Bell Jar details a female character’s slow descent into depression. Sylvia Plath’s work is semi-autobiographical—you can see glimpses of herself in her character—which makes the book even more poignant, and devastating.

Apart from that, it stands out with its lyrical, almost poetic, prose, and a striking atmosphere that permeates the narrative throughout the entire novel.

03. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Will any of my posts about favorite and meaningful books ever not include a Melina Marchetta novel? Probably not.

Saving Francesca is one of the best books I’ve ever read that has a portrayal of depression from an outside point of view that is absolutely amazing.

It shines a light on the fact that mental illnesses never affect merely the people who have them, but everyone around them as well.

Honorable Mentions

Highly Anticipated Books (TBR)

To everyone who has ever struggled, or is struggling, with their mental health—be it anxiety, depression, a bipolar disorder, &c.—know that you’re not alone, and that you got this.

I’m sending every single one of you the warmest thoughts & all the best vibes in the cosmos!! And should you ever need someone to talk to or to listen—I’m here.

blue-watercolor-wash-texture-5let's chat!

Have you read any of these books, and what did you think of them?
Do you “like” reading books with characters that have mental illnesses?
Any book recommendations for me? 💗

xx, Lily

91 thoughts on “Book Recommendations // Mental Health Awareness Month

  1. I love Francesca Zappia ❤ I read Eliza and Her Monsters last year and thought it was amazing. Great post – The Astonishing Color of After was so sad and beautiful! Also I love that you gave a shout out to Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson is one of my favorite humans 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh well – sorry about Eliza. If I remember correctly, it did take a little bit to get into it.. eh. Can’t win them all…. Truly Devious, on the other hand, how do people not know about that? I was first in line at the bookstore the day that came out 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. saving francesca honestly has the best potrayal of depression i’ve ever seen in books, i definitely agree w u on that!! (not that ur surprised lmao)

    we are the ants is Amazing! i rly feel like u would love it. 😮

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG this post is so important Lily! Thank you for posting this.
    And as a person who has some anxiety issues, I wish people can read about and understand these things more. I would have mentioned Turtles all the way down, although I didn’t like the story but the depiction of the illness in it could not be more true, I could relate immensely to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you think so, Hamad! 🙂 & ahh I didn’t know you had anxiety as well, I’m sorry to hear that. (Do you know which type/are you diagnosed?)

      I’ve heard a lot of good things about Turtles All the Way Down and its anxiety and OCD rep, but I’m not the biggest fan of John Green personally, so I haven’t felt too inclined to read it so far. I’m glad to hear that the rep was good for you, though!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Note 💌

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s