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
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
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
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.
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.
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? 💗