9 Fiction Books That Focus On Mental Health

Mental Health month is important to create awareness and support those struggling. Fiction books are a great way to help people with mental illness relate to the characters.

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Through the hundreds of years of literature, there were very few instances of positive representation around mental health issues. Finally, the stigma around mental health has slowly fallen away and it has evolved into a subject discussed throughout contemporary fiction of all genres; with many books to choose from. While non-fiction books have often dominated mental health and wellness, now there are fiction books around it as well. More and more readers are turning towards fiction books that are not only relatable but explore mental health. These books have been an important part of the evolution and process around normalizing discussions around mental health and removing the stigmas once and for all. We’ve picked the nine books below that highlight this subject.

1. Turtles All The Way Down by John Greene

Cover of the New York Times bestseller "Turtles All the Way Down" by #1 bestselling author of "The Fault in Our Stars" John Green.

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In detail, Ava struggles with internal anxious thinking. Beyond this Ava wants to be the perfect individual. For this reason, this book identifies coping mechanisms to avoid severe anxiety. Thus, this explains treatment with a relatable fictional character. That is to say John Greene wrote a book with the intention of helping others. Furthermore, John Greene’s books focus on real-life scenarios to help others struggling with severe anxiety and OCD tendencies.

2. Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Cover of "Girl in Pieces: A Novel" by Kathleen Glasglow.

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With a rating of 4.7 out of 5 this book is a New York number 1 best seller. When Charlotte Davis loses everything and suffers trauma, she has to learn to pretend. In view of this, the purpose is to help the reader with adveristy in the face of life difficulties. Also, this book teaches the reader how to heal from trauma and continue to survive mentally. Without the journey, Charlotte Davis faced she wouldn’t have become the strong woman she became.

3. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Cover of  New York Times bestseller "All The Bright Places" by Jennifer Niven.

Cover Comment: "The story of a boy called Finch and a girl named Violet."

Cover Comment: "Netflix, A Feature Film."

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For fear that people with depression will commit suicide, this book is important in preventing it. When Theodore and Violet meet they help each other in unexpected ways. Under those circumstances Theodore struggles with ideas of suicide; yet finds ways to live. Violet continues to struggle with the death of her sister. In any event, depression and suicidal tendencies are serious. Moreover this is a great book choice for depressed people who can find this book relatable.

4. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Cover of "Eleanor Olipant Is Completely Fine: A Novel" by Gail Honeyman. 

Cover Blurb: "Beautifully written and incredibly funny - Reese Witherspoon"

Cover Sticker: Reese's Book Club

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In reality, lots of people struggle socially and for some it can be more difficult when they don’t have a filter when they speak. Granted that Eleanor Olipahnt avoids social situations, her life feels complete. However that is until she meets Raymond; an awkward IT guy. Surprisingly, they save each other from isolation. Seeing this shows that anyone can be social, regardless of their personalities. With this in mind for mental health reasons it shows that no one has to feel alone.

5. Darius The Great Is Not Okay By Adib Khorram

Cover of "Darius The Great Is Not Okay" by Adib Khorram. Winner of the Morris and Apala Awards.

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The book takes place in Iran. For Darius, he struggles with identity and fitting in at home. Generally speaking, medication is frowned upon in his society and this book explains this stigma when Darius’ grandparents refuse to understand. As has been noted, Darius suffers from clinical depression and the only person who can help is the boy next door, Sohrab. As they spend time together and he learns more about Iran culture he feels more at home than ever. It’s important to realize that with mental health, identity is just as important to an individual feeling comfortable in their own skin.

6. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Cover of "History Is All You Left Me" from New York Times bestselling author of "More Happy Than Not" Adam Silvera

Cover Blurb: "Adam Silvera is a master at capturing the infinite small heartbreaks of love and loss and grief. -Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of 'Everything, Everything'"

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Coupled with mental illness and grief, Griffin experiences loss. Due to the traumatic event, Griffin holds out hope that his ex, Theo, would return to him; until he realizes that with Theo’s death, Griffin’s world will never be the same. Under those circumstances it’s hard to be mentally stable and not feel alone. For this reason, the only one Griffin feels can save him is Jackson. Altogether this demonstrates that grief is a complex emotion that only those who experienced it can understand.

7. Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Cover of "Highly Illogical Behavior" by National Book Award finalist and winner of Printz Award, John Corey Whaley.

Cover Comment: "Solomon Reed hasn't left the house in 3 years, 2 months, and 1 day, which is fine by him"

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All of a sudden, psychologists are always looking to cure things like agoraphobia because it isn’t atypical. Between Soloman’s fear of crowded places and Lisa’s psycology program each have their own reasons for becoming friends. Under Lisa’s deception, true friendship happens and slowly Soloman begins to overcome his agoraphobia. Since then more resources need to be dedicated to helping these people so that they can live the way they want to.

8. How It Feels To Float By Helena Fox

Cover of "How It Feels To Float" by Helena Fox.

Cover Blurb: "A profoundly moving story about grief, loss, and love that will take your breath away. Helena Fox is a writer to be reckoned with. -Kathleen Glasgow, author of 'Girl in Pieces'"

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Ordinarily, Biz acknowledges her normal life with a few exceptions. For the most part she relies on her family and explores her love interests like Jasper. Then again there’s one thing stopping her; seeing her dead father and the beach incident. Be that as it may, Biz soon discovers her father’s disappearance and struggles to cope. Not only do hallucinations need to be addressed after a death, but the fact that teens need more mental resources.

9. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Cover of "Wintergirls" from New York Times bestselling author of "Speak" Laurie Halse Anderson

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Whereas most think of anxiety and depression when they hear mental health, there are other disorders that affect mental stability. For Lia and Cassie, it’s a competition to the grave; anorexia is what keeps them in competition. Unfortunately Lia eventually dies, leaving Cassie to live with the consequences of their deadly game. After all, eating disorders can have deadly consequences if left untreated and this book not only explains the dangers, but shows the aftermath when a person loses to this disorder.

Finally, these fiction books have exceptional characters that keep the reader interested in the story rather than a step by step guide on how to change. Altogether these books vary on the issues that mentally ill people face and how the reader and books have similarities.

To summarize, individuals should reflect within and check on their friends and family to avoid the results of mental disorders. For mental health month these are the top nine fiction books to read. For more mental health content from Bookstr, click here! Visit our instagram page @bookstrofficial to see more posts like this one.

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