Home » Lists » Top 5 YA Novels That Deal with Mental Health

Top 5 YA Novels That Deal with Mental Health

Our minds can be the scariest place, sharing our feelings can feel like a burden, and getting out of bed can be harder than hitting the snooze button for an extra five minutes. Mental health is real, and it’s something everyone is talking and writing about now. These five amazing books are some of the best books out there that tackle this topic.



5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower


image via amazon


This book follows Charlie, a boy who is coping with the recent suicide of his best friend and starting high school. He is also still coping with the death of his beloved Aunt Helen, who died when he was seven. Charlie loved her so much he blocked out the abuse she inflicted upon him and focused on the guilt he feels towards her death. He suffers from PTSD, but during his first year of high school he befriends two step siblings who show him the ropes of high school, love, music, and friendship. Throughout the year Charlie does his best to repress his inner sadness, but it eventually comes to light when his friends leave for college and he is alone again. What I love most about this book is how important friendship is and how good friends can help you even in your darkest times.


4. Eliza and her Monsters


Eliza and Her Monsters by [Zappia, Francesca]

image via amazon

Online Eliza is the creator of the popular web comic Monstrous Sea, but in real life she is shy and awkward. That is until she befriends the new boy at school, Wallace, who forces her to live a life outside of her online comic, and that is when Eliza realizes her depression and anxiety. Wallace points out that her web comic deals with depression and Eliza being clueless to that fact starts to take a deeper look at herself, the world she created, and Wallace, who struggles with depression as well. What is unique about this story is Eliza not being aware of her depression until it is pointed out to her, and I thought that was interesting because usually people realize if they’re struggling with being sad all the time, but Eliza was so focused on her comic she didn’t realize it until she stepped back from her online world.





image via amazon

Aza, a sixteen-year-old girl and her best friend Daisy try to solve the mystery of her missing neighbor, billionaire CEO, Russell Pickett. There just so happens to be a huge reward of one hundred thousand dollars involved, and fearless Daisy is ready for the case and recruits Aza to join. Together, they befriend Davis, Russell’s son, and individually, Aza deals with her OCD and anxiety, which makes it hard for her to get out of her head most of the time, but she is trying her best to be a good daughter, friend, and maybe even detective. The main take away from this story is how Aza may have OCD and anxiety, but regardless she still struggles with the universal issue we all struggle with and that is accepting who we are.


image via amazon

Alex can’t decide what is real and what isn’t real, and she struggles with this every day. After an incident at her previous school she starts fresh at a new school and she begins to make friends, go to parties and she even falls in love. However, she still can’t separate her delusions from reality, and it could cause another incident to occur and hurt the people closest to her. This is another story where the power of friendship is great, and how much Alex leans on her friends and her family for support. It is important to have those bonds and connections so people don’t have to feel alone, but even in a room full of people someone can feel alone and Alex does, because she isn’t always clear as to what is clear and what isn’t.


1. Thirteen Reasons why


image via amazon

Hannah Baker is live and in stereo, she has recorded the thirteen reasons why she has committed suicide. Each reason is linked to a person and each person she holds responsible for her death and she wants them to know it. Each person has to listen to all the tapes and then pass them along to the next person on the list, and although most people don’t agree with this aspect of the book, the most important take away from this novel is how powerful people are and how people don’t realize the part they play in other people’s lives. How a small interaction can make such a difference, how one rude remark can ruin a person’s day, and just how important it is to always be a kind.



Featured Image via Changeyourmindni.org