TBR Tuesday - Books to Read that Deal with Mental Health

Hello everyone!

I hope you are enjoying your week so far! I am here today with a very special TBR Tuesday! This week, I wanted to talk about mental health and some really great YA books that deal with the serious issues of mental health and mental illnesses.

I have a few really great books to share with you that I think would be an awesome addition to your TBR!

Both of Me by Jonathan Friesen (Dissociative Identity Disorder - DID)

It was supposed to be just another flight, until Clara found herself seated next to an alluring boy named Elias Phinn—a boy who seems to know secrets she has barely been able to admit to herself for years. When her carry-on bag is accidentally switched with Elias’s identical pack, Clara uses the luggage tag to track down her things. At that address she discovers there is not one Elias Phinn, but two: the odd, paranoid, artistic, and often angry Elias she met on the plane, who lives in an imaginary world of his own making called Salem; and the kind, sweet, and soon irresistible Elias who greets her at the door, and who has no recollection of ever meeting Clara at all. As she learns of Elias’s dissociative identity disorder, and finds herself quickly entangled in both of Elias’s lives, Clara makes a decision that could change all of them forever. 

I really enjoyed this book, I found it very interesting. I had never read any books that dealt with DID and found this book very insightful into the disorder. Dissociative identity disorder is often caused by severe psychological trauma. For more info, check out the Canadian Mental Health Association's page on DID.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD)

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

I read this book last summer and despite the mixed reviews, I loved it! It is a wonderful contemporary that deals with post traumatic stress. I can't say too much about the PTSD because it spoils it, but just know that it is a great book that takes you on a crazy ride. For more info on PTSD, check out the Canadian Mental Health Association's page.

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern (Obssesive-Compulsive Disorder - OCD)

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

While I didn't really enjoy this book, I thought it was a very honest depiction of OCD and the blend of physical and mental illness was wonderful. Amy tried to 'fix' Matthew's OCD because his condition was 'fixable', unlike her CP. I feel like a lot of times, people don't fully understand the extent of the illness, especially mental illnesses, and think that they are easily fixable or 'curable.' This couldn't be further from the truth, and I'm glad that this issue was touched on in this book. For more info on obsessive-compulsive disorder, check out the Canadian Mental Health Association's page.

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga (Suicide and Depression)

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There's only one problem: she's not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel's convinced she's found her solution--Roman, a teenage boy who's haunted by a family tragedy, is looking for a partner. Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other's broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together.

There are many books in the YA genre that deal with depression and suicide. This was one of the most engrossing books, I have read in a while, so I thought I would talk about it. MHaOBH deals with the extremely serious issue of teen suicide. I will say that there is definitely a trigger-warning for those that might not be in the best place, so I would only pick this up if you think you can handle it. This book is very dark, however, I believe that it is one that everyone should read. It's one thing to have a book that deals with suicide, but the main thing is hope. If a book can become hopeful even in the dark times, it is a great example of a book that deals with suicide. For more info on suicide and depression, please go check out the Canadian Mental Health Association's page.

I hope you decide to pick up some of these books, and I urge you to check out the Canadian Mental Health Association pages I've linked to get more information on each of the mental illnesses.