Top 5 Wednesday - Top 7 Books Dealing with Depression and Teen Suicide

Hello everyone!

I am here today with a Top 5 Wednesday that is a little different. I made my own topic up, and I picked a top 7 instead of 5!

I will just say that there is a trigger warning for all these books, I wouldn't read them if you are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts.

If you are struggling with depression and/or thoughts of suicide, please check out the CMHA's website and get help. You are not alone and there are resources to help you.

7. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

I really enjoyed this book, and I feel like the depression that Elise feels is very real. I really loved how she was able to connect to music to help her, because music is one of those things that people use to set their mood, whether that be a bad mood or a good mood. I also really liked that this book focused on the school aspect, because teens nowadays struggle with fitting in.

6. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.
This is an important book because it deals with survivors guilt and the affects suicide has on those around you. I really enjoyed this unique spin on a very serious topic.

5. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life - which means getting into the right high school to get into the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan's Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself.

Craig's suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.

This book deals with Craig's suicide attempt and his stay in a psychiatric ward. It also talks about depression in others, and offers a lighter insight to a very heavy topic.

4. When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez 

A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl, with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson’s poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.

This book shows that there are choices in life. Both Elizabeth and Emily are struggling but one of them choses to live. Hope is a major theme to this book, showing that no matter what, you will always have people around you who love you and will cherish you.

3. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him. Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them.

I loved this book, I don't what else to say!

2. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

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: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner. 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. 

1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.
This book has a unique layout, told from someone left in the wake of a classmates suicide and through cassette tapes. It shares the warning signs as well as the psychological effects of suicidal thoughts and depression.

So there you have it! Seven books dealing with depression and teen suicide.