Reading books about people and characters that have suffered from some sort of mental illness or have been affected by mental health issues is always really fascinating for me to read. I'm always on the lookout for books that handle this topic sensitively and with understanding. Aside from the books I've already reviewed this week, here are some of the books that I've read recently that I've enjoyed.
This list is hardly comprehensive and I would love to hear any suggestions that you might have in the comments!
Stop Pretending by Sonya Sones - I really adore Sonya Sones and her lovely, emotional verse novels. This was the first book of hers that I'd come across, told in beautiful and honest poetry how the main character and her family deal with declining mental health of her older sister. I believe this is based on the author's own experience with a sibling's mental illness.
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta - I adore Melina Marchetta something fierce. And part of the adoration stems from the really honest and believable way in which the heavy depression of a family member is portrayed. There's such strong feelings of guilt and blame by Francesca over her mother's depression that it really hurt my heart reading this book.
Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen - I admit that I read this book after watching the movie and long before I started blogging so I'm a little hazy on the details. I do remember enjoying the detailed descriptions of Susanna's experiences within a mental hospital and the complex cast of people she meets there.
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb - I remember this book being slightly angsty and at times a little bleak, but when I read this book as a teenager I really felt connected to the main character's story and her heavy thoughts of depression and her battles with food.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - The Bell Jar was such an important book for me as a teenager at the height of the worst of my depression. I loved feeling less alone whilst reading this book and it just filled a hole that I hadn't realised existed.
Zelah Green by Vanessa Curtis -I've not come across any other books about OCD other than this one. I'm aware that there is a sequel but I've not come across it as yet! This one tells the story of teenage Zelah Green as she spends some time in a youth house that specialises in helping youngsters with psychiatric issues. Other patients have issues including self-harm and
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey - I admit to never having seen the film adaptation of this film! I mostly picked up this book because I felt homesick and knew the author is an Oregonian. But as I began reading, I was fascinated by the descriptions of the treatment within this mental hospital in the 70s. Shocking and unbelievably sad but told in a wonderful, engaging voice.
Another book I was hoping to read for this event, but wasn't able to find the time: Wild Roses by Deb Caletti, which I believe is a YA novel that deals with a depressive father.
Please, please do share your own recommendations with us all in the comments! I know how very limited this list is.