Mental Health Awareness YA Reading List

Talking about mental health is more important than ever, so we put together created a list of books for your TBR. These characters and stories are strong, uplifting, resilient, and help fight the stigma that is too often associated with mental health topics. Whether you’re looking to feel understood or you want to increase your own awareness about mental health, these YA books have your back.

10 Things I Can See From Here

10 Things I Can See From Here

By Carrie Mac

Opposites attract in this contemporary YA novel. Maeve suffers from severe anxiety, which only gets worse when her mom sends her to Vancouver to live with her dad. There, Maeve meets Salix, a girl who never worries about anything. With her father’s alcohol problems, her stepmother’s upcoming home birth, and her new girlfriend, Maeve’s summer promises to be unforgettable.

All the Bright Places Movie Tie-In Edition

All the Bright Places Movie Tie-In Edition

By Jennifer Niven

If you haven’t read this incredible novel yet, now is the time to do it. It’s about a boy who is obsessed with death and a girl who fights to live. While they are both dealing with their own issues, they find love, hope, and joy in each other. This book will give you all the feels—both happy and sad. If you love this heart-wrenching story, you’ll also want to watch the Netflix adaptation.

Finding Audrey

Finding Audrey

By Sophie Kinsella

A ZOELLA Book Club Pick!

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a terrific blend of comedy, romance, and psychological recovery in a contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and entertain.

Audrey wears dark glasses all the time, even in the house. She almost never goes out, doesn’t talk to new people, and finds making eye contact to be nearly impossible.
 
But the...

Girl in Pieces

Girl in Pieces

By Kathleen Glasgow

This YA novel tackles the complexities of mental health paired with poverty. In an attempt to wash away the pain she’s experienced in her life, Charlotte harms herself. After a brief stay in a psychiatric hospital, she is released early because she can’t afford her treatment. So Charlotte strikes out across the country, looking for a place to call home. Although this story is heavy and dark in places, Charlotte manages to find brightness and hope along the way.

Home Home

Home Home

By Lisa Allen-Agostini

There’s nothing like changing your surroundings to shake up your world. Kayla suffers from severe depression and anxiety at home in Trinidad. After being hospitalized for depression, Kayla’s mother sends her to Canada to live with some relatives. Although she yearns for home, Kayla discovers unconditional love, acceptance, and a new beginning that she never thought possible.

How to Make Friends with the Dark

How to Make Friends with the Dark

By Kathleen Glasgow

From the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces comes a novel about love and loss and learning how to continue when it feels like you’re surrounded by darkness.

Just Our Luck

Just Our Luck

By Julia Walton

This lighthearted novel is the perfect read when you need a pick-me-up. Leo suffers from anxiety and wants to spend his time knitting and taking pictures—not exactly the manly activities his father thinks he should be doing. When Leo strikes a deal with the great-great-granddaughter of the woman who cursed his family, things get complicated. You’ll love this charming novel about a boy learning to take control of his life.

On Sale 12.28.21

The Lucky Ones

The Lucky Ones

By Liz Lawson

For fans of Thirteen Reasons Why, This Is How It Ends, and All the Bright Places, comes a gripping novel about life after. How do you put yourself back together when it seems like you've lost it all?

May is a survivor. But she doesn't feel like one. She feels angry. And lost. And alone. Eleven months after the school shooting that killed her twin brother, May still doesn't know why she was the only one to walk out of the ...

Nick and June Were Here

Nick and June Were Here

By Shalanda Stanley

Nick and June were best friends for years, until their relationship suddenly turned into something more. Now, June is coping with a new diagnosis of schizophrenia, a secret she asked Nick. As June deals with her diagnosis, her boyfriend Nick grapples with issues of his own. Hopelessly impoverished, he turns to crime in order to make ends meet. When circumstances threaten to separate the teens, they decide to run away together.

Point of View

Point of View

By Patrick Bard

Powerful and unfiltered, this fictional account of a teenage boy’s addiction to online pornography is equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful.

Scars Like Wings

Scars Like Wings

By Erin Stewart

Relatable, heartbreaking, and real, this is a story of resilience—the perfect novel for readers of powerful contemporary fiction like Girl in Pieces and Every Last Word.

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

By Teresa Toten

Dealing with OCD is tough on the best of days. Add in divorced parents, a half sibling, and a brand-new crush, and it’s almost enough to push Adam over the edge. Adam can’t help but want to help Robyn, his new crush, who has just been released from a residential psychiatric program—the kind for the worst, most difficult-to-cure cases. But is it really Robyn who needs rescuing? And is it possible to have a normal relationship when your life is anything but?  You’ll love this suspenseful YA novel about dealing with obsessive-compulsive disorder and first love.

The Weight of Zero

The Weight of Zero

By Karen Fortunati

If you loved All the Bright Places and Girl in Pieces, you need this book. Catherine has bipolar disorder, and more than anything else, she fears the return of her crippling depression. She stockpiles medications so she can end her life before that happens, but a new treatment, love, and her family threaten to interrupt her plans. Cath struggles with her determination to end her life and the realization that there is hope on the horizon. This is a story of loss and grief and hope, and how some of the many shapes of love—maternal, romantic, and platonic—affect a young woman’s struggle with mental illness and the stigma of treatment.

Who Put This Song On?

Who Put This Song On?

By Morgan Parker

In the vein of powerful reads like The Hate U Give and The Poet X, comes poet Morgan Parker’s pitch-perfect novel about a black teenage girl searching for her identity when the world around her views her depression as a lack of faith and blackness as something to be politely ignored.

Words on Bathroom Walls

Words on Bathroom Walls

By Julia Walton

This YA novel about a teen who lives with schizophrenia is both uplifting and funny. Adam has a hard time telling the difference between what is real and what isn’t. His condition gets better when he starts taking a trial medication. He begins to see a future for himself—one that includes romance. But as the miracle drug begins to fail, how long can he keep this secret from the girl of his dreams? Told through Adam’s journal entries, this funny and relatable book will keep you captivated from the first page.

Click here for resources on coping with stress and anxiety during this trying time.

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