May is known as mental health awareness month and before the month ends, I wanted to share my favorite books that surround mental health, whether through disorders or overall mental health.
I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter – Erika L. Sanchez
This book centers around Julia and her struggles after the death of her sister, Olga. In it, we see what it is like for many Mexican-American people dealing with depression and anxiety. This is by far one of my favorites because it really did hit home with me. I am also Mexican-American dealing with depression and anxiety in a culture that tends to stigmatize mental health a lot. So, being able to truly resonate with a character has been something I haven’t really been able to do.
Stolen: A Letter to My Captor – Lucy Christopher
This book is written as a letter to the main character’s, Gemma, kidnapper. It tells her story about what it is like after being kidnapped and taken to the Australian outback. I won’t say more to not spoil the plot, but I will say it is essentially about Stockholm Syndrome. If you don’t know what that is, it is a syndrome where victims/hostages may start to develop trust, feelings, or attraction towards their captor. After reading this book, I had a lot of mixed feelings about it, but the more I reflect back on it I can see the reasoning behind a lot of the reactions the Gemma had.
A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares – Krystal Sutherland
The basic premise of this book is that there is a family “curse,” where everyone in this family is doomed to suffer a big fear. The main character, Ester, has a list of potential phobias and with the help of an old classmate, Jonah, she is able to either find her “great fear” as proclaimed in the family “curse” or overcome them. This book handles all kinds of mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, and phobias, really well and I love the positive outcome of Ester’s journey. I do have to mention some trigger warnings: self-harm, depression, anxiety, and various phobias.
Things I Should Have Known – Claire LaZebnik
This book is about Chloe who tries to set up her sister, Ivy, who is on the autistic spectrum with someone from Ivy’s class, Ethan, who is also on the spectrum. However, things do not exactly go according to plan. The author herself has a child with autism so these characters with autism are represented really well in my opinion. I also love the sibling dynamics and how Chloe truly cares for her sister and does things with the best intentions although they are not always the best.
Well, these are my top books about mental health. I hope you enjoy and let me know if you have read any of them or some of your favorite books on mental health.
I also wanted to say, I may be a random person on the internet, but I just wanted to let you know that you are loved and I am proud of you for being here. I know it’s not always easy, but I can promise you there is some good. If you ever need a friend, you can always reach out to me through any of my socials, judgement free. Take care, loves. 😊💖