Fangirls Unleashed: YA Books With Mental Health & Illness Topics

Happy April, dear readers.

Welcome to another Fangirls Unleashed blog.

This month's topic was inspired by my own mental health issues. The more I share my experiences, the more I realized that you are not alone in your struggles.

That being said, contents of these books may be triggering for some readers. Topics include depression, suicide, eating disorders, etc.

Ready to explore this list of YA books with mental health and mental illness topics?

Let's go.

Recommended Reads

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Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she's LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can't imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try. Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea's biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza's secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she's built, her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity begins to fall apart.

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Hold Still by Nina LaCour

Ingrid didn't leave a note. Three months after her best friend's suicide, Caitlin finds what she left instead: a journal, hidden under Caitlin's bed.

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Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton

Adam, a recently-diagnosed schizophrenic, writes a journal to his therapist about family, friends, and first loves as he undergoes a new drug trial for the mental illness that allows him to keep his secret for only so long.

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Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Clinically-depressed Darius Kellner, a high school sophomore, travels to Iran to meet his grandparents, but it is their next-door neighbor, Sohrab, who changes his life.

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Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

A studious girl and a quiet, straight-A boy start a controversial podcast together that challenges their courage and forces them to confront issues in the form of backlash and censorship.

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Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off, a girl coping with Purely-Obsessional OCD learns to accept herself and take control of her life through her experiences in poetry club.

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Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Eighteen-year-old Lia comes to terms with her best friend's death from anorexia as she struggles with the same disorder.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it's like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. Of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up

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Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

A teenage boy struggles with schizophrenia.

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It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

A humorous account of a New York City teenager's battle with depression and his time spent in a psychiatric hospital.

The End

Alas, we have reached the end.

Thank you for joining me on this blog post.

Tune in next month where I will be celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by featuring YA books inspired by Asian mythology.

Until next time, happy readings bookworms!


Did you know that we have a variety of materials in alternative formats? From audiobooks, e-books, to Braille, we have a format for everyone. You can check out the entire list on our Collections in Alternative Formats. My personal favorite is eAudiobooks.

Who am I?

Alyssa is a founding member of Fangirls Unleashed. Our mission is to show our patrons what's trending in the young adult world and how to explore those interests through the San Jose Public Library. Her work has included presenting on the Graphic Novel Making Contest at the California Library Association Conference, presenting on SJ Engage at the Young Adult Library Services Association Conference, and as a Guest Cosplayer at the Santa Clara City Library Comic Con. When she's not blogging you can find her sipping on an iced coffee as she studies at SJSU for her MLIS. Follow her on her Fangirls Unleashed social media channels down below to see her YA Lipstick & Books and Book Cover Cosplay series.

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