YA Books About Mental Health

YA books about mental healthAs someone who loves to read young adult fiction, I come across a lot of books that talk about mental health. Sometimes authors do a really good job creating realistic characters that have mental health conditions. I think it is important for people to be able to relate to characters, so it’s nice when authors include people who have the same struggles as a lot of people. I think that these YA books about mental health portray these mental health conditions in a respectful manner.

The books that I am mentioning in this post deal with different mental illnesses. I typically enjoy reading young adult novels, so all of these books are appropriate for teenagers and older. They also each include some teen romance.


Note: Some of these books deal with some pretty difficult topics, if any of these books include triggers for you, I would not recommend reading them. I will try my best to acknowledge topics that I think might cause issues for some people.


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#1 — All Our Broken Pieces

By L.D. Crichton

This book mainly deals with OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) but also includes some issues with self-image.

The characters in this book have had some tragic things happen to them in the past, so those issues will come up throughout the book. One character is dealing with the grief and guilt of losing a parent while the other main character was burned in a fire as a child.

Not only did I find this book very interesting, I also liked that it was very educational for someone who does not have OCD.


Blurb from this book:
You can’t keep two people who are meant to be together apart for long… Lennon Davis doesn’t believe in much, but she does believe in the security of the number five. If she flicks the bedroom light switch five times, maybe her new LA school won’t suck. But that doesn’t feel right, so she flicks the switch again. And again. Ten more flicks of the switch and maybe her new stepfamily will accept her. Twenty-five more flicks and maybe she won’t cause any more of her loved ones to die. Fifty more and then she can finally go to sleep. Kyler Benton witnesses this pattern of lights from the safety of his tree house in the yard next door. It is only there, hidden from the unwanted stares of his peers, that Kyler can fill his notebooks with lyrics that reveal the true scars of the boy behind the oversize hoodies and caustic humor. But Kyler finds that descriptions of blond hair, sad eyes, and tapping fingers are beginning to fill the pages of his notebooks. Lennon, the lonely girl next door his father has warned him about, infiltrates his mind. Even though he has enough to deal with without Lennon’s rumored tragic past in his life, Kyler can’t help but want to know the truth about his new muse.

Purchase this book from:

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#2 — Until Friday Night

By Abbi Glines

This book’s main character has PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and Selective Mutism. Another character deals with the grief of having a family member who has cancer.

This is book 1 in the Field Party series. Each book can be read out of order though. While the other books in this series are good and deal with other issues, this book focuses a lot on trauma and the resulting Mental Illness.

Before reading this book, I didn’t realize that some people have Selective Mutism. This was very eye-opening for me, and I am thankful that I was able to read this book. It allows me to have a glimpse into what it might look like for someone to have this mental illness.


Blurb from this book:
To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer. Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away. As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else. West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

Purchase this book from:

Amazon | Ebay | Thrift Books

Use this link for Thrift Books to receive 15% off your first order!


#3 — The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel

By Katja Millay

The main character in this story deals with PTSD from physical assault while another character deals with death.

Although the main character isn’t diagnosed as having Selective Mutism, her PTSD does affect how much she talks and who she talks to.

This is definitely not a “light” book because it deals with some very difficult topics. I liked how much emotion I felt when reading this book. This book isn’t really graphic, but it does discuss a lot of the emotions that the main character feels and how much one traumatic event can completely change someone.


Blurb from this book:
I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk. Two and a half years after an unspeakable tragedy left her a shadow of the girl she once was, Nastya Kashnikov moves to a new town determined to keep her dark past hidden and hold everyone at a distance. But her plans only last so long before she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the one person as isolated as herself: Josh Bennett. Josh’s story is no secret. Every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space. Everyone except Nastya who won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But as the undeniable pull between them intensifies, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to. The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the mira­cle of second chances.

Purchase this book from:

Amazon | Ebay | Thrift Books

Use this link for Thrift Books to receive 15% off your first order!


#4 — A Quiet Kind of Thunder

By Sara Barnard

The main character in this book has social anxiety and Selective Mutism. Another character in this book is deaf.

For people who have not experienced these struggles, this book is very educational. The characters are very lovable, and it is nice to see how they come together in this story and show that mental illnesses and disabilities don’t have to hold people back.


Blurb from this book:
Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say. Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen. Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life. The condition’s name has always felt ironic to her, because she certainly does not “select” not to speak. In fact, she would give anything to be able to speak as easily and often as everyone around her can. She suffers from crippling anxiety, and uncontrollably, in most situations simply can’t open her mouth to get out the words. Steffi’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to help him acclimate. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk. As they find ways to communicate, Steffi discovers that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it. But as she starts to overcome a lifelong challenge, she’ll soon confront questions about the nature of her own identity and the very essence of what it is to know another person.

Purchase this book from:

Amazon | Ebay | Thrift Books

Use this link for Thrift Books to receive 15% off your first order!


#5 — Almost

By Anne Eliot

The main character in this story deals with PTSD from sexual assault.

I liked that this book dealt with a very real issue that many women face every day. This story did a good job showing how much lasting damage occurs as a result of a traumatic experience.


Blurb from this book:
At a freshman party she doesn’t remember…Jess Jordan was almost raped. …Almost. Very nearly. Not quite. Three years later, Jess has managed to make everyone believe she’s better. Over it. Because she is….Almost. Very nearly. Not quite. Unfortunately, until Jess proves she’s back to normal activities, her parents won’t discuss college. So, she lands a summer internship and strikes a deal with hockey jock, Gray Porter: He gets $8,000. She gets a fake boyfriend and a social life. Jess has no idea Gray signed on for reasons other than money. She also never expects to fall in love. But Gray’s amazingly hot, holds her hand all the time, and makes her forget that he’s simply doing his job. It’s like having a real boyfriend …Almost. Very nearly. Not quite. Gray Porter is hiding secrets of his own. About Jess Jordan. About why he’s driven to protect her, why he won’t cash her checks, or deny her anything she asks.

Purchase this book from:

Amazon | Ebay | Thrift Books

Use this link for Thrift Books to receive 15% off your first order!


Why you should read these YA mental health books

Even if you have never dealt with a mental illness, chances are you know people who have them. Nonfiction books can be really educational when it comes to learning about mental health conditions, but fiction books can help you connect with people and see what it’s actually like for people have mental illnesses.

While talking about mental health is still taboo for many people, it is important that readers can find characters that they can relate to. Also, people without mental health conditions can learn to be more understanding when they read books like these.


Ways to read these books

If you don’t want to purchase physical copies of these books, you can read them via ebooks.



One way that I like to read is on Scribd. This is an affordable monthly subscription that allows you to read hundreds of awesome books, audio books, magazines, and sheet music.

You can use my link to get 2 months of free reading. If you go to their website, they only offer a 1-month free trial, so this is a great deal! You can cancel if you don’t like it, so you have nothing to lose!

You can read my full review of Scribd here.



You can also read over 1 million books and audio books with Amazon KindleUnlimited. Use this link to get a 30-day free trial of KindleUnlimited!

Another way to read these books is to listen to them on audio books with Audible. Use this link to get a 30-day free trial of Audible and two free audio books!


What are the best fiction books about mental illness that you have read?

Have you read any of these? Please comment down below!


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