Hello, everyone! This week is mental health awareness week run by the Mental Health Foundation. As this is an area I’m really passionate about both personally and as a psychology student, to do my bit I’ve decided to run a blog feature where I and guest bloggers talk about mental health related topics paired with books and/or blogging to help raise awareness. 🙂
So the first thing I want to talk about this week is some of the best fiction books I’ve read featuring mental health so far in my reading journey. There are a lot of novels about mental health out there, but only a few I’ve come across that do it well, without romanticising illness or having characters fall into certain stereotypes. It’s a difficult balance to master, but here’s five that do it well!
~ * ~ Continue reading
Overall Impression: A feminism-focused book featuring heavily on mental health, that shows the importance of learning to accept who you are, faults and all.
As soon as I knew what this novel was about, I had to have it and bought it the first opportunity, and I’m glad I did, because it’s the most realistic YA book about mental health I’ve ever read. Way to go Holly Bourne!!!
Am I normal Yet? follows the story of Evie, who suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder (the more well-known contamination type where people feel the need to over wash/clean for fear objects and dirt will cause harm) and generalised anxiety disorder (which causes disproportionate worry about many everyday situations). Since being sectioned, Evie’s worked hard to get her life under control, she’s going to counseling, she’s on medication, she’s working on goals and concrete steps. But now she’s starting at a new college, she’s desperate and determined to be normal by keeping her mental health problems a secret. Evie wants to do all the normal things teenage do, having friends, going to parties and most importantly, dating and finding a boyfriend. But as she starts to slowly come off her meds, she’s constantly plagued by the fear that her bad thoughts are creeping back in…and the problem is that wherever you go, your problems go with you. Continue reading
“I’m terrified that my journey won’t tie up all the loose ends nicely. Because this is a life, not just a story, and life doesn’t always go the way stories tell you.”
– Holly Bourne (The Manifesto on How to be Interesting)
~ * ~
This quote was one that particularly stuck out to me while reading The Manifesto on How to be Interesting recently (you can read my review here)! The character is a teen writer who is obviously, interested in stories – what makes a good one, how best to write one, and why we as readers are so fascinated by them.
Overall Impression: A book with brilliant writing and a wonderful protagonist that was let down by its cliché plot.
When I first saw this book pop up on my Goodreads feed it piqued my interest straight away. How can someone resist a book with a title like The Manifesto on How to be Interesting?!? I could barely contain my curiosity! When I looked at the blurb and it hinted that the story was about an introverted teen writer who wanted to turn herself into a research project because of the good old saying that you can’t write interesting stories unless you’ve experienced interesting things in life, I knew I had to give this a go. I love stories about characters going out of their comfort zones and deciding to become active agents in their lives instead of passive ones, they make the perfect coming of age stories. However, in a lot of ways this novel wasn’t at all what I was expecting, and, in this case, I’m not sure that’s such a good thing!
Apparently I’m boring. A nobody. But that’s all about to change. Because I’m starting a project.
Here. Now. For myself.
And if you want to come along for the ride then you’re very welcome.
Bree is by no means popular. Most of the time, she hates her life, her school, her never-there parents.
So she writes.
But when Bree is told she needs to stop shutting the world out and start living a life worth writing about, The Manifesto on How to be Interesting is born.
A manifesto that will change everything…
… but the question is, at what cost? Continue reading