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Although I’ve lived with mental illness my whole life, I am not a medical professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider, call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclaimer here.
CONTENT WARNING: This post contains references to suicide, self-harm, and sexual assault.
There are some books that walk into your life that seem to change you forever. They change your perspective on things and help you see things in a different light. I love books like these types of books.
I read a lot of these books around the first time I ever experienced depression when I was 14. Everything felt strange and different. Books helped me relate and helped me escape from the negativities of my mind. They kind of just stuck with me ever since.
Here are 6 young adult fiction books that someone with depression might be able to relate to:
6 Young Adult Fiction Books to Read When You Have Depression
THIRTEEN REASONS WHY – JAY ASHER
Without a doubt, this book has saved me time. Thirteen Reasons Why is one of those books that will truly change how you view other people. I genuinely believe you will become a more thoughtful and empathetic person after you read it.
One day after school, Clay receives a mysterious package of cassette tapes. When he puts the first tape in, he hears the voice of his recently deceased classmate, Hannah Baker. Hannah recently died by suicide, and Clay has to find out why he’s one of the 13 reasons why.
SPEAK – LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON
Here’s another book I go to time and time again. Speak is funny, yet incredibly devastating. It’s a short, simple read. But it’s so worth it. Speak was also adapted into a movie, if that’s more your thing. You can watch it on YouTube here.
Melinda is an outcast going into her freshman year of high school. This is because she called the cops on a summer party. A party that she was sexually assaulted at. Throughout the story, Melinda tries to find her voice and speak.
CUT – PATRICIA MCCORMICK
If you’re looking for a very short read, Cut is the book for you. I did feel like some aspects of the book were a bit off, but we gotta keep in mind that everyone experiences things in their life differently.
Callie is at a treatment center for self-harm, but she wants nothing to do with it the process. However, the more she sees others open up, the more she wants to change and learn about herself.
CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE – TODD STRASSER
Can’t Get There From Here was one of the first books I read when I was a teenager. I remember it showing me a lot about life out on the streets. I definitely got a different appreciation for people who are homeless.
These homeless teens are each other’s families. Abused, abandoned, and often forgotten, these teens struggle against the cold, hunger, and constant danger. They have to figure if this is the life they really want to live.
ELSEWHERE – GABRIELLE ZEVIN
What happens after we die? Elsewhere explores a unique side of grief, loss, and death. It’s written in such an enchanting way that will also leave you laughing.
Elsewhere is where you go when you die. At least, that’s where Liz ends up. Here, she will have to age backwards from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again so she can return to Earth.
IMPULSE – ELLEN HOPKINS
Impulse is a very unique book. It’s written like a book of poems, which makes for a very fast read.
Connor, Tony, and Vanessa are all at a psychiatric hospital for attempted suicide. If they work together, they just might be able to help each other fight the demons that brought them to Aspen Springs in the first place.
What books have you read that referenced depression?
More book reviews:
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