Riot Recommendation

Riot Recommendation: Best Books About Mental Illness

S. Zainab Williams

Executive Director, Content

S. Zainab would like to think she bleeds ink but the very idea makes her feel faint. She writes fantasy and horror, and is currently clutching a manuscript while groping in the dark. Find her on Twitter: @szainabwilliams.

This Riot Recommendation on books about mental illness is sponsored by A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom.

For Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to conceal her diagnosis by keeping everyone at arm’s length. But when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to upend her shaky equilibrium.

As the walls of Mel’s compartmentalized world crumble, she fears that no one will accept her if they discover what she’s been hiding. But would her friends really abandon her if they learned the truth? More importantly, can Mel risk everything to find out?

In YA fiction, characters affected by mental illness simultaneously grapple with the myriad changes that make growing up so aggressively unforgettable. And, regardless of age range or genre, reading about struggles with mental illness can be cathartic, it can be discomfiting, and it can help people relate to those affected.

Remind you of a book you couldn’t put down? Then tell us in the comments below: what do you choose as the best book about mental illness?