10 Recommended Books to Add to Your TBR for Bell Let’s Talk Day
For those of you who don’t know, Bell Let’s Talk Day is annual event in January where Bell donates 5¢ for mental health initiatives for every social media message using #BellLetsTalk, views of the promotional video, or call/text on the Bell mobile network. This year they want people to think about how every action, no matter how big or small, can help others with their mental health. And of course, on the whole, the Bell Let’s Talk Day is an initiative meant to fight the stigma of mental illness, improve care and access, supporting research, and leading by example in workplace mental health. This year, today, or January 29th, 2020, is Bell Let’s Talk Day, and I thought that after you take the time to participate, you might want to pick up a book or two that keeps the conversation going around mental illness.
Now, in no particular order, here are 10 books to add to your TBR:
1. When We Collided by Emery Lord: This book released nearly four years ago, but it was top of mind because although I was gifted a copy the year it came out from my friend Tiff from @MostlyYALit, I just read it a couple of weeks ago. (I knew it was a love story about a girl who had bipolar disorder, and I thought it might be hard to read.) However, I can now say that it’s a beautiful and poignant with characters who I related to in small and large ways. It’s such an important read for those who have hard weeks / months in otherwise amazing lives because of mental illness.
2. Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz: When I first read an ARC of this book the year that it released, I read it again. Not once, but twice in succession. It gave me so many feels. And as it’s about some LGBTQIA+ kids who are suffering from PTSD, I thought it needed to be on this list.
3. Hold Still by Nina LaCour: When I was a teen, one of my aunts died by suicide. And while Hold Still isn’t about a teen dealing with the loss of a family member to suicide, it was the first book I’d ever read about a teen grieving her friend’s suicide, and it’s definitely the kind of book that I wish I’d had when I was grieving for my aunt as a teen.
4. This is What it Feels Like by Rebecca Barrow: Told from the POVs of three different teen girls and during two different periods of time, it’s about a group of friends who have a falling out, in part, because of the problem one of them has with drinking. There is a lot that I loved about this novel, but for the context of this list, I think readers will appreciate how Hanna feels when neither her family nor friends seems to trust her to stay sober because of how she behaved in the past.
5. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand: Remember how I said Hold Still was the first book I ever read about a teen grieving the suicide of someone she cared about? Well, after reading it, I read many other books with this theme, but this book by Cynthia Hand is the best book I read since Hold Still and the author gives a sensitive portrayal of what it’s like when your brother dies by suicide.
6. Paper Girl by Cindy R. Wilson: Like When We Collided, Paper Girl is a love story between two characters who have secrets, including the fact that Zoe has social anxiety and agoraphobia. In fact, she hasn’t left her family’s penthouse condo in a year. I couldn’t put it down, and I hope it has the same effect on you. On another note, Zoe is a biracial character, and this book is an #OwnVoices book due to the author’s own experience with mental illness.
7. Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram: This is an incredibly touching novel that had my eyes tearing up and had me opening crying at various points while reading a story about an Iranian-American teen boy who, like his white American father, has from depression, but who knows that his grandparents back in Iran just don’t get why he needs to take a medication for his mental illness. Another great diverse book with a biracial character, and even better, it’s the start of a series.
8. Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green: While every other book on this list is a novel, and a prose one at that, Lighter Than My Shadow is a graphic memoir about a young girl whose picky eating becomes a long journey into and through eating disorders.
9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: This is a stunning book about a teen boy who struggles with his mental health after the suicide of his friend and after coming to terms with something he’d suffered as a young child. Read it, and then watch the movie adaptation that was also written and directed by Stephen Chbosky.
10. Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone: This is an emotional and sensitive portrayal of a teen girl who has purely obsessional OCD, which is a type of OCD that involves—at least for Sam—a constant stream of dark thoughts and anxieties that she can’t turn off.
Have you read any of these books yet or have you added one (or several) of them to your TBR now?