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Book Recommendations > Fiction Books w/ Mental Illness Themes?

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message 1: by S. (new)

S. Rowe (shanah_davis) | 2 comments Hey, I'm in search of fiction stories about mental illness i.e. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen.
Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow.
The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter.

I tend to like the more realistic one, written by an author with true life experience. They may be moodier and gloomy at time, but that's life.
I've tried a LOT and most, especially in the YA category seem way too cheery and focused more on selling a book to kids who suffer with depression and cutting, I'll admit, but are very obviously trite in the way of resolution, especially when it seems to involve falling in love with some troubled guy.

Same old girl meets boy, boy fixes girl with lots of kisses and angsty, protective declarations...

The 3 books listed above are the best I can find. Loved Girl, Interrupted the best...

Any suggestions would be MUCH APPRECIATED! (Also, a movie rec would be great too!)

message 2: by Alisa (new)

Alisa S. wrote: "Hey, I'm in search of fiction stories about mental illness i.e. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen.
Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow.
The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter.

I tend to li..."

There is Badger by C.M. McKenna which is fantastic but really hard to read in places. It harsh look at the fact that love does not conquer all. (There are some childhood abuse flashbacks in case that's an issue.)

I don't know if you read m/m stories but there is Unquiet (Resilient Love #3) by Melanie Hansen which I thought was an extremely realistic look at loving someone who is bi-polar.

message 3: by Alisa (new)

Alisa There's also Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn It's a mystery but the narrator has a bunch of mental health issues, including cutting, which are looked at in detail through the course of the story.

message 4: by Penelope (new)

Penelope | 77 comments I highly recommend Is There No Place On Earth For Me?

message 5: by Doug (new)

Doug (lakeman) | 92 comments I really liked All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. It was reviewed in March in a blog at NAMI.

message 6: by Penelope (new)

Penelope | 77 comments Also, the Antiques Cozy series by Barbara Allan has a mother and daughter who are both on medication for depression and bipolar illness.

message 7: by Robin P (new)

Robin P | 1087 comments I don't know if this is considered dated in its approach but there is I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.

Hmm, why are so many of these about girls and women?

message 8: by Joy (new)

Joy (audioaddict1234) | -4 comments Check out the author Wally Lamb. I'm using the app so can't post links but here are two I remember:

She's Come Undone (female protagonist deals with depression)

I Know This Much is True (male protagonist has a twin brother with schizophrenia)

These books were not easy to read but I felt they deal with mental illness realistically.

message 9: by Mara (new)

Mara Pemberton (marapem) | 233 comments Chris Bohjalian has written several books with mental health issues.

message 10: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 126 comments I haven't read any of your examples, so I have no idea if either of these are what you're looking for, but a couple of classics are:
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Another possibility is The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, though that has more to do with the affect of the suicides on the surrounding community than on the girls themselves.

message 11: by Travis (new)

Travis (travistousant) | 543 comments Not maybe as real as you're looking for but still a great book One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

message 12: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 958 comments I'm currently reading The Girl in 6E. The main character has an obsession with killing and isolates herself from society to keep others safe. It seems to me there's some similarity to the TV character, Dexter - a serial killer who hunts other serial killers. I'm not finished the book, so I can't speak to the quality of it. So far, I'm intrigued.

message 13: by Lee (new)

Lee Howlett | 360 comments I thought this book was well-written and would recommend it. (Full disclosure -- I narrated the audio version but I would recommend it in print as well.) With or Without You by Lauren Sanders focuses on a girl who becomes obsessed with a young actress on TV.

Link to print:

Link to audiobook:

Lee Ann

message 14: by Megan (new)

Megan (altmegan) I recently finished Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and it was amazing! The story, the characters and the narrator were all so good!

Also, The Bell Jar is a must read classic. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal and loved it.

message 15: by Brianna (new)

Brianna Klopf | 7 comments I really enjoyed Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzle. I haven't read the follow up yet but I heard it's pretty good as well.

message 16: by Shanna_redwind (new)

Shanna_redwind | 9 comments I just finished The Dead I Know and enjoyed it quite a bit.

message 17: by Jay (new)

Jay | 27 comments teenage schizophrenia - Made You Up written from a teenage perspective.

message 18: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (havan) | 23 comments I'd highly recommend Inside Out by Terry Trueman but it's NOT available on audio.

This is an amazing read and should be on everyone's must-read list.

Zac Wahhsted is a young man that has a tough time understanding himself or others. He's a diagnosed schizophrenic but this likeable young man gives us a glimpse into a confusing child-like world that will have you laughing out loud one moment and tearing up the next. At only 120 pages of clear concise prose this is a lightning quick read and when you finish it you know that you'll remember aspects of it forever.

message 19: by Rick B (new)

Rick B (rickyralf) | 27 comments Although "A Beautiful Mind", by Sylvia Nasar is nonfiction, it reads like a novel. It is especially poignant if you have ever had a person in your life with schizophrenia, or any other mental illness. It is by far one of the best books I've read.

message 20: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 7 comments The Snake Pit
The Other Caroline
These two by Ward are on my TBR list, but the synopsis read exactly like what you are looking for - mental illness fiction by an author with real experience
I don't know if they are available in audio, but the paperbacks look to be under 200 pages

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