Invincible, by Amy ReedRead about another entry on the list.
Very few books really get the complexity that is addiction. Amy Reed’s Invincible goes deep down into the particular mix of anger, hopelessness, isolation, and longing that can breed addiction, and the result is astonishing. Books that deal with mental health can go a lot of places, but Reed’s book ventures somewhere I’ve never been before in a book. If you want to know what it’s really, truly like to love someone struggling with addiction, this book is it. To write about addiction you can’t be afraid of showing something ugly and unrelenting and powerful and frustrating. Reed has that bravery and paints a challenging portrait that makes it easy to understand how one disease (cancer) could lead so seamlessly into another (addiction).
–Corey Ann Haydu, author of OCD Love Story
Wild Awake, by Hilary T. Smith
Kiri is a brilliant pianist whose major concern is preparing for a huge competition, until a major family secret is revealed and it throws her for a loop. Suddenly, everything seems different and less important and her life feels completely changed; she wants new things, new people, and new experiences, and watching her chase them is exhilarating. By the time the reader realizes something is seriously wrong, Kiri has descended into an episode that neither she nor anyone else understands. This book brilliantly explores family, friendship, first love, creativity, and mania. We need all types of mental health books in YA: we need books that focus on diagnosis and treatment and we also need books like Wild Awake—books that show what mental illnesses feel like.
–Ally Watkins, Librarian and Co-Coordinator of MHYALit