Borderline, Mishell BakerRead about another entry on the list.
This recent debut novel redefines urban fantasy as we know it. The genre often relies on sexy protagonists and their equally sexy supernatural counterparts to move the plot along—werewolves, witches, and all sorts of otherworldly beings. In Borderline, a group of deeply flawed human characters takes center stage. Millie, the novel’s protagonist, is recovering from a suicide attempt that left her a double-amputee—and dealing with a new diagnosis of borderline personality disorder—when she’s approached by a mysterious woman with an offer to join a secret government initiative called The Arcadia Project. It turns out her mental illness makes her a prime candidate to deal with policing traffic between Earth and a parallel reality inhabited by fairies. When a fairy nobleman, working undercover in Hollywood as a high-profile movie star, goes missing, Millie struggles to solve the mystery and juggle the personality quirks of a host os prickly allies and potential enemies, even as she comes to terms with her own mental health struggles and her new place in the world. This might be the only fantasy novel I’ve come across that puts mental illness at the forefront and gives people who face similar issues a protagonist they can root for.