If & Then Thursday, Memes and Tags

If & Then Thursday: Mental Illness

I’ve been thinking about contemporary YA books lately and realized I hadn’t read one in quite a while as my go to genre is fantasy… and mental illness is a favorite topic for me so these books immediately leapt to mind for this meme… if you loved one then you will probably enjoy the other!

If&Then Thursdays is a book meme created by Alex@ Young at Heart Books. How do you participate? It’s easy! All you have to do is choose two books that are somewhat related in theme, writing style, genre, etc. Tell us how they are similar and why we would like them! All recommendations should be made in this format: “If you like Book A, then you might enjoy Book B”

If You Liked…

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The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Problem with Forever cover

Read more about this book in my review here!


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Then you may Enjoy…plain heart line


Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Every Last Word cover

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

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Both books have incredible protagonists that are dealing with some mental issues. Their books take the reader on this journey to experience what its like to be in their shoes. Both meet a guy that helps them on this journey, but it starts out as friendship and only later morphs into more…

They don’t share the same mental illness but both are debilitating in front of others and both girls don’t want their circle to know they are dealing with these issues. They handle their struggles differently but that just makes them individuals! I really enjoyed both books and the role that parents played in supporting the MCs are well! Neither girls were “cured” but they were on their way to understanding what they need to keep living life…

Do you enjoy mental illness and learning about other people’s struggles? What kind of contemporary sub-genre is your favorite? Do you have other recommendations based upon either of these books?

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Thanks for reading, XOXO

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12 thoughts on “If & Then Thursday: Mental Illness”

  1. Hi 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this recommendation. I’ve been reading a lot of YA books about mental health (guess I am on that bandwagon!) But so far this would be my first book featuring a character with OCD.
    My recommendation would be My Heart and Other Black Holes, which is about two teenagers who have depression and meet online on a “suicide partners” forum (trigger warning). It is amazing to watch their relationship develop from friendship to something more. It is a book that made me laugh and cry.
    I love books where the characters aren’t “cured”. I believe that mental illness is often times a lifetime struggle. Having someone to love makes it better but it doesn’t cure the mental illness.


    1. Thanks Sophie for the comment and recommendation… I promise I was not censoring you but found this in my spam folder! I’m so glad I was able to save it!
      Depression is actually a big thing in my own life so My Heart sounds perfect for me! ♥️♥️♥️

      1. Glad that you found my comment haha and I have no clue why it would have gone into spam (I’m not a robot I swear!!) hope you will like that book if you read it one day 🙂

  2. I definitely love reading books about mental illness! I mean, not in a sick way, more of like in a way that I want to understand what these people are going through. These are both on my TBR list, especially The Problem With Forever! Thanks for sharing, Dani. 😀

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