Might I Recommend… Contemporaries with Mental Health?

Last Rec

It’s SUMMER TIME *enter nice gif here because I’m lazy*. I mentioned before I think that Spring/Summer is when my contemporary phase comes into play… but that might be for everyone, so I’m not special…

But it’s okay! I’m back to recommend/tell you some of my favorite contemporaries with mental health (I heard it was mental health week? I know I’m late… sorry) I’ll try to keep them light, but a lot some of them did make me cry, so… but they’re still good so PLEASE READ THEM.

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When My Heart Joins the Thousand – A.J.Stieger

when my heart joins the thousand aj stieger

I think I mention in my review that this is was one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve ever read?? Because it is?? We have Alvie who has Asperger’s and Stanley who has depression/anxiety and a severe disability where he breaks his bones really easily and they love each other so much and don’t want to hurt the other and it made me cry and laugh and cry some more. There is sexual content in this one, but I still say read it as it’s not there for shock value but for character development.

Review: When My Heart Joins The Thousand

Girl Against the Universe – Paula Stokes

girl against the universe paula stokes

Goodreads: Girl Against the Universe

Another mental health book (should this have been a mental health rec. post)? Anywho, we have a girl dealing with PTSD and OCD, tennis, and a pretty nice love interest and HEALTHY THERAPY REP! I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews on this one, but I liked it, it’s not a deep or sad book despite the topics handled.

Starfish – Akemi Dawn Bowman

starfish akemi dawn bowman

I cried a lot of angry tears in this one. The main characters mother was horrible. Now, I did see some reviews talking about how the mom wasn’t as 3 – dimensional as I’d liked her to be and while I understand this, I didn’t focus on that. I focused on the main character, because even though the mom was a bit extra, Kiko’s feelings and anxiety were real and hit close to home. She’s a biracial teen (Japanese/white) in an emotionally abusive household. There’s also sexual abuse as well as a tiny bit of romance, but this is such an important read, I encourage it ❤ .

Reviews: Starfish

under rose tainted skies louise gornall

Goodreads: Under Rose Tainted Skies

This one was a book that came at a surprise. I can’t speak for the main characters OCD, self harm and agoraphobia, but I loved how it wasn’t fixed by love (there was a scene in the end that made me smile so much). Granted, some things are very questionable and down right… unrealistic, but I’d chalk this one up as a guilty pleasure read.


I mention this often, but Contemporary clearly isn’t my go to genre? But, there are some gems as listed above so I hope you like them 😀 .

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I need some cute contemporaries… Do you have your favorites? Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments below!

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37 thoughts on “Might I Recommend… Contemporaries with Mental Health?

  1. oooh, Girl Against the Universe sounds good. I read a small preview on goodreads and it sounded AMAZING. I didn’t want to stop reading it! Now I’m going to have to check it out! 😀 When My Heart Joins the Thousand also sounds amazing and cute. and I’m DYING to read Starfish. I read a small quote from that book which i loved, loved, loved. So now I must read it!

    -Amber

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  2. So Starfish is one of my favorite books of all time because the mother in the book is exactly the embodiment of the adoptive mother I grew up with (though not the mother who raised me… long story) (So many of the things that the mother says in starfish have actually been said to me and for once I felt that the emotional abuse I had gone through as a child till I turned 18 was actually shown in a book. So it’s a bit confusing to me for a reviewer to say she was overly evil when it is something that was part of my reality.

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    1. I just feel the mother should have been delved into deeper, portraying her as “evil”without any explanation AT ALL felt… off to me. I understand many people will relate to the circumstances in the book and am not trying to invalidate anyones experiences, that’s just how I saw it.

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      1. Idk maybe because it was exactly my experience made it so real to me. In that situation you don’t have an explanation why your mom is treating you that way. I know I didn’t have one, but I had to live with that. Idk for me it was brilliantly written and I understand that others who haven’t gone through this in their own life might not connect to it the way I have and that’s ok. I love this books so much that I just wanted to share that as someone who has been in that situation it was written very realistically.

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      2. I understand, this is also an all time favorite of mine and I related to the main character so much being a biracial teen and going through some of the things she went through (though not on such an intense scale); I guess I just wished many of the characters (the mom and the dad) were expanded on and fleshed out 🙂 .

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  3. These sound like great books,definitely adding them on to my reading list. My favourite book that focuses on mental health is Girl in Pieces; the self-harm might be triggering though

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  4. I hadn’t seen reviews that called Kiko’s mom as overly evil – I personally didn’t see it this way, especially because her mom reminded me a lot of my father. I absolutely loved Starfish though. The anxiety rep was SO on point, the way it dealt with abuse, Kiko as a character and how she grew… Just everything actually haha. I’m going to look up the other books you mentioned!

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  5. Under Rose Tainted Skies made me cry and not just because of the content but because I have never felt so represented in a book like this one. I have generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks and I also have OCD tendencies (which isn’t full blown OCD but it could easily turn that way). I felt such a deep connection with Norah and it just made me so happy.

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  6. I really liked Under Rose-Tainted Skies when I read it a couple years ago. I thought the anxiety rep was so on-point and I really liked that the romance didn’t “cure” the protagonist. I’ve also been meaning to read When My Heart Joins the Thousand since I got an eARC of it a while ago. It just sounds very unique and quirky. Great post!

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