Ten Gems In Mental Health Literature

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list is a hidden gems list. Now, these books aren’t so much hidden, but I decided they needed some airing on my blog this week because they are gems. I love reading books that centre around mental health/illness and think they’re worth airing even if some of them are quite popular!

Click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page for the book! 🙂

The Silver Linings Playbook- Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings Playbook

This book is told in such a unique voice. I think this book is much deeper than the film. I enjoyed Matthew Quick’s portrayal of Pat.

Lighter Than My Shadow- Katie Green

Lighter Than My Shadow

This is a hefty book. It’s huge and it’s quite heavy going in its nature. It’s about Katie’s struggle with an eating disorder.

Am I Normal Yet?- Holly Bourne

Am I Normal Yet? (The Spinster Club, #1)

I absolutely adored this book. Holly Bourne is such a beautiful writer and she represented mental illness wonderfully. This is such an addictive YA read.

Reasons To Stay Alive- Matt Haig

Reasons to Stay Alive

I adore Matt Haig’s raw honesty in this book. There are some dark moments, but this book is hopeful.

My Heart and Other Black Holes- Jasmine Warga

My Heart and Other Black Holes

There are some incredibly poignant moments and memorable sections in this book. I found it incredibly powerful to read.

Belzhar- Meg Wolitzer


I really enjoyed this book despite it having quite mixed reviews. It’s unique and wonderfully written.

Perfect Escape- Jennifer Brown

Perfect Escape

I enjoyed reading this book which centres around a girl experiencing her brother’s problems with OCD. It was interesting to read about the impact it can have on a family member.

The Shock Of The Fall- Nathan Filer

The Shock of the Fall

This book doesn’t hold back when exploring mental illness. It’s such an intense, powerful read.

Undone- Cat Clarke


This book was so moving. It’s ending actually put a lump in my throat.

Highly Illogical Behaviour- John Corey Whaley

Highly Illogical Behavior

This book was absolutely stunning. I was blown away by the writing. I shall definitely be reading more from John Corey Whaley.

What are your hidden gems this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

How did I get it?:
I borrowed it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
The Silver Linings Playbook


Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate, Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.

In this riveting look at a day in the life of a disturbed teenage boy, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.


I feel like I’m in the minority with this book compared to the rest of my book loving friends. I was so excited to read it, because I had heard such amazing things, but unfortunately I really didn’t get on with this book. Don’t get me wrong, there are moments of brilliance within the book, but for me I found the writing style incredibly jarring and I couldn’t get past that. The style includes looking at footnotes, and whilst this works for me with some books, with Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock I just got frustrated!

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is an intense read. It follows Leonard, who is suffering from mental illness. Leonard has decided on his 18th birthday that he is going to kill himself. He also wants to kill his former best friend. Before he kills himself he wants to say goodbye to those that mean a lot to him, including one of his teachers. The story follows Leonard as he speaks to each person he wants to say goodbye to.

I find it hard to review this book, because as I said, it didn’t quite resonate with me, and despite the moments of brilliance I wasn’t sure what this book was trying to achieve. I wasn’t sure whether I should be sympathising with Leonard, he does have a crappy deal with his family life and other horrible things that happen to him. I did sympathise. However, Leonard is a hard character to connect with. Or was this book trying to show the reader how much a person can take before they lose control?

Leonard is such a complex character. As I mentioned, I did somewhat feel sorry for what had happened to him in the past, but I found him hard to like. I did like him more than his mother, who was just neglectful and a complete waste of space. Leonard did have an amazing teacher who went above and beyond to attempt to help him and save his life. I wish Leonard had come across as more grateful and less obnoxious. It certainly felt like Leonard expected the world to owe him something. I know the world had been tough to Leonard, but I wish he hadn’t come across as so self entitled.

The reason why I have given this book three stars is because a lot of people have enjoyed it, and it certainly struck strong emotions with me- but they weren’t the feelings that I had been anticipating, that’s for sure!

Would I recommend it?:

This book completely surprised me, I was expecting to connect with it much more. It is still an intriguing look at mental illness, which I’m sure many people will enjoy!

This Week In Books #14

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Click on the book title to take you to Goodreads!

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NOWThe Bones of YouDebbie Howells– I am enjoying this thriller. I’m hoping to get a review out ASAP! 🙂

THENEverything That Makes YouMoriah McStay- I was highly anticipating this book, I thought it was okay, but it was a little predictable!

NEXTForgive Me Leonard PeacockMatthew Quick– I have heard such amazing things about this book. It sounds intense. I’m pleased that I’m finally getting around to it!

What are you reading this week? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to any of your similar posts! 🙂

Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Dealing With Mental Illness


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are the Top Ten books which feature characters dealing with mental illness. I’ve decided to feature mental illness on my list this week, as I’ve recently been pleasantly surprised with how the topic is represented in literature. I’m not saying that authors always get it right, but it’s an important topic to be explored.

As ever, click on the book image to get to Goodreads.

Undone by Cat Clarke


I really enjoy Cat Clarke’s books and Undone really impressed and shocked me at the same time. It deals with the aftermath of the main character’s best friend killing himself after being outed as gay.

Wintergirls- Laurie Halse Anderson


Laurie Halse Anderson is an amazing writer. I truly recommend her books! Wintergirls deals with eating disorders. It’s an incredibly powerful read.

Speak- Laurie Halse Anderson


Speak is the first book I read from Laurie Halse Anderson. The main character in this book is suffering after a terrible event.

My Heart and Other Black Holes- Jasmine Warga

My Heart and Other Black Holes

This book is about depression and suicide. Handled in a very sensitive manner. Some of the descriptions are so powerful in this book. It really made an impact on me.

The Shock Of The Fall- Nathan Filer

The Shock of the Fall

This is yet another powerful read. The reader learns about the main character’s fall into mental illness. Highly recommended!

The Last Time We Say Goodbye- Cynthia Hand

The Last Time We Say Goodbye

I was really intrigued to see what Cynthia Hand’s contemporary work would be like. I was impressed. This book deals with the consequences of a family member taking their own life.

Perfect Escape- Jennifer Brown

Perfect Escape

In this book, the main character’s brother suffers from OCD. She takes him away from his everyday life and his routines/rituals. They really go on a journey (cheesy, sorry! 😉 ) together. I loved this book!

The Silver Linings Playbook- Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings Playbook

I haven’t seen the movie adaptation but I’ve read the book! It’s so interesting to see the world from the main character’s point of view. A thought provoking book.

Stronger Than You Know- Jolene Perry

Stronger Than You Know

I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. The main character suffers from panic attacks admidst other problems. She finds inner strength. I was touched by this book.

Pointe- Brandy Colbert


Another beautiful book that completely exceeded my expectations. It deals with the aftermath of an eating disorder and the aftermath of terrible events.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What have you picked for your list this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!


The Silver Linings Playbook


How did I get it?:
It was a present!


Meet Pat. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure a happy ending for him — the return of his estranged wife Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent time in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat’s now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he’s being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he’s being hunted by Kenny G!

In this enchanting novel, Matthew Quick takes us inside Pat’s mind, showing us the world from his distorted yet endearing perspective


Matthew Quick’s debut The Silver Linings Playbook is such an accomplished debut. Reading it, it felt like he had been publishing books for years. I’m not surprised it was made into a film. I can imagine that the film is quite powerful. I look forward to checking it out. Anyway, if you do decide to read The Silver Linings Playbook, I think you’ll find it to be an extremely easy to read book, full of humour, but compassion as well. Obviously, mental health is not something you should make fun of, but I think Matthew Quick gives the reader an accurate representation of people suffering with mental health issues. I also liked how he highlighted how important the family is to those that suffer.

Silver Linings Playbook is told in the first person, from Pat, he tells us his story in a simple, straight-faced voice. Through this, you can tell the issues he has. Pat’s simple way of telling his story make you realise how naïve he is. After spending some time in a mental institution, Pat returns to his parent’s house to live in the basement. Pat’s soul focus is to change himself both physically and mentally to get his wife Nikki to end their ‘apart time’.

Pat strongly believes that life is like a film. He believes that although life can be hard and painful, there is always a silver lining. He believes there is always a happy ending. Whilst reading some classics (another ploy to get Nikki to believe he’s changed) he struggles to understand why these books don’t have a happy ending compared to his idyllic view on life.

Silver Linings Playbook may not be plot heavy, but it subtly tells Pat’s tale. It’s clear that as well as suffering from a mental illness, that Pat is disillusioned. Matthew Quick handles this so carefully and sensitively. It’s entertaining to read, but I never felt like Matthew was making fun of Pat’s situation. I found it completely believable. What made me like this book so much is Pat’s voice. I was rooting for everything to turn out right for him.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it wasn’t a five star read for me. I think the only reason for that was the amount of sport included. I’m by no means a fan of sport, so when those sections kept cropping up, I began to lose a little bit of interest.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I’m so glad I read it before watching the film, as I’ve heard the book is much deeper.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Stacking The Shelves #34- The Birthday Edition: part 2

Click on the image to take you to Tynga's blog to learn more!

Click on the image to take you to Tynga’s blog to learn more!

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

As ever, click on the book image to get to its Goodreads page!

So, last week my haul was the books I actually received for my birthday. This week is the rest of my birthday haul!!

Borrowed from Bibliobeth

My lovely sister sent me some books (she knows the amount I have already, her TBR pile is far worse than mine but we still continue to buy….)

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Oh my goodness! So many books that I’m excited to read. 5 of these books are part of the autumn selection of books for a book club my sister and I participate in.

Extras are Nearest Thing To Crazy , I really like the look of this book. My sister sure knows what sort of thing I like.  Miss Peregine’s Home For Peculiar Children, I’ve had my eye on this book for a while. I was also recommended My Cousin Rachel, so it’s fabulous that my sister had acquired a copy and so willingly shared! (I love my sister! 😀 )

Remaining Birthday Gifts:

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Looking at it all is rather overwhelming!! I’m really looking forward to reading Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer as I’ve heard great things about those books. I also can’t wait to continue the Under The Never Sky series with Through The Ever Night. I’m excited for ALL of these books really, I’m just not sure when I’m going to fit them in!

Too many books, too little time…

What have you added to your shelves this week? Feel free to leave your link so I can visit your blog!

Stacking The Shelves #29

Click on the image to take you to Tynga's blog to learn more!

Click on the image to take you to Tynga’s blog to learn more!

Today I’m attending a book blogging event in London with Luna’s Little Library. I’m very excited, but I’m sure I’ll tell more after I’ve been!

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

As ever, click on the book image to get to its Goodreads page!



17262776I’m intrigued by the cover and synopsis of this book!

18054175This is by the author of The Silver Linings Playbook which I’m going to read soon. I thought this book sounded good. It’s described as a funny and tender tale about family, friendship, grief and acceptance. Sounds good to me!


15742858I’ve heard that this book is better than the first, so I’m looking forward to checking it out!

8591107I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while. I’ve challenged myself to read 10 books that I’ve been wanting to read for a long time this summer.

13335037This is another one of my 10 of books I need to read this summer. I’ve heard a lot of good things!

16034236This book is one of the Waterstones 11 for promising debut authors. I pre-ordered these books without knowing what they were about. Risky, but I’ve read some gems so far this year!

What have you got this week? Please feel free to leave your links and I’ll come and visit you at some point this weekend.