Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books Every Budding Psychologist Should Read


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the group over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week I thought I’d feature some books about various mental illnesses that I think are very well handled.

1. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

This book deals with depression and teen suicide very well. It was one of my favourite YA releases of last year and just one of my favourite mental illness YA novels.

2. When We Collided by Emery Lord

The main character in this book suffers from bipolar disorder and I thought the disorder was very well represented in this novel. Both the depression and mania aspects were handled well and it’s probably the best novel about bipolar disorder that I’ve read so far.

3. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

This one is an absolute tear-jerker. But it’s completely worth it. Like if you want a good punch in the feels, read this one. But there are a whole heap of trigger warnings: self-harm, suicide, rape, emotional abuse, child abuse… the list goes on.

4. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Finding Audrey is about a 14 year old girl who suffers from severe anxiety and depression. Despite its heavy themes, it’s actually quite a funny and lighthearted read. It’s super relatable and a highly enjoyable read.

5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

This novel is confronting but so well written and conceptualised. It’s dark and hard-hitting but so worth the read. It’s written in epistolary format and definitely one that you should dive into and experience for yourself.

6. The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

This novel deals with schizophrenia and is a great one to read if you’re looking to transition from YA to adult. The writing is impactful and you get a really good sense of schizophrenia and how it affects those suffering from it from just the main character’s voice.

7. Paperweight by Meg Haston

Paperweight is about eating disorders and is set at an institution for eating disorders. The author herself has previously battled an eating disorder and I thought the setting and how eating disorders were represented were really authentic.

8. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

This is another one of my favourite books about depression and suicide ideation. I really liked the characters in this novel and connected with them straight away. I liked how suicide ideation was explored in this book and it stood out from all of the other books I’ve read that deal with teen suicide.

9. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

I wasn’t enamoured by the first half of this book but it came home really strongly. Another book about depression and suicide (gosh, I just love these sad books), I thought it was really unique and I enjoyed the combination of LGBTQ+, mental illness and sci-fi elements in this one a lot!

10. Dreamology by Lucy Keating

This one isn’t really about mental illness but I liked the dream and consciousness aspects of Dreamology a lot. It wasn’t the best and I’d say that it was halfway there because most of those dream elements weren’t actually resolved. It felt like the author didn’t know where to go and didn’t want to do the research so she took the easy way out and decided not to explain ANYTHING. But I still thought it was a unique and interesting concept.

Thanks for reading! See you next time!


22 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books Every Budding Psychologist Should Read

  1. ChrissiReads says:

    What a fantastic list Jenna! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think all of these books are so important. It’s good to see mental health represented.


  2. Kate W says:

    Great topic choice. I only read A Little Life from your list but boy… as you said, a punch in the feels! Although I ‘enjoyed’ it (I use that term loosely), I haven’t recommended it to many people because it is such tough reading. Reckon it’s the first time I’ve given a book five stars and haven’t been pushing it on #ALLTHEPEOPLE

    My TTT –


  3. Maureen Eichner says:

    I’ve heard really good things about the Emery Lord and Adam Silvera books. Thanks for this list–I think it’s important to point out when YA does this topic well, as well as when it does it poorly.


  4. bftreviews says:

    This is a nice topic ๐Ÿ™‚ I find a lot of books don’t handle mental illness well at all and it turns me off of a lot of books these days. I’m glad you put together a list of good ones, it makes less disappointed in the world haha. You should check out The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong because that was a really good one as well. Nice list!!
    My TTT


  5. Lois says:

    As always you have added more books to my never expanding pile. I absolutely adored the Perks of Being a Wallflower and it definitely packed a punch. You will be happy to know that I have borrowed a copy of The Shock of the Fall and hopefully I can check it off the reading list by next month. I’ve heard a lot of praise for A Little Life and it’s definitely a book I want to get round to reading but I feel like with these books I have to emotionally be in the right mood to read them. ๐Ÿ˜€


  6. Brown Books and Green Tea says:

    What a great take on the TTT topic (t^4?). I haven’t read a single one of these books, but I really would like to. A Little Life is so intimidating, but I think once I get into it, I’ll find it absolutely riveting. Thanks for putting up such a great list. I wish I’d thought to do one of these for philosophy– that would have been a fantastic list!

    My TTT:


  7. FictionalNeverland says:

    Great topic and choice Jenna โค I loved Finding Audrey but the rest will directly go onto my TBR after your recommendation ๐Ÿ˜‰


  8. Ksenia says:

    Great list, Jenna! I donโ€™t know what it says about me, but I have all these books with the exception of The Shock of the Fall on my tbr-list, but Iโ€™ve never come across to actually read any of them. I guess reading such books require some emotional strength from reader, and lately I donโ€™t have it. Iโ€™m so tired by the evening that I just want to curl up on the couch with a brain-candy kind of book.


  9. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence says:

    This is a fantastic list Jenna! Mental illness is one of the favourite things I have to read about especially when they’re presented authentically. I have to pick up my own copy of When We Collided and will be reading Perks of a Wallflower and My LIfe with Black Holes at some point too! I loved Finding Audrey and I also have Made You Up to read as well. Another book I would recommend for this list is Challenger Deep, such a beautiful thought provoking rendition of how it is to experience schizophrenia.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. aentee @ read at midnight says:

    I got the audiobook to A Little Life this week because I am determined that I WILL CONQUER IT. I will, Jenna. The 700 pages will fall before me on its knees. I am already half way through the 1k pages of The Way of Kings after all – this is nothing *sobs*
    Thank you for the rec list, though – I am always wary of how mental illnesses are portrayed in fiction. But if it has your professional stamp of approval then I shall go to town!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s