Reading for Mental Health Awareness Month

Since May was Mental Health Awareness Month and June is Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month, I want to recommend two novels that tackle mental illness with honesty and hope. JUST FOR THE SUMMER was my first Abbey Jimenez novel, and it won’t be my last. The story opens with a hysterical Reddit post from a…

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FAMILY FAMILY by Laurie Frankel

FAMILY FAMILY is the perfect book club pick. Funny and wise, it raises thought-provoking questions about what makes a family. Across multiple timelines, readers join India Allwood on her journey from spirited teen dreaming of a life on the stage, to studying hard as an undergrad, landing a role on Broadway, snagging an agent, and…

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BRIDE by Ali Hazelwood

I love Ali Hazelwood’s rom-coms about women in STEM, but I’d decided to skip BRIDE because I have zero interest in werewolves and vampires. Or so I believed until I picked up a copy and read the first page. This novel has everything: fabulous characters, hilarious dialogue, sexual tension, betrayal, political shenanigans, and killer good…

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THE POSSIBLE WORLD by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz

My New Year’s resolution was to liberate one book a month from the back of my teetering TBR stacks, and I’m so glad THE POSSIBLE WORLD was my February save. This beautiful novel winds together the stories of three strangers struggling to make sense of events that have broken their lives into before and after.…

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THE FROZEN RIVER by Ariel Lawhon

THE FROZEN RIVER is a gripping blend of historical fiction, thriller, and women’s fiction. From the first few minutes of the audiobook, I was immersed in a brutal Maine winter, the harsh realities of frontier life, a gruesome murder, and one of history’s unsung heroines: Martha Ballard, an 18th-century healer and midwife. An author’s note…

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THE TIGER IN THE HOUSE by Jacqueline Sheehan

THE TIGER IN THE HOUSE is a compelling, emotional read that dives into two separate worlds: schizophrenia and the opioid crisis. It’s part family drama, part thriller, and 100% page-turner. Plus there’s a subtle romantic thread and a dog you wish you could meet in real life. Add the characters, and this novel has everything.…

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SHARK HEART by Emily Habeck

SHARK HEART, a stunning debut unlike anything I’ve ever read, might be my favorite novel of 2023. The unique structure, the beautiful writing, and the powerful emotions make this love story unforgettable. Imagine a world in which humans can be inflicted with an illness that means they metamorphosize into birds, animals, or reptiles. There is…

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TRANSCENDENT KINGDOM by Yaa Gyasi

TRANSCENDENT KINGDOM is a novel to savor. Full of beautiful, powerful sentences, it explores the impact of grief and mental illness on an immigrant family seeking a new life in America. That dream disintegrated quickly into a failed marriage, racism, poverty, and addiction. The story is told through the perspective of the daughter. Gifty is…

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THE OTHER PRINCESS by Denny S. Bryce

As a history major, I love fiction that breathes life into history’s forgotten figures. From page one of THE OTHER PRINCESS, I was gripped by the story of Sarah Forbes Bonetta, the princess from Yoruba, West Africa, who became Queen Victoria’s ward. We meet Sarah as five-year-old Aina. She’s strong-willed and destined—according to Yoruba tradition—for…

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