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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Listed: Depression in YA Novels

Last week, YA Book Shelf had a Suicide Awareness Week. There have been periods of time in my life where I had thought about suicide – I think there probably are in most people’s lives, especially throughout high school. I still deal with depression and anxiety, though things are certainly a lot better now than they were about 10 years ago. At least now I know how to deal with it, and keep it’s effect on my life as small as possible.

These days, with the number of Young Adult books so much greater than they were when I was a teen, it’s easier to find books that show the perspective of someone going through depression. This is good for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it can show the depressed teen that what they are feeling is something that others have gone through. Secondly, it can show people who don’t understand depression what it feels like, and that it’s not just something you can decide to snap out of.

Of course, there is always the chance that reading about it will make the reader feel more helpless than before…


YA Book Shelf‘s Suicide Awareness Week inspired this week’s Listed feature, which is focusing on young adults novels about depression.

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Originally Published 2007. LT.
  2. Hold Still by Nina Lacour. Originally Published 2009. LT.
  3. Willow by Julia Hoban. Originally Published 2009. LT.
  4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Originally Published 1999. LT.
  5. Last December by Matt Beam. Originally Published 2009. LT.
  6. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. Originally Published 2009. LT.
  7. Cut by Patricia McCormick. Originally Published 2000. LT.
  8. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. Originally Published 2006. LT.
  9. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins. Originally Published 2007. LT.
  10. Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers. Originally Published 2008. LT.

So, what other YA books have you read where one of the main characters was depressed?

Do you like this feature? You should also check out Librarian’s Book Reviews’ Listless Monday, A Bookshelf Monstrosity’s Books By A Theme and Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog’s Birdwatching.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 8:33 am December 6, 2010.
Category: Listed

  • Melissa

    Thanks so much for posting something about Suicide Awareness Week on my site. I still have a few more posts to go this week along the same lines, so hopefully you have a chance to check them out as well.

  • heidenkind

    What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Except that’s a movie.

  • Linds @ Bibliophile Brouhaha

    The main character in Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution suffers from depression and suicidal tendencies – amazing book! Thank you so much for sharing and being brave enough share your own story in order to shed light on this issue.

    -Linds, bibliophile brouhaha