One of the things us book lovers love so much about fiction is that, although it is in fact fiction, the books that we love somehow manage to touch on subjects so real to us and so raw that it no longer feels like fiction.
Therefore, one of the big topics that fiction often touches on is mental illness and illness, something that most of us will come into contact with in some form or other in our lives. For me, personally, books that touch on this topic are often some of my favourites because the authors connect with us on such a raw emotional level because they too have dealt with illness in their lives.
Here are just a few of my favourite books that focus on illness.
1. 'Me Before You' By Jojo Moyes
I've recently just finished reading this book and I can without a doubt say that this is one of the most touching and heart-wrenching books I have ever had the pleasure to read. The story follows a young woman, Lou, who suddenly loses her job and in her desperation takes on a job as a carer for a quadriplegic. Will was a man who had it all before his accident, and now that he is confined to his chair for the rest of his life he doesn't see much reason to live. Throughout the book we see Lou and Will touch each others lives in totally real and amazing ways. What I love most about this book it how truthful it is about quadriplegics, the author somehow captures how those who were once able bodied suddenly find themselves dependent on everyone around them.
2. 'Hate List' By Jennifer Brown
This book deals with issues of depression and violence. The book follows a young girl called Valerie whose boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie saves the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.
The rest of the book deals with the feelings of guilt Valerie experiences due to her involvement in the shootings. It's a pretty dark book and wasn't always thrilling or interesting but it's definitely relevant to the world today.
3. 'My Sister's Keeper' By Jodi Picoult
This book focuses on the story of a family dealing with a child who has terminal cancer and the lengths they go to to save her life... including having another child genetically designed to be able to donate organs and bone marrow to her sister. This is truly a gut-wrenching book and is so honest, if you haven't read it I implore you. Also if you're sitting there thinking I've seen the movie so I don't have to read the book, YOU ARE WRONG. The book has a completely different and spectacular ending that should not be missed!
4. 'The Fault In Our Stars' By John Green
'The Fault In Our Stars' is a books that follows two teenagers with cancer, with a very epic love story to tell. If you don't know about this book, have you been living under a rock?
5. 'Wonder' By R.J. Palacio
'Wonder' follows ten year old Auggie, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. Auggie was born with a rare cranio-facial condition that causes people to be a little bit scared of him despite how average he truly is. After enduring countless operations and procedures in his short ten years and still remaining a happy and loveable character he is an extremely admirable boy. The book follows Auggie as he goes to school for the first time and has to try to make friends and deal with bullies who just can't get past his face. Although, Auggie is in no may mentally affected by his facial abnormality, and is actually extremely smart, I still believe his abnormality should be considered an illness as it has an impact on his hearing, the way he eats, and so much more. Although it's a middle-grade book I would recommend this to readers of all ages.
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