One of the top searches for YA books is “YA books about anxiety.” According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), roughly 40 million people in America alone suffer from the most common mental illnesses: anxiety disorders.
YA books about anxiety can sometimes be hard to come by, but they’re just as important as any other book.
The following four novels are our top recommendations for YA reads about anxiety that we think everyone should read.
[su_row][su_column size=”1/3″][/su_column][su_column size=”2/3″]Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
At first glance, Audrey’s home life is not exactly “normal,” but of course neither is she. When an unknown event involving girls at school bring out the worst of her anxiety, she can no longer touch people or look them in the eyes. Her black glasses have become a barrier between her and the pain of reality. Cut off from all contact with the outside world, Audrey must find a way to heal her pain and face her crippling social anxiety before she is completely lost. The journey might not only be about her but her family as well.
This story gives amazing insight to the struggles of General Anxiety Disorder and of those who will do anything to help the ones they love to heal.[/su_column][/su_row]
[su_row][su_column size=”1/3″][/su_column][su_column size=”2/3″]The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Because of her traumatic childhood, Mallory has learned to use silence as a shield. For years, she has only able to speak to her loved ones. Just the idea of speaking in public makes her have severe bouts of anxiety. However, her journey to finding her voice begins when she is miraculously reunited with Rider, her foster brother.
In this sweet and moving novel, Jennifer L. Armentrout delineates the importance of love, friendship, and forgiveness.[/su_column][/su_row]
[/su_column][su_column size=”2/3″]Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
After a traumatic event at a party the summer before her freshman year, Melinda falls into full out depression and social anxiety. Her inability to speak to anyone is hardly noticed since she is ignored and friendless at Merryweather High. Throughout the year, she slowly begins to come to terms with her biggest fear through the only outlet she has… art. Can she brave the fears that have taken hold of her heart and mind to tell someone what happened?
I first read this book in high school and it really hit home with me. This novel is relatable and informative. Her depression in the book is more noticeable than her social anxiety. However, she develops coping strategies to get through the day for both. Anyone with anxiety can relate to that. If you are looking for a way to better understand these health issues, there is no better outlet than this novel. (Lauren)[/su_column][/su_row]
[su_row][su_column size=”1/3″][/su_column][su_column size=”2/3″]The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti
How can you live in a world where people you know, people you love, go from living to dead? According to Jade, it is “necessary to ignore the dangers of living in order to live.” Jade suffers from anxiety. Her symptoms cause her to do rituals like counting sentences on her fingers and knocking on her door frame three times before entering. Her biggest comfort is watching the elephant habitat live-stream provided by the local zoo. It is during one of these viewings that she first sees the boy who will help her change her outlook on the world.
The Nature of Jade has become my favorite novel. As a person who suffers from anxiety, this book hits the mark and describes the daily struggle with accuracy and heart. Everyone should read this novel. Awareness and knowledge of this disorder are imperative for those who struggle with it, as well as those who witness the struggle. (Lauren)[/su_column][/su_row]
If you or someone you know suffers from anxiety, visit the Anxiety and Depression Association of America for information on finding help.