9 Books with Depression Representation

9 Books Monday is a feature here on Bookish Wanderess, where I talk about 9 books that have positive representation of diverse experiences including the experiences of people of the LGBTQIA community, Native people, people of color, people with physical and cognitive disabilities or mental illnesses, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

In the past, I have done posts about 9 book with: 

This time I talking about 9 books with Depression Representation and before getting into them, I want to put a trigger warning because most of these books deal with suicide, so be careful if that’s something that triggers you.

5 BOOKS I READ AND LOVED

Darius the Great is not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius is a biracial, gay boy, who has depression, and this is a story that centers around family, tradition and mental health. This book does something very special because Darius’ father also has depression and this depicts the way depression affects their relationship and it shows them as they realise that they need to be more open and honest with each other. This also shows the way cultural beliefs can affect the way mental illness is view and understood.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

This book starts with the death of the main character’s mother, who commits suicide after years of struggling with depression. This book talks about the stigma surrounding depression and how it makes it hard to discuss it with family and friends; it also shows the feelings and thought process of the loved ones of someone who has depression; it portraits how hard depression is and how there’s no easy fix and how suicide affects the loved ones that are left behind.

When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez

This book portraits depression through the stories of two girls – one of them a Latinx girl- that experience this mental illness in very different ways. One is loud and angry and the other tries to pretend everything is okay and hides her problems from everyone. This book does a wonderful job of showing contrasting experiences with depression and it also shows that different kinds of relationships can help you go through periods where you are struggling with mental health, but only because they bring company and support, never as a cure.

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

This book is a memoir that focuses on living with depression, on how that looks like in the day to day basis, it includes the good and bad that comes with it, and it handles those topics in a brilliant way. This book manages to be humorous while still being touching and powerful. Jenny Lawson does an incredible job finding the words necessary to explain certain feelings and experiences, the way she translates her experience with depression into words is magnificent.

In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero

This memoir covers a lot of different events from Diane Gurrero’s life going from her parents deportation when she was a child to her being casted in Orange is the New Black. One of the things this book touches on is her struggle with depression and anxiety, and while it’s small part of the book, Guerrero is so honest and raw about it that it makes it a very powerful and touching account of living with mental illness.

3 BOOKS ON MY TBR

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

This is Matt Haig’s memoir about his struggle with depression and it’s full of in-depth descriptions of his dark thoughts and feelings, which is why most people say that this needs to be read when a person is in a good place mentally. This book is a collection of experiences, thoughts, practical tips and affirmations on one man’s experience with mental illness

The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork

This book focuses on the recovery from a suicide attemp instead of the events leading up to it . It’s a books about living when life doesn’t seem worth it. This takes place in a hospital’s mental ward, so it includes characters with different mental illness and it’s inspired by the author’s own experience with depression.

Ghost of a Feeling by Celestine Trinidad

This is a romance book where the main characters meet when one of them is about to commit suicide and the other stops them. This book looks at the harsh reality of mental health struggles and the repercussions of denying people the help and support that they need.

1 BOOK RELEASING SOON

Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera

This is a YA retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice set in the Bronx. Eury is a girl who lost everything in Hurricane Maria and is haunted by the trauma—and by an evil spirit. This book deals with anxiety, ptsd and depression.

What books with depression rep have you read and loved? Which ones are on your tbr?

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Some Books Broke My Heart in 2019 and I Want to Talk About Them

Hi everyone! Today I want to talk about the books that broke my heart and made me cry my eyes out in 2019. I’m not someone who cries often while reading, so when it happens it means I truly cared for the characters and felt connected to their story and what was happening to them. 2019 proved that I mostly cry when a character loses someone they love, it’s something that impacts me deeply and makes me emotional so, before getting into this list, I want to mention that all of these books include either the death of a love one or a loved one with a terminal disease, so a trigger warning for that.

This list goes from the books that made me feel like someone was stabbing me in the heart to the ones that made me feel like my heart was being ripped out of my chest and squeezed until it burst. Without further ado, here they are:

*Click the title of the book to go to the Goodreads page*

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

The Astonishing Color of After wins the award for the book that has made me cry the fastest in my entire life. I was 10% into this when I started crying, which I didn’t think it was possible. This is the only book I have ever read that had it’s more emotional and devastating part (at least for me) at the very beginning. This deals with depression and suicide and with a daughter’s grief after losing her mother and it was very hard to read.

Have You Seen Marie? by Sandra Cisneros

Have You Seen Marie? was a beautiful and heartfelt book, I honestly can’t believe Sandra Cisneros managed to convey so many feelings in such a short and simple story. This was inspired by the death of Cisneros mother and the real and raw emotion is evident in the writing and it makes this book poignant and powerful.

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius the Great is not Okay deals with very serious issues and it includes a lot of sad and emotional scenes, but the one that made me cry was the most heartbreaking airport scene I have ever read, I felt like someone was stabbing my heart repetively while I was reading it. The combination of complicated family dynamics, immigration and terminal disease made that scene feel so real and devastating.

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

The Simple Wild is a bittersweet book in a lot of ways, but the aspect of this story that moved me the most was the complicated father/daughter relationship, seeing it evolve was beautiful, seeing Calla go feeling anger and disappointment to forgiveness and love was touching and if you add the heartbreaking love story between Calla’s parents, then it’s easy to understand why this book broke my heart into a million pieces with the cancer storyline. The whole idea of running out of time just when you want more time the most destroyed me.

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

Don’t Date Rosa Santos was supposed to be a fun and fluffy contemporary and it was, but it was also so much more than what I was expecting. Complicated family dynamics are something I love and I enjoy seeing relationships between family members evolve and be more honest and open. But when those relationships get to a better place just for something to happen and cut time short is devastating for me every single time. The idea of running out of time to work on the relationships with the people you love the most is so heartbreaking.

Those were the books that made me cry in 2019, what books made you cry last year? If you have some recommendations of great books that made you cry, let me know!

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Favorite New-to-Me YA and Middle Grade Authors of 2019 | Blogmas Day 18

Hi everyone! Today I want to talk about the YA and Middle Grade authors I read for the first time in 2019, wheter they are debuts authors or just authors I had never read before. I had so much fun doing this post last year than I knew I needed to do it again! I chose 5 YA authors and 2 Middle Grade authors for this list and without further ado, here they are:

*Click the titles to go to the Goodreads page*

Nina Moreno

Nina’s debut novel Don’t Date Rosa Santos absolutely stole my heart, broke it and put it back together again, that how magical it is. Nina’s writing is incredible and I loved the way she wrote complex family dynamics and within that she expressed in a brilliant and bittersweet way the feelings of a granddaughter of immigrants: the feelings of confusion and guilt for belonging to two places at once, for speaking biligual words, for not knowing exactly where she comes from and what happened to the family that stayed behind.

Tehlor Kay Mejia

We Set the dark on Fire was another debut that captured my heart. Tehlor created two beautifully complex main characters and she wrote a captivating forbidden love story, but what’s even more impressive is the way she used the fascinating mythology and the infuriating world she created to addresses relevant subject like immigration, privilege, poverty and opression. Her book manages to evoke so many emotions and be incredibly thought provoking.

Destiny Soria

I have only read one book by Destiny Soria: Beneath the Citadel, and I fell in love with the way she wrote diverse main characters that had distintive voices and personalies and how well she explored complex relationships between them. Also, Soria wrote great twists and turns and set the perfect pace to keep the book entertaining and engaging the whole time. (Full review of Beneath the Citadel)

Maya Motayne

Another debut author! In Nocturna, Motayne created complex and captivating characters, she embraced Latinx culture in a way that felt special and meaningful and throught the history of the world she created she addressed colonialism and slavery in a very organic and subtle way. (Full review of Nocturna)

Sangu Mandanna

The author that delivered the most shocking and devastating ending that I read in 2019. I loved Sangu Mandanna’s book, A Spark of White Fire, which is a masterful retelling of an Indian epic set in space that manages to evoke so many emotions. But the real reason I included Mandanna on this list is that she manages to incorporate twists and turns that while incredibly shocking also make absolute sense in the context of the story.

Adib Khorram

Darius the Great is Not Okay was one of the first books I read in 2019 and I ws blown aways by how Adib Khorram manages to describe Iran and the Irani culture in a way that makes you feel like you are there yourself falling in love with the country. Beyond that, there’s the fact that Khorram is a master of writing complex and bittersweet family relationships and he definitely broke my heart a little with his book.

Daniel Jóse Older

I have been hearing great things about Daniel Jóse Older for a long time and I finially decided to give one of his books a chance, which was a great choice because not only is his writing amazing, the premise of his book, Dactyl Hill Squad is very unique and bit weird, in a good way. I don’t know where the idea to write a book about Dinasours in New York during the American Civil War came from, but Older definitely has a wild imagination and I’m a big fan.

Carlos Hernandez

Carlos Hernandez has the gift of being able to write the voice of a pre-teen in a way that’s believable, highly entertaining and not annoying at all. His book Sal and Gabi Break the Universe is full of magic, physics and arts, which sound weird, but it works perfectly thanks to Hernandez writing. Beyond that, the main streght of the book is the touching and honest way Carlos Hernandez addresses a child experience with grief and the way he incorporates that into the Sci-Fi elements og the story.

Who are some new to you authors that you loved in 2019? Have you read any of the authors in this list? Did you like their books? 

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10 Cities that Books Made Me Want to Visit | Top Ten Tuesday

Cities that Books Made Me Want to Visit

Hi everyone! When I started blogging I participated in Top Ten Tuesday regulary and I loved the fact that it allowed me to interact with so many people from the community, because I miss that, I decided to start participating again!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018!

Today, the topic is places mentioned in books that I’d like to visit, so I decided to write about 10 cities that are the setting of some amazing books and that play such an important role in the story that after reading the books I can’t help but want to go visit them myself.

*If you click the title of the books, it will take you to the Goodreads page for the book

Without further ado, here are the 10 cities that books made me want to visit:

If The Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman-—> Manila, Philippines

Honestly, all the #romanceclass books I have read made me want to visit the Philippines, but If the Dress Fits is my favorite #romanceclass book and it’s the one that mentions more especific places from Manila like the Dangwa flower market and the Manila Metropolitan Theatre, as well as different types of food that sounded delicious.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan —–> Taipei, Taiwan

I really want to go to Taipei, and especifically, the food markets that are constantly mentioned in this book, I’m just so excited to try delicious food! Also, the observatory inside Taipei 101 sounds so cool, I really want to see the city from that height.

Darius the Great is not Okay by Adib Khorram —-> Yazd, Iran

Iran is the most recent addition to this list, I read Darius the Great is not Okay in January and I fell in love with the way Darius talked about Iran.  I would love to go to Yazd and see the Jameh Mosque, the Towers of Silence and the Atashkadeh.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan —-> Singapore

While reading Crazy Rich Asians, I couldn’t help but be incredibly intrigued about Singapore. I can’t wait to visit the food markets and the impressive buildings, especially the Marina Bay Sands and the gardens by the bay.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares —-> Santorini, Greece

I’ll confess that my desire to visit Greece is due to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books and the movie, as well as to the Mamma Mia movies. But, even if the Mamma Mia made me want to go to Greece even more, it all started with Lena and her trip to Santorini in the first book of the series.

City of Ghost by Victoria Shwab —-> Edinburg, Scotland

There are so many European cities that I want to see and to be completely honest, Edinburgh wasn’t one of them until recently when I read City of Ghost. Now I can’t wait to go to the Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile and the Edinburgh Vaults! Also, I’m so excited by the fact that book 2 is taking place in Paris and especifically in The Paris Catacombs, which I have been to.

Long Way Down by Krista & Becca Ritchie —-> Costa Rica

Ryke and Daisy are my favorite couple in this series and they talk so many times about Costa Rica that it put this country at the top of my list. I’m not sure which city or region they were in, but I would love to go to Cahuita, which is supposed to be a place to relax and find peace.

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo – Los Angeles

I have wanted to go to L.A. for as long as I can remember, but the last few years, it had been slipping further and further donw the list of places I wanted to visit, until I read this book and it made me want  to go to L.A. so badly! As I said on my review this is a love letter to Los Angeles, there’s commentary on different neighborhoods, who primarily lives there, what type of activities are done and what types of food are sold in them. It simply made me feel excited about going to L.A. again.

Like Us  Series by Krista & Becca Ritchie – Philadelphia 

I already was interested in going to Philadelphia thanks to the original Addicted/Calloway Sister series, but if I’m being honest, the Like us series was the one that really made me want to go to Philly. It’s just that the bodyguards talk about their city with so much love that I can’t help but being curious!

Knitting in the City Series by Penny Reid – Chicago, United States

I loved this series, I have already read like 10 books in this series between novels and novellas and I have spent so much time with the ladies of this knitting group that I can’t help but want to visit their city!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – Prague, Czech Republic

I had never thought about visiting Prague before this book, but then I read this and soon after I met a dear friend who is from Czech Republic and so I knew the universe was telling me that I needed to visit this beautiful city. It’s being almost five years and I’m happy to say that I’m visiting my friend in April in Prague and I’m so excited!

What books do you want to visit because of a book or series? HAve you ever visited a city because I book was set in it? 
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January 2019 Wrap Up (+ Mental Health Book Bingo Wrap Up)

Monthly Wrap Up newest

Life Update 

  • I started the month in the best way, traveling through Italy. I went to Rome, Florence and Venice and it was amazing! Venice was so beautiful.
  • Then I got home the 8th of January and I started my internship the next day – after a 20 days trip through France and Italy – and it was exhausting if I’m being honest. The internship has been kind of a disappointment.
  • I also had exams during January, I did really well on those, but with everything that was going on, my anxiety got a bit out of hand after a few months of being in very low levels, which sucks.
  • Still, overall it was a good month, I love the fact that I started the year traveling and I’m so grateful I got that chance!

What I Read 

This year I’m participating in a few reading challenges, so I’ll be lkeeping track of that with some emojis!

                     🌸 =Reading Women Challenge 🌿= Catch Up on Classics                                    ⭐= Dancing with Fantasy and Sci-fi Challenge 🌻= Year of the Asian

In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire (4,3 stars): my favorite book in the series so far! I found the goblin market so interesting and the characters were so complex! This entire book was so bittersweet and I loved it! (review)  – ⭐

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (3 stars): This was disappointing; the writing style wasn’t for me, I didn’t found the case interesting and the only really good thing was the characters. (review) – 🌿

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro (5 stars):  Lovely, flawed, amazing characters and a really interesting relationship and dynamic between them.  (review coming this week!) – 🌿🌸

Tangled Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie (4 stars): This was really good, Thatcher is not my favorite but I love Jane and they work as a couple and I liked that we got to see more of the Cobalts. Honestly,  I can’t wait until we get a Sulli and Akara book. I NEED IT! – 🌸

Hi Fi Fight Club by Carly Usdin (4 stars): I really liked this, I think the characters are amazing and the art and color pallet are so lovely! (review)

Lumberjanes by Various Authors (4 stars): This was so much fun! The perfect amount of spooky and mysterious to make want to continue with the other issues. (review)

Lumberjanes: 2016 Special by Various Authors (3,4 stars): Didn’t really enjoy this story as much, I think it was a little too ridiculous and not spooky enough. But the art was pretty. (review)

Mental Health Book Bingo 

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan (4 stars): Beautifully written, I loved the romance and seeing the evolution of the father/daughter relationship. I wasn’t even 10% into this and it had me tearing up. My only problem with this is that it dragged a little. It has depression rep, so trigger warning for that and for suicide.  (review) – 🌻 🌸

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria (4,5 stars): I loved all the characters in this book so much and I had a lot of fun reading this story until the moment when my heart was broken. Besides that, I really liked that this was a Fantasy standalone, which we need more of, and it’s a fantasy with anxiety rep, which we need even more –  ⭐

Darius the Great in Not Okay by Adib Khorram (4,5 stars): This was fantastic, the family relationships were the main focus of this book and there were so many complex and interesting characters that even when there’s not much plot, I still found this absolutely compelling. The friendship part of the story was also really sweet and i loved that it was set in Iran and mostt of the main characters were iranies. Also, this was the second book this month that made me tear up, which is so unusual for me! Trigger warnings for depression- 🌻

You Are Here by Dawn Lanuza (3,5 stars): The writing style wasn’t that great, but I really liked the themes this addressed, like depression and  second love, and I found a lot of what the author was trying to say relatable. (review coming this week!)

Blog Posts 

Here are some of my favorite blog posts I wrote in January:

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read any of them?

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