Two books about mental illness, suicide and loss

Today, 10th September, is World Suicide Prevention Day. If you read my blog you know that mental health is really important to me, including suicide. There are two amazing, amazing, AMAZING books I have read recently who both deal with those topics. The first not as much as the second one but I wanted to show you both of my reviews because I love those two books so much.

As I’m going to mention in my second review, mental illness isn’t talked about as much as it should be. It’s a taboo in our society but it shouldn’t be. Books like those below stimulate conversations and help people who feel like they are so not normal, so weird, so different from everyone else. I know those feelings but I know that I don’t have to feel that way. I should be able to talk about my problems and you should be too.


I'll Give You the SunI’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I bought this book after a last-minute recommendation when I was on vacation in London. I wanted to buy another book, something concerning either LGBT* characters or mental health and my friend told me I should buy this one, because it includes both. So I did, even though I was highly sceptical since the text on the back of the book didn’t really satisfy me.
I bought it anyway and now I’m very glad I did. This book is bloody amazing, no doubt.

It took me forever to really get into it. In the beginning I didn’t like Jude at all, even less the whole seeing-ghosts stuff and her super-superstition.

The book is narrated by both Jude and Noah, the twins. He tells the story of when they were 13 and 14 and Jude of when they’re 16. In the beginning I didn’t like Jude’s chapters but slowly I realized that I might be a bit similar to her and that I can actually understand her (mostly). Maybe it’s because I know she has some of the same flaws I have that I don’t love her as much as Noah. Oh, I really love Noah.
His not-dealing-and-not-talking-to-anyone-about-his-sexuality reminds me a bit of someone I know. They both make their lives a lot harder than they should be.
It’s scary to see how much the twins changed over those two and a half years. They burried their past selves, they burried their sorrows.

They have more secrets than you would think they have and in the end it all makes sense. It makes sense why they are so far appart, why their family is.

There is a lot of darkness in both of them, more in Noah then in Jude and also in their mother (who had secrets, was depressed (?), seemed to be pretty unhappy). It’s scary but also interesting to see how they deal (well, not-deal) with their problems, how they are coping with loss and disappointment and guilt. I was scared for all of them, I felt sorry for all of them and in the end I definitely loved all of them.

Noah tried to kill himself after his mother died and Jude saved him and he might have killed himself near the end of the book. I was really scared for him and I was so scared he would die in the end. But Jude was there to save him and I think in the end he really felt better and could cope with everything better. The same goes for Jude who hid herself from everything for years.

There are more characters in this story that are highly interesting. Oscar, Brian, Noah and Jude’s dad and Guillermo. They all have their stories, their problems, their secrets they are hiding from everyone. Not forever though.

This book gave so much insight in all those incredibly complicated and amazing people. And it did that in such a beautiful way. The writing was absolutely amazing. Everyone is talking a lot about art, everything is colourfull, beautiful.

I absolutely enjoyed reading this book in the end and I’m definitely glad I did that.


All the Bright PlacesAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my god I love this book so much. I really don’t know where to start because there is so much I want to say and only so much that can stay into my mind and that I can fathom into words. This book made me explode a little bit inside and its topics are so close to my heart.

I knew friends of mine had read this book before and they had different opinions. My best friend told me she didn’t like the writing very much and my other best friend gave it 5 stars on goodreads and basically said it is perfect. I was a bit confused by that but okay.

I was super interested in it from the start. I knew it’s about two teenagers standing on a bell tower, maybe wanting to jump. I didn’t knew how they would be able to help each other, how they would be able to LIKE each other because they seemed to have nothing in common. Hint: oh, they do!
I really want to read more books about mental illnesses, I’m very interested in this topic because I suffer from depression myself, because I know people who suffer from different mental illnesses and because I want to end this stigma attatched to everything concerning them.

Suicide and mental illness is a taboo topic in our society which is very unfortunate. Jennifer Nieven mentions statistics about how many people kill themselves, about how they kill themselves. It’s something we SHOULD talk about because we can prevent it. And I think books like All The Bright Places might help. They might help because they are TRUE. It feels RIGHT how Ms. Nieven talks about Finch’s depressive episodes, about how Bipolar Disorder feels, about why he wants to die. I think she really knows about what she’s writing and I love her for including self-help numbers at the end of the book. I really love her for choosing this topic, for talking honestly.

I have to admit that I felt slightly upset while reading which didn’t really make it fun to read sometimes. I guess suicide is a topic that really gets under my skin. I guess it should. People have to realize this is an important topic and something to talk about. One of the things I would love to do professionally is working with mentally ill/suicidal people. There are many organisations and ways to get help out there and you should get help. Bottling all up inside is not good, as you can see in both Violet and Finch.

Finch’s story makes me so sad. His family didn’t even really care about him! Violet’s story is of course also sad because she lost her sister, because she felt lost, but Violet got better. (Major spoiler, you can skip to the next paragraph) [Finch didn’t. I’m of course not happy he died and I would have cried a lot hadn’t I read this book on public transport but … that’s real life. People DIE because they’re not getting the help they need. Because they don’t understand what’s going on. Finch died because of that and it’s horrible but it’s so not fake.]

I loved their love story, their being-in-love, their quoting of this female author who commited suicide and whose first name I just can’t remember right now… something Woods. I really want to read stuff of her.

Anyway, this review is super weird, long and confusing, I know that.

Just read the book, it’s so damn amazing and every page made me die a little bit inside and then be reborn. Smarter, I hope.

View all my reviews


If you got interested, read those books, please. They are absolutely stunning and I think they could be really helpfull to some people.

Take care of yourselves all of you out there.

See you soon ❤

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