Even here are Shadow’s Edge, we know there’s only so long you can stare at a screen. But maybe you’re not quite ready to get up and tap dance to the extended version of “Happy”. For that mid-ground between pure mindless entertainment and skipping through tulips, there are books. But like music, there are good books and there are bad books. Let’s be honest, maybe the best thing to read when you’re sick is something that has absolutely nothing to do with your illness – think Hunger Games or Divergent or Twilight or even rereading Harry Potter (because what’s more comforting than Harry, Ron and Hermione?). But then there’s that mood when you want something that speaks to where you are right now – something that’s at least a little bit related to what you’re going through. Here’s a list of books we’ve read that relate to illness:

1. Girl in Pieces

Publisher’s Weekly: “Nearly broken by a suicide attempt and a spate of personal losses, 17-year-old Charlotte “Charlie” Davis finds solace in the broken shards of a mason jar and, later, through art.”

 

Funny Kind of Story Cover2. It’s Kind of a Funny Story

Publisher’s Weekly: “Though Craig was elated when he passed the entry exam for Manhattan’s highly competitive Executive Pre-Professional High School, during his first year there he grows increasingly overwhelmed. Unable to eat and seriously considering suicide, Craig checks himself into a psychiatric hospital. There, Craig finds his true calling.”

 

3. Every Last Word

Publisher’s Weekly: ““Debilitating, uncontrollable” thoughts are nothing new for 16-year-old Samantha, but fearing rejection, she’s kept her disability (and her treatment for it) secret from her popular friends. But now, intrigued by a group of offbeat poets, Samantha begins to want to open up and express herself.”

 

4. Goodbye Days

Publisher’s Weekly: “Carver Briggs already feels responsible when his three best friends are killed in a car accident after he sent a ‘Where are you guys?’ text message to the driver. Now it seems as though the whole town wants him to be prosecuted, and he’s having debilitating panic attacks. When one friend’s grandmother suggests they pay tribute to the deceased by spending a ‘goodbye day’ swapping stories and doing what he loved, Carver finds a cathartic way to atone for his perceived sins.”

 

5. Side Effects May Vary

Publisher’s Weekly: “Harvey and Alice grew up together and were close until high school, when Alice quit dancing at Harvey’s mother’s ballet studio and started dating a popular athlete. After Alice is diagnosed with leukemia and begins treatment, she turns to Harvey for support and assistance with her short and surprisingly negative bucket list.”

Garth Sundem
Garth Sundem is science writer, author, father, and manager of this site's blog. Find him at www.garthsudem.com.