Relatable Young Adult Novels For Your Teen With Mental Health Problems

According to the World Health Organization, 40% of teenagers around the globe battle with at least one mental illness. These neuropsychological disorders can severely affect an individual’s quality of life and can be more debilitating to a teenager who is still growing and developing.

Mental health professionals recommend finding legitimate sources to learn more about mental disorders. Not many openly talk about mental problems; hence, many people turn to novels.

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Diving Into The Young Adult Literature

Books fall under several genres. These include young adult fiction, which is primarily for teens aged 12 to 18. While this genre is considered fiction, its realistic, coming-of-age setting has undoubtedly appealed to the masses; even adults grew to love it.

Young adult literature provides a slice of life, dashed with a little fantasy, making it very relatable. As years go by, more authors start to tackle stigmatized topics such as mental health, racism, and gender orientation.

In particular, books exploring psychological issues are increasing, to which struggling teenagers can relate. These books also help them acknowledge that having a mental disorder is not necessarily a bad thing. Through this, they realize there are people in the same boat as they are, who are willing to support them on their road to recovery.

With the wide variety of young adult novels available for reading, here are a few recommended books to read about different mental health disorders:

Recommendations For Mood Disorders

Anxiety and depression are the most common psychological illnesses present in teens. Both disorders have symptoms of frequent low moods, loss of interest in many things, anxiousness, and fear.

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  • Turtles All The Way Down

Written by one of New York’s best-selling YA author, John Green, Turtles All The Way Down follows the life of a 16-year-old girl. Aza, the protagonist, is your typical teenager whose thoughts are always in shambles, so much that she starts developing severe anxiety.

Partnered with a slight case of mystery, join Aza in her battle to discover how she can live her life normally despite her conditions.

  • Fangirl

Cath is the central character of this book written by Rainbow Rowell. Since birth, she has always depended on her twin sister. Unfortunately, they had to go their separate ways in college, leaving Cath unsure of her path and questioning herself if she could make it without her twin.

Fangirl is an exciting read, shining a light on awkward, introverted individuals who are trying their best to socialize and learn how to move past their safety bubble.

  • Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Telling the story of Leonard Peacock, who is at the very edge of his mental breakdown, this book by Matthew Quick points out the realities of mental illnesses when ignored and left untreated. It is an intriguing read to see how Leonard succumbs to his violent thoughts and what their repercussions could look like in real life.

Recommendations For Autism Spectrum Disorders

Mental disorders do not necessarily involve emotions only. Neurodevelopmental conditions, such as autism, are also classified under the category. These disorders often develop in childhood and may even impair how an individual functions in society.

  • The Rosie Project

Graeme Simsion’s novel unfolds the life of a brilliant and high-functioning professor struggling with Asperger’s syndrome. Don Tillman, the said professor and also lead character, embarks on finding love despite his condition. It is a book that is positively conveying that even people with mental illnesses find love.

  • Remember Dippy

This book shows the forging of friendships between a unique individual and a “normal” teen. When Shirley Reva Vernick wrote this, she made sure to explore how similar “odd” and “normal” teens are. It is a great read to understand that everyone around us functions the same; some need a little help, that’s all.

  • Anything But Typical

The life of Jason Blake, who has autism, has many twists and turns, as written by Nora Raleigh Baskin. This book is for anyone who wishes to see a perspective on how mentally-challenged people live day-to-day.

Addressing Mental Health Problems Through YA

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There have been countless studies discussing the effectiveness of young adult literature in confronting mental illnesses. While it is true that the genre falls under fiction, the representation of life’s realities, including mental health problems, challenge everyone to discuss the stigmas surrounding the topics openly.

Fortunately, the availability of young adult literature has increased over the years, as the numbers of teens who have psychological disorders are also alarmingly growing. With YA books, their stories are shed to light. For once in their lives, they become represented and are given the support that they need. 

Books have the power, and, for many teens, they save lives. I guess it is true that the pen is mightier than the sword.

 

6 Best Novels About Family To Read Now

Our own families affect the choices we make, the lives we live, and the relationships we foster as we grow up. Our family members also contribute to our complexity as human beings. Because of this, there is more than one kind of familial relationship and structure. And the best way to explore these variations and their intricacies is through stories written about and for families. 

To start with, here are the six best novels about family to start reading now.

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

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We all wonder what our life’s purpose is, and we mostly live our lives in pursuit of our worth. For Anna Fitzgerald, it is not the same; she has known her whole life what her purpose isto be her sister’s donor. How she and her family react to this is explored in Jodi Picoult’s novel.

The disease affects a family in different manners. For the Fitzgeralds, it means saving one child while stepping on another’s rights. My Sister’s Keeper is a must-read for everyone who wants a good cry, laugh, and reflection of their own family lives.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

What if you know when you’re going to die or when your family will die? How will you live your life? This question is what Chloe Benjamin’s The Immortalists shares with us. Following the lives of the four Gold siblings who learned about their ends from a visiting fortune teller, we get to know the different ways humans cope with the idea of dying and knowing when it will happen.

Some say that our thoughts, how we act and treat others are influenced by our knowledge of dying and mortality. And this is precisely how the Gold children lived, coping with the knowledge of their deaths and their siblings before it even happens.

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Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Loosely based on the author’s personal experience, Commonwealth follows the complicated beginnings of blended family life and the five decades that followed. Ann Patchett’s novel begins in the early 1960s when Beverly Keating and Bert Cousins meet, starting an affair that will pull their families apart and change their lives forever.

The story details the next five decades of the six Keating-Cousins children and their parents. Patchett’s beautiful storytelling makes us realize how love, relationships, and our own feelings play a role in how we all live and deal with the people around us.

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Sometimes, it is not the good times that bring a family together; sometimes, it is death. And that is the beginning of Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You. To mourn their father’s death, Judd Foxman needed to spend a week with his dysfunctional family, who he was not close to that well.

Exploring the different characteristics of each member of Foxman’s family, this novel tells us about how family relationships are not always smooth-sailing. And through sitting shiva, they started to understand themselves, their mother, and their father as well. Because sometimes, it is not a life that brings people together, but the death of someone in our family.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

What is motherhood? What are we ready to do for our children? These are some of the themes explored in Celeste Ng’s second novel Little Fires Everywhere. The story opens with the question of who set the fire and why before it takes us back to a year ago when newcomers Mia Warren, and her daughter Pearl arrived in late ‘90s Shaker Heights.

The Warren’s’ arrival threatens Elena Richardson’s vision of a suburban utopia as they disregard the status quo, affecting Elena’s carefully ordered community. But the story is more than just the Warrens and the Richardsons; it is also about a fight for custody for a one-year-old girl who is wanted by both her biological mother and the couple who raised her. 

Packed with drama, suspense, and innocence, this novel will surely hook you from beginning to the end.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

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Gabriel García Márquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude is not only about the seven generations of the Buendia family but also a century of the Latin American history from the 1820s to the 1920s. Hailed as the best expression of magical realism, García Márquez’ novel, starts with the patriarch José Arcadio Buendía as he builds his utopian city of Macondo in the middle of a swamp.

This story sees the rise and fall of the Buendia family and the complexity of time in their lives. It pans out as Macondo becomes connected to the outside world, bringing new technology and new people to this previously secluded world. Once you started reading this magical novel, you’ll get lost in the magic, sensuality, and love that encompasses the town of Macondo and the families living in it.

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The beauty in novels about families is its emulation of the complexities of relationships we form with our own families, and we see in others. It is not of one singular emotion; it is an amalgamation of grief, happiness, fear, and love, hitting us up with every page turn. So, why not take some time to sit down and explore these feelings as you dive into these must-read novels about family and relationships.

Loving Thriller Novels Throughout The Quarantine? Read The Agent Pendergast Series

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While quarantining, I had the chance to reorganize my bookshelf. I realize I already have more than 200 books collected. Many of them were obtained from book sales, which I frequented as early as 12 years old. I only bought brand-new copies of titles that could not be found there.

One thriller series that I have forgotten is the Agent Pendergast series of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. They are American authors who are best acknowledged for their collaborative thriller novels. Their tandem started when they wrote the first sequel of the Agent Pendergast series, Relic, in 1988 until Tor Books published it in 1995. In this book, the main characters are tracking down the legendary beast from the Amazon that has been killing people in the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

If you are looking for new thriller novels to read, the Agent Pendergast series can be it for you.

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Best Preston And Child Books

Cold Vengeance is one of the best books created by Preston and Child to date. It follows the hot pursuit of Agent Pendergast to his wife Helen’s murderers. He has gone deep in the hills of Scotland with the deceased lady’s sibling, Judson Esterhazy. That’s where he discovered a secret society of Nazis and their supporters, which is better known as the Covenant. This is an excellent installment because it centered on Corrie Swanson, the teenager who aided him in solving the serial murder case in Still Life with Crows.

The latter is another excellent must-read for thriller-loving audiences. It was set in a small town where the locals primarily thought that the deaths were linked to the “Curse of the Forty-Fives.” It was a legend regarding the 45 brutal war veterans ambushed by Cheyenne warriors in the past. They later deduced that the killer was a deranged middle-aged man named Job, who was embodying the children’s tale that his mother always told him about throughout his time in the cave.

The Cabinet of Curiosities cannot be forgotten as well. This is where Agent Pendergast finally became the main character in the series. The story focuses on finding the slaughterer of 36 individuals who all have a missing portion of their spines. In this book, the killer is Anthony Fairhaven, a wealthy man who wants to find the solution to obtaining immortality and has experimented with those people. He got the idea from the agent’s great-granduncle who did the same thing ages ago and only died in the hands of Fairhaven. The latter died when he got infected by the traces of the poisonous plants in a laboratory.

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Relic

The Relic gained a lot of recognition back then, to the point that it turned into a movie with the same title in 1997. The film was produced by Paramount Pictures and directed by Peter Hyams. The cast was led by Penelope Ann Miller, who portrayed the role of Dr. Margo Green, a biologist who was part of the killing investigation.

The protagonists found out who the Kothoga beast was that had been clawing people’s brains out and brutally murdering them. However, they had a few differences in the book and movie versions.

First, the national museum became situated in Chicago because the crew could not shoot the horrific scenes in the actual one in The Big Apple. In the manuscript, Dr. Green was not the only person who killed the monster compared to what came out in the film. The FBI’s Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast was also never mentioned in the adaptation, though he played a massive part in slaying the Kothoga. 

Furthermore, the screenwriters left the beast as the beast. In the book version, though, the researcher who went to the South American rainforest to look for a supposedly nonexistent tribe had been the Kothoga all along.

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Other Books You May Like

Some books that Pendergast fanatics may want to read are the Gideon’s Sword series – another Preston and Child creation – and the SIGMA Force series of James Rollins. Both tackle crimes with a hint of science, which is quite similar to the theme of the Agent Pendergast series.

 

How To Write Believable Characters For Your Story

Learning how to protect yourself is one of the highlights of the 2019 Self Defense Conference. Your skills, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses make you a unique and round character. These are also the characteristics that you need for the people in your story to make them believable.

Here are my tips to help you write believable characters for your short story or novel.

Create A Character Profile

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Every person is unique. So the first way to create a believable character is to create their profile. A profile may vary from writer to writer, but it all includes:

  • physical characteristics such as eye color and shape, height, built
  • likes and dislikes
  • flaws
  • identifying quirks

If you cannot decide what to include in your character profile, a quick Google search can give you various graphic organizers that you can use.

Craft A Backstory

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We all have a past that affects who we are today and who we will be in the future. Likewise, your characters need a backstory too. Their history will give reason towards their motivations and will affect how they act and develop in your story. Here are some guide questions:

  • How was their childhood?
  • Where were they born?
  • Where did they live?
  • Where are their family members, and how did they affect your characters?

Give Your Character A Voice

Listen to how your friends speak. Each of them has distinct voice qualities and word choice. These characteristics should also be present in your characters. And once you decide on your character’s voice, stick to it throughout your story.

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Show Character Development

Change is the sole constant in our life. This adage also applies to your fictional characters. A believable character is affected by the events and your story and changes accordingly. Whether through tragedy, romance, or drama, the people in your fictional world will adapt to these changes.

A bonus tip: the best way to learn how to create a believable character is to observe the people around you! And these people around you are real characters that can inspire the characters in your story. After all, the best stories have characters that we can relate too.

Why You Should Start Blogging Amid A Pandemic

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I have a friend who we always push to start blogging whenever we meet. It is not because we are a bunch of bullies who like to pick on people. It is more because this friend often talks about what she will do differently with her website if she has a blog.

Hearing that once can make it effortless to venture into a long conversation about blogging. However, if the topic often pops up, and you hear a friend mention it every time, that is a bit worrying. It is best to start a blog because:

You Cannot Sit On A Brilliant Idea Forever

The idea of blogging is undoubtedly not something that you have thought of last night. It is no small feat to launch a website and write the content for it. More likely than not, you have been sitting on a plan for some time now.

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If I guessed correctly, you should bring this brilliant idea to fruition before someone else comes up with it. It is not uncommon for two or more individuals to have similar blogging plans, after all. What matters is that you execute what you have in mind before others do it.

Your Blog May Gain More Following Now Than Ever

Even though the pandemic has brought misfortune to a lot of companies worldwide, it has indirectly blessed virtual platforms. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and other video-sharing apps have had a soaring number of subscribers over the last couple of months. More people check out various websites every day, considering they may be staying at home all the time.

What this information signifies is that you may be able to obtain many followers now more than ever. That is especially true if your content relates to things that everyone seems most interested in these days. E.g., baking, online gaming, cooking, home decorating, etc.

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People Need To Take Their Minds Off The Pandemic

Many folks who have all the bearings required to start a blog but still have not done it worry that no one will care about their articles. They tend to ask, “Who am I to share these tips?” or “Am I as good as the other experts out there?” Their confidence level drops whenever they think about blogging.

However, it will help if you remember that the entire world is dealing with a pandemic. No one is honestly safe from the coronavirus, and such a fact makes people worry. If you can provide fresh content that can help them forget COVID-19, albeit momentarily, then you have already succeeded.

When Will You Be Free Again?

A typical mistake that even brilliant individuals commit is waiting for the perfect time to act on their ideas. They insist that launching something like a blog calls for months of planning and that jumping into action at once will be suicide. But I beg to disagree—you should start making your blogging dream come true today!

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The reason is that there may be a massive pile of work that waits for you in the office when the quarantine is over. You need to offer your undivided attention to them; otherwise, your bosses may not like the idea and decide to fire you. So, if you put it off again, there may not be another chance.

Final Thoughts

A blog is meant to inform, entertain, and uplift your readers. It is perhaps more in-demand now than you can ever imagine, especially since people may be tired of hard-hitting news.

Do not wait for too long before you start blogging. Let this new blog become one of your best contributions to the world. Cheers!

Best Books To Explore On ADHD

Different initiatives such as the 2017 cybersecurity event organized by the Digital Infrastructure Action Line provide excellent avenues for information-sharing about trends and developments on Cybersecurity. It is a crucial subject to talk about because the internet remains to be a constant security target, and yet everyone is always connected.

Most children today are exposed mainly to the internet as an entertainment tool, and it’s best to take necessary precautions. But for kids who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it may not be as simple. Although it’s normal for children to have short attention spans or difficulty sitting still, ADHD patients don’t outgrow these behaviors. It can be challenging to manage them, but there are materials available to help you on your journey. 

So, to get you started, here’s some of the best based on customer satisfaction ratings, reviews, and sold copies.

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  1. Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential (Peg Dawson, EdD, and Richard Guare, Ph.D.)

Published in 2009 as a book that provides various activities and techniques on how ADHD diagnosed individuals can develop their ability to focus, multi-task, plan, and remember instructions. It’s a great book if you’re finding ways to improve an ADHD patient’s mental control and self-regulation. 

  1. Driven to Distraction (Edward M. Hallowell, M.D and John J. Ratey, M.D)

This book, initially published in 1994 and revised in 2011, includes detailed case histories that help you understand why ADHD diagnosed individuals behave the way they do. It also covers misconceptions, treatment, coping tools, and ADHD forms such as daydreaming and hyperactivity.

  1. Taking Charge of ADHD – Third Edition: The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents (Russell A Barkley, Ph.D.)

Written by a world-renowned ADHD expert, this book focuses on empowering parents of individuals with ADHD through providing updated information based on science and treatment and parenting techniques. The author provided an eight-step management behavior plan that would enable the parents to control ADHD rather than ADHD controlling their children’s lives. 

  1. Healing ADD (Daniel G. Amen, M.D)

Initially published in 2013, this included the most important study on brain imaging and focused on the seven different forms of Attention Deficit Disorder, explaining the importance of a tailor-fitted approach rather than a one-size-fits-all approach in ADHD/ADD treatment. 

  1. Boy Without Instructions (Penny Williams)

Written by a mother of an ADHD patient, this book published in 2014 will open your eyes to the challenges and joy of her journey. It’s particularly helpful and reassuring for parents who are going through the same struggles. 

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ADHD might be a challenging medical condition, but we shouldn’t give it the power to define a person. If armed with the right and necessary information, we would be able to understand and manage the condition better. 

Tips On Writing The Perfect Love Letter 

Love letters are very sentimental things. Whether your partner is a man or a woman, no one is immune to the charms and cheesiness of a good old-fashioned love letter. After all, words are powerful tools to express your innermost thoughts and feelings. Love letter writing is a great way to further strengthen your relationship and even release your inner Shakespeare. Here are some simple tips for writing the perfect love letter. 

 

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How Blogging Can Spice Up Your Romantic Relationship

Many would think that blogging is another way of earning money from online marketing, advertisements, and sponsorships. While this one reason for website management is real, blogging has a lot more to offer most especially for couples looking for another level of fun in their relationship. At the beginning of a relationship, people are attracted to each other’s traits,” said Dr. Mudita Rastogi, Ph.D a licensed marriage and family therapist “But over time their needs go unmet. For instance, a husband may no longer feel wanted by his wife. A wife may fear her husband isn’t going to support her.”

 

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Tips on Starting A Blog About Married Life 

Starting a blog is always a struggle. Finding the right concept and audience is the most tricky part, not to mention the amount of attention you need to put in it every day.  However, it is not impossible to start doing it now, and you might even find that what matters most to you can be the perfect content for your next blog. 

Deborah Serani, PsyD, an American Psychologist mentioned that “The anonymity of blogging can also be helpful for some people, allowing them to express themselves more freely without being concerned about family and friends knowing their thoughts.”

If you are an aspiring blogger who wishes to start a blog about marriage, or simply wants to blog about being married to someone you love, then learn some tips on how to start it now. 

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Here’s Why You Should Try Becoming a Mommy Blogger

Women never cease to amaze with what they can do. It’s hard enough to build one’s career in life, but to balance that with motherhood, now that’s on another level! Working moms understand the importance of being present in both roles, the “working,” and the “mom” parts, to achieve work-life harmony.

 

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