Mental Health Book Bingo Wrap-Up + Mini Reviews

Hi everyone! As some of you might know, Wendy, Inge, Sar, Ayah, and I hosted the Mental Health Book Bingo. The plan was to focus on reading mental health related books during January, using the prompts on the bingo sheet. (You can find all of the details in this blogpost.) I was super excited about this, but for me, it didn’t exactly go as planned.

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As you can see, I read five mental health related books this month, which is not a good number for me. Sadly, January just wasn’t the best month for me. The beginning of the month was really rough, and I was in a very bad place with my mental health, and reading books about mental health when I’m feeling that way is just not a good idea. On top of that, the first MH book that I did read was awful and made me feel even worse, which made me scared to pick up any other book.

Luckily I managed to start feeling better and I got to pick up a few more MH books during the last 2 weeks of January. I’m a bit bummed about the low number of books I read, but my lovely fellow hosts reminded me that self-care is a lot more important than completing a challenge. And that’s so true.

Here are all the books I read for the Mental Health Book Bingo, plus a very short review for each book.

Love, Life and the List by Kasie West – I picked this book up on a whim because I heard that there was an agoraphobic side character. I really wanted to see that side of myself represented in a book, but I felt like reading about an agoraphobic main character would be too much for me. Sadly, the way the side character was treated was horrible, and the book made me feel awful. The only times the agoraphobia came up was when the main character talked about how it affected her, and how awful it was for her, which is plain bad. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone. (Agoraphobic main character, or in my case, side character)

Afterlife by Melissa Jennings – After my previous read, I was incredibly scared of picking up another MH book. But because the author send this one to me for review, I felt a bit obligated to pick this one up, and I’m really glad I did. I loved it. While a lot of MH-related works always make me feel anxious, this one did the complete opposite: it calmed me. And it gave me the courage to pick up even more MH books. I’m definitely planning on picking up more of Melissa Jennings’ work in the future, because I have a feeling that they might become one of my favorite poets. (Poetry about MI)

Life Within Parole Volume 1 by RoAnna Sylver – It’s definitely not a secret that I love every single thing RoAnna writes, and this is not an exception. Of course there were some stories I liked more than others (my favorites were Happy Regards, Library Ghost and Group Therapy), but there wasn’t a single story I really disliked. RoAnna’s books always feel like a warm hug, and I can’t wait to pick up even more of them. (SFF with MC with MI)

Always Be You by RoAnna Sylver – Of course I had to pick up another RoAnna Sylver short story. I listened to this on audiobook, and it was narrated by the author which honestly made the reading experience even better. RoAnna has such a nice voice! This story was so so lovely, and I love both of the characters that were in this story so much! (LGBT+ MC with MI)

Chainbreaker by Tara Sim – I’m honestly still speechless when it comes to this book. It was just so, so good and it’s one of the best sequels I’ve ever read? Maybe one of the best books in general? I’m still not over that ending, and I cannot wait to read the third book, I need it NOW. (PTSD rep) 

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