September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and so I'd like to feature some YA Fiction books that have suicide as a major theme. These books can be used by librarians and teachers in a display, or as bibliotherapy for teens they know. While each of these books might not be for everyone, they provide a good sample of contemporary YA fiction dealing with suicide, and making these books available to teens is so important.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Finch and Violet discover each other at just the right time. It isn't clear who saves who, but it's obvious that they can affect each other deeply. Violet is living for the future, while Find is fascinated with ways to die. This deeply emotional book will appeal to fans of Jay Asher, John Green, and Rainbow Rowell.
My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
Ultimately a story of strong, bright *hope*, MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES by Jasmine Warga is one of my favorite books of the year. It deals with suicide and depression in a very honest, straightforward way. There is no cutting corners or talking around the issues. I highly recommend this book for teens struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts. They will be strengthened by following Aysel's journey and finding hope at the end of the story.
Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff
Sam's best friend Hayden left him nothing but a playlist and a note - Listen and you'll understand. Sam has to remember everything he can about Hayden, but he realizes his memory isn't always reliable - sometimes you have to open your eyes and take in what's really happening all around you to really understand yourself and others. A heart-wrenching story that's ultimately a strong quest for hope, when hope seems like the last thing you can find.
Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang
Why did Liz Emerson give up and decide the world would be a better place without her? A beautifully written novel told in a unique point of view, FALLING INTO PLACE shows how one person affects the rest of the world around her, and how she is in turn affected by it. Dark, poetic, emotional, this isn't a story for everyone, but when that one person finds it they'll be changed forever.
Escape Theory by Margaux Froley
A thrilling romance set in a boarding school on the Pacific coast, ESCAPE THEORY tells the story of the suicide of the school's most popular student and the affect it has on his friends, and the girl who has fallen in love with him. Secrets and hidden emotions are revealed to tell the true story of a boy who shouldn't have died, and a girl who shouldn't love him.
Eden Grey is the Young Adult Programming Librarian at the Erlanger branch of the Kenton County Public Library system, the busiest branch library in the state of Kentucky. Eden is a contributor to Teen Services Underground, and reviews books for YABC and School Library Journal. When she is not herding cats -ahem, teens- at the library, Eden can be found reading, knitting, sewing, cosplaying, and playing Pokemon. You can always find her on Twitter (@edyngrey), and Blogging Between the Lines.