Saturday, March 17, 2012

YA Books about Suicide

Since writing Try Not to Breathe, in which the main character recovers from a suicide attempt, I thought it might be useful to compile a list of YA novels that deal with suicide (or suicide attempts) as a major topic. There are many, many nonfiction titles out there; a simple search will turn up scores, including a book I mentioned earlier, Why Suicide? But for fiction, I've prepared this as a reference post. Suggestions for additional titles are welcome.

The After Girls, Leah Konen
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead, Julie Anne Peters
Cracked, K. M. Walton
Crash Into Me, Albert Borris
Empty, K. M. Walton
Every You, Every Me, David Levithan and Jonathan Farmer
Fall for Anything, Courtney Summers
Five Minutes More, Darlene Ryan
Hold Still, Nina LaCour
Impulse, Ellen Hopkins
I Swear, Lane Davis
It's Kind of a Funny Story, Ned Vizzini
Mercy Lily, Lisa Albert
My Beautiful Failure, Janet Ruth Young
The Opposite of Music, Janet Ruth Young
Orchards, Holly Thompson
The Pact: A Love Story, Jodi Picoult
Saving June, Hannah Harrington
The Shattering, Karen Healey
Stay with Me, Garret Freymann-Weyr
Suicide Notes: A Novel, Michael Thomas Ford
Survive, Alex Morel
13 Reasons Why, Jay Asher
This Song Will Save Your Life, Leila Sales
Trigger, Susan Vaught
Try Not to Breathe, Jennifer R. Hubbard
Twisted, Laurie Halse Anderson
What They Always Tell Us, Martin Wilson
You Know Where to Find Me, Rachel Cohn

Note: These books deals with characters who have coped with thoughts and consequences of suicide. If you are in a similar situation, please talk to someone immediately.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:


  1. Surprised at how many from this list I've read.

  2. The only books off that list I've read are Impulse and 13 Reasons Why. I should read more though. The Pact by Jodi Picoult is another book about suicide. I don't know if that counts since she isn't YA, but I think her characters are in that age bracket so it might kind of count. It's been a while since I've read the book though so I can't say for sure.


    1. Thanks, Kim, I'll take a look. I've already realized I'll need to add Laurie Halse Anderson's TWISTED.

  3. Thanks so much for compiling this list. I've passed it along to a friend of mine who just wrote a thesis on teen suicide. I'm sure she'll find it very helpful.

  4. Excellent list, read many of these and will be sure to read yours, too. My brother committed suicide (not as a teen, he was an adult), but he suffered from depression (well hidden) from an early age. It's a topic I've thought of writing on--still not sure when and how it will happen. No other titles come to mind!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Deb. I'm so sorry to hear about your brother.