Girl Against the Universe, by Paula StokesRead about the other entries on the list.
Paula Stokes perfectly articulates the low point of life’s battles in the title of her latest: Girl Against the Universe. Much like protagonist Maguire, anyone experiencing anxiety, PTSD, or other mental illness can feel like the universe is waging a war on them. The beauty of this contemporary YA is that Maguire learns what it means to work within her own universe, without having to control everything around her.
The Page 69 Test: Girl Against the Universe.
When Reason Breaks, by Cindy L. Rodriguez
Creating nuanced portrayals of depression is crucial, as every person experiences it differently. Maintaining a sense of hope while authentically expressing the low depths of depression is a two-part feat, and Cindy L. Rodriguez nails it in her contemporary story of two girls, Elizabeth Davis and Emily Delgado, who both have depression but experience it in unique ways. While working together on an English project about Emily Dickinson, they find out they have much more in common than previously thought, and must manage the demons that haunt them.
The Page 69 Test: When Reason Breaks.