Do you love the stories that touch the soul, where characters navigate the turbulent waters of healing and self-discovery? If “Girl in Pieces” by Kathleen Glasgow has moved you with its raw portrayal of survival, recovery, and the power of finding your voice amidst the silence of suffering, then this collection is for you. Here, we explore books that echo the depth, struggle, and, ultimately, the hope found within Glasgow’s poignant narrative.
These stories are woven with threads of resilience, offering a beacon of light to those in the shadows. Whether you’re seeking solace, understanding, or simply a connection to voices that articulate the complex emotions of coming back from the brink, these books promise companionship on the journey toward wholeness. So, let’s gently turn the pages of these powerful narratives, embracing the stories of survival and the indomitable spirit of the human heart.
7 Books Like Girl In Pieces (Mental-Health Romance Books)
“Girl in Pieces” is a character-driven story that follows the protagonist, Charlie, on her journey of self-discovery and healing. Similarly, books like it focus on the main character’s internal struggles, personal growth, and resilience as they face their paths toward healing and redemption. They explore themes of identity, self-acceptance, and self-discovery.
You accompany the characters on your journeys of self-exploration and self-acceptance, witnessing their struggles to define themselves and find their place in the world. Here are seven such books that focus on the main character’s internal struggles, personal growth, and resilience as they face paths toward healing and redemption.
|Sweet Dandelion by Micalea Smeltzer
|A girl deals with her past trauma and falls in love with his teacher, who helps her a lot.
|A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah Maas
|In a fantasy world, a girl tries to overcome her mental illness and find love to make a new life.
|Darling Venom by Parker S. Huntington
|A high school girl and her friend deal with problems, and the girl wants to know her friend’s brother for a reason.
|A Lesson in Blackmail by KD Robichaux
|A teacher faces her anxiety, and her student has OCD. For a reason, he kidnaps his teacher, and a relationship forms.
|Still Beating by Jennifer Hartmann
|Someone kidnaps a boy and a girl, and they try to escape but build romantic tension.
|Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
|A security guard saves a teacher at University, and both have a bond to make a cute relationship.
|Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson
|A detective-type girl is trying to solve an unfinished murder mystery, facing many problems for it.
1. Sweet Dandelion
Sweet Dandelion is a fantastic psychological romance. The story follows Dani and Lachlan. Dani is an 18-year-old high school senior. She is held back a year because, at her previous school, there was a school shooting where Dani was injured and her mother was killed. So Dani took a year off to rehabilitate, and physically, she’s well rehabilitated, but mentally, she’s still struggling.
When she starts going to the new school, she meets with the guidance counselor to discuss her experiences and process her trauma. That is where Lachlan comes into the picture. So it is a taboo age gap, student-teacher romance. It is a thick, character-driven book, and I felt healed alongside Dani. As you go through the book, you are with Dani through every setback, every step forward, and every part of her journey. You’re there, and her mindset.
I love seeing characters at rock bottoms where they don’t see them. So, it’s so satisfying to see that with Dani. It does deal with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and attacks. The book’s only downside is the unrealistic story with an unlikable heroine. But the character’s presentation, writing style, and romance were as satisfying as in Girl In Pieces. The series is one of my all-time favorites.
Author: Micalea Smeltzer
Narrator: Ava Erickson
Publisher: Podium Audio
Tropes: Mental Health, Age-gap, Forbidden, Second-chance, Love-triangle
Number Of Pages: 610
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle
2. A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses)
A Court of Mist and Fury is the second book in the series. You have to read the first book to read this one because the first book has a lot to do with why Feyre is in the place that she is in this one. It is a fantasy series but heavy on romance. Feyre went through a lot, specifically the first book at the end. Where she is in the book, she is at a low. She can’t deal with what she had to do in that first book and has no way to process that.
So, this book does deal with PTSD and depression, and Feyre has a big problem with feeling trapped. You see her at rock bottom at the beginning of the book and waiting for something to happen to her so she doesn’t have to live like this anymore.
Also, by the end of this, you see her come completely back to life and find a new purpose. Author Sarah Mass has incredible mental health representation across all of her series. The theme and mental representation are very similar to Girl In Pieces, where Feyre and Pip are in the same position.
Author: Sarah Maas
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Publisher: Recorded Books
Tropes: Action, Adventure, Feminism, Fairy-tales
Number Of Pages: 624
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD
3. Darling Venom
Darling Venom is an enemies-to-lovers, age-gap romance. You follow three characters for different parts of the book. In the beginning, you’re following Kellan and Charlie. They meet one night on the top of their school’s roof. They both went there with the same purpose but didn’t know the other would be there. When they show up, they talk, and neither ends up following through with their plans for the evening.
So then you get them at the beginning of this book, meeting every year throughout high school, and you see in Charlie’s POV that she’s feeling better mentally. Kellan does commit suicide, and Charlie is left reeling a little bit, and she’s left with guilt. Then we jump into the future a few years, where we spend most of the story, and we’re still with Charlie.
Now, we’re also following Kellan’s older brother, Tate. Kellan had often mentioned to Charlie how much he hated his older brother Tate. So Charlie is well aware of the fact that Kellen hated Tate. So it’s a rivalry deal between Charlie and Tate, and they have run into each other for a few specific circumstances, whatever the story goes from there. Like Girl In Pieces, this one also deals heavily with depression and suicide, especially at the beginning of the book. Be aware of that!
Author: Parker S. Huntington
Narrator: Sebastian York, Jacob Morgan, Ava Erickson
Publisher: PSH Publishing House
Tropes: Dark, Slow-burn, Rivalry
Number Of Pages: 712
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle
4. A Lesson in Blackmail: Black Mountain Academy
A Lesson in Blackmail is a lighter one on the list. It may have a bit of a darker edge to it, but it’s necessarily because of its mental health. The protagonists are Evelyn and Nate. Evelyn is a librarian at a very fancy bougie academy that has all the rich people there. She’s 22, and both of her parents have passed away.
Evelyn has a lot of anxiety, and she deals with feeling very anxious day to day. So she goes to a club every week to let off some steam. But at school, she has one student, Nate, an 18-year-old senior, who makes it his mission to make her uncomfortable. His family owns the academy. So he’s untouchable in her eyes. One night after school, Nate follows her. He stalks her after school to see what she’s doing on the weekend and finds out that she goes to the club, and he blackmails her with that information.
They enter a little situation for her to teach him everything she knows about BDSM. It’s more on the novella length side. Nate struggles with OCD, so they both find reprieve. It’s taboo because it’s student-teacher and age gap love. Evelyn goes to therapy, and we see a little of her therapy and then take Nate. There is some false advertising that I didn’t like. But I love therapy scenes and how Nate’s OCD was portrayed in this next step. A similar central theme between Girl In Pieces and this book is the healing process.
Author: KD Robichaux
Tropes: Dark, Teacher-student-affair, Possessive-hero
Number Of Pages: 186
Available: Paperback | Kindle
5. Still Beating
Still Beating is one of the darkest books on the list. It’s a dark romance, not because of some of the things the characters have going on in their heads, but circumstances, everything. We have Dean and Cora, and they are longtime enemies. They don’t get along. However, Dean is marrying Cora’s older sister. They are engaged. So Dean’s always around, and they have to deal with each other.
One night, they’re at a bar celebrating birthday dinner, and everyone leaves except for Cora. She sticks around for a while. When she needs a ride, she tries to find one and has to call Dean to come and pick her up from this bar. He agrees, and he comes and picks her up. Then, on their way home, they are run off the road, abducted, and taken hostage into this serial killer’s basement. They are kept as captives together in the basement. What they go through in this basement is horrible.
Then, in the latter half of the book, when they are out, they struggle to come to terms with what happened in their captivity. It is not only the trauma of being kidnapped and held hostage by a serial killer but also the bond that was formed. That affects Dean’s relationship with his fiancee, Cora, and her sister’s relationship, as a whole, messes up the situation.
This book deals strongly with PTSD, depression, suicide, anxiety, and a large gamut of stuff that Dean and Cora both have to face. So it’s a satisfying journey to go on with the two of these characters, similar to the Girl In Pieces.
Author: Jennifer Hartmann
Publisher: Independently Published
Tropes: Suspense, Mental Health, Love-triangle, Taboo, Second-chance, Close-proximity, Thriller
Number Of Pages: 300
Item Weight: 1.46 pounds
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle
6. Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters)
Take a Hint is an LGBT romance with a mental health story like Girl In Pieces. The story follows Dani and Zaf. Dani is a teacher at a university, and she’s a graduate student teaching. Zaf is the security guard in the building, and they have a good friendship. Zaf is always flirting with Dani, but Dani doesn’t pick up on that from the beginning. There is an incident where Dani gets stuck in an elevator during a fire drill, and Zaf rescues her and carries her out fireman style. Someone takes a video of it, and it goes viral. They decide to start fake dating from this.
I love it when fake dating starts to turn into a real romance. Zaf does struggle with anxiety in this, and I love how his anxiety was interspersed with the story. It never felt this overall heaviness hanging over the story, but it popped up in certain situations as anxiety does. Especially it’s when he’s about to give an interview on a radio show and has a panic attack outside, and Dani is there for it.
At some point in her life, author Talia Hibbert must have had a panic attack, so it was so accurately written. Also, It was so good, and I enjoyed seeing it in a male main character because we get a lot of mental health representation with women. The dialogue, plot, narration, and storyline are all good but lack chemistry. Overall, you can enjoy it. Avoid the hardcover because it has negative quality issues, but the paperback is excellent for font size, color, cover, and binding.
Author: Talia Hibbert
Tropes: Multicultural, Queer, Plus-size-rep, Fake-dating, Humor
Number Of Pages: 400
Dimensions: 5.31 x 0.9 x 8 inches
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD
7. Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder)
Good Girl, Bad Blood is the sequel to A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. The story is about Pip, who was doing a school project on a true crime case in the first book, and she solved it. So, she has little desire to be a detective anymore because it ended badly for her family and her in the first book. Now, she’s not feeling it. She doesn’t want to endanger her family, but she is doing a true crime podcast instead.
In the podcast’s first season, she’s covering the true crime case she solved last year, and then season two will go into something else. However, this changes because one of her classmates approaches her and says someone has gone missing in the small village where she lives. So she thinks that everyone thinks she is the only one who can solve it because the police are doing a crappy job as usual.
Pip gets involved and has to try to solve the case. While her true-crime podcast is going viral, and people everywhere know who she is. There’s also the fact that I don’t think the true crime case was as enjoyable. In the first book, Pip solves a case that has already been closed, and the police think it’s all fixed. But that’s not what happened. The case is much more emotional and closer to home for Pip, mainly because the so-called murderer’s brother is also involved with Pip. They become friends and lovers.
So there was a lot more going on there, and it felt much more interconnected. It’s the perfect book for people who are fans of true crime podcasts or who are looking for a contemporary thriller. The twists that do come are not believable. Don’t miss it!
Author: Holly Jackson
Tropes: Law & Crime, Mystery Thriller, Crime
Number Of Pages: 416
Reading age: 14+ years
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle
These narratives, with their unflinching honesty and compelling portrayals of resilience, remind us that healing is not linear and that hope, however fragile, is a force mightier than despair. Through the struggles and triumphs of their characters, these books offer solace, understanding, and a reminder that we are not alone in our battles.
Whether these stories have provided a mirror to your own experiences or opened a window to others, we hope they’ve enriched your understanding and inspired a deeper empathy for the myriad paths of recovery. Until we meet again in the pages of another story that challenges and uplifts, may you carry forward the light of hope and the strength found in the shared human experience of overcoming.
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