10 Moving Books Like Girl, Interrupted

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Are you searching for more moving books like Girl, Interrupted and don’t know what to read next?

Girl, Interrupted is an insightful memoir about what an eighteen-month stay within a psychiatric hospital ward looks like. The memior, based on the author, Susana Kaysen’s, own experience in hospital after a suicide attempt follows her experience as a young woman in the 1960s after being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

The memoir inspired the well-known film of the same name.

For two years Kaysen stayed at the McLean Hospital which was known for its progressive treatment for mental illness. Throughout her stay, she meets a variety of different and interesting characters all with their own stories. It is a captivating piece of writing as well as informative.

Fans of Girl, Interrupted who have already read the book may be looking for another read with similar themes of mental health and recovery. If so, look no further as this list of moving, informative yet also entertaining books will be sure to have something up your street!

10 Books like Girl, Interrupted

It’s Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini

Much like Girl, Interrupted, It’s Kind of a Funny Story was inspired by the author’s own brief time at a psychiatric ward after a bout of depression and suicidal thoughts as a teenage boy.

Many things lead Craig Gilner to become so overwhelmed with life that he contemplates suicide. His parents are pushing him to work hard to get good grades so he can get into an executive high school, not seeming to realise how stressed he is.

His relationship with his friends is under strain and no one seems to understand his predicament.

Craig sees no other way out than ending his own life but before he commits, he checks himself into a psychiatric ward where he meets all sorts of people, all different ages and all with their own issues. Craig learns lessons big and small from these people.

Every Last Word, by Tamara Stone

Sam McAllister makes sure that no one knows how messed up she is.

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She looks and dresses like all the other girls in her year, down to the immaculate straight hair and smudge-proof makeup. If you looked at her, you would never be able to tell how dark thoughts from her OCD overwhelm her every day.

Sam’s new friend, Caroline, is understanding and gentle and when she introduces Sam to the Poet’s Corner, a secret society in the school’s basement, she finally feels normal. But soon, everything begins to unravel and Sam questions what is real and what isn’t.

A gripping novel with surprises around every corner, Every Last Word is the perfect book similar to Girl, Interrupted.

Have you already read this novel? Check out our list of books like Every Last Word!

Girl in Pieces, by Kathleen Glasglow

A poignant tale of survival both physically and mentally, this book that’s like Girl, Interrupted is a wonderful read about one’s internal struggle and journey to recovery.

Girl in Pieces follows Charlotte who is left to fend for herself on the streets after her best friend dies in a tragic accident. Then, following a failed attempt on her own life, wakes up in hospital. Now, she has a roof over her head but no one and nothing to convince her that life is worth living.

She turns to the sharp end of a blade to dull the dark thoughts in her head, and we follow Charlotte through her journey to accepting help.

Have you already read this novel? Check out our list of books similar to Girl in Pieces!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is written in epistolary form, written in letters to nobody (or everybody) by the protagonist, Charlie. He writes about his struggles as a freshman navigating through first dates, parties, family drama and losing old friends and gaining new ones.

All these things we can relate to and understand as teenage angst and the rollercoaster feelings that follow us through those formulating years. It seems at first that Charlie’s only ally is his teacher who begins to encourage his writing.

Then, he meets a boy named Patrick and his stepsister, Sam, who he begins to form complex feelings for. It is a unique novel that explores all aspects of those teenage years and the torture they can be, perfect for fans of people that enjoyed Girl, Interrupted.

Have you already read this novel? Check out our list of books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower!

Suicide Notes, by Michael Thomas Ford

A humorous yet dark novel about a boy waking up in a psychiatric ward, sentenced there for forty-five days, Suicide Notes is a great book similar to Girl, Interrupted for those looking for their next read.

Fifteen-year-old Jeff is convinced that the hospital staff and his family have it all wrong – he is fine, 100% normal. He is nothing like the crazy people who inhabit the rooms around him. But the bandages around his wrists tell another story.

As Jeff gets to know the other people on the ward, he realises that crazy isn’t such a simple term. Pick this up for a compelling coming-of-age novel!

The Wicker King, by K. Ancrum

August and Jack are best friends although opposites in every sense. Jack is loved by the entire school and on the varsity rugby team, a true jock. Whereas August is considered a misfit and troublemaker with his pyromaniac tendencies.

But soon Jack begins to have delusions and hallucinations about a fantasy world that only he himself can see that is intertwined with the real world. Jack is convinced this world is ruled by the evil Wicker King who Jack must help destroy by taking on a quest to fulfil a prophecy.

August helps Jack navigates through his quest and soon finds himself questioning what is real or not. A shared delusion takes over both their lives until they are drowning in it with only each other to hold on to.

The Wicker King is a heart-wrenching must-read for fans of books like Girl, Interrupted who want something with a little extra adventure in there.

The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath

A book similar to Girl, Interrupted, The Bell Jar is a semi-autobiographical novel (also her only novel) by Sylvia Plath. The author ended her own life shortly after publication of the book.

We follow the main character’s downfall into insanity which parallels Plath’s own decline in mental health. A deep and dark look into a person’s psyche, The Bell Jar is a harrowing story of how Esther Greenwood loses her mind.

Portrayed in such a way that the reader completely understands Ether’s reasoning and rationale, we watch Esther’s breakdown with an eerie intensity. A must-read if you like Girl, Interrupted!

Have you already read this novel? Check out our list of books similar to The Bell Jar!

Normal People, by Sally Rooney

Normal People is a novel that explores the complexity of one’s first love and the intricacy of family relationships and friendships as well as navigating life as a young adult aware of the unfair world around us.

We first meet Marianne and Connell at school, where they keep their romantic relationship a secret from their peers. Then again at Trinity College in Dublin, a year later, when Marianne has reinvented herself and Connell lingers on the sidelines.

The two tiptoe around each other, finding themselves drawn back to one another time and time again. Soon they see how far they will truly go to save one another from their own self destruction.

This is perfect for fans of Girl, Interrupted who love a complex and realistic story of love and mental health and humanity.

Have you already read this novel? Check out our list of books like Normal People!

Under Rose-Tainted Skies, by Louise Gornall

Under Rose-Tainted Skies follows Nora whose agoraphobia means she cannot leave the walls of her home. Terrified by the outside world and all that it contains, her life is limited to that which she can experience inside.

Living vicariously through those she watches through the windows or online, she is content with her life until she meets Luke. Luke sees past her irrational fears and sees someone who deserves to see the world in its entirety.

The two begin a friendship but soon something more akin to romance flares between the pair and Nora’s guilt is too much to bear.

Determined to become a girlfriend who can go to the cinema and to a restaurant and do normal couple things, like kiss and hug, she takes the first steps into recovery before she loses Luke forever.

A beautiful story of overcoming your fears, this novel will have you swooning.

The Virgin Suicides, by Jeffery Eugenides

In 1970s America, on a normal street like no other, in an ordinary suburban home, the five Lisbon sisters lived. Written from the perspective of anonymous boys who recall the deaths of the five sisters, unable to give reasons why each took their own life.

After the youngest sister ends her own life, the family begin to watch their other daughters closely, cutting them off from their community and leaving them isolated.

So cut off from life that death seems not so different, the remaining sisters form a suicide pact as the boys are left to find their bodies.

A dismal and dark story about mental health, The Virgin Suicides is a cult classic that lovers of books like Girl, Interrupted will enjoy.

Have you already read this novel? Check out our list of books similar to The Virgin Suicides!

Books like Girl, Interrupted are poignant and somewhat dark tales of mental health and a fight for recovery – whether successful or not. Insightful and moving, these ten similar novels are perfect for your next read.

Are you looking for more books that are similar to Girl, Interrupted? Have any recommendations that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments!

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Charlotte is a writer for Books Like This One. She studied drama and writing for performance and enjoys reading romance, literary fiction and young adult novels. Some of her favourite authors include Donna Tartt and Leigh Bardugo. Read more from Charlotte

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