WARNING: my opinions are laying ahead.
i noticed that a lot of people say that young adult authors have opened up to new areas, and started engaging themselves in topics more diverse and more different than what we used to see usually in books. we do not have the same main character anymore, the one who is perfect on the inside (not that this is a bad thing) and on the outside, and who wants to save everyone, who loves everyone (even the villain sometimes which is quite strange? i would just want to stab him in his black heart). other people say that we started getting more books that deal perfectly with mental illness.
and let me tell you that i completely disagree on the last thing.
to me, mental illness in some books is still only used to dramatize the story and get more hype and recognition around it. authors create these mentally ill characters just so their work can be called a “diverse novel”.
if you’re going to throw a mentally ill character in your book just for the pleasure of having diversity in your work, just stop. i’d rather read a book with no diversity at all than read some novel that pretends to be diverse like that. mental illness isn’t some kind of joker you pull out every time readers claim there is a lack of diverse characters. no depth in the topic, no research, nothing. just mental illness in the shape of bodies. we aren’t cards here. mental illness doesn’t equal drama or hype. mental illness isn’t some kind of joke. mental illness isn’t some kind of game.
got a mentally ill character in a book? that’s it, drama guaranteed.
and guess what happens next? some cute witty romance to add more drama. some love interest comes and changes the main character’s whole life, as if he needs love to make a change. well, guess what? mental illness is completely different from wanting to depend on other people. in fact, it’s the complete opposite.
and to spice the whole thing up? add some depressing quotes here and there, as if normal people talk like that.
congratulations, you’ve just created the most unrealistic novel about mental illness, and you’re gaining awards, because it’s a book about mental illness.*slow clap*
CONCLUSION: mental illness is being romanticized. mental illness is being scrutinized.