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Life isn't always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes things are hard, but even if a happily ever after isn't guaranteed, it doesn't mean the story is any less important. These books offer some real and realistic views on teens suffering illnesses both physical and mental.

Hoffmeister, Peter Brown.
This is the part where you laugh

Rising sophomore Travis and his best friend, Creature, spend a summer in a Eugene, Oregon, trailer park dealing with cancer, basketball, first love, addiction, gang violence, and a reptilian infestation.

Schantz, Sarah Elizabeth.
Fig

In 1994, Fig looks back on her life and relates her experiences, from age six to nineteen, as she desperately tries to save her mother from schizophrenia while her own mental health and relationships deteriorate.

Metzger, Lois.
A trick of the light

Mike Welles was a good student, an outfielder on the baseball team, a good son, a loyal friend. Now things are rough at home, and they're getting confusing at school. Then there's a voice in his head. A friend, trying to help him regain control. More than that: The voice can guide him to become better and stronger than he was before, to rid his life of everything holding him back.

Schumacher, Julie
Black box

When her sixteen-year-old sister is hospitalized for depression and her parents want to keep it a secret, fourteen-year-old Elena tries to cope with her own anxiety and feelings of guilt that she is determined to conceal from outsiders.

Haydu, Corey Ann.
OCD love story

In an instant, Bea felt almost normal with Beck, and as if she could fall in love again, but things change when the psychotherapist who has been helping her deal with past romantic relationships puts her in a group with Beck--a group for teens with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Pena, Matt de la.
I will save you

Seventeen-year-old Kidd Ellison runs away to work for the summer at a beach campsite in California where his hard work and good looks lead to friendship and love but painful past memories surface in menacing ways.

Doller, Trish.
Something like normal

When Travis returns home from Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother has stolen his girlfriend and car, and he has nightmares of his best friend getting killed but when he runs into Harper, a girl who has despised him since middle school, life actually starts looking up.

LaCour, Nina.
Hold still

Dear Caitlin, there are so many things that i want so badly to tell you but i just can't. Devastating, hopeful, hopeless, playful . . . in words and illustrations, Ingrid left behind a painful farewell in her journal for Caitlin. Now Caitlin is left alone, by loss and by choice, struggling to find renewed hope in the wake of her best friend's suicide.

Crutcher, Chris.
Deadline

Given the medical diagnosis of one year to live, high school senior Ben Wolf decides to fulfill his greatest fantasies, ponders his life's purpose and legacy, and converses through dreams with a spiritual guide known as "Hey-Soos."

McDaniel, Lurlene.
Breathless

A high school diving champion develops bone cancer in this story told from the points of view of the diver, his best friend, his sister, and his girlfriend.

Wylie, Sarah.
All these lives

Convinced that she has nine lives after cheating death twice as a child, sixteen-year-old Dani tries to forfeit her remaining lives in hopes of saving her twin sister, Jena, whose leukemia is consuming their family.

Ellison, Kate.
The butterfly clues

Having experienced compulsive behavior all her life, Lo's symptoms are getting her into trouble when she witnesses a murder while wandering dangerous quarters of Cleveland, Ohio, collecting things that do not belong to her, obsessing about her brother's death.

Andrews, Jesse.
Me and Earl and the dying girl

Seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia.

Green, John
The fault in our stars

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.