Books about mental illness have become widely popular lately, especially with 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher being adapted into a TV show on Netflix. There are tons of powerful books about mental illnesses. While the media may not always portray mental illness super accurately, many books seem to hit the mark. These books about eating disorders are raw, realistic and simply incredible.

1. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Anderson has written some amazing books about mental illness. Emotionally gut-wrenching yet beautiful, Wintergirls is about a girl named Lia who has an eating disorder and is also trying to recover from the death of her best friend Cassie, who died as a result of her own eating disorder. The book explores Lia's descent into the vortex of anorexia as she struggles to cope with the death of her friend. 

2. Perfect by Natasha Friend

Written in a more light-hearted yet serious manner, this book is about 13-year-old Isabelle. She has recently lost her father and develops bulimia. She ends up in group therapy with none other than the most 'popular' girl in school, proving that even those who seem to be perfect on the outside have their own struggles.

3. Purge by Sarah Darer Littman

This book tells the story of Janie, a teenager who is at an inpatient facility for the treatment of bulimia. The reader gets to see Janie's interactions with other people in the hospital and with her parents, as well as finding out piece by piece what led Janie to begin binging and purging.

4. Gravity Journal by Gail Sidonie Sobat

Written as a novel and a journal, the book tells the story of Anise, a girl hospitalized for anorexia. She suffers from other forms of self-harm as well and nobody in her family seems to know how to support her. She uses her journal to talk about the people in her life, the hospital, and ultimately, whether she wants to live or die.

5. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen has written some of the most powerful and emotional books, and this one is no exception. It centers around Annabel, who is dealing with a lot of issues in her own life, including her older sister suffering from anorexia. It tells the story from the point of view of a family member dealing with her sister's eating disorder, rather than the books above which center around the protagonist's eating disorder. 

6. Letting Ana Go by Anonymous

This book is written in the same fashion as Go Ask Alice and Lucy in the Sky. It's the diary of a girl who passed away from her eating disorder and tells the harrowing tale of the entire thing, from the beginning of it's development, to its tragic end. 

7. Massive by Julia Bell

Carmen is a teenage girl with a mom obsessed with dieting. To her mom, fat equals failure and thin equals success. When Carmen's life turns upside down and she moves towns, she begins to wonder if her mom is right. If she was very, very thin, would everything be better?

8. Hunger Point by Jillian Medoff

This one was actually made into a cheesy lifetime movie because of its popularity. It's told in the point of view of Frannie, a 26 year old who has just moved back home. Her family is unravelling. Her sister Shelley is in the hospital for anorexia, her mom is having an affair, her dad is obsessed with the Food Network and her grandpa is trying to plan her wedding despite her not being in a relationship. The book explores this problematic family, and especially the relationship that food plays with each of them.

There are so many other great books about mental illness and eating disorders to discover. The books above are written with complete emotion and honesty. For people who like books such as 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher or All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, these are must-reads.