Five fictional books that will teach you about chronic illness


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Remember the last time you told someone that you have a chronic illness? Did you tell them about the fatigue you feel? Did you tell how deep the pain hurts? Did you tell them about the victories you thought you would not have? Did you mention your relationships?

Probably not.

No one living with a chronic illness will tell you all that. But they are part of life as someone living with chronic illness.

So how do you help people learn more about chronic illness and what it means to live with one?

Books are one way.

Although a lot of times it is difficult to find books with characters and stories that you can utterly relate to. I have read several books but the once I relate with the most stay longer in my mind. It’s probably the same for you too.

I have complied five fictional books that have characters and stories of chronic illness in this post. The authors of these books gave us characters that are lovable and highlighted what it means to live with a chronic illness.

Some of these books I have read and others I hope to read later but I’ll let you know the ones that I have read as you read on.

No matter your illness, you will definitely relate and learn from reading these books. I have sure learnt a lot from them.

Here are five fictional books that will teach you about chronic illness

1. Five feet apart

Fictional books that teach chronic illness. Five feet apart

Photo credit: Amazon

I read this one not quite long ago. A wonderful story and character.

Ever thought of what it feels like to love someone but can’t hold them? This book made me realize how important touch is in a romantic relationship.

Stella Grant and Will Newman both lives with cystic fibrosis, a hereditary disease that affects the lungs and digestive system.

With cystic fibrosis, they both live majority of their lives in the hospital. Stella uses social media to advocate for CFers (as they are called in the book) and also give hope while Will cared less about treatment or management.

All he wanted was a life outside the hospital walls. Both met in the hospital but like every person living with CF, they have to stay six feet from each other because of infection.

Read Stella and Will gradually develop affection for each other and turn six steps into five steps apart even though a breath of Will on Stella could make her lose her life.

Click here to buy.

If you prefer the movie, I’ve got you covered. Click here

2. Burning bright – A Novel About Surviving Sickle Cell Anemia

Fictional books that will teach you about chronic illness. Burning bright

Photo credit: Goodreads

I read only a few chapters of this book yesterday on goodreads and I love it already.

I’m so proud of this book for many reasons.

It was written by a Nigerian author Mariam Awaisu who also lives with sickle cell disorder.

It tells the a young lady who lives with sickle cell returning to Nigeria and her family.

Here’s a better description from Amazon

Burning Bright is not a story about statistics, but of an over-achieving young lady, who is determined not to let sickle cell anemia stand in her way. Without notice, difficulties that Nadia Habeeb did not foresee complicate her health and love life, changing everything immensely. With the walls of life itself closing in on her, will she stand conqueror this time? If she does, what will be her fate back home in Nigeria, with a closed-off heart, and physical challenge?

This is a story of a family struggling to maintain faith and hope in the face of severe emotional challenges, social upheaval, medical necessity, and the paradox of humanity. Set within the complexities of Nigerian culture, it is the story of young people trying to make their way in a world they didnt make. It is also a story of pain and redemption, of love lost and found, generational conflict, and the emergence of true faith.

Read on Amazon here.

3. The weight of zero

Photo credit: Goodreads

I haven’t read this but here’s a description from goodsread.

Seventeen-year-old Catherine Pulaski knows Zero is coming for her. Zero, the devastating depression born of Catherine’s bipolar disorder, almost triumphed once; that was her first suicide attempt.
And so, in an old ballet-shoe box, Catherine stockpiles medications, preparing to take her own life before Zero can inflict his living death on her again. Before she goes, though, she starts a short bucket list. This bucket list, combined with the support of her family, new friends, and a new course of treatment, begins to ease Catherine’s sense of isolation. The problem is, her plan is already in place, and has been for so long that she might not be able to see a future beyond it.
This is a story of loss and grief and hope, and how some of the many shapes of love—maternal, romantic, and platonic—affect a young woman’s struggle with mental illness and the stigma of treatment.

Read on amazon here

4. The fault in our stars

Fictional books to read.- The fault in our stars

Photo Credit: Amazon

Hazel and Augustus are teenagers who lived with cancer. They met at a cancer kid support group and the story of their lives were completely rewritten.

Just as stated on the cover, you would laugh, you would cry and come back for more when you read this book.

You can get to read ‘the fault in our stars’ here. or see the movie on Amazon.

5. Two girls staring at the ceiling

Photo Credit: Amazon

I haven’t read this book but from the description from amazon, it sure will be a good book. Here’s the description from amazon.

This novel-in-verse—at once literary and emotionally gripping—follows the unfolding friendship between two very different teenage girls who share a hospital room and an illness.

Chess, the narrator, is sick, but with what exactly, she isn’t sure. And to make matters worse, she must share a hospital room with Shannon, her polar opposite. Where Chess is polite, Shannon is rude. Where Chess tolerates pain silently, Shannon screams bloody murder. Where Chess seems to be getting slowly better, Shannon seems to be getting worse. How these teenagers become friends, helping each other come to terms with their illness, makes for a dramatic and deeply moving read.

You can read this book on Amazon.

Before you continue reading, I recommend you read the following



There you have it, five fictional books that can help you learn more about chronic illness.

I hope they inspire you and give you that feeling of socialization after reading them. And you should also share your own story to inspire someone else.

Have you read any of the books above? You should also recommend a fictional book for me in the comment section and I will read them for sure.

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