Books are the ultimate way to increase your capacity for empathy and understanding. They are also an amazing way to find solace and gratitude when you closely identify with a character or protagonist. For both of these reasons, representation in books is vital to our abilities to connect, understand humanity, and see our own worth.
In the recent past, representation in literature and in the publishing industry has increased dramatically (but not enough!), And more and more readers are striving to read books by more diverse authors who have more diverse characters and scenarios. A type of diversity still overlooked by many? Neurodiversity.
Neurodiversity comes in many forms, but some of the most common examples include autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, OCD, and Tourette’s syndrome. And while reading non-fiction articles and books on these topics can be extremely useful and informative for anyone, fictional readings that include neurodiversity offer us something different: for the neurotypical, an opportunity. for a better understanding, and for the neurodiverse, a chance to read stories. like theirs.
We’ve put together a list of our favorite books that celebrate neurodiversity – and many are #ownvoices picks that have nsurodiverse authors. Another notable thing about our list? Almost all of the books are romance novels – and we’re so happy that the genre is so diverse and inclusive (and that it produces so many great stories for our enjoyment).
Neurodiverse romance novels we love
While she never officially diagnosed anything in the text, it’s clear that the protagonist of Woman Convenience Store is not neurotypical. She doesn’t think like other people – and others are often bewildered by the way she thinks and how she chooses to live her life. But this slim self-discovery novel is amazing in how it allows readers and characters to experience the beauty (and logic) of loving and being yourself, even if others don’t get it all. did.
Helen Hoang is a successful novelist whose fan base grows with the release of each of her books. The principle of the heart is the third in her Kiss Quotient series, all of which have autism spectrum protagonists (Hoang herself wrote about her own diagnosis of autism in adulthood). The third book in the series centers on Anna, a talented violinist whose new status as a sensation on YouTube has shaken her and anxious – and whose new status as a person in an open relationship (not her idea) leads her to remit. question his relationship. When she meets someone new and when she is diagnosed with autism, she is faced with so many new challenges, but also the chance to grow up and experience true love.
Two of Talia Hibbert’s The Brown Sisters trilogy books focus on autistic characters, and Act your age, Eve Brown has two autistic leads – and you’ll fall head over heels for both. But the inclusion of Hibbert’s books does not end there. A black writer who also lives with fibromyalgia and chronic pain, acclaimed best-selling author #ownvoices is known for telling stories about all types of people, especially when it comes to race, ability, height, length sexual orientation and medical diagnosis. Her books are filled with people of all colors, sizes, and backgrounds, and we love to see all types of people fall in love (and have hot scenes), even people who look and act like us.
The author of The hate game is back with another romance that feels like a warm hug. In it, Ruthie struggles to find her way in the world when it comes to her career, identity, and love life, but her past and struggles hold her back. When she meets the laid-back Teddy on a motorcycle, she feels a lot of things she’s never felt before, and she gains the confidence to face and deal with her OCD.
This one’s for the fan fiction nerds – April is a fan fic writer that’s going viral on the internet for an incredible piece of cosplay that’s controversial due to its larger size. Marcus is the star of the show she adores, but also secretly writes her own fan fic on her own series. When they get together, sparks fly, but both have secrets to keep. One of the secrets? Marcus is dyslexic and struggles with many aspects of his fame.
Fancy a slow-burning hockey romance that’s also inclusive? In Always only you, Chole Lise introduces us to Ren, a tough hockey player who is also modest and kind, and Frankie, a staff woman who is off-limits to players because of her position. Things start to heat up, but Frankie is partly aloof because she’s part of the spectrum and not used to people understanding her like Ren seems to.
This bestseller centers around Don, a scientist on the autism spectrum who decides he knows the exact way to find the perfect woman. When he meets Rosie, who needs Don’s help to find her biological father, he immediately disqualifies her from his search because she does not meet the parameters. But love finds a way, and soon the two fall in love with each other in this famous romantic comedy.
While we only recommend the choices we really like, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links on our site.
‘Convenient Store Woman’ by Sayaka M …
“The Principle of the Heart” by Helen Hoang …
‘Act Your Age, Eve Brown’ by Talia H …
“Second First Impressions” by Sally …
Olivia Dade’s “spoiler alert”
“Always only you” by Chole Lise
“The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsio …