Amazing Books That Celebrate Neurodiversity

Update Your Wish List With These Amazing Books That Celebrate Neurodiversity

October 25, 2021 Updated October 26, 2021

Scary Mommy and Amazon

Books are the ultimate way to increase your capacity for empathy and understanding. They’re also an amazing way to find comfort and recognition 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 self-worth.

In the recent past, representation in literature and in the publishing industry has increased significantly (although not enough!), and more and more readers are going out of their way to read books by more diverse authors that have more diverse characters and storylines. One type of diversity that is 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 Syndrome. And while reading nonfiction articles and books about these topics can be extremely helpful and enlightening for everyone, fiction reads that include neurodiversity provide us with something different: for the neurotypical, an opportunity for better understanding, and for the neurodiverse, a chance to read stories like their own.

We’ve put together a list of our favorite books that celebrate neurodiversity—and many are #ownvoices selections that have nsurodiverse authors. Another notable thing about our list? Almost all of the books are romance novels—and we are so happy that the genre is so diverse and inclusive (and producing so many awesome stories for us to enjoy).

Neurodiverse Romance Novels We Love

‘Convenient Store Woman’ by Sayaka Murata

While she’s never officially diagnosed with anything in the text, it’s clear that the protagonist of Convenient Store Woman isn’t neurotypical. She doesn’t think like other people—and other people are often baffled by how she thinks and how she chooses to live her life. But this slim novel of self-discovery is amazing in the way it lets both the readers and the characters discover the beauty (and logic) of loving yourself and being yourself, even if others don’t quite understand.


‘The Heart Principle’ by Helen Hoang

Helen Hoang is a best-selling romance novelist whose fan base grows with the release of each of her books. The Heart Principle is the third in her Kiss Quotient series, all of which have protagonists on the autism spectrum (Hoang herself has written about her own autism diagnosis as an adult). The third book in the series centers on Anna, a talented violin player whose new status as a YouTube sensation has her rattled and anxious—and whose new status as someone in an open relationship (not her idea) has her questioning her relationship. When she meets someone new, and when she’s diagnosed as autistic, she’s faced with so many new challenges, but also the chance at growth and true love.


‘Act Your Age, Eve Brown’ by Talia Hibbert

Two of the books in Talia Hibbert’s The Brown Sisters trilogy center on autistic characters, and Act Your Age, Eve Brown has two autistic leads—and you will fall head over heels for both. But the inclusion of Hibbert’s books doesn’t end there. A Black writer who also lives with fibromyalgia and chronic pain, the best-selling, celebrated #ownvoices author is known for telling stories about all types of people, especially when it comes to race, ability, size, sexual orientation, and medical diagnosis. Her books are filled with people of all colors, sizes, and backgrounds, and we love seeing all types of people fall in love (and have steamy scenes)—even people who look and act like us.


‘Second First Impressions’ by Sally Thorne

The author of The Hating Game is back with another romance novel that feels like a warm hug. In it, Ruthie is struggling to find her way in the world when it comes to her career, her identity, and her love life—but her past and her struggles are holding her back. When she meets the laid-back, motorcycle-riding Teddy, she feels a lot of things she’s never felt before—and she gains the confidence to confront and manage her OCD.


‘Spoiler Alert’ by Olivia Dade

This one is for the fan fiction nerds—April is a fan fic writer who goes viral on the internet for an amazing piece of cosplay that’s controversial because of her larger size. Marcus is the star of the show she loves, but also secretly writes his own fan fic about his own show. When they come together, sparks fly, but both have secrets to keep. One of the secrets? Marcus is dyslexic and struggles with many aspects of his fame.


‘Always Only You’ by Chole Liese

In the mood for a slow burn hockey romance that’s also inclusive? In Always Only You, Chole Liese introduces us to Ren, a hunky hockey player who’s also modest and kind, and Frankie, a woman on staff who is off-limits to players because of her position. Things start to heat up, but Frankie is in part standoffish because she’s on the spectrum and isn’t used to people understanding her like Ren seems to.


‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Simsion

This bestseller centers on Don—a scientist on the autism spectrum who decides that he knows the exact way to find the perfect wife. When he meets Rosie, who needs Don’s help to find her biological father, he immediately disqualifies her from his search since she doesn’t meet the parameters. But love finds a way, and soon both are falling for each other in this celebrated romantic comedy.




Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.
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‘Convenient Store Woman’ by Sayaka M...
‘The Heart Principle’ by Helen Hoang...
‘Act Your Age, Eve Brown’ by Talia H...
‘Second First Impressions’ by Sally ...
‘Spoiler Alert’ by Olivia Dade
‘Always Only You’ by Chole Liese
‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Simsio...