One of the most memorable YA books I've read recently is Corey Ann Haydu's OCD Love Story.
The title is its own synopsis, I think.
was refreshing to meet characters and situations that haven't been
overdone in YA. The character Beck was a treat--a nice guy with big
problems, a love interest who is not arrogant, a big muscular guy who is
not an overconfident jock straight out of Revenge of the Nerds.
The ways in which he and main character Bea struggle to support each
other in the face of their respective compulsions are by turns
endearing, wonderful, and sad. Sometimes it seems they're perfect for
each other; other times you wonder if they'll just make each other
worse. Also rounding out the book is a complicated best-friend character
with her own problems and her own blind spots, and a therapist who is
saved from seeming unrealistically wise and perfect by a few moments
when Bea (and we) see her hit a wall of frustration and fatigue.
got so much right about anxiety, obsession and compulsion: Not everyone
with obsessions and compulsions washes their hands constantly or
adheres to a military-style neatness. You can't just reason your way out
of it, even when you see that you're behaving illogically. Fears often
grow from a seed of truth and reasonableness--for example, driving
really is dangerous statistically, and merging onto a highway is one of
the trickier driving moments--into a situation that makes no sense, as
when the protagonist drives 35 MPH on the highway, or repeatedly circles
a block to make sure she hasn't run over a child playing in a yard near the street.
novels that reach into the land of psychology and psychiatry, there can
be temptations to patness both in describing the source of an illness
(connecting mental illness directly to an early-life trauma) and in its
treatment or cure. OCD Love Story veers close to this at some
points, particularly in the case of Beck, but in the end opts for
realistic changes and improvements rather than magical cures, and Bea
acknowledges that many of her behaviors cannot be neatly explained or
traced back to an identifiable root.
The one note of caution I
will include here is the possibility that some readers with OCD may find
this book triggering. From browsing online reviews, I see that this was
so for some readers, while other readers with OCD find the story more
of a relief.
source of recommended read: library