April 22, 2015

Review: OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
Publication date: July 23, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Purchased
Summary: When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he’s her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again. But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can’t stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic... and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a lot about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she’s obsessed. Bea tells herself she’s got it all under control. But this isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion. The truth is, she’s breaking down...and she might end up breaking her own heart. (greads.com)

The good
Often times when I'm raving about a book it's because I connected to the main character in some way. Either I related to what she was going through or I just saw a part of myself in her. Then I read something like OCD Love Story. It makes me recognize the importance of stepping outside your comfort zone. Of reading about someone so far removed from your every day that it completely opens up your eyes to a new perspective. That's what reading Corey Ann Haydu's books have been like for me.

OCD Love Story begins with Bea and Beck meeting for the first time. She immediately recognizes her own feelings of anxiety mirrored in him and for a brief moment, they connect. From there, we learn about Bea, who is a character I know I won't be forgetting anytime soon. She has a best friend who's an important part of her life and makes her feel somewhat normal. She loves clothes and has aspirations of becoming a costume designer. She get crushes on boys and isn't afraid to show it. She's a wonderful girl. But she does suffer from anxiety and numerous compulsions. We learn more about them in depth as she continues her individual therapy sessions and is forced to join a group one with other teenagers like herself. It's here that she meets Beck again, thus allowing them to form a relationship, of sorts. I say of sorts because it's not at all your typical love story. They're each dealing with their OCD and seeking solace in the other. But at the same time, Bea just isn't making progress and it's because she's in denial.

It's that denial that makes the story so difficult and many times uncomfortable to read. With Beck, his form of OCD is probably the type we're all most familiar with. He has a fixation with numbers, like doing something a specific numbers of times every time and constantly having to wash his hands. With Bea, her fixation is usually on people whether it's worrying about them or interest in the details of their lives. It's gotten her into messy situations in the past and it's happening again now in the present. But she doesn't think she has OCD or at least, she doesn't think she has it nearly as bad the rest of her OCD groupees. Honestly, her behavior is definitely something but I wouldn't have associated it with OCD until reading this book. And again, this is part of what makes Hadyu's writing so great. While introducing us to these distinct characters and relationships to root for, she's also teaching us about something important but is never heavy-handed about it. It's just incredibly well-written and puts this author on my auto-buy list for sure.

(No) Reservation
None! I feel like my review just touches the surface of what this book is about. I didn't even get into the secondary characters, who are just as interesting and vital to the story. (I still can't make up my mind about her BFF!)

Do I recommend?
I do! I read Haydu's other book Life by Committee last year and OCD Love Story (which is her first book) has been on my Kindle for just as long. I decided to read it on a whim and I am so glad I did! I highly recommend it.

2 comments:

  1. What I love about Corey Ann Haydu and her novels is that she always chooses to write main characters that are real, complex and flawed. It makes them so much more memorable to me! That, plus the way that she tackles themes + subjects that are potentially uncomfortable, yet extremely eye-opening. While reading OCD Love Story wasn't necessarily pleasant, it was worth it to learn something new and different from my usual.

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  2. This has been on my Nook for so long now, but I feel intimated. OCD's a touchy subject and I worry that the book won't give justice to the disorder. Good to know this is written so well. :)

    Julie @ Books and Insomnia

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