OCD Love Story was a hard one to read, a hard one to think about and I can’t even think about how hard it must be to live the life of an OCD sufferer. It made me feel all the feels and gave me a huge book hangover.
Published by Simon Pulse on 23 July 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, YA
Bea is sweet, witty and totally messed up. She stalks, she takes obsessive notes, she can’t drive above 20 miles an hour. She worries and worries and worries. And when she meets Beck who also has OCD, things get even messier.
I often say jokingly that I have OCD. I use it lightly and put no thought in to the expression. Not any more. This book makes me realise how frightening obsessive and compulsive tendencies are. Instead of expressing feelings Bea blots them away with one of her obsessive behaviours.
“With every curve of my pen I get some relief and in a few minutes I have a clear head and a not-shaking heart and the belief that everything will be just fine”.
And the compulsive part of the behaviour is worse. Watching Bea and Beck struggle internally not to give in to their compulsions is heart breaking. Even when they are embarrassed, shamed, trying to be secretive but aware of eyes on them, they feel powerless to stop. So hard to read about, truly heart breaking. Spending time with them was exhausting and uncomfortable but very, very effective of showing you what living with OCD must be like.
There was humour in the book too. Bea often laughs at herself and it makes her endearing.
“Good thing I have OCD, because that makes me totally anal enough to cover my tracks”.
I did have problems with the pace of the book. I think it could have moved a bit faster and at times I found the book hard to pick up. Mostly because I found this such a realistic and uncomfortable read. But then again if a book about mental illness makes you feel light and happy then the author is doing something wrong.
As difficult as the book was, I felt reassured by the presence of their therapist Dr Pat. It was obvious how much she cared and how much work she was willing to put in to help them on the road to recovery. This give the book a welcome, uplifting feel as it supplied some much needed hope. And kudos to the author for tackling such a difficult subject in an YA book.
Who should read this book?
I do recommend this book but be warned it’s not light and easy. If you can handle raw and gritty, it is one that is well worth reading and will make you think and empathise with all OCD battlers.
Thanks to Edelweiss and Simon Pulse for giving me this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.