Tuesday, July 23, 2013

OCD Love Story

OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
4/5 stars
Simon Pulse, 2013
341 pages
YA Contemporary

Source: Received an e-ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

As has been pretty well-documented on this blog, I adore YA contemporary with romance so the title of this made it pretty much a done deal. Plus how could I resist the call of its pretty bright colors?

The story follows Bea, a young bright teenager, filled with passion and excitement. She has goals for the future (costume designer), she likes kissing boys (kissing is fun), and she's also in therapy for OCD. Initially during her group therapy, she feels like the normal one; I mean, she isn't pulling out her hair or completing tasks in groups of eight. But as the book progresses, we can see the toll her OCD really is taking on her and those around her (like her accidentally enabling friend, the boy she likes, and the couple she stalks, yes stalks.)

This book became super hard to read the further I got into it as the reality of Bea's condition becomes clear. For so long, she is able to convince herself that things are fine, that if she follows certain rules everything will be fine, until she can no longer hide from the truth. Most scary is her stalking of a couple after eavesdropping on them in therapy. She follows them home, she records everything she can, and she even tries to ingratiate herself in their company. Thankfully she doesn't become violent but the extreme invasion of privacy is enough. This is an intense book and all the feelings felt by Bea are well described and were definitely felt by me.

I especially loved the relationships in this book like Bea's with her friend who I described as accidentally enabling Bea. This friend loves Bea and they've been close for a long time but she doesn't fully understand what is compelling Bea so while her actions initially are those of a friend, she also comes to realize that she is not actually helping Bea and takes drastic action to fix that situation. Also of interest is Bea's blossoming romance with Beck, who she meets while he's experiencing his first panic attack and whose compulsions manifest in extreme exercising and repeating tasks eight times in a row. His journey and breakthroughs contrast with Bea's. Though this romance is not necessarily destined for a happily ever after, the relationship has its bright spots within its unconventionality. I do wish the parents had more of a presence as their daughter certainly seemed to need them; I don't entirely know how to account for that although it would have been a very different story otherwise.

I feel like my thoughts about this book are all over the place so really the best thing I can say is to give it a read for yourself-the story is incredibly engaging and though it's not easy, it's definitely worth it.

Cover: Love the combination of pink and yellow-makes me think of lemonade as well as wanting to try to rock this color combination in a real-life outfit.

Other Opinions:
A Girl, A Boy and A Blog
Candace's Book Blog
Chick Loves Lit
Rather Be Reading
The Flyleaf Review

30 comments:

  1. Aw! Poor Bea! I have some OCD tendencies but I can't imagine living as a full-blown OCD teen. That's got to be so hard!

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    1. I've been teased about having OCD tendencies but this book showed how fortunate and restrained I am. I have no compulsions on the level of Bea and Beck.

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  2. Ooo, I do love the cover--it's got my two favorite colors! This certainly seems like a challenging read, though the romance sounds like it would be cute. I'll be looking into this book a little more for sure!

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    1. The cover is so pretty-bright and eye-catching! I hope you give this a read and enjoy it.

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  3. I read another review of this book earlier this morning and have decided to move it up in my to-read pile. It sounds like just the type of book that I seem to love most, and the reviews that I'm reading are really great. I love the cover too. Love your thoughts and can't wait to break into this one for myself. I'm not sure that I've ever read a book tackling OCD tendencies before.

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    1. There were a lot of release day reviews of this one and most seemed to be positive so I'm hoping it will encourage others to pick it up. I hope you love it!

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  4. I definitely want to try this one. I did read another book about a character with OCD (Compulsion by Heidi Ayarbe) that I enjoyed.

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    1. I forgot that I had read Compulsion-loved that it was male POV.

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  5. Def not easy, but I also thought it was well worth it, I didn't want to put it down

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    1. I loved your review of this and agree that it was hard to put down.

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  6. Sounds good. I know I've accidentally enabled some people in my life.

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    1. It's hard when you don't understand and there's a level of denial on the part of one person-such a scary portrayal.

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  7. I've heard that this one is intense, so I think I'll have to be in the right mindset to read it. Great review, glad you thought it was worth the struggle!

    -Taylor @ Reading is the Thing

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    1. It is intense so don't pick it up when you want a light read but do try to make room in your reading schedule if you can.

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  8. Sounds pretty interesting! I think some aspects of the story would be difficult to read though as I'm borderline OCD in certain ways.

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    1. I thought there were some difficult moments regardless-Bea's journey is not easy.

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  9. I think I might need to read this one! I generally steer clear of 'issue' books, but this one sounds like it's well done and appropriate. Plus, I adore those colors on the gorgeous cover.

    Great review!

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    1. It has some great moments of humor to leaven the situation and it doesn't feel as issue-y as others I've read.

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  10. This sounds like such an interesting read! I don't think I have experienced a story from the point of view of OCD sufferer before, but I'm looking forward to giving it a shot. I'm glad you liked this one overall. Lovely review!

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    1. I hadn't thought I'd read any but these comments renewed my memory and made me remember that I have read a few at least.

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  11. I loved OCD book "Lexapros and Cons" and that movie As Good As It Gets. I don't mean to be mean, but I do find OCD humor... well, hilarious :-)

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    1. I liked Lexapros too-I had forgotten that I read it!

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  12. It seems like so many are saying it was hard to read (because of her actions and watching what she's doing) but I think for me it was fine because it had a bit of a humorous tone much of the time. It IS hard to watch her do these things though and at times I wanted to scream at her. But I enjoyed this one very much and I'm glad you did too!

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    1. I liked the humor too but still struggled through some of the darker passages.

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  13. My thoughts were definitely all over the place with this book too. I was not expecting to feel quite so much but it was all so heavy esp. when Bea kept trying to convince herself that life was awesome and she was normal and it was okay when I was just cringing and embarrassed for the outcome because SOMETHING BIG AND BAD WAS GOING TO HAPPEN.

    Loved the writing of this, loved the characters. It's definitely one of my favorites. (And I will tell you the truth at one point I wasn't even sure if I was loving it because I think I was expecting something else and that all turned around.)

    GREAT REVIEW.

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    1. The cringe factor was huge but I'm so glad I pushed through it. I loved reading your thoughts-it seemed so orderly compared to my ramblings here.

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  14. Great review. We've been wondering about this book, so it's very helpful to read your commentary. Sounds like one we should pick up!

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    1. You should definitely pick it up-a real winner!

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  15. I'm really glad you reviewed this book. I wasn't really aware of it before but I am ordering it for my library. I am curious to see how OCD is portrayed. It sounds like the book has complex characters anyway. Great review!

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    1. Yay-so glad to hear it will join your library's collection and that more people will have a chance to read it :)

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