OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
Published: Simon & Schuster, 2013
Worth Your Time?
YES. It smashes the stereotypes of OCD, and it reads like John Green. Read it.
Thoughts on the Jacket Summary
First of all, I need to comment on the cover. It’s beautiful, it expresses Bea’s character, and it makes me laugh. #relatable
The summary draws you in without spoiling anything, like it should. Solid 10/10.
“He is equal parts kind and misinformed, so I hang on to his presents but almost never use them.”
“In therapy there’s no such thing as just liking pickles in your sandwiches.”
“Something no one knows: Football-playing popular dudes sometimes fall for quirky smart girls as long as they, you know, have a pretty face and decent body.”
Bea is great. She’s optimistic, and she knows when she’s being immature (and does immature things anyway). Her narration is funny and sarcastic, but in a casual way, like she’s just telling jokes to entertain herself and doesn’t care if you laugh or not.
Beck is superhandsome, but he’s also superanxious. I love that he looks like a cardboard cut-out of a person and isn’t.
All of the characters have their own stories and realistic flaws. There’s a moral gray-area when it comes to friendships; no one is perfect, and they’re all okay with that. For the most part.
The first chapter dives right into the action. You don’t have to sit around wondering when the things that were mentioned in the summary are going to happen; they happen immediately, more or less.
The love story starts instantly, but it progresses at a reasonable pace. The emotional attachment builds throughout the book; it’s not insta-love.
My only complaint is that, like most John Green books and a lot of other teen fiction, Bea’s life does not line up with my high school reality. I’m sure all the sex and drinking is normal for some people, but it’s hard for me to relate to, and it seems a little cliche.
[I’d prefer to read a book about a sheltered nerd who has to work really hard to find people who will buy him beer; these kids just happen upon it too easily all the time.]
However, I found this trope to be less annoying in this book, since it definitely adds to the characterization and results in some of the most emotional scenes in the book.
Like I said, it sort of reads like John Green. Bea likes to add “super” as a prefix to words, i.e. “superugly”, “superawkward”, etc. Sometimes phrases are capitalized for emphasis/humor; it works.
The dialogue is short and to the point. The book is a quick read, and it’s easy to get lost in. Set aside a night when you can stay up late and sleep in.
The best part about this book is that Bea has OCD, but she’s not a germaphobe or a neat-freak. She has obsessions and fears that you wouldn’t think about. And she’s a creepy stalker, but in a totally harmless way. It’s cool to get the stalker’s perspective on things.
You also get glimpses of other characters with a variety of anxiety disorders. They’re all still teenagers with unique personalities; their disorders are a part of them, but they don’t define them.
Who Would I Recommend This To?
Anyone who has ever felt a little bit crazy.
So, basically anyone.