Review: OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

Title: OCD Love Story
Author: Corey Ann Haydu
Genre: YA, contemporary, romance
Publisher/Publication Date: Simon Pulse / July 23, 2013
How Did I Get It? Bought it
Format? Paperback

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.

Amazon | Barnes and NobleBook DepositoryGoodreads

I’d actually had this book on my wish list for a while, but never picked it up because I wasn’t sure that I wanted to spend the money on a hardback when I wasn’t quite sure I’d enjoy the book. But then I saw it in paperback at BN when I was picking up another book, so I added it to my bag – and I’m so glad I did! I actually like having it in paperback; it’s well-bound, and the pages are really soft. While this book isn’t one that I’m adding to my favorites shelf, I truly enjoyed it and I’ll be reading it again in the future. If you’re looking for a good representation of mental illness in YA, this is one for you.

I really do need to take a moment and applaud Haydu for writing so honestly and truthfully about OCD. I’m no psychiatrist, but from what I’ve studied and researched, this was a very faithful portrayal of the disorder. And what’s even better is that Beck and Bea weren’t defined by their compulsions – they were people, not just their diagnoses. But that’s not to say that the OCD was pushed aside; it’s actually one of the focuses of the novel, especially in the second half. It was harrowing, and to be honest a bit disturbing, to get into that mental place with Bea as her compulsions get worse. But if it had been done any other way, it wouldn’t have been true to the reality of the disorder – OCD isn’t just a joke; it can be very serious. And I’m really glad that Bea actually had to face the consequences (serious ones, at that) of her actions.

Obviously, this is a romance. I mean, it’s in the title, so no spoilers there. Beck and Bea’s relationships was a conglomerated mess of healing and regressing and jumping all over the map. Kind of like playing the lava game as a kid: where can I put my foot so I cause the least damage? Or can I even step there at all? Their romance was kind of like that – a tiptoe game as they tried to work past their individual compulsions so that they could be together and just relax. And in their really screwed up loopy-loops of falling in love, it felt so real. It wasn’t magic and fireworks and sudden acknowledgments of mutual affection: it was messy and angry and painful, but also beautiful and healing and supportive.

I’d also like to note one of the themes: mental illness doesn’t just go away. It will always be there, some days more than others. It’s not like Beck or Bea were miraculously “cured” – they just had to learn how to not allow their compulsions to take over their lives. It was more about acceptance of themselves, not erasure of their pasts.

A lot of people on GR note that this isn’t a fluffy story; I actually have to disagree with that. While I won’t be Saturating this book, I’d just like to make note that I feel the brightness of the cover and colors fit this story perfectly. Despite the looming force of the OCD, I ultimately felt that OCD Love Story was quite hopeful and optimistic. It was easy to read, with a unique narrative voice that felt very real, and I sped through the book in a few short hours without needing to take a moment to remove myself for a break. It just made me happy and at ease. I may be the black sheep here, but it was a perfect light read for me after finishing Heir of Fire (which gave me a hangover of epic proportions).

In the end, I recommend this for sure. Not just for the representation in YA aspect (which is really important and deserves recognition), but for the story itself. It’s just a really good book that I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend to anyone looking for a quick, entertaining contemporary with a bit of heartfelt romance that gives you the fuzzy feels.

My Final Rating:

Four stars

Weekly Recap 36 (July 20) – Barnes and Noble is Awesome

Well hello Sunday my old friend. I can’t believe another week has passed again! This week was really strange, with the whole not working for five days then coming back to work four very busy days. But, now I’m off again until Wednesday. This whole summer schedule is really throwing me off – no week is the same anymore! Just five more weeks until school – hooray! I’m sure my students are already crying, but I’m really excited to go back. I’ve started writing down lesson plans and I’ve got some great stuff planned, especially in my American Lit class.

Stacking the Shelves

Note to self: when you go on a month-long book buying ban, beware the monster that’s unleashed when said ban is lifted. I SWEAR I DIDN’T MEAN TO DO THIS BUT BARNES AND NOBLE SENT OUT MORE COUPONS AND I STOLE MY MOM’S TOO SO I JUST HAD TO STOP BY.

photo 1Fangirl I had actually ordered last Sunday, because who can say no to the limited edition of their favorite book? It’s even prettier in person with the Simon/Baz foiling and the bookmark and the printing on the pages and the emergency dance party print on the inside cover and ooohhhhh…

And then since I’m a horrible person and capitalize frequently on my local BN’s habit of putting books out several days early, I picked up both OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu and Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke, both of which technically aren’t out till Tuesday.

Kelley @ Oh, the Books hasn’t let me forget about Dissonance for one day since she read it, and says that I’m going to see oodles of colors when I read this one. So keep an eye out in the next few weeks – I’m sure I’ll end up Saturating it sometime soon 😉

Have I mentioned that Barnes and Noble is awesome sauce? Because they are. I forgot that the pop-culture event was going on this weekend, and when I walked in one of my favorite booksellers (AL! He reminds me of a really sweet version of my grandpa) shuffled me over to this table (is it sad that I know my booksellers and they know me? They don’t even need to ask if I have a membership anymore, it’s just “what’s your phone number?”) and basically ushered me into the gates of heaven.

photo 2I picked up a bunch of little pamphlets that have 2-5 chapters from the beginning of books! Dorothy Must Die, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, The Young Elites (!!!), The Young World, Mistborn and on the flip side Words of Radiance, and Attack on Titan. Because now that I’ve watched the whole show I want to start reading it too (THANKS A LOT MEG I JUST SOLD MY SOUL TO AOT). I also got my school supplies in the mail for my British Lit class – Beowulf, Pride and Prejudice, and The Lord of the Rings. Time to start laying out all the details for lessons! Oh yeah, and that’s Princess. She decided that my pile of books was her new bed.

In other news…

I didn’t get a lot of reading done this week, mostly because Meg and Lesley hooked me on Attack on Titan. I watched the whole first season, and since I see it on tumblr all the time I also watched season one of Free! Iwatobi Swim Club. And now because Lesley recommended it, I think I’m starting Madoka Magica. I have no idea what it’s about, but she says it’s good, and it’s on Netflix I think. I have this feeling that I’m sinking into a black hole that has no bottom O+O

I cried SO HARD

It’s now two weeks that I’ve been eating Paleo, and I’ve now lost 6.2 pounds. Which is just like… I can’t even comprehend it. I’ve steadily gained weight over the last five years, unable to lose any no matter what I did. And now all of sudden it’s like it’s just flying off. Every time I weigh myself it’s like – wait – let me do that again – that can’t be right! But it is, and I’m just so excited because my scrubs are starting to slip off my butt and while it’s really not attractive it’s really encouraging every time I have to hike them up my waist again.

Except Lottie is a bit more gifted in the chest area than me – but basically this

Now that I’ve reached a year now on TTL (there’s still time to enter my giveaway! Check out the sidebar for my banner and link), I want to challenge myself and participate even more in the community. So to start it off, I’m contacting a few authors to see if they’d be interested in doing an interview – hopefully I’ll have some positive answers! I’ve also got big (top secret!) plans for the next few months – I’m so excited to see how it all works out and that you guys enjoy it!

In case you missed it, last week I…

What’s coming up this week?

  • Monday – Review of Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
  • Tuesday – Top Ten Characters I want with me on a deserted island
  • Wednesday – Saturated Reads: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
  • Thursday – Tag: The Seven Deadly Sins (thanks Ner!)
  • Friday – Review of Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan

Hope you all have a good week!