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.
OCD Love Story is one of those rare “issue books” that doesn’t make you feel like you’re reading an issue book. It’s got so much personality and style, so many unique and interesting characters, it reads like an incredibly thoughtful and entertaining contemporary YA story — which is exactly what it is.
One of OCD Love Story‘s greatest strengths is its voice. The story feels authentically teen without ever trying too hard. Bea’s narration is spunky and seamless, so frank it made me squeamish at times (she admits she’s got no filter when it comes to saying what’s on her mind–it’s one of the things she works on in therapy). Mental illness is an uncomfortable, complex, messy topic, and Bea does some truly scary things, but she speaks about her disorder (and her life) with such disarming honesty, she’s an easy character to empathize with. While I didn’t necessarily like all of Bea’s choices, I always liked her, and I was rooting for her to come to terms with her OCD every step of the way.
Bea’s love interest, Beck, is as absorbing as Bea herself. At first, his OCD seems less severe than Bea’s, but as the story progresses, Beck’s obsessions and compulsions became clear and alarming. His reason for behaving the way he does is sincerely heartbreaking, and mostly I just wanted to give him a big hug. That said, I often found myself wondering if he was really a good match for Bea, or if they were set on a path of mutual destruction. The way Corey Ann Haydu handles their developing romance is clever and compelling, and I was incredibly impressed with how the story wrapped up.
Don’t let OCD Love Story‘s cheery yellow-and-pink cover mislead you; it is a heavy book about teens dealing with a sometimes debilitating mental illness, and there are some truly cringeworthy moments within its pages. But there are also moments of humor and friendship and a sweet, sweet romance, making OCD Love Story one of my favorite debuts of 2013.
Don’t forget to check out what my fellow Bookanistas are recommending today:
And learn more about the Debut Author Challenge HERE.