Compulsion

( 5 )

Overview

Today has to be perfect.
Magic.
I look at the clock.
10:14 AM.

Ten fourteen. One plus one is two plus four is six plus ten is sixteen minus one is fifteen minus two is thirteen. OK.

I turn from the clock and walk into the hallway. "Ready."

Saturday will be the third state soccer champion­ship in a row for ...

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Compulsion

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Overview

Today has to be perfect.
Magic.
I look at the clock.
10:14 AM.

Ten fourteen. One plus one is two plus four is six plus ten is sixteen minus one is fifteen minus two is thirteen. OK.

I turn from the clock and walk into the hallway. "Ready."

Saturday will be the third state soccer champion­ship in a row for Jake Martin. Three. A good number. Prime. With Jake on the field, Carson City High can't lose because Jake has the magic: a self-created protection generated by his obsession with prime numbers. It's the magic that has every top soccer university recruiting Jake, the magic that keeps his family safe, and the magic that suppresses his anxiety attacks. But the magic is Jake's prison, because sustaining it means his compulsions take over nearly every aspect of his life.

Jake's convinced the magic will be permanent after Saturday, the perfect day, when every prime has converged. Once the game is over, he won't have to rely on his sister to concoct excuses for his odd rituals. His dad will stop treating him like he is some freak. Maybe he'll even make a friend other than Luc.

But what if the magic doesn't stay?

What if the numbers never leave?

Acclaimed author Heidi Ayarbe has created an honest and riveting portrait of a teen struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder in this breathtaking and courageous novel.

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Editorial Reviews

Francisco Stork
COMPULSION is a starkly honest, compelling read. It will grab you and plunge you into the unusual, yet strangely familiar mind of Jake Martin and you will come out different.
Booklist
Ayarbe exercises both enormous skill and restraint getting to the root of just how debilitating OCD can become, juxtaposing descriptions of the ways the mind’s compulsions can trip a trap of mental and physical anguish against a complex, credibly casted portrayal of teen social dynamics. A gripping, claustrophobic read.
yabookscentral.com
When I finished, I closed the book and said, "Wow." When an author can convey emotions and struggles of a character in a powerful way, you have a winning tale. Language, dialogue, and pacing is very realistic and stays true without falling back on clichés and stereotypes. A must read.
reclusivebibliophile.com
One of the most realistic works of fiction portraying OCD that I have yet to come across. I’d love to see Jake Martin’s story discussed not just among YA readers but in psych classes and reading groups.
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
A compelling and convincing narrative voice. Both poignant and earthy. Numerous shadowy flashbacks help build tension throughout the novel. Older teen readers will be quickly caught up in the sheer momentum of Jake’s tale as he unwittingly reveals the source of his terrors and compulsions. Achingly believable. Highly recommended.
Booklist (starred review)
Ayarbe exercises both enormous skill and restraint getting to the root of just how debilitating OCD can become, juxtaposing descriptions of the ways the mind’s compulsions can trip a trap of mental and physical anguish against a complex, credibly casted portrayal of teen social dynamics. A gripping, claustrophobic read.
ALA Booklist
Praise for Compromised: “A gut-wrenching, terrifyingly authentic story and memorably etched, courageous characters. Reminiscent of Adam Rapp’s 33 SNOWFISH, this challenging read will leave readers holding out a faint hope for Maya’s future.”
melaniesmusings.net
“Convincing and gut-wrenching. Jake’s story is a powerful one. If you’re up for a book that will drag your emotions in and hold them ’til the last page, Compulsion may be just what you’re looking for.”
ElliotReview.blogspot.com
A must-read, especially for those who have an interest in psychology or who have some kind of experience with OCD.
YABooksCentral.com
When I finished, I closed the book and said, “Wow.” When an author can convey emotions and struggles of a character in a powerful way, you have a winning tale. Language, dialogue, and pacing is very realistic and stays true without falling back on clichés and stereotypes. A must read.
www.reclusivebibliophile.com
One of the most realistic works of fiction portraying OCD that I have yet to come across. I’d love to see Jake Martin’s story discussed not just among YA readers but in psych classes and reading groups.
www.flippingpagesforallages.blogspot.com
This is [a book] I recommend to anyone. It will be eye-opening.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Told by the protagonist, using flashbacks and stream of consciousness, this story takes place over four days in the life of a teen with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Jake Martin is compelled to count, focusing on prime numbers. He can't leave the house without following his morning ritual. He is the star of the high school soccer team and they are poised to win their third straight championship, if only he can hold all the pieces of his life together for three more days. Readers are gradually clued in to deep secrets in the Martin family, but the nonlinear voice makes it difficult to follow all that is happening and has happened in Jake's life. His fear that he may be like his mother, a frightened ghost of a woman, keeps him from telling anyone about his compulsions and his obsession with primes. While it would be unrealistic to have a happy ending when so much is going wrong for Jake, the conclusion might make readers wish for more—more openness on Jake's part, more discernment on his father's part, more details on his mother's illness. While some readers may find the book confusing, the author succeeds at making it seem as though it were written by an OCD teen. A clever design touch: the chapters are numbered only with prime numbers.—Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD
Kirkus Reviews
A compelling entrée into the claustrophobic world of an OCD teen. On the field, in the hallway and to his one good friend, Luc, Jake is Magic Martin, quirky but respected star soccer player. Only his sister, Kasey, now a high-school freshman, knows the truth about his family: Money is tight, their mother is mentally ill and their father is running on a constant low boil. And no one but Jake knows that he is constantly at war with the "spiders" in his brain, battling their encroaching, strangling webs by obsessively monitoring and manipulating numbers. The author immerses readers in Jake's anxious reality. Each short chapter begins with the time, the digits of which add, subtract, multiply or divide into a prime number ("OK") or don't ("Fuck"). Tiny, mundane actions—tapping the beak of a lawn flamingo, touching a grandfather clock—become fraught with tension. The author deftly illustrates the impact of Jake's obsessions without relying on exposition; readers see through Jake's eyes the paramount importance of maintaining the "magic" and through their own eyes the hours upon hours lost to counting and tapping. The climax is both inevitable and gripping, and, although Jake longs for the day the spiders retreat for good, the conclusion that he must instead learn to cope with their presence comes as a relief to both readers and protagonist. Taut, suspenseful and well-realized. (Fiction. 14 & up)
flippingpagesforallages.blogspot.com
This is [a book] I recommend to anyone. It will be eye-opening.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061993862
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 696,009
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Heidi Ayarbe grew up in Nevada and has lived all over the world. She now makes her home in Colombia with her husband and daughter. She is also the author of Compulsion, Compromised, and Freeze Frame.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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(1)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Book Review: Compulsion

    'm draw to books about mental illness. Maybe that's what having a degree in psychology does to you. So, I immediately wanted to read this book based on the OCD fact alone. While, I had a hard time getting into the story, it did not disappoint.

    While I was intrigued be Jake, I had a hard time with him at first. I didn't understand his OCD and what he was doing to calm himself. And, I was really confused by the "magic". For a little bit I was afraid it was going to have a paranormal accept. It seemed like Jake believed that the numbers actually gave him a magical element. Turns out I was wrong on the fact and then the OCD begins to make sense. He has his rituals which he must go through everyday before he can leave the house. Plus, any time he sees a number (on the clock, etc), he has to add/subtract/ whatever to make it a prime number. It's really crippling him because its starting to effect his everyday life. As the all important soccer game draws closer, Jake's life goes into a tail spin. He think that if he can win that big game and earn a college scholarship, his OCD will go away.

    But, as with any mental illness, things go crazy. His OCD has lead to one to many tardies and he's in danger of not being able to play in the big game. When the morning before the big game doesn't go according to plan, he's forced to skip class so he can start the day right. But that's not his only problem. His sister has high social aspirations and wants to cement her place before he goes off to college. He makes a deal with her, but his OCD basically lands her in the hospital.

    This was roller coaster ride for me. I really enjoyed watching how Jake's OCD controls him. I liked watching him get to that point when he realizes he needs help. I also loved who and how he finally reaches out for that help. From about half way through the book I was hooked. So, the 3 rating comes from the slow start and the excessive use of the "F" word.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Lauren Ashley for TeensReadToo

    Jake is a teen just trying to live his life, but his OCD makes it difficult to appear normal. His only real friend is Luc, and even he knows that Jake has something going on with him. But Jake keeps it hidden. He tries to be the soccer champ everyone wants him to be, and his sister helps him appear put together in front of his father...whose broken down by his wife, who deals with her own OCD. Jake has an obsession with numbers. This is something that starts almost every new section and chapter throughout the book. It definitely starts to grate on you as you read, but I think that's part of the point. You get a small peek into the madness of Jake's mind and what he must deal with. I'm pretty sure I have some form of OCD, so I could definitely relate to the repetition of things in your head and how you just want to MAKE. IT. STOP. The overall story is how Jake is desperate to win his upcoming soccer championship. The numbers stop when he plays, and if he can win, he might be able to make the "magic" last and be "normal" for once. Everyone thinks that Jake is some sort of star, but he's just trying to hold on. It was interesting to see inside his family life and how his little sister has to protect him, and how he wishes desperately to help her, and how their father tries to block out the bad, and how their mother is dealing with her own mental issues and how it all affects the way they live. Wow. Long sentence. But that's just it. It's kind of a neverending circle of life they live in, without fully opening up and showing that they need help. Not everything changes in the end. I suppose it can't. But it gets better in ways. It gets closer to a happy ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2012

    Loved this!

    This had me sitting on the edge of my seat.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2011

    Review

    I liked this book it just got a bit confusing at the end after the party.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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