OCD Love Story

Overview

In this “raw and well-crafted (Kirkus Reviews)” romance, Bea learns that some things just can’t be controlled.

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 ...

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OCD Love Story

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Overview

In this “raw and well-crafted (Kirkus Reviews)” romance, Bea learns that some things just can’t be controlled.

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 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When Bea’s therapist decides she would benefit from group therapy, Bea is sure that if she starts talking about her “little anxieties about driving and missing my ex-boyfriend, these people will feel approximately a thousand times worse about themselves.” But Bea isn’t just an over-cautious driver and a blurter; she’s afraid to be around sharp objects in case she suddenly harms someone and is basically stalking the couple that has therapy before her. And then there’s the fact—exciting and mortifying in equal parts—that the group includes Beck, an adorable compulsive hand-washer Bea met while he was having a panic attack. Debut novelist Haydu doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties of OCD or reduce her characters to a symptom list. Bea and Beck, who readers see through Bea’s sympathetic and knowing eyes, get worse and better not according to a predetermined outline but according to their individual trajectories. That they do so while trying to build a relationship with someone who’s seen them as they really are, to move past shame into intimacy, makes the story that much more touching. Ages 14–up. Agent: Victoria Marini, Gelfman Schneider. (July)
author of Cut and Never Fall Down - Patricia McCormick
"Warning: this book could cause obsessive compulsivereading. Funny, honest and real, OCD Love Story stars one of themost likeable narrators in recent YA fiction. Once you start this book, youwill find that, like Bea, you just can't help yourself."
From the Publisher
"Warning: this book could cause obsessive compulsivereading. Funny, honest and real, OCD Love Story stars one of themost likeable narrators in recent YA fiction. Once you start this book, youwill find that, like Bea, you just can't help yourself."
Booklist
"A compelling portrait of teen behavioral disorders and the struggle to overcome or, at the very least, balance them."
Shelf Awareness
"Bea is an engaging and empathetic character [and] her litany of repetitive thoughts and difficulty in managing them provide readers with a strong sense of what it must feel like to be trapped by compulsions. This unexpected, yet utterly realistic twist on traditional teen courtship will be appealing to those burned out on paranormal romance."
Horn Book
*STARRED REVIEW "Heartwarming, frequently funny, and wholly honest, this debut novel is, well,compulsively readable."
The Bulletin
*STARRED REVIEW "Bea is a completely endearing original, and the book manages to subtly steer her narration through denial of her condition to acceptance without ever losing her essential charisma . . . [She] remains witty, affecting, and ferociously individual throughout, and readers will delight to know her as they understand her—and possibly themselves—better."
SLJ
"While this is not an easy story to read, teens fascinated by mental-health issues or unusual romances will find it hard to put down."
VOYA - Kristin Fletcher-Spear
Bea met Beck when he had a panic attack during a blackout at a school dance. The next time she met him was at her first group-therapy session for anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. They begin dating but battle their own OCD compulsions. Beck finds Bea an inspiration to overcoming his compulsions of cleaning and working out, but she has even larger compulsions she is hiding: note taking, fear of hurting others, and sharp objects, and most terrifyingly, stalking strangers. Can Bea focus her attention on Beck, the boy who is big enough to make her feel safe and like a normal girl for a change, or will her compulsions drive Beck away when he discovers the truth? Do not judge this book by its cover; it is not a cutesy romance with OCD as an aside. Haydu has created an honest, even raw, portrayal of battling OCD. While Bea's disorder seems authentic, the rest of her character seems a bit too good to be true. Beck seems like a Prince Charming character, albeit a prince with his own issues. Their therapist is the only effective adult. Besides the character issues, the novel is entertaining as well as informative. Teens looking to place themselves in someone else's shoes should enjoy trying on Bea's Salvation Army Uggs for a while. Reviewer: Kristin Fletcher-Spear
Children's Literature - Jackie Fulton
Bea is just a normal teenager who began visiting a therapist after a bad break-up. Unfortunately for Bea, Dr. Pat seems to disagree and has her join a teen Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) therapy group. During her group sessions, Bea becomes even more convinced that she is certainly nothing like the other teens battling compulsions. She does not need to count repeatedly. She does not have a germ problem. She does not have any tell-tale physical signs that might portray her OCD. Bea feels especially normal around Beck whose compulsions alter his physique in a way that is impossible not to notice. Once the two start dating and Beck begins to make some progress in his therapy, Bea begins to find it harder and harder to keep her compulsions quiet. In fact, being normal around Beck seems to aggravate her fears on accidentally hurting someone. Bea’s narrative manages underplay her compulsions even as they become more frequent, urgent and problematic which creates for the reader an honest portrayal of the complexity of OCD. In order to maintain a relationship with Beck, Bea must not only accept his struggle with OCD; she will also have to face her own behaviors. Reviewer: Jackie Fulton AGERANGE: Ages 12 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Bea, a high school senior, struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder. She wants to think of herself as a regular teen with a few interesting quirks, but as readers discover more about her past, it is clear that her problems run deeper than she is willing to admit. She falls for Beck, a boy in her therapy group who washes himself constantly and must do everything in groups of eight. Beck likes her, but he doesn't know that she spends her spare time eavesdropping on a musician and his wife, often following them back to their apartment building. Haydu has created a believable protagonist in this beautifully written first novel; however, it is sometimes difficult to view her with sympathy rather than alarm as her stalking behaviors escalate. And she is terrified that she will hurt someone, either by accident with her car or on purpose with a knife or other sharp object. Bea's head is constantly buzzing with intrusive thoughts and the irresistible need to perform the rituals that ease her anxieties. Revelations about both teens suggest that traumatic events in their lives triggered their OCD. Therapy figures prominently as Bea has breakthroughs and learns to manage her condition, but despite an upbeat conclusion, there are no magical answers. Beck and Bea's romance is sweet, though troubled. While this is not an easy story to read, teens fascinated by mental-health issues or unusual romances will find it hard to put down.—Miranda Doyle, Lake Oswego School District, OR
Kirkus Reviews
Haydu's debut novel for teens is not for the emotionally faint of heart, but those who can withstand it won't ever regret accompanying Bea, a high school senior recently diagnosed with OCD, on a profoundly uncomfortable and frenetic journey dominated by her increasingly manic compulsions. When Bea kisses a strange boy during a blackout at a school dance, it's clear she's a little eccentric, but it isn't until her therapist slips several pamphlets about OCD into Bea's hands that readers will recognize her more extreme tendencies for what they truly are. Haydu is a masterful wordsmith, and readers will likely find themselves ready to crawl out of their skin as Bea's need to perform certain rituals, even at the risk of alienating those she loves, becomes all-consuming. The one bright spot in Bea's life is a budding romance with Beck, the boy from the school dance, who resurfaces in Bea's group-therapy sessions. He's plagued by issues of his own, and Bea finds comfort in a new relationship with someone who also has "one foot outside the border and into crazytown." They are about as dysfunctional a pair as two people could be, but they're also heartbreakingly sweet and well-suited for one another. A raw and well-crafted alternative to run-of-the-mill teen romances that also addresses tough mental health issues head-on. (Fiction. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442457331
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 7/22/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 461,662
  • Age range: 14 years

Meet the Author

Corey Ann Haydu grew up in the Boston area but now lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she drinks mochas and uses a lot of Post-it notes, habits she picked up while earning her MFA at the New School. OCD Love Story is her first novel. Find out more at CoreyAnnHaydu.com.

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