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OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

She’s perfectly normal, right? Right? Hello?

Topics: Romance, mental health, teenage angst

Curriculum Connections: English, Health and Physical Education (Mental Health)

Gender: F/M

Age: 14+

Blurb: I admit it: I sometimes (okay, often) double-check that my doors are locked. I can’t help it. I’ve even been known to get up in the middle of the night just to make sure. I’m not too fanatical about anything else (except, maybe, for double-checking that I’ve unplugged everything), so when my very young daughter started lining up objects in perfectly straight colour-coordinated lines, I thought I better mention it to her paediatrician. He told me not to worry about it. I worried anyway. If you are a person who worries that you may worry about things that other people don’t worry about, you’ll love OCD Love Story.

Bea just can’t figure out why her therapist is insisting that she join group therapy. She is perfectly “normal” after all; normal with a few quirks, that is. There is no way she is the same kind of crazy as the rest of the kids in the group. She doesn’t pull out her hair or wash her hands obsessively; she feels no need to be particularly neat or tidy. In fact, she is pretty unkempt. There is that issue with writing down Every Single Detail in her notebook, however. Oh, and then there is that ridiculous claim of her stalking her ex-boyfriend. Why is it so difficult for everyone to understand that she was just checking (and double-checking) that he was safe? Beck from group therapy gets her, but then again, he’s got quirks of his own.

Flavour: “It’s only Beck that I can’t read at all. He’s more like me: Somewhere in between broken and whole. Not desperate exactly, but caught in a cycle that he can’t get out of. Probably he thinks he’s okay, but his parents are annoyed with how much hand soap he goes through in a week. Or something. I’m just guessing here.” (35)

“’Your pants don’t fit,’ I say. And then immediately realize I’m a jackass. ‘Neither does your shirt.’ I swear, if I could stop myself from saying this stuff, I would. But if I don’t say the things that pop into my mind, then they might eat my insides out or I might get condemned to hell for dishonesty, so I can’t really take the risk.” (100)

“Beck’s talking about getting better and I’m only just now realizing how big the crazy in me has gotten. A few weeks ago I was a girl who was a little squeamish about driving and liked listening in on some sordid therapy sessions. Now I’m an OCD freak who can’t cut her own food and is officially a stalker.” (183)

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