Genres: Young Adult
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ÔÇ£Whoever said high school was the best time of our lives definitely did not have OCD."
AmyÔÇÖs senior year of high school is not going as planned. When a tragic accident leaves her favorite aunt unconscious in the intensive care unit, all of her goals suddenly seem trivial.
In the days and weeks that follow the accident, irrational fears begin to flood AmyÔÇÖs mind. Embarrassed, she keeps them to herself, lying to everyone - including her best friend Kat - to cover her strange behavior. Because how do you explain something you donÔÇÖt understand yourself?
When James, a boy with a contagious smile, starts spending time with her, she wishes she could just be herself again: a carefree artist with aspirations to get a scholarship to State. But as the unwelcomed thoughts escalate, Amy finds herself unsure of everything.
When Amy learns she has OCD, she begins a journey of self-discovery which will shape the rest of her life. It all starts with admitting something so simple but so difficult - the truth.
Books do many different things for readers. They can evoke emotions, they can educate, they can even change someone’s life.
“OC Me” by Kristin Albright has the power to do all three in my opinion.
It’s the type of book I believe everyone should read – every teenager, every parent, every adult. This should be on reading lists in every high school. It’s painfully accurate in its depiction of a mental disorder. But it’s never preachy or boring or unemotional. The opposite is the case. It’s deeply emotional, realistic and down-to-earth.
I wish I would have had this book as a teenager. And I wish others would read it. Maybe they wouldn’t feel alone or crazy. Maybe they would be able to help a friend and better understand them. Maybe they would stop making fun of others.
“OC Me” takes us on a journey that is filled with tears, insecurity, fear, pain and worry. But there is also love and happiness, friends and family. It’s a mix of light and dark. It’s life.
Specifically, it’s Amy’s life. She’s a senior in high school – loving to spend time with her friends, painting and just being a normal teenager. Until one day she isn’t normal anymore – at least not her definition of normal. From one day onto another, her life is now filled with thoughts she can’t control. Thoughts that are gaining more and more power, crippling her in the process.
And the more she succumbs to them, the stronger those thoughts get. Her fears are taking over her life, forcing her to hide from the people she cares about the most.
It’s a constant downward spiral, a feeling like she’s drowning. But sometimes all you need is one helping hand. One person who sees your pain and is willing to help you save yourself. Thankfully, Amy is lucky enough to find the support she needs. That’s only the start of her journey though. She’s got a long way to go – a way that isn’t always easy and where she has to open her heart and to learn self-acceptance, self-love and trust.
Amy’s journey really got to me. There were times when I ended up with tears streaming down my face, her emotions so tangible that I could feel them myself. Amy was a heroine who is easy to adore and like. She’s down-to-earth, sweet and nice. Even in the most dire of circumstances, she isn’t whiny or overly dramatic. Her thought process captivated me and so did her effort of coming to terms with her OCD diagnosis. The author has done an excellent jobs to make Amy’s fears, worries and shame come to live, to let the reader feel what she’s feeling. And let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty. But it just goes to show Amy’s amazing strength of battling the illness, not allowing it to take away everything she cares about and loves.
She was very lucky to have some special and understanding people in her life. Her best friend Kat was upbeat, loud and cheery on the outside, but when necessary she could be serious and just be there for Amy. Not judging, not shaming – just loving.
And then there was James. A guy so perfect for Amy it hurts. A guy many girls can only wish for. He wasn’t your typical high school kid. He neither came from a broken home, nor did he have a past that haunted him. He wasn’t a jock or a nerd. He was “just” James – a sweet, caring and kind guy, who was also funny, artistic and really cares for Amy. The things he did and said – I swear my heart went pitter patter. His gestures often had me sigh or cry or both and they definitely made him a perfect book boyfriend.
There isn’t much action in this book. There is no smut or over-the-top drama. Instead, it’s a coming-of-age journey – one that is complicated by a mental illness. It’s a story about resilience and perseverance. About friendship and love. About looking adversity in the face and not cowering.
It’s beautiful. Educational. On point.
5 everyone-should-read-this stars.
~Review by Paula