Wednesday, July 24, 2013

OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
Release Date – July 23, 2013
Publisher Website -  Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  352 pages
My Rating- 2.5/5
**obtained for review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In this raw and relatable 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 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.
Prior to reading OCD Love Story I didn't know much about  obsessive compulsive disorder. It's something that I had no experience with. After reading this well researched novel I felt I had a better understanding. Sadly, I didn't feel a connection to the plot, or the characters behind the impressive clinical information.

This novel really shines in it's attention to detail. As mentioned, I am not overly familiar with obsessive compulsive disorder, but the novel felt authentic. The research Ms Haydu must have done, and the desire she had to portray it in such an honest way truly comes across in the novel.  The desire, and need that consumes someone grappling with OCD is captured, I imagine, perfectly. The single minded focus that results from having to do something comes across like a  pressure building. You have to give in before it erupts, and the relief after, even if temporary, is welcome.

The various characters in Bea's therapy group all show how OCD is more than just handwashing and other commonly thought of ticks. It's rooted much deeper. I like that she took the time to explain everything so fully. This topic is handled with compassion, and with a tenderness that shows through the writing.

We see both the people who want to get better, and those who are in denial of how bad their situation is. Beck is someone who embraces therapy and is trying to get his condition under control. Bea thinks she has it under control, and that her little 'quirks' are mild. We quickly learn that they are anything but mild. Her best friend is supportive, but eventually we see that Bea's behaviour is spiraling and everyone wants her to get help.

The novel reads a little too clinical for me. I felt like the focus was on the symptoms and various ways obsessive compulsive disorder can manifest than on telling a story. The plot is simplistic and takes a back seat to everything else. As a result, I didn't feel a sense of urgency to keep turning the pages. It was harder for me to become invested in the characters.

A novel that is important, and eye opening. I felt the clinical side to the story well fleshed out, but the actual plot side felt undeveloped, and hindered as a result. I think others may love this much more than I did. I will be curious to read this author's next novel, as I did enjoy the writing, and am curious to see what she would do with a different type of premise.

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