Don’t let the bubbly pink and yellow cover fool you: “OCD Love Story” by Corey Ann Haydu is anything but bubbly and fun. This story was heavy and really (really, really, really) hard to relate to. I’m not one of those readers who has to completely relate to a book or its characters (I mean, I mostly read Paranormal and Fantasy, so . . . that’s about as unrelatable as it gets), but I just could not, for the life of me, connect to this story. And it wasn’t even the actual OCD that was so unrelatable (I definitely have a small compulsion or two myself), it was more the repetitiveness and lack of plot development and the flighty way in which the characters interacted with each other. Basically nothing happens except a girl with OCD meets a boy with OCD and they try to date, despite the hurdles they have to overcome with their compulsions.
Corey Ann Haydu does deserve points for her unique idea (how refreshing to see something that hasn’t been done a million times!), but I feel like she could have done so much more with such a unique topic. She could have added more depth to both the plot and her characters.
In “OCD Love Story” we’re taken into the world of teens suffering from OCD. From what I’ve read by actual OCD sufferers, the author did a pretty good job describing what people going through this have to deal with on a daily basis.
The story itself centers around Bea and her love interest, Beck. Plus Bea’s obsession with a couple named Austin and Sylvia, who go to the same therapist as Bea. Despite stalking Austin and Sylvia on the reg, Bea is well-intentioned and means no harm. She stalks the couple for the relief she gets, because of her OCD. She also pinches her leg, drives inordinately slow—because she’s terrified of hitting a person or animal—and she basically says whatever thoughts come to her head, because one of her compulsions is to purge the words from her mind, which usually comes off crass. And she’s terrified of knives.
The writing itself was all right. Sometimes you felt like you were literally reading a teenage girl’s diary (because there’s no shortage of the word “like”), and sometimes the words didn’t flow and I’d have to go back and reread parts. But the writing was all right for most of the book.
Something I liked about this book was that the author showed the brutal sides of OCD. Some reviewers have said that she romanticized it, but I disagree. The actual disorder was never written in a way to make it look totally fun, and like if you have OCD guys will go crazy for you. She showed the struggles (which were hard to read and utterly grating sometimes for sure), and she didn’t make the disorder magically get better just because they fell in love. People with OCD deserve to find love, and they do fall in love—just like any other human. I personally don’t think that simply having a boyfriend/girlfriend instantly romanticizes a disorder.
Moving on. I loathed how Bea treated her “best friend,” Lisha, and pretty much everyone. I hate that she constantly made rude comments about her best friend’s body being too thin. And then she made jabs about Sylvia’s body (primarily her “fake boobs”). And even Beck’s body. It all just made her seem puddle shallow. I’m not fond of authors using this method (insulting all the other characters) to make their main character seem like a special snowflake.
The ending was very bland. I didn’t expect some cheesy ending where they were magically over their OCD, but I thought something actually happening would have been nice. Some sort of revelation or . . . anything. It felt more like the end of a chapter than the end of a book.
Overall, this isn’t a book I’ll look back on and remember the characters or the story. It was a clever idea, and Haydu certainly has creativity, but not enough to revive the lack of plot going on here, or the grating receptiveness.
If you read “OCD Love Story” I hope you like it more than I did.