Wednesday, April 24, 2013

OCD, The Dude, and Me - Book Review

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This book was described to me as Freaks and Geeks meets Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging. I watched a few episodes of Freaks and Geeks (isn't that all there really is of that show?) and I LOVE the book Angus, Thongs, and Full Fronting Snogging. (Seriously, I'm a grown adult and I own that book.) So I was really excited to receive a review copy of OCD, The Dude, and Me. This is a young adult book geared toward ages 14 and up, published by Dial, an imprint of Penguin.

Author Lauren Roedy Vaughn has created a composite character based on the many students she has taught over her 20 years as an educator. Danielle Levine is a plump girl with frizzy red hair whose adoptive parents are slim and pretty, making Danielle feel inadequate. Add to that the fact that Danielle, who is a senior in high school, isn't the most popular kid at school, though she is in lust with the most popular boy at school. Danielle also has OCD and a traumatic event in her past that she must confront if she wants to move on with her life. Danielle also must learn to lean on family, teachers, therapists, and new friends (both domestic and foreign) to help her get through the hard stuff.

The story is told through essays for Danielle's English class, letters, emails, Danielle's journal entries, and text messages. It's a very unique way to tell a story, and one that I think today's teens will find appealing.

However, I feel like this book might not be appropriate for 14-year-olds. I turned 14 in 8th grade, and I would not recommend this book to an 8th grader. There's a bit of cussing in the book, drug use (which I thought was totally unnecessary, but I suppose realistic?) and references to the movie The Big Lebowski, which I have seen and didn't like as much as the hype told me I would, so I tend to not think that ANYONE young or old should watch it.

I digress.

While I wouldn't recommend the book for my middle school book club, I do think that highschoolers would enjoy this book, especially highschoolers that might be struggling with some of the same issues that the book's main character struggles with.

OCD, The Dude, and Me is published by Dial, an imprint of Penguin. It is on bookstore shelves now. I received a free review copy for my honest review.

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