It’s surrender. It’s that thing I have been searching for…
I initially picked up OCD Love Story because I loved the bright coloured cover and the line “I will not stalk that boy” running across the entire cover. I bought it because I was intrigued by this character – Bea – and how her OCD would influence her actions and her love life. I really enjoyed this book, even though it terrified me sometimes, and if you just kick back, I’ll tell you why.
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.
The first thing I noticed about Bea is that she is bold and honest – brutally so at times. At first, when the evidence of her compulsion wasn’t as apparent to me or even to her, I was thinking, why is she always so harsh and blunt? Bea as a character is really intense in this accidental way, and we learn that it’s from her compulsion which is forcing these things out of her mouth without time to polish them off. Bea was a character I was cheering for, rather than just watching what she was going through. Her victories were mine, and her embarrassments painfully my own.
Beck is a cool guy, but I feel like we don’t get to know him as well as I would have liked because of the force of Bea and her OCD and the actions that spring from her condition. What I liked was that we got to see Beck not just in Bea’s eyes, but from Lish’s at a point, and that was an eye opener in terms of seeing him not as this romantic interest, but as someone who might be a little weird and off-putting. I love the roundedness it gives his character getting that brief but important perspective.
As the story progressed and Bea’s compulsions and obsessions got worse, they became a little scary. To me, OCD Love Story has a lot of rawness and reality in portraying OCD. It doesn’t try to make it look romantic or quirky, but lays it out exactly how it is, which is – to outsiders and, at times, even to those affected it by – scary. The way Bea’s compulsions and obsessions accelerated were very convincing and believable, but what I most liked about the way Corey Ann Haydu wrote Bea and her disorder was that there was this logic to it. It’s more than just impulse, there’s a level of rationality to the thinking, which was very interesting to see.
This book left me with something to think about. I was about to start another book but I realized I wasn’t ready yet because I wasn’t done with OCD Love Story. This book made me realize how lightly we use the word obsession and OCD and the reality of what these words mean. We use these words in a way that diminishes their weight and makes it seem like a quirk, like something you can adopt or shrug off like a new trend. But it’s not. It’s a hard road to hoe, and I’ll think about it in a different light from now on. If you’re looking for a book that will make you laugh, cringe, and most of all, reflect, OCD Love Story is a definite must.
“We left off last week with Jenny talking about how she feels when she looks in the mirror,” Dr. Pat says.
Like shit, I’d imagine. Her head is a patchwork of bald spots.
So in the same moment you’re terrified and amazed at the sobering reality of the world around you and the purity of the beauty.