cover image OCD Love Story

OCD Love Story

Corey Ann Haydu. Simon Pulse, $16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4424-5732-4

When Bea’s therapist decides she would benefit from group therapy, Bea is sure that if she starts talking about her “little anxieties about driving and missing my ex-boyfriend, these people will feel approximately a thousand times worse about themselves.” But Bea isn’t just an over-cautious driver and a blurter; she’s afraid to be around sharp objects in case she suddenly harms someone and is basically stalking the couple that has therapy before her. And then there’s the fact—exciting and mortifying in equal parts—that the group includes Beck, an adorable compulsive hand-washer Bea met while he was having a panic attack. Debut novelist Haydu doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties of OCD or reduce her characters to a symptom list. Bea and Beck, who readers see through Bea’s sympathetic and knowing eyes, get worse and better not according to a predetermined outline but according to their individual trajectories. That they do so while trying to build a relationship with someone who’s seen them as they really are, to move past shame into intimacy, makes the story that much more touching. Ages 14–up. Agent: Victoria Marini, Gelfman Schneider. (July)