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text 2017-03-03 13:44
Book Review
OCD Love Story - Corey Ann Haydu

Words cannot describe how amazing this book was. It has a combination of romance, comedy, and drama. From it's quirky jokes to it's meaningful lines, this book is sure to find a warm place in your heart. I literally couldn't put this book down, it kept me fully immersed in the story. I felt like I was sitting in the chair right next to Bea, and in the car with Beck. If you need a book to read, I would recommend this one. OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu gets 4.5 Aaron Smiles out of five!

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review 2016-07-12 11:22
600 Hours of Edward
600 Hours of Edward - Craig Lancaster

This could have been a very difficult book to read. It's written first person, with a protagonist with Asperger's, OCD - high functioning but with some fairly severe social issues. His wealthy politician father has bought him a house to live in, and for the past 8 years that's what he's done, lived alone, and fairly happily, going to therapy, keeping to his routines. His father communicates with him primarily through threatening letters from his lawyer, although once a month he goes to dinner with his mother and father, an uncomfortable experience for all.

 

Edward has a fixation on Dragnet (he watches exactly one episode, every night, at exactly 10 p.m., but only the colour episodes, and strictly in order.) He has another fixation on the weather - he's been recording the daily highs and lows for ten years in a notebook, and although he checks the forecast every day, he doesn't really believe them. Edward prefers facts.

 

Edward goes to therapy, and writes letters of complaint - one every day. He doesn't send them anymore though, since the "Garth Brooks incident" which resulted in a restraining order. The not sending them is on the advice of his therapist, who he considers a very wise and logical woman.

 

And into this quietly ordered life, a new neighbour arrives and suddenly Edward's world is tipped upside down. The neighbour's 9 year old son inserts himself into Edward's life and suddenly he has friends - the boy and after a while, his mother. And from there, he begins to reevaluate all his choices, how important to him his routines and orderliness really are, and things begin to change.

 

This could so easily have been handled very wrongly, and to be honest, even by the end of it, I had a niggling worry that it was... inaccurate, at least, although I found Edward charming and somehow relateable and his issues handled sensitively and with compassion, but not covered up. I don't know anyone with Aspergers and/or this degree of social anxiety well enough to really judge for sure. That said, I took a troll around the internet looking for SJW posts of outrage about how awful it was, and found actually the exact opposite - several online reviews and blog posts praising it. So there you go.

 

The writing is rather charming and I think deceptively clever. The initial chapters are, like Edward, very repetitive and orderly. Edward wakes up (and we get a little dissertation on the time, etc), goes about his day, watches his dragnet, writes his letter of complaint about something that happened during the day and goes to bed. Over a few days, the repetitive rythym and routine of Edward's life settles in, and then as Edward's order begins to be upset, so does the rythym of the chapters.

 

It's very funny. Edward's obliviousness about other people's priorities and social niceties obviously sets up some quite hilarious situations, but since they are always told from Edward's point of view and he simply doesn't care who he upsets or what anyone else thinks about him for the most part, there is never a sense he is the butt of the joke.  Edward himself, I found utterly endearing.

 

If you like books that are heavy on plot and action, this one probably isn't for you. It's rather literary in that sense, but it's a fast and easy read - once I settled down to actually start it, I read it more or less in a day.

 

Really the only thing that wasn't a total winner for me was there's possibly a little too much about the Dallas Cowboys (I used to live in Texas. I once got politely asked to leave the Dallas Cowboys merchandise store in Dallas because I asked "Who is this Troy Aiken dude" and the staff were worried a fight might break out :) but it's actually plot relevant, and I dealt with it. 

 

Every month my phone gives me a free kindle book, but I only get to pick from a selection of four, and I rarely remember to even go get one, or read it. I should read them more though, because most of the ones I have read, have been gems. This was no exception, it's probably the best book I've read in months.

 

A review from someone who actually does have Asperger's, that I found interesting:

http://life-with-aspergers.blogspot.se/2009/11/book-review-600-hours-of-edward.html

 

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review 2015-10-21 00:00
Carte Blanche
Carte Blanche - Nash Summers

4 stars for 50 pages warming my heart


Jude, suffering from social anxiety and OCD, is severely limited in his everyday life. Cleaning with bleach is his life line, not having unnecessary contact with the world outside his apartment his crutch. Enter Devin, the new guy next door dead set on getting to know recluse Jude.

There is so much sweetness and heart-warming happening in this story, it broke my heart and put it back together in only 50 pages. Was the road a little too easy? Maybe. And in a way Devin's motives were not really clear. I mean, yes, he liked Jude. But in order to develop deep feelings for a guy you can't even have a regular conversation with, you might need a little more? Maybe? But I guess, that's where the magic of the story actually lies. I loved it despite my little niggles - so who cares? 4 stars and definitely a recommendation for all romantics out there.

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video 2015-08-25 17:57

My oldest son shared this with me and assured me that it is written about him. Maybe some others can relate.

 

No, I'm not getting much reading done today. 

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review 2015-08-11 03:20
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
Every Last Word - Tamara Ireland Stone

I really wanted to love this book. It was hyped up, and I guess I could see why, but at the same time, as a person who knows someone that has OCD, it just seemed kind of unrealistic. I’m not saying that this book was bad. This book was done better than others, thankfully this issue wasn’t highly romanticized, but it could’ve been a little better.

 

From this story we know that there’s a girl named Samantha. Samantha has been diagnosed with OCD since the age of nine or ten. Ever since then she’s kept it a secret.

 

This part of the book, I wasn’t exactly amazed with. I do know a couple of people who have OCD. When a really old friend of mine moved to a new school, the first thing that was done was that all of her teachers and the guidance counsellors were notified. She did have to go to the guidance counsellor at times, and she used to have to go to bed really early so that she could actually get a full night’s sleep.

 

I don’t understand how Samantha possibly could’ve hidden this from everyone except for a person she sees every Wednesday. Since she was ten. That would be the age where everyone involved in important aspects of her life would be notified. It doesn’t work that way . . .

 

Also, there is bullying mentioned here. I wasn’t the biggest fan of that either. Samantha had herself participated in the bullying, but I felt like AJ had just forgiven her way too quickly. On top of that she had a problem herself and she bullied another kid because they had a stutter. I felt like she wasn’t really remorseful, it was just her OCD.

 

Also, the whole thing with Samantha being involved with the Mean Girls . . . *sighs and slumps* But it was great to see that at a point, their friendship really mattered. I guess. Sort of.

 

One thing I liked was the idea and concept of the poetry group! It was great to see a student body form together like that and manage to be supportive based on their interests and talents! :D I also liked how it took Samantha a while to adjust into this new group! I would like something like that, only I’d probably die of stage fright.

 

This book felt accurate in some things and not in others. Things such as the medication, therapy, mental exercises, and not being used to immediate adjustments was done pretty well! There were some things that put me off though.

 

Personally, I just wasn’t a fan of Caroline being a real person that Samantha consciously made up in her head. I don’t know, it was probably just me, but I read the last quarter of this book when I had a migraine, so I was probably just getting irritated over small things I don’t usually get upset over.

(spoiler show)

 

Overall, Every Last Word is a book you should pick up, because I feel like this is a book that is probably the most accurate I’ve read on OCD. If you’re looking for something informative but in a good way, you may want to check this out!

 

Thanks for reading my review everyone, and hope you all have a great day! Until the next one! :D  

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