Bea is just your average girl with a weekly therapist appointment. She just likes to take notes, and is a bit obsessive….with a tinsy history of stalking. She meets Beck and he just might be perfect for her, but she can’t stop obsessing over Austin and his perfect life and she just needs to check in on him to make sure he’s alright one last time and then she’ll move on!
I’m a bit speechless. I was expecting an interesting love story about a girl with minor OCD tendencies, like a need for everything to be in its proper place and maybe a obsession with keeping everything including herself extremely clean, you know kind of a “Out damn spot!” kind of thing. I was so far off. Bea’s compulsions have nothing to do with cleanliness and everything to do with obsessing over everyones safety. It was both fascinating and terrifying to watch her stalking manifest. It started as something so small and then grew so massive.
Watching her struggle to fight her compulsions and losing more often than not was heartbreaking especially because she is fully aware of how insane she acts and she is helpless to stop it. Once she and Beck start dating, watching them both use the other to help fight the compulsions and also to comfort one another when that fails was endearing. I love that Bea fully accepts Beck as he is, with his fitness obsessions and the number 8 fixation. She realizes that she is just as damaged and knows that on the list of compulsions, those aren’t nearly as bad as they could be. Not to mention the fact that he a very compelling reason for developing those obsessions.
The really disturbing thing about this was how fixated on Austin and Sylvia she becomes. Even after she starts a relationship with Beck, she can’t stop watching them and taking notes on the parts of their sessions she overhears. Her fear that something bad will happen to them if she doesn’t make sure they are okay is so vivid that she physically cannot stop herself from going to them.
This novel gets 5 stars for shock value alone. This is the only YA novel I have ever read that portrays OCD and stalking…well with the main character is a stalker because I’ve read several where the main character gets stalked. My point is more of this is the first one I’ve read where the stalker is portrayed in a semi-sympathetic light and the first one that seriously discusses OCD as more than just a vague reference to someone with an obsession with order. I do not have OCD, but I did take several different college psychology courses and I feel like Haydu did an excellent job portraying this condition. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for something outside of your typical YA contemporary and for anyone interested in mental disorders.
****Thank you to Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****