Sunday, December 8, 2013

New Release Book Review: OCD, the Dude, and Me

OCD, the Dude, and Me on Amazon Books
Title: OCD, the Dude, and Me
Author: Lauren Roedy Vaugn
Publication Date: March 21, 2013
Publisher: Dial
Genre: Realistic fiction
Pages: 240
Age Rating: Readers above the age of 10
My Opinion: 9/10

Hi, Readers!

       As you may know, Christmas is exactly 16 and a half days away!  I am getting very excited because I will visit family and friends, watch Christmas specials on television, spread holiday cheer, and most importantly, not go to school!  Here is my plan for the holidays, courtesy of Elf:

Buddy the Elf

       My mom keeps asking me what I want for Christmas, and I never know what gifts to request.  Therefore, I decided that my December book reviews will be about great books that I recommend as gifts for book lovers and reluctant readers alike.  This week, I chose to review OCD, the Dude, and Me, by Lauren Roedy Vaugn.  This heartwarming novel is perfect for teenage girls and readers who enjoy a bit of sarcasm and comedy.

       Danielle Levine does not fit the prototype for the popular girl at her high school, and she often feels left out from her classmates due to her struggles with OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder).  When her English class takes a field trip to England, Danielle initially assumes that the trip will be just as bad or even worse than her experiences at school because she has no classmates who are her friends.  However, she begins to enjoy exploring the foreign setting and makes a few long-lasting friendships along the way.  She also begins to grow more comfortable in her own skin.  Danielle tells her story of adventure and coming of age through journal entries, essays, letters, and e-mails.

Danielle learns to face and overcome her OCD.
       When I started the novel, I did not have any previous knowledge about or experience with OCD.  I was surprised and intrigued that Danielle had OCD but that it was not the main focus of the novel.  Although her condition impacted certain decisions that she made, it definitely did not control her life.  It was extremely enlightening to read Danielle's personal thoughts because her mind processed events in different ways than I would, yet she was still relatable.

       Danielle struggles with many different issues throughout the novel.  Aside from having OCD, she is bullied a lot at school because she is overweight and has a distinct appearance.  Also, she is forced into attending social skills classes with a group of individuals who are even more quirky than she is.  Author Lauren Roedy Vaugn does an excellent job at touching on various modern-day social issues while retaining a conversational and comedic tone.

       My absolute favorite part about the novel is that Danielle goes through a definite and realistic change throughout the novel.  It warmed my heart when she came out of different negative situations as a better person.  She overcame many more issues than I could ever imagine having to face.

       OCD, the Dude, and Me is a must-read for all teenage girls.  It gives insight to how all teens struggle with issues of different kinds, and it stresses the importance of friendship and strength.  If you are looking for a book to read yourself or to gift to a friend, I would definitely recommend picking up a copy of OCD, the Dude, and Me at your local bookstore.

Happy reading and happy holidays!

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