Why did you choose this book?
I’m intrigued by reading about people with mental illness. This novel features a teen struggling with OCD and was highly recommended on some of the book websites I visit.
What’s it about?
Samantha McAllister hangs out with a group of the most popular girls in school, and struggles to hide her OCD and weekly visits to the psychiatrist. One day she meets Caroline, and the two become immediate friends. Caroline introduces Sam to an underground poetry group at their school, and Sam becomes part of a new group of friends and a much more fulfilling life…until something happens that makes her question her sanity in an entirely different way.
Fiction, teen, mental illness
Other recommended reads?
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver (2015) for reasons I can’t explain due to spoilers. If you read them both, let me know what you think of the comparison. Also, Dead Poets Society by NH Kleinbaum (2006) for what I hope are obvious reasons.
I have seriously mixed feelings about this book. First, the description says that Sam has purely obsessional OCD. However, she always has to drive her car until the odometer stops on a three before parking. That is a compulsion – the obsession is whatever reason she thinks she needs to stop on three. So I quibble with the diagnosis.
I am completely done with underground poetry reading groups as plot devices. I didn’t like Dead Poets Society and this poetry group reminded me of that experience.
This book made me cry. I’m not sure that the biggest twist was necessary, but it was heart-wrenching and completely unexpected. Again, if you read this book, let me know your thoughts. SERIOUSLY.
Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran