Book Title/Author: OCD, The Dude, and Me by Lauren Roedy Vaughn
Genre: Contemporary YA
Other Books From Author: None — debut novel!
I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!
Danielle just doesn’t fit in — not even at her alternative school that she attends — thanks to her social anxieties and her OCD. She navigates school friendless, crushing on the most popular in school from afar and laying down the sarcasm and brutally honest truth — especially in her school essays. These writings end up getting Danielle a trip to the school psychologist and spot in a Social Skills class. As she prepares for the school trip to London that she doesn’t want to go on and fulfills her requirements for her Social Skills class, she can feel the walls starting to come down and she’ll start to remember why they were put up in the first place.
OCD, The Dude, and Me was one of those books that genuinely surprised me as I had heard NOTHING about it when I read it. I’m not sure that is going to be widely received and wildly popular but I think that it is going to be one of those gems for the people who really connect with it and appreciate something a little quirky that’s equally funny as it is poignant and heartbreaking. It charmed the pants right off me and was a very refreshing story in the contemporary YA genre.
The storytelling is definitely going to be a factor for your enjoyment, I think, but I personally LOVED IT. The whole book is told in a smattering of journal entries, essays for school, emails and letters. The main character, Danielle, definitely writes what comes to her mind and is even scolded for this informal, somewhat inappropriate style of writing of her assigned essays — though the teacher at her alternative school likes the overall ideas of what she writes. And, guys, Danielle is FUNNY. She says things that are just so honest and real and I laughed so often reading this book. Her comments are seriously just honest and entertaining– especially the comments she makes about the grades she’s given on her papers that her teacher critiques. She has a definite voice in everything she writes and I just loved it because sometimes it was so simply stated yet really profound. I could see other people not connecting with her which will also really determine how much you like this book –it’s very much character driven. I totally couldn’t get enough of her voice and the quirky yet brutally honest way she sees the world.
I can’t comment on the treatment of OCD because it’s not really something I feel confident as any sort of type of authority but Danielle’s OCD seems to really be triggered by an event that happened in her life which eventually comes out at the end. The OCD part didn’t seem as prominent in the way I thought it would and it manifested itself in different ways than I’m used to seeing or hearing about but I know OCDs are different for everybody. It FELT like it was handled rather sensitively but humorously and I found that to work for me. I really enjoyed watching her work through it all with her writing and the relationships she ends up making and the ones she already has that she really relies on — Daniel (aww!), the cute old British lady, her aunt, etc.
My only thing I think is that honestly the relevance of The Big Lebowski in this book is going to be lost on a LOT of teens but was something I appreciated as a fan of the movie and as a 27 year old.
OCD, The Dude, and Me by Lauren Roedy Vaughn was definitely enjoyable, funny and unexpected. I recommend to somebody looking for something a little different and bursting with a lot of heart and pages of thought-provoking truths from a very quirky and memorable main character that really came to life. It’s definitely a character driven novel and I honestly know it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but it was certainly mine because it was just an absolute gem. I really wish it got a little bit more buzz amongst bloggers this year!
Let’s Talk: Have you read this one?? Heard of it? If you’ve read it, did you enjoy it? How did you think about how the big secret was revealed? I didn’t even guess. Did you like the format of this book with all the letters and emails and journals, etc.