by Allison Britz
Allison is 15 when she has a vivid dream that awakens her obsessive compulsive tendencies. Prior to that she’s a high-achieving student, athlete, popular, normal. Suddenly, everything around her holds danger and she has to avoid everyday objects like pencils and socks and sidewalk cracks, or perform little rituals to offset their toxicity. Her weird behavior distances her from her friends and family who don’t understand what is happening and why she’s changed. Allison doesn’t understand what’s going on either. As Allison’s mental state deteriorates, her parents become concerned and she soon finds herself in a psychiatrist’s office. Dr. Adams wants to start her on some medication, but Allison isn’t interested in that, so she’s referred to a psychologist, Dr. Nelson, who helps her begin to control her obsessions.
I was most interested in how Allison got help and the process she went through learning to manage her compulsions, so I skimmed a lot of the chapters where Allison’s OCD was worsening. Although Allison is able to learn how to work through her OCD, it’s not something that ever goes away. She still, as an adult, has impulses that she has to recognize and manage. I’m amazed that something like a dream can trigger a life long struggle like this. (Abe Lincoln Nominee, 2021)
Reviewed by YA Librarian