Published: June 16th 2015 by Disney Hyperion
If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.
Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.
Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.
Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.
Highly recommended to me by several fellow bloggers, I’m so glad I decided to give it a chance. I’ve read several YA books over the years, but this one is exceptional and should be on everyone’s reading list.
This book deals with some heavy topics, including mental illness and anxiety. Sam’s story is truly moving and beautiful, and the author does an outstanding job with her portrayal of OCD and how it affected Sam’s every day life. It’s hard enough being a teenager, but even harder when you’re hiding a debilitating disorder, just to fit in with the crowd. I loved watching Sam’s growth throughout the book, how she learned to deal with her disorder, and what makes her truly happy and anxiety-free.
Although there is a wonderful love story incorporated in this book, it’s not the focus, and that’s what made this book so exceptional. I wanted to see Sam’s acceptance of herself, her learning how to be herself and be truly happy.
This is the type of story that will consume you. You will fall in love with so many of the characters, and won’t want to see the book end. Beautiful and moving, I finished with happy tears and can not recommend it enough as a must read to all YA contemporary fans.
ARC kindly provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
You can see my Goodreads review here.