If you ask Bea, she’d tell you that she’s in therapy because she has a little trouble managing her anxiety. She doesn’t really need a therapist, and she certainly doesn’t need to attend group therapy with a bunch of other teens who—let’s face it—look like freaks compared to Bea. Of course, Beck—who has a habit of constantly washing his hands and doing things in sets of eight—is kind of a cute freak. But still, Bea doesn’t belong with these other kids and their compulsions . . . or does she?

Ever since Bea’s bad breakup with her last boyfriend, she has had a tendency to fixate on people—mostly guys—whom she needs to “check on” in order to keep them safe. Her latest obsession is handsome Austin, who attends couples therapy with his wife and whose sessions Bea just happens to overhear. But when Bea starts following the couple from the therapist’s office in the suburbs to their home in downtown Boston, it’s clear to everyone but Bea that her interest has gone too far.

OCD Love Story is one of those novels that sneaks up on you—what seems to start off as a humorous account of one girl’s adventures in therapy turns into something much darker and more intense, as readers gradually realize the extent of Bea’s illness. In her debut, Corey Ann Haydu raises important questions about recognizing, enabling and recovering from mental illness—all explored in Bea’s funny, loveable, vulnerable voice.

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