Samantha has a secret. For several years, she has been diagnosed with Purely-Obsessional OCD (often called "Pure-O"), a disorder that leaves her struggling with dark thoughts and obsessive worries, but only her mother knows of her diagnosis. Her group of 7 best friends, self-named The Crazy 8s, have no idea of the struggles that Samantha has dealt with, and she's not sure that they would understand. She's been feeling more and more removed from them lately, so when Samantha's locker neighbor, Caroline, starts talking to Sam about Poet's Corner, a secret poetry reading held every Thursday, and helps her express thoughts she's never been able to share before, Samantha begins to wonder if she needs to reconsider her priorities...and her friends.
Why It's Worth Reading:
For one thing, I learned something new reading this book. I wasn't aware of the Purely-Obsessional type of OCD. The OCD symptoms I was most familiar with were the compulsive ones, like repeated handwashing or lock checking. It's fascinating and enlightening to read a book from the perspective of someone who is going through something that I've never gone through, and this is a perfect example. Perhaps that's why studies show that avid readers are more empathetic? It's easier to imagine yourself in someone else's shoes. Plus, I think just about every person can relate to changes in interests and friendships. We all come to those crossroads at different times in our life, but I absolutely related to Sam as she transitioned from a friend group that made her feel small to a group with similar interests that made her feel whole and loved.
Publication Date: June 16, 2015
Awards: 5 great reviews (plus this one, of course)
Do We Own a Copy?: Two!