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 the 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.
“Clueless meets Dead Poets Society with a whopping final twist.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“A thoughtful romance with a strong message about self-acceptance, [this] sensitive novel boasts strong characterizations and conflicts that many teens will relate to. Eminently readable.” (Booklist)
“Sam’s life begins to change on the first day of her junior year when a mysterious student introduces her to the Poet’s Corner...There Sam finds artistic freedom, love, friendship–and a problem more frightening than any she’s faced before. Rubinate’s characterizations and a surprising ending enhance this story.” (AudioFile Magazine)
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OCD like you've never seen it!
This will be another book I suggest to #yearofya May chat and I just loved Audible's Amy Rubinate as she narrated Samantha (Sam's) grappling with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) from the age of 11. Sam decides to keep this secret from her friends, who are not really nice girls, and there is a slippery slope in the pecking order of their friendship. So things begin to change when one day a girl a few lockers down talks to Sam in school and as she gets to know Caroline, Sam begins to see what a true friend is. I liked how vulnerable Sam was but how strong she was when it came to swimming, confiding to her doctor in weekly sessions and trying to control her OCD's dark thoughts and obsessions. I learned so much about this disorder from this book and the author has a NOTE at the end with important information. A great read for students, teachers and guidance counselors! Highly recommended!!!
Samantha because she was so believable with her friendship with Caroline, her relationship with her doctor/therapist, her poetry, her family. I understood how important her friends were & even though they were toxic, Samantha could not talk to them about their failings and her insescurities.
I love Amy Rubinate's voice; she was perfect for Samantha as a character who is insecure, obsessive, and as the story continues delusional and then as the story ends, her voice is one of strength and happiness.
What? You got a problem with obsessions?!?
- B. J. Neary