ARC Review: Foretold

Apologies in advance, but this review is going to be a very personal one.

When I saw that there was a book about someone with OCD and superpowers, I genuinely screamed. I remember the first time someone described OCD to me as being a kind of power, it made the world look so much brighter to me. This is a disorder I have lived with my whole life, and was diagnosed at a very young age. So here comes this awesome sounding book that I just know would have made younger me feel a million times better about myself. To say I was excited is an understatement. (Plus LOOK at that cover…gorgeous).

Because this book was written by someone with OCD, the descriptions are spot-on for the disorder. I related so much to the main character, while also being able to see some facets of OCD that I personally have not experienced. Too often people assume OCD is a monolithic experience, which it is not, so I appreciated seeing another person’s point of view.

However, I do want to highlight that this is a book younger me would have absolutely loved. Reading it at 21 was still enjoyable, but not quite what I expected. The main character is supposed to be 16, but to me she read more like a 12 year old. I know YA has a wide range of tonality, but the age of the MC just didn’t match up. The romance was super insta-love (with the addition of a triangle later on)—not that that doesn’t occur with adult bookish romances as well—but coupled with the narration it felt much younger. Describing a crush as “sweatpants’d adorableness” just isn’t something I could have seen 16/17 year old me doing. A lot of the descriptions (and especially the metaphors) have that same tone, which threw me off a little. 

THAT BEING SAID, none of what I just described is bad, it’s just geared toward a different audience. If 12 year old me had read this book, it would have changed my life. I would have loved imagining myself as Cass, and using my OCD to predict the future instead of constantly feeling like a freak. I just know some kid will pick this book up and have their whole outlook on life changed (I am honestly tearing up a bit writing this). 

The fantasy aspect was really cool for any age reader, and I thought the world was quite unique. I can’t say I’ve read a book about a secret magical future-divining organization before. And I often found myself comparing it to Percy Jackson (which I adored as a kid). Where Percy’s dyslexia and ADHD were his powers, OCD is Cass’s. And maybe it is just because I have the same disorder, but I really empathized with her character. If I were an outsider looking in, I think this would give me a whole new perspective on what OCD feels like.

As a final note, I will say that I reviewed this book as a person with OCD. So, if you are not someone with OCD, you may have a different experience. What I was looking for most was great OCD rep (which I definitely got), and I know some people may have different expectations when picking this book up. Overall I recommend it if you don’t mind reading younger YA, want to learn how it feels to have OCD, or know a young person who struggles with it!

Rating: 3/5 for YA, 4/5 for middle grade
Pacing: medium
Intended audience: younger YA/middle grade
Content warnings: loss of a family member, death, mental illness

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27 thoughts on “ARC Review: Foretold

  1. Holy Smokes is that cover GORGEOUS. Wonderful review and I hope this book finds its way into younger readers hands who would find it just as important as you would have at that age. There’s been a ton of talk lately about own voices in literature, and your review made me realize that I think there should be more inclusion there in terms of disability, neurodivergence, etc as well.

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    1. Isn’t it?? And I totally agree, these books are important not just because other people gain accurate insight into what people with disabilities go through, but because people with disabilities need to see themselves in literature.

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  2. I’m so glad you saw yourself in Cass and the story. It really is so satisfying finding good representation that is positive, and now with your review here’s to hoping more younger people with OCD will stumble upon it. Great review!

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  3. Great review, and I love that you connected with the book so much. I love that we’re seeing more representation in ya books. I recently read a ya fantasy with a protagonist with anxiety, and I totally related. I, too, wish that I knew of more books like this when I was younger.

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  4. Wonderful review! I hadn’t heard of this one before but I’m definitely checking it out, and I love middle grade books so the tone should be fine for me hopefully. I’ve not read that many books where the protagonists have OCD and I’d love to learn more about it. I’m so glad you could see yourself represented in this book! It’s great that diverse rep is increasing in books these days, a lot of what I read now would have helped a lot when I was younger.

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  5. Hey!
    I am hosting a blog party to celebrate 3 years of blogging and 1000 followers, and you are invited! The post will be live tomorrow (Sunday) at 8PM IST.
    Hope to see you there:)

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  6. I love the idea of OCD being a power! And it’s wonderful that Foretold is written by someone who can understand OCD from personal experience instead of imagining it through stereotypes or even just clinical descriptions.

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