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
Intended audience: younger YA/middle grade
Content warnings: loss of a family member, death, mental illness