This book had, quite possibly, the funniest opening line I have ever read. It was so funny, in fact, that I had a hard time not spitting my lunch all over the book! What was it, you ask? “In the past year, I masturbated exactly 468 times.” Tell me that line won’t convince even the most reluctant of teen boys to give this book a try, and I will reply that you don’t know teen boys very well! (A funny aside — the joke continues throughout the book, since the chapters are noted as tally marks on PostIt notes, mirroring Chuck’s ::ahem:: “habit” tracking tally marks.)
Charles “Chuck” Taylor has OCD. He has to spin the lock on his locker exactly 14 times before he can walk away; he has to wash his hands after touching pretty much anything; and he has to check the burners on the stove multiple times before he goes to bed at night, even if his parents didn’t cook anything for dinner. Chuck also managed to, inadvertently, start up a mood-based color-coding system for the Cons (Converse sneakers) he wears every day and can’t seem to break away from the compulsion to stick to the system. If you’ve ever wondered what it is like to live with OCD — in the true sense, not in the “really anal about organizing your garage” sense — this book is just about perfect. Readers get a real feel for how much anxiety Chuck deals with on a daily basis, and learn about the therapy and drugs people can use to improve their OCD symptoms, but in a relatable high school story with a humorous tone.