Chuck Taylor's OCD has rendered him a high school outcast. His endless routines and habitual hand washing threaten to scare away both his closest friend and the amazing new girl in town. Sure he happens to share the name of the icon behind the coolest sneakers in the world, but even Chuck knows his bizarre system of wearing different color "Cons" depending on his mood is completely crazy.
In this hilariously candid debut novel from comedian Aaron Karo—who grew up with a few obsessions and compulsions of his own—very bad things are going to happen to Chuck. But maybe that's a good thing. Because with graduation looming, Chuck finds himself with one last chance to face his inner demons, defend his best friend, and win over the girl of his dreams. No matter what happens, though, he'll have to get his hands dirty.
Adult author Karo's (I'm Having More Fun Than You) background as a comedian is evident in his bawdy yet affecting YA debut, about a 17-year-old boy with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Chuck's rituals include hand-washing and using the color of his Converse high tops as a "little threat level advisory code of my emotions." His parents push him to see a psychiatrist, but when his doctor prescribes Lexapro, Chuck refuses to take it. He also swears never to tell his crush, Amy, about his OCD, but has to revaluate his choices. Karo offers a solid primer to OCD, including its treatments. Readers may find the book ends too neatly, but Chuck is a funny, honest narrator (his biggest pet peeve: people who claim to "have a little OCD," which "makes it seems like I'm a drama queen or something. I spent close to two hours last night getting in and out of bed to check the fucking stove and then go pee. That's the real deal"). Readers will be impressed with Chuck's bravery in working to solve his problems. Ages 14 up.