This book is INCREDIBLE.
Seriously I…I don’t even know where to start. I wasn’t expecting to be this emotionally involved (I didn’t even know what it was about prior to cracking the cover), but my eyeballs were literally glued to this novel of delectable awesome. I COULD NOT LET GO.
Maybe I sniffled a little. Maybe I questioned the fairness in life. Maybe my heart simultaneously broke and melted.
Basically I loved it so much, I made a gif.
I don’t know what’s going on with the cover, though. Is it a honeycomb? Who knows.
GO READ THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW AND LET YOUR HEART CRY AND BE MELTED AND SMUSHED LIKE MINE WAS. What are you waiting for?!
Oh yes. You’re waiting for me to tell you why you want it. Okay, I shall tell you all.
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B is about growing up and family and first-love and OCD. It’s, basically, incredible. I felt so immersed in Adam’s POV (even though it’s in 3rd, which was totally refreshing). Adam felt so real and relatable. I loved his thought process! He had this BOUNCE in his attitude (so refreshing to read). On the outside he’s brave and friendly and helps others — on the inside he suffers crippling anxiety.
For someone (um, me) who understands anxiety perfectly, I just want to bow to this author because SHE NAILED IT.
Adam wants to get better and he’s going to support-group-meetings and taking his medication, but life isn’t always that simple. There is so many complications. Like Adam’s family? Oh gosh. They are so. messed. up.
He lives with his mum, who has anxiety issues (she’s a hoarder) and his Dad also has issues (he buries himself in work). But his dad and step-mom and little half-brother, Sweetie, are a big part of Adam’s life. He’s totally torn between them. He loves his mum, but she inflames his anxiety. The book is SUCH an emotional tug-of-war. I WAS FEELING IT. And, peoples, I do not usually feel. I am Vulcan. Why am I feeling? Make it stop.
So let’s talk about insta-love.
This book is the personification of insta-love. Adam is IN LOVE with Robyn from pg 1. (Literally. Look at the above picture.)
Half of me is saying, “Calm down, dude.” The other half is saying, “Aw, that’s kind of adorable.”
I, personally, don’t think insta-love is unrealistic. I usually think it’s a plot device to cut out character deveolpment. IT’S THE CHEATER’S WAY. But! Keep your llama socks on, my friends, because the character development is amazing. And Adam and Robyn become friends before they’re smooching in a cemetery. (Um…about that…)
Adam works up the courage to talk to Robyn and then walk her home and it’s just dang adorable. He’s 15 and she’s 16. But, seriously, their relationship takes a turn that really surprised (and impressed me) and, basically, the entire thing was spectacular.
DID I MENTION I LIKE THIS BOOK? Yes. Oh, okay. Well. I may
accidentally yell it a few more times. JUST SAYIN’.
Also there’s a huge superhero aspect.
HELLO I AM A SUPERHERO FAN. I nearly cried of happiness. At support group, they do this thing where they leave themselves at the door and take on new identities…superheroes! For 90% of the book, Adam refers to the other kids by their superhero names (like Wonder Woman and Wolverine and Green Lantern and Thor) and gradually they just become those names too. Robyn is Robin and….Adam is Batman. It’s SO STINKIN’ ADORABLE. I loved the friendships in the group too.
OTHER THINGS I ABSOLUTELY ADORE:
- The fact that medication and therapy was painted in a positive light…but it wasn’t the “be all and end all”. Often I feel these things are sooo negative in YA. (Which is sucky and can send a bad message.) But, while it was positive, they also addressed the reality that there can be MORE to a problem than medication/therapy. No bandaids on a stab wound. Fix it properly.
- THERE ARE LISTS IN THIS BOOK!!! I love lists.
- The huge focus on friendship. It was GLORIOUS. I loved how Adam was friends to everyone, despite being worried and consumed with his issues and thinking he’s sucky. Also Adam’s BFF, Ben, is always there for him. Their relationship comprises of grunts and video games and red bull BUT THEY ARE THERE FOR EACH OTHER. (Ben checks in on Adam to cheer him up/make sure he’s not suicide-ish. Excuse me, I must scream with the wonderfulness of this.)
- Also the huge emphasis on family. It’s completely about family. I LOVE THAT. I love books about siblings and parental relations. It was really poignant and perfectly written and aahhhhh I had all the feels of ever! Adam has this super uber cute relationship with his little half-brother, Sweetie (who is 5 and already showing signs of extreme anxiety). Adam is literally THE BEST big brother in the world.
- It really dove into OCD. Nothing was brushed over. It talked about different aspects and ways OCD manifests.
- THE ENDING. OMG. It wasn’t a tidy wrap-up-with-a-bow, but it was perfect.
Also, I tried to think of something negative to say but…for once I HAVE NOTHING.
I know! Take a moment with me! Since when do I have nothing snarky to say?!!
Basically this book blew me away.
I LOVE IT. I AM IN AWE OF IT. If you’re at all curious about what it’s like to live with anxiety (OCD in particular, but anxiety is the root of OCD) then read this book because it’s an A+ representation. Also, if you want to read a book with a huge family and friendship focus (as well as a super-cute romance), this is for you. SO YEAH. I’m just gonna be here with my mouth open because…
Wow. Tears, but wow.
Go read it. I’ll wait
Thank you Walker Books for the ARC! The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten was published March, 2015.
When Adam meets Robyn at a support group for kids coping with obsessive-compulsive disorder, he is drawn to her almost before he can take a breath. He’s determined to protect and defend her–to play Batman to her Robyn–whatever the cost. But when you’re fourteen and the everyday problems of dealing with divorced parents and step-siblings are supplemented by the challenges of OCD, it’s hard to imagine yourself falling in love. How can you have a “normal” relationship when your life is so fraught with problems? And that’s not even to mention the small matter of those threatening letters Adam’s mother has started to receive . . .
Teresa Toten sets some tough and topical issues against the backdrop of a traditional whodunit in this engaging new novel that readers will find hard to put down.
have you read this book?! are you going to now?! (because it’s incredibly and i think you should read it.) also: batman vs thor, go! go! go! aaaand, how do you feel about insta-love? do you think it can be done “right” or is it unrealistic?
Cait @ Paper Fury
…is currently squeaking her little heart out because she discovered a pristine condition Disruption in the second-hand story for like $2 and her LIFE HAS BEEN MADE. This is the origin story of her adorable OTP (hello Quentin and Maggie). Cait is proud of her bargain hunting abilities. ALSO. She’s reading The Remedy.