Title: Lexapros and Cons
Author: Aaron Karo
Publisher: Farrar Straus and Giroux
Source: Publisher Provided
Available: Barnes and Noble
From the Publisher: 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.
I admit; I was hesitant to read this. I wasn’t sure it would really be my speed. Then I opened it up and pretty much didn’t move until I was done.
Chuck’s voice pulled me in from the beginning- even if was kind of weird to open up by talking about masturbation. Nothing graphic mind you- it’s just that Chuck keeps a tally of how often he does, thanks to his OCD. Chuck is authentic– he’s not the kind of boy you ordinarily find in a YA novel, all swwon-worthy and broody. He’s a 17 year old boy with OCD. That’s it. He’s not perfect. He’s not the guy who sweeps the girl off her feet and they become embroiled in a passionate yet ill-fated romance. He’s a senior in high school. He’s the real thing.
I don’t suffer from OCD, though I have known people who do. And Karo brilliantly took me inside of the mind of a young man who does- and did so in such a manner that even though this was a fiction novel written by a comedian, I feel as if I understand the disorder in ways I didn’t before.
The best part? This wasn’t a deep and serious novel; it was light-hearted and fun.
This is definitely a novel to put into the hands of reluctant teen readers – especially boys. But even the girls should find it entertaining and informative.