What an adorable Middle Grade read! I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is not only a book you won’t want to put down until the final page, but it’s also just a FLIPPING FANTASTIC story about living with OCD. There is not enough [good] disability lit as there is, and I’ve never read a portrayal of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but I fell in love with Molly immediately. She’s dealing with an absent mother (who is currently living in Canada instead of at home), two siblings with their own problems, and a father who is trying to hold the family togehter while dealing with his own personal life issues. It’s tough enough to be in middle school without all of that, and then when you add in a nearly-deabilitating disorder things quickly devolve into chaos for her.
I loved how simple the prose was, because it really got me inside of Molly’s head. I could see the world as she saw it, and it was a fascinating experience. There’s this real sense of desperation and hopelessness when Molly feels that she’s losing control over her life and her mind simeltaneously, and it broke my heart to watch her go through that alone, afraid to tell anyone for fear they might think she was “crazy”. She is such a bright and talented kid, and I was rooting hard for her to make it through the fire and get help managing her disease. There were rough patches where I will admit tears were shed because I CARED about Molly. I CARED about what happened to her and her family and her glass animal figurines. I CARED about her poetry entry into the slam contest, and I CARED about how she viewed herself.
In short, if you’re looking for a book that will make you feel things, look no further. Elly Swartz has done a brillant job of capturing mental illness and transporting readers inside another person’s intimate experience. This is truly a walk in someone else’s shoes, and it will leave you breathless and thinking about life for a long, long time.
Rating: 4.3/5 stars