OCD, the Dude, and Me

Lauren Roedy Vaughn. Dial, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-80373-843-0
Senior year is starting, but Danielle Levine isn’t looking forward to it. Even though everyone at her school has a learning disability, it’s still divided into cool kids and outcasts, and Danielle—with her flaming red hair, nonwaiflike physique, OCD, and penchant for hats—is in the second camp. Things get worse when she’s forced to see the school psychologist and attend a social skills class. Vaughn structures her debut as a combination of Danielle’s diary entries, e-mails, and the essays (usually autobiographical) she writes for English class. These give readers a rich stream of information about Danielle’s attempt to face both the horrors of high school and the actual horror she’s endured. Information about the latter comes out slowly, which works, since Danielle has organized her life around keeping it hidden. Vaughn skillfully shows how making an actual friend and being introduced to the model of The Big Lebowski’s Dude (and his ability to “abide”) contribute to Danielle’s upturn. Her problems don’t go away, but her perspective on them and ability to cope shifts and improves. Ages 14–up. Agent: Amy Burkhardt, Kimberley Cameron & Associates. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/21/2013
Release date: 03/21/2013
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