I read this one in a single sitting. I seriously could not put it down. Something about the relationship between these two siblings felt so perfect and so real I just had to keep reading to see how it played out. And the secondary characters are heartbreaking too.
It's unusual in YA books for parents to be anything but props or voices of authority, but the parents in this book felt real. They were mad, sure, but they also had a sense of helplessness about them, like they knew they didn't actually have any power to change the situation. I like that vulnerability, that understanding that your kid is their own person and that you can't exert your will over them.
Because this book is told from Kendra's perspective, it wasn't as immersive an experience as OCD Love Story, but it was easy to see how difficult living with this disorder can be. While Kendra is frustrated with Grayson for not being able to be normal, Grayson's frustration at his own disorder is palpable. He doesn't want to be the center of attention in the family, but his anxiety has made him that way.
If you don't believe me, here's the blurb….
Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. The only way Kendra can stand out next to Grayson is to be perfect, and she has perfection down to an art -- until a cheating scandal threatens her flawless reputation.
Behind the wheel of her car, with Grayson asleep beside her, Kendra decides to drive away from it all -- with enough distance, maybe she'll be able to figure everything out. But eventually, Kendra must stop running and come to terms with herself, her brother, and her past.
With undeniable grace and humor, acclaimed author Jennifer Brown explores OCD, the pressure for perfection, and the emotional highs and lows of a complex sibling relationship.