Often think my nickname should be late to the party Lizzy.
I’ve been meaning to read The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B for months. Looked when it came out – only 2013. Where did time go? Recently I was listening to Black Eyed Peas – ‘where is the love.’ When it came out I was 16.
I remember sneaking Malibu and Lilt into my parents garden and having tent parties with hordes of the gals. Back in the day. Before I get to stuck in 2010 onto the review. (Sorry parents.)
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 . . .
The book details the life of 15 year old Adam who struggles with severe OCD and attends a group to help him. Then Robyn (16) enters the group. As soon as he sets eyes on her Robyn becomes Adam’s world (moon, sun and stars too.) Building up the courage to speak to her they develop a friendship. Walking her home, introducing her to the Catholic faith and telephoning one another Adam is very much in love. But, Adam in lying, Robyn is also lying and Adam’s family life is a little off.
This book was poignantly told through Adan’s POV. I felt pulled into Adam’s routines and his struggle to process certain seemingly easy tasks. Opening doors takes Adam roughly 11 minutes if he performs the routine perfectly. The daily struggle was difficult to read, but Adam’s strength to recover was brilliant. Despite being written in the 3rd person I felt I knew Adam, and his wobbles.
There is also a superhero vibe. During the support-group they leave who they are at the door and take on a new name. Everyone picked a superhero creating a DC/Marvel style support group. Thor, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Wolverine and obviously Robyn all feature. Oh, and Adam picks Batman. To fekking cute. Adam’s OCD is a constant battle and his unstable family relationships do nothing to help. Adam’s 5 year old stepbrother Sweetie (Wendell) is already showing signs of a severe OCD/anxiety disorder. He lives with his mum who hordes anything she picks up and his Dad and new Step-Mum are putting pressure on Adam to spend more time with them. His Mum is also receiving terrifying letters that’s she’s hiding from Adam. She’s not so great at hiding the vodka bottle. The story tells a truly emotional tug of war and I adored it.
The writing is beautiful. Adam’s OCD ticks fit snuggly into the rest of the writing. Details of medication are woven in but they are not the be all and end all. The book delves into how therapy and group support can help pave the way to recovery. The ending is fabby and wraps the story up well.
I adored this book. It was brilliantly told with a real emphasis on how OCD affects individuals. The author has done a lot of research and it shows. A brilliant book with a fab main character that entertains and educates.