A brave teen recounts her debilitating struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder—and brings readers through every painful step as she finds her way to the other side—in this powerful and inspiring memoir.
Until sophomore year of high school, fifteen-year-old Allison Britz lived a comfortable life in an idyllic town. She was a dedicated student with tons of extracurricular activities, friends, and loving parents at home.
But after awakening from a vivid nightmare in which she was diagnosed with brain cancer, she was convinced the dream had been a warning. Allison believed that she must do something to stop the cancer in her dream from becoming a reality.
It started with avoiding sidewalk cracks and quickly grew to counting steps as loudly as possible. Over the following weeks, her brain listed more dangers and fixes. She had to avoid hair dryers, calculators, cell phones, computers, anything green, bananas, oatmeal, and most of her own clothing.
Unable to act “normal,” the once-popular Allison became an outcast. Her parents questioned her behavior, leading to explosive fights. When notebook paper, pencils, and most schoolbooks were declared dangerous to her health, her GPA imploded, along with her plans for the future.
Finally, she allowed herself to ask for help and was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. This brave memoir tracks Allison’s descent and ultimately hopeful climb out of the depths.
Allison Britz graduated with her BA and MA from Wake Forest University. When not spending all of her money on books, she enjoys cooking, three-day weekends, arguing with her OCD, and extensive Netflix binges. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and their dog. Obsessed is her first book.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (September 19, 2017)
Length: 368 pages
Grades: 9 and up
Ages: 14 - 99
Lexile ® HL760L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
"Depicted with affecting honesty (and including quite a lot of dialogue), Allison's journey is at once gripping and agonizing... Readers willing to share Allison's evident pain and humiliation may gain insight into a troubling disorder, but it's the joy of her slow recovery that they'll savor."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Readers will empathize with Britz, experiencing from her perspective the potential effects of OCD and cheering her along as she steadily improves. An ending note provides encouragement from the author along with a list of resources. VERDICT An important voice in the discussion of OCD."
– School Library Journal
"Although nonfiction, the memoir reads like a novel and keeps readers wanting to know more about the complexities of OCD. A hopeful ending chronicles her diagnosis and early treatment."
– Booklist Online
"Britz’s energetic present-tense narration makes her memoir read like a novel; she brings an immediacy to the intensity of her experiences that invites equal parts sympathy and horror... The ultimate trajectory of her ordeal presents a full picture of the impossibility of her life should her disorder go unchecked as well as the hard, satisfying work of recovery."
Awards and Honors
Lincoln Award: Illinois Teen Readers' Choice Master List