Monday, December 19, 2011

Kissing Doorknobs by Terry Spencer-Hesser

I recently read a book called Kissing Doorknobs, recommended to me by someone who "knew I'd love it."  Well, I did!  At first glance, Kissing Doorknobs looks like a quick, easy read.  After all it's thin and small.  But in no way is Kissing Doorknobs easy.  It deals with tough issues and it is deep.  You'll want to spend hours reading it and thinking.  Not only was it wonderfully realistic, but it also had funny and unique writing mixed in with a serious topic almost unknown in the world of fiction- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (or OCD) is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted thoughts or feelings or behaviors that make them driven to do something.  Carrying out this action makes people afflicted with OCD feel better--but it doesn't last.
             Kissing Doorknobs is told through the eyes of 14 year old Tara, who has been afflicted with OCD her whole life.  She was able to keep it below the surface until at 11 years old, she hears the phrase "Step on a crack, break your mothers back".  Suddenly Tara is counting sidewalk cracks wherever she goes.  If she messes up, she has to start all the way over again.  Soon Tara's strange behaviors multiply.  They begin to wreck havok on her relationships with family and friends.  She doesn't understand why she does the things that she does, only that she needs to to feel better.  Tara is confused and alone.  But then she meets someone who might have an answer to her problems.
              Kissing Doorknobs is a down to earth story.  Terry Spencer-Hesser doesn't guild OCD and she doesn't make Tara's struggles anything but what they would have been to her, which is frightening, confusing and all too real.  How does Terry Spencer-Hesser write with such passion and conviction about OCD? The book is based on her on struggles as a young adult.
             I would recommend Kissing Doorknobs to all ages.  It also doesn't matter your genre of choice because this book has a bit for every genre.  I would especially recommend this book to someone who is interested in OCD and/or struggles with it or knows someone who does.
            But when you read this book, don't read it as a break from the trials of everyday life just because it's realistic fiction.  This book will have you wondering things and asking questions you've never thought about before.

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