Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (April 10, 2012)
ARC: 230 Pages
Genre: Mature Young Adult Contemporary/Humor
Aaron Karo's Website | Twitter
Buy Links: Hardcover | Kindle
From Goodreads. Chuck Taylor’s OCD has rendered him a high school outcast. His endless routines and habitual hand washing threaten to scare away both his closest friend and the amazing new girl in town. Sure he happens to share the name of the icon behind the coolest sneakers in the world, but even Chuck knows his bizarre system of wearing different color “Cons” depending on his mood is completely crazy.
In this hilariously candid debut novel from comedian Aaron Karo—who grew up with a few obsessions and compulsions of his own—very bad things are going to happen to Chuck. But maybe that’s a good thing. Because with graduation looming, Chuck finds himself with one last chance to face his inner demons, defend his best friend, and win over the girl of his dreams. No matter what happens, though, he’ll have to get his hands dirty.
Review by Kate
LEXAPROS AND CONS, by Aaron Karo, is a hilarious male-POV story about a teenage boy who suffers from OCD while trying to make it through high school. Chuck Taylor is a smart kid but isn't popular, at all, but is comfortable with having a close best friend and counting the days until high school is over. He is also counting how many times he masturbates, checking his locker exactly fourteen times and turning it to zero before stepping away, checking for gas coming from his ELECTRIC stove, washing his hands compulsively, and… you get the picture...
I found myself laughing out loud while reading this book. It was hysterical but at the same time heart-warming. Poor Chuck Taylor. He developed his OCD tendencies which continued to get worse each day. After reaching out to his mother (which he regrets immediately) he is brought to a psychiatrist to help work on his issues. The good doctor tries to work with Chuck but he is adamant against working on the issues and just wants a quick fix. He finds this in the new girl, Amy. He works hard to keep his 'issues' to himself when he tutors and becomes close with her, but keeping something that big a secret leads to disastrous results.
I loved reading Chuck's POV throughout the book. There are not too many male driven books in the young adult market so I found this story refreshing. Karo inserted his talent for comedy into the book which made it that much more enjoyable. Chuck is a dynamic yet absolutely realistic teenage boy dealing with some issues in his life. His road to recovery was bumpy but the journey was fun to read.
The secondary characters had their own spotlight as well. Chuck's best friend, Steve, was intelligent and the voice of reason when Chuck was feeling particularly anxious. Steve was Chuck's rock and it was such an awesome friendship between the two. I loved Chuck's sister, Beth. She was popular and at times the typical annoying younger sister but she loved her brother and I appreciated their relationship.
Overall, this was a great book. It's a nice quick read and will keep you laughing until the very end. I am excited to read more by Karo!